Deschutes River Hatch Guide
March and April begin our Deschutes River season with hatches of blue winged olives and March brown mayflies. Each day nymphing is productive in the mornings, until the bugs start hatching in the early afternoon. For several hours dry fly fishing is great. This is a time when the trout show themselves in backeddies and soft riffles, sticking their noses above the surface to sip mayflies.
May and June bring the salmonfly hatch, followed shortly by the golden stonefly hatch. These larger sized bugs (size 6 and 8) create a unique and exciting dry fly opportunity. The trout are looking up and ready to pounce on a well drifted offering. This is a popular time to fly fish the Deschutes, and for good reason. Trout are eating large bugs that are highly visible, on heavy tippets, and are not so spooky.
Late June, overlapping and following the stonefly hatches, Pale Morning Duns (PMD's) become a mid day hatch. Take a break from pounding the banks with giant salmonflies, and sight fish the weed beds and back eddies with mayfly patterns. This is an engaging change of pace. After the hatch subsides, back to salmonflies.
Perhaps the best hatch of the year, caddis flies become the main dry fly attraction by the beginning of July. Swarms of caddis provide a rich food source for the trout. Mid day trout can be found slurping caddis in the shade of alder trees. Each evening, during the last hour of daylight, trout leave their day time haunts and begin a surface feeding frenzy that is a sight to behold. This is fast and furious dry fly action, where trembling hands make tying snapped tippets a difficult task. Caddis flies maintain the trout's diet through the summer and fall. Blue winged olives join the menu once again in October and November.