Deschutes River Trout

Deschutes River Trout fly fishing information.

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The Deschutes trout fishery is regulated to sustain and enhance its populations of wild endemic fish. Only two trout per day between 10" and 13" may be harvested. Only barbless hooks on lures and flies are allowed. The use of bait is prohibited. No fishing from a floating device is allowed.

Deschutes Redsides are a unique subspecies of rainbow trout called "Desert Red Band Trout" or (Onchryncus Mykiss Iridus) . Adult fish are heavily built and often brightly colored. They are very strong and acrobatic when hooked.

The Deschutes River contains every age group with the highest population made up of three to four year old specimens that range from 13" to 18" and weigh 1-1/2 to 3 pounds. Twenty inch fish weigh over four pounds and 23" fish weigh about six pounds. Many of these larger fish are four and five year olds which have not reached sexual maturity. They are incredibly strong and fast and can be extremely wary.

Deschutes Redsides are primarily insectivorous with stone flies, caddis flies and may flies making up the highest percentage of the diet for fish under four years old. Larger fish consume large amounts of insects, but also eat many crayfish. According to biological studies and our own observations Redsides eat almost no fish except for an occasional sculpin. This dietary preference for insects gives the dry fly and nymph fisherman many opportunities. Redsides can be extremely selective feeders. Often when multiple hatches occur the fish will be keyed on only one stage of one insect. The Redsides tend to move with the hatches and concentrations of fish may be located in one water type in the morning and another water type in the afternoon. These factors can make angling very tactical. Hatches change from week to week in often prolific confusion. Since much of the Deschutes is open to the angler year round, fly fishing opportunities exist all year.


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