FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 9 AM to 5 PM

October 15, 2018 4:00 PM

Fall is here in full force this week! Morning temperatures are getting colder (mid 20s in the morning)and by the time it is light enough to unhook your fly and make the first cast it’s nearly 7AM. Don’t forget to start short! Many fish are hanging tight to the bank at first light. Quite often, a simple leader cast with only 2 feet of fly line out the tip of the rod is the one that hooks the first steelhead of the day. Mid-day breaks are getting shorter as the sun continues to sit lower on the desert rim, but don’t forget to come see us in the fly shop as we have incredible deals right now on single handed and two-handed rods. If you are a fly tier, you will love our selection of materials. We specialize in steelhead materials, Euro-trout materials, saltwater fly materials, and pretty much anything else you can dream up.

Starting tomorrow our hours change just a little bit… we will still be open 7 days a week but our doors will open at 9am (instead of 8) and we will still stay open until 5pm. If you can’t make it here during open hours, but you still want a few items from our shelves, give us a call and we can put those items in an after-hours location for you to grab.

Steelhead fishing continues to be streaky. There are fish around but you have to search for them. We have been averaging one fish per 12 runs fished this year. That means you need to cover water and cover it quickly. I have always enjoyed fishing three shorter runs as opposed to one 200 yard stretch. However, if I start in at the top of a 200 yard stretch and only plan to fish the top 50 yards – my plans will change if I find a willing steelhead in the first section of the run. Steelhead have been known to travel in pods or small groups, so it pays to stay in the same general area where you found the first fish of the day. The water is still in the 50’s, plenty warm enough to fish floating lines and small unweighted flies.

We are anxiously awaiting the start of our season on the John Day. We currently have three spots available in November on our 4 day safari camp trip. These spots do not become available very often and now is the time to grab your seat in one of our boats. Enjoy over 40 miles of world class scenery, gourmet meals and a luxurious camp on the banks of one of the west’s finest rivers. We have one spot open November 4-7th and two spots available November 11-14th. The cost is $2350.00 per angler. This year we will be working with ODFW to collect data from the steelhead that we catch. So, not only will you be able to enjoy one of the finest 100% wild steelhead rivers in the Pacific Northwest, but the steelhead that you land will allow us to collect the necessary data to ensure that this fishery is protected for future generations. We are looking forward to the learning what is revealed through this scientific work.

Let us not forget about trout. The trout fishing has been really good. Last week during the rain we saw great mayfly hatches throughout the day and the trout were gorging themselves! With the sunny weather this week caddis will make a showing as well. My go-to searching rig this time of year is a size 14-16 elk hair caddis with a tungsten bead BWO nymph as a dropper. Nymph fishing has also been productive – and Euro nymphing has been off the charts. Now is the time to fish October caddis pupa and small mayfly nymphs. Come on by the shop and we can show you the hot flies and tell you how we like to fish them. For you Euro-nymphing enthusiasts, the enormous selection of Euro-nymphs we have being custom-tied for our shop for 2019 will blow your minds! Just wait until you see the trick stuff that will only be available here at Deschutes Angler. Stay tuned.

Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and Alex Gonsiewski (co-authors of this very report) and the rest of the Crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

October 7, 2018 6:30 AM

Fine fall weather with cloudy skies, a little rain, and crisp mornings makes every steelheader I know feel just a little more optimistic with every swing of the fly. Keep your chins up, there are steelhead out there to be hooked, we just have to work a little bit harder for them this season. If you put in your time and get a little lucky, you should find a shimmering of chrome out there on the Deschutes. Don't take any encounter for granted while swinging your flies, that thing that felt trouty could very well be a ten pound wild hen who touched your fly out of curiosity. Make a second cast, or a third, or even a fourth. Back up, change flies, work that fly back down to the spot where you think you felt that bump. Maybe it was a leaf tumbling in the current that brushed along the broad side of your fly, or maybe, just maybe, it was the beautiful bullet of a steelhead that has been swimming through your dreams. Camping on the river, you get fitful bits of sleep between freight trains rumbling up the Deschutes. The dew on the tent is thick and cold in the morning. You don't want to leave your warm sleeping bag to climb into those waders - the left leg damp from the pinhole leak that you created when you came around a bit hot, broke anchor, and buried that size 5 Alec Jackson in the back of your thigh. But the victory of being the first person in a cherished steelhead run, waiting rod-in-hand for the light to make that first cast, that victory adds to your confidence that today is the day that your line will go tight mid-way through the swing. You will finally connect with the ghost of the river, the one that has been there all along but was waiting for the right presentation, your fly, and you. Keep the faith and keep your flies wet (or skaters dry as the case may be) and you will find many rewards from time spent on the water. One of those rewards might even be a steelhead.

If the last paragraph sounds like self-induced torture to you, then you might enjoy sleeping in, getting that quality time with your sleeping bag and pillow, and waking when the sun is warming the walls of the canyon. The trout are your quarry and they are happy in October, trying to put on some fat reserves for the long winter ahead. There are a few bugs hatching - BWOs on these cloudy days, October Caddis the size of butterflies in the evenings, and smaller caddis and mayflies throughout the day. Nymph fishing between visible hatches will yield plenty of fat footballs at this time of year - especially if you are mastering the Euro-nymphing technique. The nice thing about choosing trout as your targeted species (besides the warm sleep-in time) is that the angling pressure on the river is made up almost entirely of steelhead fishers and the good trout spots are there just waiting for you and your flies. Go get em!

The private lakes are fishing really well - the weeds are dying back, the callibaetis and chironomids are hatching daily, and the trout are fat, stupid, and happy. Until the lakes freeze, we will be booking non-guided and guided trips to fish for steelhead-sized rainbow trout. Gotta feel that heavy weight on the end of your line? You can make that happen multiple times per day up on our private lakes (just a 25 minute drive from Maupin).

I got a few White River calls this week due to a little sprinkle of rain - but I am happy to report that the White has been behaving beautifully this year - she is clear as a bell and low to boot. No problems there!

Tight lines!!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

September 28, 2018 1:00 PM

It's hard to complain about the perfect weather we have been having lately! Crisp mornings make every cast feel cleaner, and the mid-day warmth is perfect for that short rest in the shade in between fishing great pieces of steelhead water. The steelhead are quite spread out throughout the entire system by this time of year, so it doesn't much matter where you choose to wet your line, there are steelhead in every stretch of the lower Deschutes.

This weekend is the opener for deer hunting, so keep that in mind if you are along the river. Most of the hunters that we encounter on the river corridor are responsible and good stewards of the resource, but you don't want to be mistaken for a deer, so leave that antler hat at home this weekend.

Trout fishing has been pretty solid lately. We have been incorporating dry fly techniques using large brown caddis and olive caddis (size 14), and nymph techniques using cased caddis, October Caddis pupae, and a variety of Euro-nymphs. This is the time of year that we sit down with the reps and plan out our pre-season orders for everything that we want to have delivered next year. Flies must be ordered nearly a year in advance because fly companies need to schedule their tyers to create all of the patterns for all of the fly shops around the world. We are really excited for next year because we are ramping up our custom patterns like we never have before. Many of these patterns are of our own creation, will not be found in any other fly shop, and we have tested the heck out of them on the Deschutes. I can't reveal the secret stuff here, but suffice it to say that trout anglers next spring will be thrilled with our overflowing bins of killer flies.

Since we opened the private trophy trout lakes last week, the reports have been excellent. Hatches are still strong and there has been some epic dry fly fishing with callibaetis spinners, callibaetis adults, adult damsels, and midge adults (or, buzzers as they are called in the UK). Fishing a full sinking line with a damsel nymph or a leech pattern is also deadly, once you find the depth where the trout are feeding you can hook one on nearly every cast. If you get tired of trying to find steelhead on the fly, take a break for a day and hook a few dozen steelhead-sized trout in our private lakes.

I have one announcement to make about an event coming up this weekend.....on Sunday, a few long-time loyal Deschutes visiting anglers will be spearheading a river clean-up. The meeting point on Sunday at 12:00 Noon is the Maupin City Park near the boat ramp. Look for the Airstream trailer and a group of people who will be distributing bags and gloves for people to help with the river clean-up. Take a break after a morning of steelhead or trout fishing a do something nice for the Deschutes - you will certainly build up your steelhead or trout karma by helping with the clean-up, and you will meet a bunch of nice people who also love this river. I think this is a stellar idea, and I am sharing it here because I want to do what I can to help these great people.

We hope to see you all out on the river in the month of October - best month of the year, in my opinion. Tight lines!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

September 20, 2018 4:00 PM

Well, the days of light fishing pressure are behind us - people have started to make a showing this week for their annual Deschutes trips and the river has gotten busier. It's nothing like we have seen it during huge fish number years, like 2001, but there are a few more folks on the river than we have seen throughout the season up to this point. There is still plenty of great water out there for everyone to fish. Finding steelhead has been the challenge - people are working hard to find a fish a day on most days (though we still have good pushes of steelhead coming up the river in waves and it is possible to run into a pod of fish). The water is in great shape, good clarity, temperatures in the 50s, all conditions are perfect for hooking steelhead on floating lines swinging wet flies or skaters. We just need a few more steelhead to turn out of the COlumbia and into the Deschutes.

If trout are your fish of choice, you will be happy to know that we have seen good caddis hatches, significant mayfly hatches (tricos, pmds, bwos), and the first October Caddis have started to flutter around in the evenings. Whether you are dry fly fishing, traditional nymphing, or Euro-nymphing, you are bound to see lots of trout on the end of your line. The majority of the anglers on the river are concentrating their efforts on steelhead, so that makes it nice for the trout anglers since they are typically targeting deep and steep waters where the steelhead guys don't venture. Stop into the shop and we can show you the flies that have been most productive.

A heads up to anyone who is planning to float the river any time from October 1 to October 5: BUY YOUR BOATER PASS NOW on The boater pass website is undergoing an overhaual during those days and it will NOT be possible to purchase any passes during that five day window Oct 1-5. If you want to buy a boater pass for any day of the calendar year - be sure that you make that purchase before October 1. The good news is that the $10 fee for purchasing a pass (which is a fee that is in addition to the pass fee) will be lowered to $6 in the future once they get the site overhauled.

Our private trophy trout lakes are now open for business! Summer vacation for the big huge rainbow trout is OVER - they have been resting and growing fatter for the past three months eating mayflies and damsels and midge - so it is time to put those fish back to work. We have several lakes on the ranch and the ability to give every group of anglers their own private fishing experience, so give us a ring and we'll set you up on a lake with steelhead-sized rainbows and lots of em!

The White River has been a non-issue so far this year. It is low and clear - much like a lot of other rivers in the state due to the lack of any kind of precipitation this year. We don't expect any trouble from the White River unless we have some huge rain event in the coming weeks and months. So, that is great news for steelhead anglers! We hope that a fresh push of steelhead is headed our way in the coming days...they are sparsely spread out throughout the entire river by now, but the fresh batches keep on pushing upriver and we are eagerly awaiting their arrival. We eagerly await your arrival as well, and we hope to see you in the store in the coming days and weeks. We have a great selection of, well, everything and that includes fly patterns that no other store in the country has, polar bear for tying steelhead flies, a huge selection of fly tying materials, custom-tied flies, custom-tied Euro leaders, fantastic shop dogs, and a friendly and helpful staff.

Tight lines! See you on the water!

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

September 7, 2018 10:00 AM

Here we are, one week into September, and fishing pressure is as light as we have ever seen it during the prime time of steelhead season. From the standpoint of a guide, this is great! The river is way less crowded, you have lots of choices in which runs to fish, and there is a lot less competitive nonsense behavior on the river such as low-holing. From the standpoint of a fly shop owner, it is a little bit scary to see what should be one of the busiest times in the fly shop turn out to be pretty darn slow. We are having a huge sale right now on some premium high-end rod brands, most of which are not advertised on the web (we like to give our actual walk-in customers first dibs on great deals) and they are not flying off the shelves. So, things are fairly quiet around here.

Steelhead have been swimming into the Deschutes for over two months now, and numbers over the dams are getting bigger by the day. We are working hard to find a few fish a day, but some days we get lucky and run into a pod of fish before lunch. We are using floating lines, Spey rods, unweighted summer flies and skaters, and fishing a lot of water each day. Most of our fish have been hooked with the sun on the water, but we have tried to keep the sun behind the fish or off to the side.

Trout fishing continues to be good - the river is as clear as we have seen it in years and that is thanks to the Crooked River being so low in volume this year. The high nutrient laden pea-green water that the Crooked normally contributes to Lake Billy Chinook is not flowing into the reservoir this year, so the magical mixing tower is pulling water off the top of the reservoir that is much cleaner than it has been in past years. No thanks to the PGE SWW tower, but thanks to the lack of rainfall and drought conditions, we have seen the condition of the Lower Deschutes River improve this year. The insects have responded to the cleaner water - our caddis hatches have bounced back! If we give the river a chance to heal itself it will.

Hope to see some of you on the water this weekend! Tight lines!

Amy Hazel and the Crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

August 23rd, 2018 9:30 AM

The smoke is still here, but let's look at the silver lining, folks, the smoke is creating a "cloud cover" which makes fishing better all day. Steelhead don't like the sun, but they don't mind the glowing orange ball that can't quite make it through the layers of smoke. So, that's the good news for you steelhead fisherpeople. There are not a lot of steelhead around right now, but they come in waves and you have to have your fly in the water in order to intercept one of those chromers.

Trout fishing has been pretty darn good these days. Mornings have been great for dry fly fishing and afternoons have yeilded a lot of big trout using Euro nymphing techniques. Speaking of Euro-nymphing, we have two spots left in our Euro-nymphing class this weekend. This is a full day guided float trip for which we are providing two guides and all of the Euro-nymphing rods. You will learn to be a trout ninja by taking this class. If you want to be the one on the trip who outfishes everyone else ten to one, this is the class for you. $265 is the entry fee. Give us a call if you want to grab one of the last spots. It will change your life.

I can't believe it is almost September! Where does the time go? Summer is drawing to a close, the rafters are going to be wrapping it up soon, school is starting, and that means that the river is going to see quite a bit less traffic in the next month. A lot of people have been calling and asking about the fires and how the river looks. Well, it looks burned and blackened in a lot of places, especially below Mack's Canyon, but not all of the lush green riparian is gone. From Mack's Canyon upstream the riparian right along the river looks pretty good in most spots. The places that have burned already have green shoots of grass coming up. The burn does make it a lot easier to walk around on the bank, no more blackberries and heavy undergrowth to trip you up! So, we look at the bright side of things and realize that everything will grow back in time.

If you have any questions about fishing or need a hand picking out the hot steelehad flies, stop into the shop and we will gladly give you a hand. We are open every day and look forward to hearing your fish stories!

Tight lines,

Amy Hazel and the rest of the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

August 10th, 2018 9:30 AM

Well the weather is cooling down for the weekend which is blessing because it has been damn hot here in Maupin the last 3 days. Although it has been hot the fishing has been quite good. The caddis hatches have been super strong from Warm Springs to the mouth and fish are looking up. The fishing hasn’t been tapering off until 4 o’clock in the afternoon which is amazing considering is has been 108 degrees every day. As long as you wet wade up to your nipples the heat is quite manageable. Most of our trips have been leaving early in the morning to beat the heat and that first couple of hours is pure dry fly magic. From about 10 o’clock on you can still hunt out the top feeders in specific spots or just switch to nymphing in the heavy aerated water.

The river is about as low as we have seen it in 20 years which changes the trout game a bit. Whether you are dry fly fishing or nymphing you need to wade out further than normal. Those typical bank feeders under normal flow are now much further from the bank. Pay attention to where the heaviest foam lines are and you will notice they are much further away than you are used to seeing. A lot of our best dry fly fishing yesterday was 30 feet off the bank. Even nymphing we were wading out much further then I even thought was possible and that is where we found the big boys. Make sure you only wade out as far as you are comfortable or grab a wading staff and charge it.

Want to let all of you know that we have another Euro Nymphing class coming up on Saturday August 25th. We have been doing a lot of these classes over the last several weeks and students are having tremendous amounts of success using this technique. These are full day classes with a ton of on the water instruction while fishing. It has been awesome to watch students perfect the drift and immediately get rewarded for their effort. When the drift is correct you are almost guaranteed a fish. If you are interested in adding a weapon to your trout fishing arsenal give us a call at (541)395-0995.

Now for all of you steelhead junkies out there here is the most recent chrome report. The fishing has been consistent for most people braving the hot weather. Mornings have been the best with this heat and fish are being caught using floating lines and either skaters or small wet flies. Pressure is crazy light from Shears falls all the way to the mouth. When I pulled out at Mack’s canyon yesterday there was one drift boat trailer and one jet boat trailer. The people that have been floating all the way to the mouth cannot believe how few people are down there particularly for this time of year. Now don’t get me wrong you better be ready for some rugged camping conditions with limited shade and plenty of ash but if you are willing to brave it the place is empty. Again it is probably best to not steelhead fish in the evening because of water temps. but the ball is in your court.

Tight Lines,

DA Crew


July 30, 2018 9:00 AM

It seems, for now, that the fires on the Deschutes are behind us. There really isn't much more that can burn at this point. Let's review the fires, and if you have a map of the Deschutes you can pull it out and follow along. The first fire in late June was called the Boxcar fire. It started less than a mile upstream from Maupin due to a lightning strike. That fire burnt right down to Maupin but not downstream of Maupin. The fire spread mostly South and East and burned 100,000 acres of grass and farm land. In terms of the impact on the river, the Boxcar fire blackened the hillside and some campgrounds from Maupin all the way upstream to South Junction. It did not cross the river.

The next fire, the Substation Fire, started in The Dalles by a human (no known cause) and was fanned by extremely strong winds as it roared across dry wheat fields and grass lands in an East-Southeast direction to the Deschutes River. The fire came down into the Deschutes canyon in a few spots - Kloan/Freebridge and Airstrip were two areas where the fire came down. The firefighters fought to keep the fire down in the canyon as much as possible in order to save occupied structures and wheat fields. The fire did a lot of damage down in the canyon - burned both sides of the river all the way down to the water. Most of the trees that made our camps nice and shady were either badly burnt or singed. It remains to be seen which of those trees will survive. All of the undergrowth, grasses, sage brush, and blackberry bushes were wiped out and reduced to ash. Many of the toilets in the campsites were also destroyed. The fire damage from the substation fire extended from the mouth of the Deschutes all the way south to Mack's Canyon where it stopped without burning any of the Mack's Canyon campground. The total burn area for the Substation Fire was 89,000 acres.

The day that they seemed to get the Substation Fire under control, a brand new fire started just south of the Substation burn area - this one started when a piece of farm equipment caught on fire. The new fire was named the Long Hollow Fire and it quickly grew overnight moving Southeast towards the Deschutes River in the area of Beavertail Campground. The river and the access road down to Mack's Canyon was closed and the fire burned hard for four days. It has now burnt what it will burn in the canyon and is 58% contained moving South east towards Grass Valley/Kent. The road down to Mack's Canyon opened yesterday morning and we have reports that the fire didn't burn quite as hot nor was it quite as brutal to the riparian zone as the Substation fire was below Mack's Canyon. The Long Hollow Fire did burn both sides of the Deschutes from Jones Canyon upstream to Sherar's Falls and it burned on the west bank all the way down to Mack's Canyon where it met the scorched earth of the Substation Fire and had nowhere to go. The historic farmhouse in Ferry Canyon was burnt completely in the Long Hollow Fire, as were the other out buildings around it. Most of the riparian zone in Ferry Canyon survived, though the hillsides are blackened. As the most recent report rolled in yesterday, the Long Hollow Fire is 34,000 acres and 58% contained

Anglers want to know if they can access the river to fish and the answer is YES! The entire river is now open. All of the access roads and campgrounds are now open. It is HOT HOT HOT HOT out here - so bring your bathing suit. We are projected to be in the mid 100s today.

The water temperatures in the evenings as you go further and further downstream are getting dangerously warm for playing fish, particularly for steelhead. If you are planning a trip to the mouth, you may want to the best thing for wild fish and do your fishing in the morning and early afternoon and give the fish a rest in the evenings. With evening water temps pushing 72 degrees at the Moody gauge, it is shocking that ODFW hasn't implemented the Hoot Owl closure (no fishing after 3PM) in the Deschutes from Sherar's Falls down.Be aware that they may do so, and you will have to stay tuned to the regulations to be sure that you are in compliance.

We had another Euro Nymphing Clinic this weekend and it was great, despite the hot air temperatures. The water temps were still in the 60s here in Maupin, which is where we did our clinic due to the closure on the rest of the river. Our next Euro Clinic is on August 4 and it has already filled, but we will continue to schedule these classes as long as there is interest. The class price is $265 - which covers the full-day guided float and boater pass($18). Give us a ring at 541-395-0995 if you think you may want to do a class in August on a different date.

Stay cool out there! See you on the water! Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


July 27, 2018 10:30 AM - update on the fire situation:

The fire is now at 16,000 acres and has been named the Long Hollow Fire. For the most recent information on the new fire - go to: Long Hollow Fire

OR go to: Wasco County Sheriff Fire Updates OR go to: Columbia Gorge Fireland Info OR go to: Central Oregon Fire Info

Info just in from the BLM: The fire has burned down to the Deschutes River and may have jumped the river in the area around Beavertail. Everyone camped from Buckhollow to Mack's Canyon was forced to evacuate last night. Even anglers who had their boats launched at Mack's and were just camping for one more night in the burn-free zone of Mack's were forced out of the canyon by the sheriff and had to seek refuge at one of the hotels in Maupin. I passed the Deschutes Motel this morning and the place was packed.

I believe they are trying to push this fire down towards Mack's because it will collide with the Substation burn area and will have nothing left in the way of fuel. Sadly, I heard a rumor that the Ferry Canyon homestead is on fire right now. The 100 year old farm house that was recently occupied by Dino and Judy but has been sitting empty for a few years now, may be gone forever. That's a bummer. Read on for the report I posted first thing this morning.


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

July 27th, 2018 9:00 AM

Well, the fires WERE out and now we have a new fire burning from Tygh Ridge down to the Deschutes River around Oakbrook and Beavertail Recreation Areas. The fire is crawling down from the top of the canyon towards the river on the west side - this is the opposite side of the river from the access road and the drive-in campgrounds like Beavertail. They have tankers in the air dropping retardant as well as a 60,000 gallon fire train supplied by Burlington Northern Santa Fe which will use water cannons to shoot the flames as they keep towards the river. There are also ground crews and helicopters on the scene. If you are in the area DO NOT fly any personal drones for any reason. As soon as the fire crew sees a drone they have to ground all aircraft immediately. You will be very very heavily fined if you are caught flying your drone anywhere near this fire.

The entire lower access road from Sherar's Falls to Mack's Canyon is CLOSED until further notice. The river is CLOSED to camping, floating, and driving in that section - which also means that boaters who planned to launch at Mack's Canyon will not be able to do so at least until the Sheriff lifts the level 3 Evacuation notice. If you have a trip planned in section 3 or 4, you will be able to use your boater pass for any other section of the river that remains open. The good news is that there isn't a lot of smoke in the air, and that the fishing and camping around Maupin are still open and should remain so all weekend long. You have over 18 miles of beautiful fishable water here in the Maupin area, and there are plenty of campsites along this stretch of water. If you are looking to fish for steelhead, you may want to drive to the mouth of the Deschutes and hike or bike up, though you should be warned that the ash is 3-8" deep down there and it is supposed to be very windy today - bring a mask or other breathing device.

We have been hit really hard this year and fire season doesn't usually even get rolling until August. Our first huge fire started by lightning and the other two have been human-caused. If the winds aren't too strong this morning, we hope that they will be able to get a quick handle on this one before it jumps to the east side of the river.

We have a Euro-nymphing clinic this weekend and things are still a go for that clinic. Our August 4 Euro-nymphing clinic is also a go - and there is only one spot left in that one. There are plenty of places to fish around Maupin and upstream of Maupin.



Since the entire river is already burned to a crisp from Mack's Canyon to the confluence with the Columbia River, they shouldn't close the river down there, but you will not be able to launch a float trip until they open the lower access road the leads to Mack's Canyon. We do not know what will happen with this fire, when they will have a handle on it, if they will have it out anytime soon, which direction it will travel, if it will close additional sections of the river, or any number of "crystal ball" forecasts that you may be interested in. We will try to help you if you call here, but we are guides, not gods, and cannot snuff the fire out (as much as we would like to).

Steelhead season has started with promise - numbers of fish coming up the Columbia look better than they did last year by a decent margin. We have hooked steelhead on nearly every trip this year, but the water temps are getting a little bit warm in the afternoons and that not only puts the bite off, it starts to bring up the question of when is it too warm to continue fishing. We have seen temperatures at the mouth of the Deschutes nearing 71-72 degrees in the evenings. Steelhead mortality rises dramatically at temperatures over 68 degrees, so the right thing to do is to fish until about 1-2 PM and call it a day. These hours are called "hoot owl" hours and ODFW has implemented emergency hoot owl closures in past years. They have not implemented these closures YET but it would not be surprising at all to see these rules come into play in the next few days since air temps are forecast to remain very hot through next Thursday. It is too bad that the powers that be won't release cooler water into the Deschutes to help out the anadromous fish.

Trout fishing has been quite good lately. We have been getting quite a few with our Euro-nymph rigs, but we have been getting even more fish to come up and eat our dry flies! Caddis, caddis, caddis, are the name of the game right now. Come on by the shop and we will show you our favorite patterns. We also have some custom-tied Euro-nymphs hot off the presses, though we will be holding some of these back for the anglers who have enrolled in our Euro-nymph class tomorrow. Our Euro-nymph selection continues to grow - and we have several fly tying companies creating custom patterns for us for the year 2019.

IF hoot-owl restrictions do go into effect on the Deschutes, we plan on holding some fly tying clinics here in the fly shop during the hours that the river is closed. Stop in for additional information - we have the coldest air conditioning in town!!

Tight lines! Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

July 25th, 2018

It is going to be a hot weekend but fortunately the fires are out and the air is clean. John and Alex floated Mack’s to the mouth yesterday to take inventory on the devastation. Needless to say they were in shock when they got back. The majority of the river is unrecognizable because there is not one sage bush, juniper or alder alive along the banks. The ground is covered in 6 inches to a foot of fine powdered ash and the majority of the popular campsites are absolutely destroyed. They had little to no wind throughout the day and despite that they were both heavily congested with clogged ash in their nostrils. It will be an interesting steelhead season down below Mack’s. You will need to bring your own shade and wind protection to prevent ash from covering your food and maybe even a dust mask.

The trout fishing continues to be good throughout the Maupin area with solid caddis hatches every day. The morning dead caddis fishing has been spectacular if you are willing to hit the river early. The mid-days, despite the heat, are productive using a variety of nymphing techniques, Euro-Nymphing being the best. If you want to learn how to be effective in the mid-day heat, we are offering another Euro-Nymphing course on Saturday August 4th. We will cover the whole gamut from leader design, fly selection, presentation styles to how to approach different water types. All the equipment is provided. If you are interested give the shop a call.

I am sure there are a lot of you waiting to hear a steelhead report so here you go. Fish are being caught on a more consistent basis from the mouth to the falls. Angling pressure is light and the fish have been willing to eat which is the perfect combo. Unfortunately the heat has been an issue as far as water temperature is concerned. If you are going to brave the weather we encourage you to fish no later than 2 in the afternoon. The evening temps. in Ferry canyon have ranged from 68 to 70 degrees which is warm enough to kill any steelhead even if he/she is promptly released. That being said the morning temps. have been great and fishing for hot early fish in a T-shirt is damn appealing. We are going to offer fly tying demos in the late afternoon to keep you occupied for the rest of the day. If you want to bring your vise and tools and join in please do. We will do a separate report with more details on the tying demos this weekend.

Tight Lines,

Deschutes Angler Crew


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

July 21, 2018 9:00 AM

The Deschutes River is open once again - all segments are open to boating, fishing, drive-in, recreating, and camping. If you are going to float below Mack's Canyon, please be aware theat there may still be hot spots down there. Although this is already in the regulations, be aware that you must bring your own toilet if you are doing an overnight trip. This will be especially important because many of the established outhouses and phoenix toilets were burnt up in this fire and will not be available to use. Also, bring your own shade and perhaps a dust mask because the majority of the river in segment 4 (below Mack's) is treeless burn zone. This was an unusually hot fire and, from what we have heard, the lower river is a barren wasteland. Today is the first day that we can actually get our boats on the water in segment 3 (Buckhollow to Mack's Canyon) so we have guides out there right now checking out the situation.

This should go without saying, but campfires are strictly prohibited along the river right now. However, people seem to leave their common sense at home when they go camping. This morning I got a phone call at 6:15 AM from Alex, who was starting his guided day. He was on the access road just downstream from Maupin when he passed the Oasis Campground and noticed a camper with a big campfire burning away. He stopped to inform them that most of Wasco and Sherman County were in the midst of fighting wildland fires and that having a bonfire in this tinderbox was illegal and a very bad idea. They refused to do anything to put the fire out. So, the Wasco County Sheriff had to drive down to the campground to make sure that the fire was extingushed before the remaining 30 miles out of 100 river miles on the East bank of the Deschutes lit up. You drive into Maupin and you don't happen to notice the 100,000 acres of charred, blackened landscape? What? People.

So, come on out and enjoy the sunshine, cooler temperatures, and smoke-free skies on the Deschutes. Despite all the fires we have had this year, the smoke levels have been minimal to non-existent along the river. It was smokier last year when the fires were 70 miles away!

Fishing is goign to be best in the mornings. By late afternoon the water temperature is getting too warm to resposibly continue fishing. You cannot fight a trout or steelhead in 72 degree water and expect it to survive. Get your fishing done in the morning and afternoon and relax in the evenings if you want to protect our fish. A few years ago, the ODFW implemented Hoot Owl regulations on the river (no angling after 2:00 PM - or some set time in the afternoon) and they may very well consider doing the same thing this year as the water temperatures are rising quickly. Self-regulation may be necessary if ODFW doesn't take action.

Read the other reports from this week for details on the fishing.

Tight lines! Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

July 19th, 2018 10:00 AM

The Deschutes River is on FIRE again - and, though the fishing is pretty good right now, I am not talking about the fishing. The lower river has been engulfed in the Substation Fire that started in The Dalles two days ago. The fire has now spread to over 50,000 acres and is moving South up the Deschutes River Canyon towards Mack's Canyon. The fire last night was about 2 miles away from Mack's Canyon, and (with the winds blowing as they did last night and as they are already today) this fire is surely now burning in Mack's Canyon and on the lower access road.

A guy just came into the shop and gave us VERY VERY bad news. He was just in a sled that went upriver from the mouth and he reported that the entire river corridor on both the east and west sides is burned from the mouth up past Harris Canyon. The Harris Canyon historic water tower is - and this makes me sick - GONE. If you have ever been down on the lower river and seen this old historic and recently restored water tower that once serviced the train on the East side of the river - it was like something right out of an old western movie. It is no longer. The trees along the river are mostly burned up. The report from Kloan/Freebridge is devestating - no more trees, no more outhouses, no more shade. It is going to be hot and miserable camping down in the canyon for years to come - unless you bring your own shade, and we will certainly be bringing our shade wings, wall tents, and big tents to keep customers comfortable on sunny days.

At this very moment the wind is blowing the fire downriver towards the Columbia River, but the strong winds are likely to shift. The fire fighters are in a defensive mode - trying to save houses and barns, but unable to do anything to stop the fire from ravaging the Deschutes River Canyon. I am saddened to hear this, as I know many of you will be, and the thing that makes me livid is that this fire was almost certainly human-caused. It may have been a cigarette carelessly thrown from a car on highway 197 near The Dalles, we don't know at this point. All I know is that the fire is burning strong with no sign of slowing down until we can get a break from this wind.

Because of the fire, the Deschutes River is CLOSED from Sherar's Falls to Mack's Canyon (Segment III) and from Mack's Canyon to the Mouth (Segment IV). If you had a trip planned and a boater pass purchased for either of these sections - the BLM will allow you to float in Segment I or Segment II using that boater pass. You will not get a refund for cancelling this boater pass (or any other boater pass, for that matter).

The good news is that the Maupin area is still open for fishing and the skies are clear and sunny and there is no smoke in the air (as of this morning). Now, onto the fishing.....

We have been using our Euro-nymph techniques to hook a lot of trout in recent days. The trout are also up and feeding on caddis in better numbers than we have seen in ten years. We are not sure why the hatches have suddenly improved, but we suspect that PGE may be tweeking their water mixture that they are releasing from the damn. The takeaway from that may be the most hopeful news of all - the river and the insect life may be able to recover faster than we could have even hoped for, if the quality of water improves. Whatever may be happening, we are happy to report better numbers of caddis and aquatic moths than we have seen in years. So, we have seen dry fly fishing improve pretty dramatically since the bug levels have jumped. The best dry fly fishing has been in the arly morning and evening - and the rest of the day can be dedicated to Euro-nymph fishing.

In the last report I announced a Euro-Nymph clinic on the 28th of July. That clinic quickly filled up, so we offered another date - August 4, and that clinic is half full. As clinics fill we will continue to create them. Learning this technique will help you outfish your friends 10 to 1 on the river, so think about jumping onboard the Euro train before you get left behind!

We will keep you informed of the fire progress as the days go on. For additional information - check out the Facebook Pages of the Wasco and Sherman County Sheriff's Offices, and the Facebook page of the fire - Substation Fire 2018. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the 62 year-old Wasco County rancher who lost his life trying to defend a neighbor's ranch from the flames. Be safe out there everyone!

Tight lines, Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

July 14th, 2018 11:00 AM

We have had a busy week here at Deschutes Angler - but the fishing traffic has been very light. We have been hitting the water a ton lately because our eyes have been opened to the amazing fishing that is available all the time (not just during the salmonfly hatch - believe it or not!). Evan was on the water yesterday doing a fun trip with his dad and on the water a few days before that introducing Scott Richmond AKA Uncle Fuzzy of Westfly (he is the originator of the Westfly Site) to Euro-nymphing. To say that Euro-nymphing has changed our attitude about the opportunities for trout would be a massive understatement. This method has turned us upside down! Evan and his dad racked up well over 100 fish yesterday - and they quit fishing at 3:30 PM! They started at 6:00 AM with dry flies and switched to Euro-nymphing around 10:00 AM. Thanks to the time that Evan spent with Tom Jarman, who is ranked number 17 in the world of competitive angling, Evan has been dialing in the technique and is able to teach it to others on his guided trips. He tought his dad the Euro-nymphing technique, and his dad proceeded to have the single best day of trout fishing he has ever had on the Deschutes. Evan said that they hooked 20-30 trout in many of the spots they nymphed, and more in some of those spots. I spent a full day floating with Tom, picking his brain and watching him fish. It was an eye-opener. I stopped in places that I had rarely fished or that I had never fished, and he extracted trout after trout from these random spots. When we stopped in some of my favorite spots, I was not surprised at all to watch him hook dozens of trout - and most of the trout he hooked were 14-16" - which he doesn't really like because they take too long to land. We laughed at that - but he was serious. In competition angling, the faster you can land a fish and get it measured and recorded, the faster you can get back to catching another fish. Tom Jarman was truly impressed by the bounty of the Deschutes. He tells us that it is the best river in America that he has fished and that he cannot believe how many trout we have.

So, we are seeing and experiencing summer fishing on the Deschutes like we have never experienced before. Euro-nymphing is, honestly, the answer to our prayers. This technique allows us to carefully comb the regions of the river that the trout have moved into since the change in the habitat due to increased algae growth on the rocks closer to shore. By getting your nymphs down through the water column quickly while retaining perfect control of and connection with the weighted flies, we are finding trout in the deeper stretches of river where algae cannot get a purchase due to lack of penetrating sunlight. This techinique uses only the weight of the flies - no additional split shot or any other kind of weight - and a very specialized leader (the design of which has changed dramatically since the formula I shared with you this winter in a video). The key is this: no part of the nearly 20 foot long leader is thicker in diameter than 4X. The very fine leader material allows the flies to plummet, the leader is not dragged by the water currents, and the angler connects with and feels the flies as they crawl the bottom in seach of trout. The technique takes quite a bit of practice to master - but even with a few hours under your belt, you will begin to see more action than you ever have while fishing an indicator with heavy flies and split shot. Having the right type of rod is also critical, your normal nine foot 5 weight is just not capable of cushioning the lighter tippets that this technique demands and your weight forward fly line will ruin any attempt to stay connected to the flies because every time you pull the fly line into the rod tip to maintain a connection to the nymphs it will fall down the rod pulling the leader with it. You must fish small nymphs with tungsten beads of varying sizes and be willing to change flies and tippet often in order to effectively cover spots of different depths and different current speeds. It is COMPLEX but HIGHLY EFFECTIVE.

The best way to get introduced to Euro-nymphing is to take a class with an articulate instructor who knows the river well and who knows how to teach this technique. If you want to learn this technique and turn your 5 trout day into a 45 trout day, look no further than our guide service, John Hazel & Company, based out of our fly shop, Deschutes Angler. We have a full day float/class on Euro-nymphing on July 28 - this class is open to six anglers. The cost of the class is $250 and it will fill quickly. We have Euro-rods that you can use during the class - but you will have to tie or buy some of the specialized Euro-nymphs (we are well-stocked here at Deschutes Angler) and you will need to purchase the materials to build your own leader (also available here at Deschutes Angler). I have received some feedback from our last class and I want to share some of that with you so that you can see for yourself that this technique truly changes the game on the Deschutes:

This is what Mike J had to say after the Euro-nymph class, "Hi Amy – I’m completely sold on Euro Nymphing. I had the river to myself yesterday and had an absolute blast. Even though it was over 90 degrees, I managed to hook over 60 fish – 20 of those came in the last 40 minutes at my new favorite spot. I know this is not the equal of Tom but that’s my best day ever on the river. I even hooked fish at every stop. I’ve never done that before." Mike went on to say that the $250 he spent on the Euro-nymph rod was the best money he had ever spent in his fly fishing career. He also is ready to get back into tying flies because the Euro-style nymphs are easy to tie. Yes, Euro-nymphs are easy to tie and they are also very easy to lose on the bottom when you are first learning this technique. Once you get a little better handle on keeping contact with your flies, you will lose fewer flies, but you will still lose flies. The pain of losing the flies seems to be lessened somewhat if you tie your own - tying your own brings the price per fly down to around $1 - $1.25. That price is based on using a quality chemically sharpened hook, a tungsten bead, Coq de Leon for the tail, and the proper UV glue on the body. I could be talked into teaching a class on Euro-style nymph tying on a weekend evening in our air-conditioned fly shop if there was interest in such a class. This could be a beat-the-heat option for those of you fishing in Maupin on the weekends this summer. Just let me know if this idea appeals to you.

It is hot out here right now, but you can start early and fish until the doldrums of the afternoon (3-4) a then take a dip in the river and cool down until the shade falls on the water. The cool showroom floor of our fly shop is a good place to be when it gets too crazy hot out there, and we are always excited to see anglers this time of year. Where are all of you? The river is empty!

Hope to see you soon! Tight lines! Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM EXCEPT TODAY! JULY 4 Hours: 8 AM to 12 PM - Holiday Hours

July 4th, 2018 8:30 AM

Happy 4th of July! This is one of the quiet holidays out here on the Deschutes River. There may be a few rafting parties out and about on the water today but the numbers of anglers will be very few and far between. We have been open already for a half hour this morning and, other than the two guide trips we had going out today, we have not seen a fisherman or fisherwoman through the doors of the fly shop.

I just returned from a week-long road trip through Idaho and Montana where I met up with my friend Heather Hodson and a large group of women from United Women on the Fly. Fifty-seven of us gathered in Craig, Montana on the banks of the Missouri River and fished for two days either on our own or with guides from the Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig. The town of Craig is amazing and should be on the bucket list of any serious trout angler. This is a Mecca. The population of the town hovers around 47 people but they have three fly shops and tons of cabins for anglers to rent and camping in addition to the cabins. All of the guides gather at the local watering hole after a day on the water - Joe's Bar - which was the place to see and be seen. Super fun! The river, like most of Montana this early summer, was higher than normal due to a wet spring and good snow pack. We fished a variety of techniques, from indicator nymphing, to stripping streamers on full sinking lines, to dry fly and dry/dropper fishing. I even pulled out a two-weight 11 foot 4 inch Euro nymphing rod to see if it was possible to fish that way from a boat - it was possible, but it wasn't easy. I did hook a lot of big trout on the Euro set up, and these are really nice fish. The majority of my catch was rainbow trout, through I did hook some beautiful brown trout too. It was really fun! Fishing from the boat was a newish experience for me. Yes, I have fished from a boat a handful of times but, overall in my fishing history, I would say that 99.7% of my trout fishing has been walk and wade. Of course, having spent 18 years guiding the Deschutes, I don't often go and fish other places. When I do, I often don't bother to bring my driftboat. So, I had to modify my techniques a bit and remember how to reach mend in mid air to avoid instant drag on the dry fly upon touch down. The rainbows are big on the MO - bigger on average than on the Deschutes, though I can safely say that inch for inch the Deschutes Redsides still fight harder than any rainbow trout out there. Not that the MO rainbows didn't fight hard, they did, but they just don't have that extra level of horsepower that our native redbands have. Of course, fighting a fish from a boat that is moving the same speed as the current may take a little of the power out of the fight, so I am not comparing apples to apples, but I have always held our rainbows up on a pedestal as the king of the hard fighters.

On my way to Montana, I decided to take a long way round by driving to Picabo, Idaho on the first day. I fished Silver Creek on the Nature Conservancy Preserve on the first night of my journey and camped on the banks of the creek in a campground dedicated to Jack Hemingway who loved that place above all other places. This was my first visit to this storied fishery and it did not disappoint. I strung up a bamboo four weight with a 14 foot 6X flourocarbon leader and a tiny pmd cripple. I hiked out to the farthest bend of the creek and worked my way downstream casting down and across to rising trout for three hours until the sun was setting. I changed flies about 20 times, hooked a lost a few big boys, but mostly landed scrappy 10-12 inchers on dry flies. I refused to put on a nymph. While fishing in the preserve a family came floating through on stand up paddle boards - which the fish didn't seem to mind too much. On a crystal clear creek only 30-40 feet wide and less so in some places, it felt like a bit of an intrusion. But, they were having a great time enjoying the preserve in a different way. I smiled and waved and sat on the bank for 15 minutes to let the fish start rising again. I just wondered what would happen to the magic of Silver Creek as a fishery if there was an endless parade of crafts like that - as much as I don't like tons of regulation, I do like the fact that some places don't allow rafts during certain magic fishing hours (I think the North Umpqua has a rule like that).

This brings me to the fact that 4th of July is the kickoff for the rafting season in Maupin. From this point forward the Deschutes River will be busy with parties of rafters doing day floats in the Maupin stretch (mostly Harpham to Sandy Beach) as well as some groups doing overnight floats from Warm Springs to Maupin and from Macks to the mouth. Most of the guided groups are aware that it is rude to get too close to anglers who are actively fishing the banks, and the guides do their best to steer the rafts away from fishermen. People who rent or bring their own rafts might not be as aware of the etiquette that is expected by other river users. If you plan to fish the Deschutes during the busy rafting season, it is a good idea to wear a whistle around your neck. If you see a raft that is not actively paddling or on the oars and that is in a trajectory to run over the water that you are fishing, give a couple of short loud blasts on the whistle to get their attention (wake them up) and point out towards center river to let them know that you would like them to avoid banging along the racks of the bank you were about to fish. Usually they will get the hint, pick up the oars, and row towards center river. A friendly thanks with a wave and a smile will help keep things happy on the river. If you are fishing in the most heavily rafted sections, consider fishing in the early morning and evening hours and letting the water rest during the craziest rafting times. Or, fish the lower part of the float in the morning and drive up river past all the rafters and fish above where they launch. It is easy to work around.

Caddis and mayflies are the name of the game from here on out - the aquatic moths and craneflies are also players at this time of year. Those are the dries to have handy, and the nymphing game - particularly the Euro-nymphing game is in full swing all the time for trout in the summer. Our eyes were really opened by our visiting Euro-nymph expert, Tom Jarman. John went fishing with him on the road on Friday and this is the message I got from him on my phone while I was on the MO: "Kicked ever living ass today with Tom! 80 plus trout while road fishing. Spot XXX (not the real name) was a slaughterfest - BIG BIG BIG trout. Learned a ton and a half! The US sucks at nymphing! This is going to be a phenomenon like we have not seen since Spey casting! Great guy! Great day!"

We have Euro nymphs in here for sale - but not a ton of them. They are hard to get. I have a fleet of local fly tyers trying to keep the bins full, but they sell faster than we can bring them in. The technique is not super easy to master. It is important to have the right type of rod and the right type of leader. The Euro-nymphing clinics and private lessons that we are running are a good place to start learning about this extremely effective fishing technique. Like we have said before, we are not abandoning dry fly fishing or swinging flies for steelhead, we are simply adding a technique to our trout fishing arsenal that will help us find the motherload of fish when the fish are not showing themselves on the surface.

Happy Fourth of July!! We are closing at noon.

Amy Hazel and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

July 3rd, 2018 4:30 PM

It has been a week since the last fishing report, and there has been a major evolution in the world of Deschutes trout fishing. We had Tom Jarman from the Australian Fly fishing team on the water with us Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and he has opened our eyes to the effectiveness and versatility of European-style nymphing. Our clinics on Saturday and Sunday were very successful and the amount of information that was disseminated was amazing.

Don’t worry, we are not abandoning the dry fly! But, we all know that there are times of the day when the trout are not looking up, so we have picked Tom’s brain about Euro-nymph techniques, digested that information, modified it to fit our needs on the Deschutes, and we are now ready to share it with you.

We will be offering full day clinics as well as 4 hour private euro nymph schools ($250 for 1 or 2 people). The clinics will cover rod and line choices, leader construction, fly selection as well as quality time on the water implementing euro-nymphing techniques to hook fish. The four-hour schools incorporate the same information into a more compact curriculum with less time for fishing. We are excited about these techniques and are looking forward to teaching them on the water and in the shop. Our first full-day clinic is July 28th. There are 6 spots available in the full day clinic at $250 per person – if you need a Euro-nymphing rod we will provide one for you to use for the day. Call the shop today to secure your spot 541-395-0995.

The river is still flowing downhill and the trout fishing has been good. We have had decent caddis hatches in the evening once the sun leaves the canyon. Early morning dry fly fishing on dead caddis has been outstanding. Focus on heavy foam lines and back eddies. Caddis dries with a caddis pupa dropper has been a good set-up for searching mid-day. European-style or traditional nymphing has been good all day, particularly using small tungsten bead caddis and mayfly nymphs in heavy riffles and along the rock walls.

It is July and there are a few people driving around in the wee hours of the morning with long rods attached to their hoods. There are even rumors of some of them being greeted by a heavy weight at the end of their lines…

Tight Lines! Alex Gonsiewski and the crew at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop


June 26, 2018

FLY SHOP HOURS: Open daily 8 AM to 5 PM

Thanks to tthe hardwork of a lot of wildfire firefighters, the area around Maupin is now free of fire and things are back to normal on the river. It was scary for a while there, and we now have a completely charred landscape on the east side of the river, but it is business as usual now in terms of fishing in the area around Maupin. Further up river there are a few hot spots where the fire is still buring down to the road - so be cautious if you are floating between