Fly Fishing Guides | Deschutes River | River Runner Outfitters
Spey fishing for steelhead on a Lower Deschutes drift boat trip.jpg

Deschutes Steelhead Float Trip

Swing flies with confidence.  Our Deschutes steelhead float trips focus on the lower 23 miles of river from Mack's Canyon to the mouth.

 
 

DESCHUTES STEELHEAD Float Trip

Swing flies with confidence.  Our Deschutes steelhead float trips cover 23+ miles of river in three to five days.  Relax and absorb the rugged beauty of the Lower Deschutes from Mack's Canyon to the mouth as you drift from one seductive steelhead run to another.  Each day you will fish a new stretch of river, arriving afterward to a fully prepared camp. Meals and camping equipment are provided.

 
 
 

FISHING PROGRAM

Your guide will meet you at the Mack's Canyon boat launch on the Lower Deschutes River just before sunrise the first day of the trip.  Staying in Maupin the night before your trip is recommended (accommodations handled independently and not included).  Having your waders and boots on when you arrive at Mack's Canyon will help expedite our morning fishing.  We provide large dry bags for you to pack your sleeping bag and clothes into.  These dry bags will be loaded onto our "bag boat" and taken directly to camp along with all of the food and camping gear.

At the boat launch you will split into groups of two. We fish two anglers per boat and guide.  We use the drift boats for transportation only and all fishing is done on foot. The wading can be difficult on the Deschutes.  Many people find a wading staff useful and even essential.  We strive to match anglers with appropriate water they are comfortable wading.

To fish for steelhead on the Deschutes we swing flies, usually with spey rods 12 - 14 feet long equipped with full floating lines.  We love Deschutes steelhead for their willingness to take flies on or near the surface.  We do keep Skagit heads and sink tips handy in case we feel the need to dig a little deeper in the water column.  Fishing tends to be best on the Deschutes during low light periods of morning and evening.  Our fishing program is optimized to fish hard during those times. Casting and fishing instruction is always available and part of our service.

We progressively fish our way down river, meeting for lunch as a group around 12:30 - 1:00 pm.  During longer summer days we usually take a break after lunch to rest and also to secure a good piece of water for the afternoon and evening fishing.  There are times when we opportunistically fish through the day, usually during cloudy weather or later in the season when the sun stays pretty low in the sky.

We typically arrive at camp at dusk after fishing or in time to fish camp water.  Dinner is served just after dark.

 

Camping Accommodations & Meals

After fishing each day you will arrive at our fully prepared mobile streamside camp.  Each day while you are fishing our bagger is busy hauling gear down river, setting up camp, and preparing the evening's meal.  Without the hassle of setting up camp, you and your guide focus on fishing.

We sleep two guests per tent.  Tents are over six feet tall and equipped with sturdy padded cots.  We are happy to accommodate special sleeping arrangements.  During fall a steel framed canvas wall tent serves as the centerpiece of camp.  Here we gather for meals, comradery, and occasionally to dry out waders.  During the warmest months of summer we prefer to dine under an open sky.

The meals we serve are simple preparations, featuring a rotation of fresh seasonal ingredients.  We love to cook and eat, and enjoy sharing our passion for food on the river.  We strive to provide hearty and healthy meals that our guests look forward to each day.

 

Rates & Details

2017 Rates

Day Float:  $450 (single angler), $550 (two anglers)

Camp trips priced per angler based on double occupancy.  Minimum four anglers.  We do have options for two anglers.

Three Day, Two Night Float:  $1500

Four Day, Three Night Float:  $1800

Five Day, Four Night Float:  $2100

Included: One guide and boat per two anglers, all meals from lunch on first day through lunch on the last day, camping equipment (bring your own sleeping bag), fly rod setups, flies and fishing tackle.

Not Included: Transportation to Mack's Canyon Campground, vehicle shuttle, alcohol, staff / guide gratuities.

You will need to have:  Fishing license and steelhead tag with Columbia Basin Endorsement, Deschutes Boater Pass, waders and wading boots (studded felt sole recommended), sleeping bag and pillow.  We can assist you with obtaining most of these items.

 

Capacity

2 to 6 anglers

 

Season

July through November

 

Fishing License & Boater Pass

Fishing License: You will need a valid Oregon angling license and steelhead tag with a Columbia Basin Endorsement.  Daily combo license are available and include the steelhead tag (available online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license).

Boater Pass: You will need a Deschutes Boater Pass, a Bureau of Land Management fee / document available at https://boaterpass.com.  Boater passes are limited in availability during peak season (July - September). Booking with us six months to a year in advance is recommended.  We are happy to purchase your boater pass on your behalf.

 

Location & Travel

Our Deschutes steelhead float trips begin at the boat launch at the Mack's Canyon Campground on the Lower Deschutes River 27 miles North of Maupin, Oregon.

Guests arriving by plane typically fly into Portland, rent a car, and drive approx. 2 hrs to Maupin.  Spending the night in Maupin prior to your float is recommended as we start before sunrise and Mack's Canyon is a one hour drive from Maupin.

Please be advised that the last 17 miles of the drive to Mack's Canyon is on a gravel road that varies in quality throughout the season.  Allow one hour to get down the Deschutes River access road and expect a slow and bumpy drive.

 

Map & Driving Directions

Mack's Canyon Campground, Maupin OR

 

Pre / Post Trip Accommodations

Maupin, Oregon.  Handled independently and not included.

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Arrival: Fly in to PDX, rent a car, and drive to Maupin.  Stay the night in Maupin.

Fishing Days: Drive to Mack's Canyon before sunrise the first morning of the trip.  Meet your guide at Mack's at 5:00 am.  Three full days of fishing.

Departure: Half fishing day.  Take out around 1:00 or 2:00 pm at Heritage Landing.  Your vehicle will be there when you arrive.