Deschutes River salmonfly hatch
During May and June Oregon's Lower Deschutes River has a massive salmonfly hatch. During the salmonfly hatch, the Deschutes River's banks crawl with salmonflies, followed shortly by the golden stonefly hatch. These harmless bugs provide an important food source for the resident rainbow trout. Redsides, as they are locally referred to, position themselves into feeding lanes and rise eagerly to salmonflies drifting helplessly down river. River Runner Outfitters offers guided fly fishing trips targeting the Deschutes River salmonfly hatch.
The salmonfly hatch is an exciting time to fly fish the Deschutes. Often short casts are the ticket. Trout line up under trees and along grassy banks, within easy reach of your five weight. Fishing with salmonfly patterns you can easily see is a treat. With some skill and patience, drifting your stonefly under shadowy tree limbs and behind boulders of the Deschutes River will result in the largest rising trout of the year.
The pre-hatch fishing begins in April, drifting large salmonfly and golden stonefly nymphs under indicators. Late April and early May the nymph fishing can be outstanding. Trout are hungry and in incredible shape. The canyon is green and blooming. The wild of winter meets the warm rays of spring. Wildlife is visibly abundant this time of year. For those not shy to indicator nymphing riffles and pocket water, this is a great time to visit the Deschutes River.
Dry fly fishing with slamonflies takes off in early May. After the first adult salmonflies and golden stoneflies have emerged, it doesn't take long for the trout to key in. You will be casting your fly along grassy banks, behind overhanging trees, in boulder strewn riffles, and all kinds of bankside trout water. After several well placed casts and drifts, move upstream a little. Fishing the salmonfly hatch is a matter of searching the banks for feeding fish. If you don't see trout rising, cast anyways. Often they will pounce on a well presented fly.
From Memorial Day through the second or third week of June the Deschutes River salmonfly hatch is in full swing. Fishing is predictably good. Golden stoneflies become increasingly important. River Runner Outfitters has developed dry fly patterns specifically for the Deschutes River. Guided float trips provide a salmonfly hatch experience near Maupin or Bend, Oregon. Multi-day camping trips will give you the ultimate opportunity to fish the salmonfly hatch on the Deschutes River. The hatch migrates slowly up river, you float 35 to 45 miles down river.