Deschutes Steelhead Report & River Conditions
Lower Deschutes Steelhead Report
Steelhead fly fishing on the Lower Deschutes has been an interesting affair the past few weeks. Fishing has been outstanding in certain areas on certain days, and slow otherwise. if you are in the right run at the right time of day, you may have a four fish pass through a small piece of water. If you are fishing the wrong stretch of river during the wrong time of day, nothing. This is due to river temperatures. The Deschutes just below Macks Canyon has been anywhere from 61.8 to 64 degrees in the mornings, and from 65 to 68 degrees in the evenings over the past two weeks. This is warmer than I like, but as long as the river is below 68 we are still in good shape.
Many steelhead have entered the system since early July, but with cooler water in the Columbia than the Deschutes, many fish have been stacking up in the Columbia, waiting for cooler flows in the Deschutes. On my last nine days on the water, we have landed 12 steelhead. this is not red hot fishing, but as much as one could ask for. Mornings and evenings have been best during the full moon. The steelhead we have encountered have been large solid fish. Many of the were taken on skaters, and nearly all of them on floating lines. The mid day sink tip bite has been off, but not impossible. This will change over the next week. August 1 we will see slightly cooler water being released from the dam. We just got back from a great five day camp trip with Dave Hess and company from Pennsylvania. Although fishing during the day was slow, these boys made the most of the mornings and evenings. The highlight of the trip for me was when Dave, on the last morning, landed a wild buck on a skater he created. he then reeled up, with an hour of shade left, and said, "I'm done". The first photo captured that moment of satisfaction.
River Temperature Issues
I would suggest reading and following this thread on the Westfly.com Oregon forum to learn about our water temperature issues, and read what the public and various officials have to say about the issue. I have added some names and contact info of key people in this issue to the thread.
Here is an article from the Oregonian I suggest you read as well. Temps have become warmer than anticipated and something is actually being done about it. This is good.
I am learning more every day and keeping an open mind. I'll share facts as I discover them. Anyone wishing to know more, or obtain graphs, charts, press releases, etc. regarding this issue, please call or email me.