Fly Fishing the Lower Deschutes River, Oregon

Gianna Holle Fly Fishing the Deschutes River

After a couple hours driving through the Oregon high desert, we arrived at the Deschutes River near the town of Maupin Oregon. Our first stop was the local fly shop to replace some of the flies that Gianna lost on the Crooked River.

Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop

Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop

We had a great time talking to John, the owner of the Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop. He set up Gianna with the proper line and he said these flies are best for this time of the year to fish for trout:

  • Rainbow warriors
  • Red and blue copper johns
  • Bead head soft hackle
  • Swing caddis
  • Headlight caddis
  • Elk hair caddis

Gianna Holle talks to John at the Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop

John also gave us direction to his favorite fishing spot, Oak Springs Campground which is just three miles out of town. We followed John’s directions and found the Deschutes River Access Road.

BLM Access Road

Unfortunately the two nice spots at Oak Springs Campground were taken, but we found a better campsite right next to the river.

Blue Hole Campground – Deschutes River

This gem of a campground has exactly ONE campsite which is about 20 feet from the Deschutes River. Riverfront camping + no neighbors = Perfection. All this for $8 per night!

Gianna and Brian Holle at the Blue Hole Campground

Gianna immediately put on her fishing gear and jumped into the river. She ended up fishing until dusk.


In the evening we sat outside listening to the river and as the winds picked up, there was a huge caddisfly hatch that lasted for about an hour.

In the morning I had breakfast and coffee next to the river.

Brian Holle has coffee by the Deschutes River

The view of our front yard

Gianna was able to fish for a couple more hours.

Gianna Holle Fly Fishing the Lower Deschutes River

Heading to Seattle

Around noon we packed up and began the five hour drive up to Seattle. We took a little detour and stopped by White River Falls State Park

White River Falls State Park

The first hour of the drive, we crossed the windy, dry Oregon high desert. It was a nice relief when we popped out onto the beautiful Columbia River. This was my first time driving next to the Columbia and it’s pretty awe inspiring. I was concerned about having to cross the river due to the high winds and I must say that the bridge crossing was much worse that I had expected. One second the RV was getting pushed into the oncoming traffic, the next second it was being pushed into the guardrail.

Crossing the Columbia River

The one minute journey wore me out so we stopped at the roadside produce stand on the other side of the bridge to take a break.  We were able to pick up a Wala Wala onion for dinner.

Brian Holle and the Walla Walla Onion

For the next couple of hours we drove through the dry desert and saw lots of windmills.

Western Washington Windmills

About an hour from Seattle we noticed more and more trees and green grass. As we drove up the backside of the Cascade Mountains, it began to rain.  It was amazing how quickly the climate changed.

Rain in the Cascade Mountains

Gianna and I were getting excited because we were picking up Jessica at the airport later that evening. The three of us were planning to spend tomorrow being tourists in Seattle and then see the Mariners play the Red Sox at Safeco Field!

What we learned

  • Always visit the local fly shop for fishing and camping tips.
  • It’s amazing how dry western Oregon and Washington are.
  • The lower Deschutes River near Maupin has plenty of good riverfront BLM campgrounds

GPS coordinates:

45.213990, -121.072812

Dates visited:

August 1-2, 2016


  1. Mike Absher

    Did the caddisfly hatch produce better fishing? I have heard that is when you really want to be out there with your fly rod as it becomes a feeding frenzy. MMMMMMMMMMMMM, Walla Walla Sweet Onions. Best on the planet in my opinion. Just take the first couple layers of skin off and throw then on the BBQ. Then slice and eat. Super Yummy! Sounds like a continued amazing trip. Totally jealous!

    1. Brian Holle (Post author)

      Hey Mike, no the caddisfly hatch did not help Gi catch any fish. She actually got skunked, probably because the fish weren’t hungry due to all of the caddisflies hatching.


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