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Deschutes River, Lower

Friday, December 19, 3:38 a.m. PST


Current River Levels

For 7-day, 30-day, and one-year graphs, click bold type below.

GAGE LOCATION

DAY/YEAR
GRAPHS

CURRENT
STAGE/FLOW

WHAT TIME

Deschutes/Madras

7 30 year

3.13 / 4740

3 am

Deschutes/Moody

7 30 year

3.02 / 5390

2 am

Shitike Cr/Warm Springs

7 30 year

1.22 / 76

3 am

Warm Springs/Kahneeta

7 30 year

1.27 / 299

2 am


Weather

Click bold type for weather from NOAA, Accuweather, or The Weather Channel

CITY

Madras

NOAA

Accuweather

TWC

Maupin

NOAA

Accuweather

TWC

The Dalles

NOAA

Accuweather

TWC

Government Camp

NOAA

Accuweather

TWC


What to Expect in December

How to use this section.


Hatches divided by half-month.  Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

HATCH

NYMPH/
LARVA

PUPA/
EMERGER

DUN/
ADULT

EGG-
LAYER

Blue-winged olive

Spotted caddis

Green caddis

Golden stonefly

Salmonfly

Midge

Sculpin

Roe


Steelhead.

Most of the steelhead action will be between Maupin and Warm Springs, but there are still a few steelhead from the mouth on up. There are always a few large B-run steelhead in the lower section of the river at this time of year. Fishing that part of the Deschutes in December is a low-percentage game, but you won't have much competition, and there is the opportunity to tie into a real trophy.

Despite the season you can still find plenty of anglers on the upper river in December, even mid-week. Don't be surprised if your favorite run has two or three fly fishers in it. If so, be philosophical and seek a new run.

For advice on whether to use a sink-tip or a floating line, see Sink-Tip or Floating Line?.

Trout. Trout fishing will be pretty slow for the next two months. You might have some luck during a blue-winged olive hatch, and trout will sometimes take drifting roe from spawning whitefish (try a size 18 peach Egg Fly; drift it near the bottom).

Many anglers look down their nose at whitefish, the trout's poor cousin, but whitefish are plentiful and they're more active in cold water than rainbow trout. They like small nymphs, so winter is a great opportunity to hone your subsurface skills. Besides, whitefish are better than no fish. Look for them in slow runs.

Remember that the west bank is closed along the Warm Springs Reservation (from Pelton Dam to river mile 69) and trout fishing is not permitted in November and December anywhere in that section (If you happen to be steelheading with a size 18 Pheasant Tail and accidentally hook a trout--just don't try to kill it and take it home; and remember, you were fishing for steelhead).

The major tributaries--Trout Creek, Warm Springs River, White River--can dump muddy water into the Deschutes after a big storm. However, if you fish between Warm Springs and Trout Creek you can usually avoid these problems. I've been to South Junction (below the Warm Springs confluence) when you couldn't see two inches into chocolate-colored water. But above the Warm Springs and Trout Creek, the river was a nice clear, green color.

Anglers coming to the Maupin area from Portland may find it faster to go through The Dalles and take highway 197 at this time. While it's farther, you seldom encounter snow, and that can make for a faster, safer trip.

For more on December tactics and flies, see the Rivers in General forecast

Other Fisheries

Select a report for another fishery



 

Other Info Sources

Phone or click on links

The Caddis Fly Angling Shop 541-342-7005

Confluence Fly Shop 541-678-5351

Deschutes Angler Fly Shop 541-395-0995
Online report

Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop 541-395-2565
Online report

Fin and Fire 541/548-1503
Online report

Fly and Field Outfitters 541-318-1616
Online report

The Fly Fisher's Place 541-549-3474
Online report

The Fly Fishing Shop 503-622-4607

Gorge Fly Shop 541-386-6977

The Hook 541-593-2358
Online report

Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters 503-252-1529

The Patient Angler 541-389-6208

River City Fly Shop 503-579-5176

Royal Treatment Fly Shop 503/850-4397


Guides and Services

Show guides, lodges and other services for this fishery


Feature Articles

Steelhead Tactics: Spey Casting for Noobs

Tactics: Thoughts on Flies and Presentation

Is the Deschutes River in Danger? Yes!

Oregon Spring Fishing--Beyond Salmonflies

Deschutes River Spring Trout

Tower of Doom or Tower of Better River Management?

Deschutes Late Season Steelhead

Lower Deschutes Steelhead with Sam Sickles

Deschutes Blue-Winged Olive Hatch

Deschutes December Steelhead with John Smeraglio

Hunting Trout in the Trees with Chris O'Donnell

Deschutes Trout, July

Deschutes Steelhead, 2010 Season

Deschutes Salmonfly Hatch

What to Expect on the Deschutes

Westfly Makes Donations

Fishing the Deschutes with Chris O'Donnell

The Drift--March 2004

The Drift--February 2003

An Oasis of Tradition on the Deschutes


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