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

Steelhead Drift & Jet Boat Trips

A guided steelhead trip with River Runner Outfitters will help you tune up your spey casting, master the process of swinging flies, or simply enhance your pursuit of steelhead on the fly.

 
 

Steelhead Drift & Jet Boat Fly Fishing Trips on the Lower Deschutes River

Fly fishing for steelhead is in our DNA and at the core of our guide service. The Lower Deschutes River in Oregon is known by serious anglers as one of the world's greatest summer steelhead fisheries. Typified by broad classic runs framed by a towering basalt canyon, the Deschutes is perfectly suited to spey casting with floating lines and classic flies. Our daily guided float trips position anglers for success. Alternatively, we offer multi-day drift boat and jet boat camping trips for the ultimate Deschutes River steelheading experience. A guided steelhead trip with River Runner Outfitters will help you tune up your spey casting, master the process of swinging flies, or simply enhance your pursuit of steelhead on the fly.

 
 

 

 

Deschutes Steelhead Drift Boat Camping 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 and ambiance of the Deschutes River from Mack's Canyon to the mouth as you drift from one seductive run to another. Each day you will methodically 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.

 

2017 RATES & DETAILS

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.

 

 

 

Deschutes Steelhead Jet Boat Camping Trip

Our summer and fall steelhead jet boat trips are for anglers looking to maximize their time swinging flies on the Lower Deschutes River. This three night trip begins at Mack's Canyon on the Deschutes River near Maupin, Oregon. From a base camp we move up and down the river and tailor each fishing spot to our angler's fishing and wading abilities. All meals and camping equipment are provided.

 
 

FISHING PROGRAM

Your guide will meet you at the boat launch at Mack's Canyon Campground at 2:00 pm the first day of your trip.  You will be taken directly to camp to unload your bags and get ready to fish the rest of the day.

From camp we set out with the jet boat to fish.  We fish up to three anglers per guide and boat.  We use the boat to get to our favorite water up and downtream of camp.  All fishing is done on foot in a traditional way.  Wading the Deschutes can be difficult, however we place a high priority on matching anglers with appropriate wading.

We swing flies for Deschutes steelhead, most often with spey rods 12 - 14 feet long equipped with full floating lines and traditional wet or dry flies. We do fish skagit heads and sink tips from time to time, but the goal is to capitalize on the floating line fishery that the Lower Deschutes is world famous for.

Our Deschutes jet boat trips are optimized for fishing our favorite water during the right time of day. The flow of the day is highly adjustable and changes a bit throughout the steelheading season. Plan on fishing early and late in the day and taking a mid day break after lunch.  There are times when we fish through the day, usually during cloudy weather or later in the season when the sun stays at a low angle.

We arrive back at camp either just before dark or in time to fish camp water. Dinner is usually served after dark, although early dinner is an option that some people prefer.

 

CAMPING ACCOMMODATIONS & MEALS

Camp is set up prior to your arrival.  Guests sleep two per tent on sturdy padded cots. Tents are over six feet tall. We are happy to accommodate special sleeping arrangements.  During fall we enjoy meals and comradery in the shelter of a steel framed canvas wall tent. During the warmest months of summer the weather is usually brilliant and we prefer to dine under and 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

Pricing is per person based on double occupancy.  Minimum two anglers.

Two Night Trip:  $1500 (one full day and two half days)

Three Night Trip:  $2000 (two full days and two half days)

Four Night Trip:  $2500 (three full days, two half days)

Included: Guided fishing (one guide per two or three anglers), meals on the river (lunch on first day through lunch on the last day), camping equipment (bring your own sleeping bag), spey rod setups, flies and fishing tackle.

Not Included: Transportation to and from Mack's Canyon Campground, 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 BLM fee / document available at https://boaterpass.com.  Boater passes are limited in availability during peak season (July - September). We are happy to purchase your boater pass on your behalf.

 

LOCATION & TRAVEL

Our Deschutes jet boat trips 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. 3 hrs to Mack's Canyon Campground for a 2:00 pm meet time.  You will return to Mack's Canyon between 12:00 and 1:00 pm the last day of your trip.

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.

 
 

PRE / POST TRIP ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations closest to where you will be fishing can be found in Maupin, Oregon, however our meet and take out times allow ample time for transportation the first and last day of the trip.  Guests with longer flights often spend the night in Portland near the airport on either end of the trip.

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Arrival: Fly in to PDX, rent a car, and drive to Mack's Canyon Campground on the Lower Deschutes River.  Meet your guide at the Mack's Canyon boat launch at 2:00 pm.  Fish the afternoon and evening.

Fishing Days: 2 Full fishing days.

Departure: Half fishing day.  Head back to Mack's Canyon at 12:00 to 1:00 pm.  Drive back to PDX.

 

 

 

Deschutes Steelhead Daily Float Trips

Our daily steelhead float trips cover 35 miles of the Lower Deschutes River surrounding Maupin, Oregon. Here you have access to a variety of premium steelhead fly water both upstream and downstream of Maupin. Our guides posses local knowledge and a keen intuition, and are happy to provide spey casting instruction as well as rods, lines, and flies for you to fish with. Assistance with accommodations to suit any budget is part of our service.

 
Daily steelhead float trips on the Deschutes near Maupin
 

FISHING PROGRAM

Your guide will meet you at your accommodations in Maupin pre dawn the morning of your trip. From there you will carpool with your guide to one of several boat launches in the area. You will float four to fourteen miles in a day depending on fishing conditions and where your guide decides to fish. The goal is to be standing in the water, fly in hand, at first light.

The drift boats are used to get to the best runs but we don't fish from the boats. All fishing is done while wading and is part of the process of traditional fly fishing for steelhead. Many anglers find wading the Deschutes to be tough and a wading staff is very helpful.  Our goal each day, in addition to successful fishing, is to keep our anglers comfortable and wading within their means.

Swinging flies on the Deschutes is most effectively done with two handed spey or switch rods. The Deschutes is world famous as a floating line steelhead river, so most fishing is done with full floating lines. Scandinavian shooting heads are easy to cast and what we recommend fishing with in most cases, although our guides are well versed in casting longer lines as well and encourage their use when appropriate. mall traditional wet flies such as the Green Butt Skunk, Silver Hilton, and Max Canyon are very popular for Deschutes steelhead, as well as surface or near surface flies like the Bomber, Muddler, and Dragonfly. Our philosophy regarding steelhead fishing is "when in Roam", and there may be no better place on Earth to raise a steelhead. With that being said we do carry and use Skagit heads sink tips and fish with them under the right circumstances.

You will systematically fish your way down river, each run being carefully chosen based on your guide's analytics. Mid day you will break for lunch in the shade. 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 you will fish during the middle of the day, usually at a choice "sink tip spot" or two, during cloudy weather, or later in the fall when the sun stays pretty low in the sky.

We typically fish until dark before heading back to Maupin, although we can tailor the length of the day to suit your preference.


 

2017 RATES & DETAILS

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

Included: One guide and boat per two anglers, lunch, snacks, and beverages, fly rod setups, flies and fishing tackle.

Not Included: Alcohol, waders and wading boots, 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). We can assist you with obtaining most of these items.

 

CAPACITY

2 to 6 anglers

 

SEASON

July through December

 

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 BLM fee / document available at https://boaterpass.com.  Boater passes are limited in availability during peak season (July - September). We are happy to purchase your boater pass on your behalf.

 

LOCATION & TRAVEL

Our Deschutes steelhead daily float trips begin in 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 trip is recommended as we start before sunrise.

 

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, Oregon. Stay the night in Maupin before your trip.

Fishing Days: Three full fishing days.

Departure: Stay the night in Maupin after your last fishing dayDrive back to PDX the following morning.