Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Deschutes River Oregon
There is quite a bit of difference in what locals call the Upper Deschutes River and the Lower
Deschutes River. This is a very diverse and long river. For that reason, we will sometimes
specify which section we are writing about.
Blue-winged Olives start hatching in the lower section in February, increase in March and April
and still continue into May. Some of these are bi-brooded and also, there are several different
species. There will be another hatch that takes place in September and October.
During the months of May and June, you may find a few Green Drakes hatching but it is usually
not what you would call a prolific hatch and it only occurs in certain areas of the river. The most
important mayfly on the Deschutes River is the Pale Morning Dun. It hatches in May, June and
July, depending on the area of the stream. There are also some Pale Evening Duns in the
Deschutes. They hatch over a long period of time, depending on the section of the river,
starting in April and lasting into August.
March Browns can hatch in decent quantities during March and April. They progress upstream
and hatch as late as the end of April in the Upper River. Mahogany Duns hatch in April and
May and again in September and October. These can be important hatches even though they
are not huge.
In the Upper Deschutes, Little Brown Stoneflies start hatching by the middle of February and
last through March. Skwala Stoneflies begin to hatch in the lower river the first of March and
continue through April. Golden Stoneflies start hatching about the middle of May and last for
the first couple of week of June. They are more plentiful in the Lower Section of the river.
There are a few Salmonflies that hatch from about the middle of May until the middle of June in
the Lower Deschutes. Yellow Sallies, or Little Yellow Stoneflies, hatch in June and July.
Caddisflies are very plentiful in the Deschutes River. The Spotted Sedges, which consist of
several different species, hatch from March through September. They are heavier at times and
vary with the various parts of the river. The little Short-horned Sedges last about the same
length of time or even longer. There are also several species of Green Sedges that hatch from
the first of March all the way through October. Imitations of their larvae, called "rock worms",
are effective flies anytime you fish the river. The larger October Caddis start hatching about
the middle of September and last until about the middle of November.
Midges are important all year but usually only focused on during periods of cold water. About
the middle of July, grasshopper, ants and beetles become a part of the diet of the trout in the
Deschutes River. They are quite abundant. Imitations of them can be effective and terrestrial
fishing is a popular method during that time of the year.
One of the most important flies you can have on the Deschutes in many angler's opinion, are
streamers. Imitations of sculpin, minnows and baitfish will produce trout anytime of the year and
especially when the lighting conditions are low. Imitations of crayfish can also be effective.
Fish eggs are an important form of food in the Lower Deschutes River. Salmon eggs are in the
river during November and December. Flies imitating these eggs are very effective as well as
other traditional steelhead flies.
We recommend our "Perfect Flies". They have been tested and used by several regular
Deschutes anglers would great results. They are not only the most realistic flies you can buy,
they are the most effective at catching trout. If you haven't already done so, please give them
an opportunity to produce for you. We are confident, you will be glad you did.
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Deschutes River, Oregon
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