The "Atmospheric River" that dropped inches of rain on the west slope of the mountain did not quite make it to Maupin, but the Deschutes River has been impacted none-the-less. I drove up the river to the locked gate before I opened the shop this morning and I was surprised at how normal the river looked. I thought we might see it rise, but it looked fairly normal at 8:30 AM. Little did I know that things would change rapidly throughout the day because the dam operators have opened the flood gates (literally). The river rose in the last 24 hours from 4000 CFS to 6000 CFS - a 50% increase in a 24 hour period. This huge rise is coming right out of the dam, so there is no escaping the high water no matter where you are fishing the river. Things get a little bit worse, however, in the Maupin area below the confluence of the Deschutes and the White River. The White River increased in volume overnight from 100 CFS to 1890 CFS where it crested early this morning and began to drop. The dirty water extends all the way to the mouth of the Deschutes and that mudflow is basically unfishable.
As things changed rapidly throughout the day today, I started getting reports from anglers of a lot of debris in the water. It seemed impossible to keep your flies clean and lots of flies were lost to the trees and branches and millions of leaves in the flow. People caught trout this morning before the wall of water reached the Maupin area, but things got tough after the surge of water hit the river around here.
The good news is that the river has crested and is leveling off now and dropping fast at the Madras gauge. You can always check the flows by following the Quick Links on our website (found at the upper right hand corner of the front page). The gauge down at the mouth of the Deschutes, the Moody gauge, is still on the way up as they seem to be right on the crest of the high water event. Running a jet boat down there with all of the logs and sticks and other debris swirling in the river might not be the best idea.
On a final note - the lower river access road has been graded. It was wonderfully smooth for a few days. That was quickly ruined by the anglers who decided to drive 50 miles an hour up and down the road - so it is already getting the washboards back on it. It was nice while it lasted. Please slow down.
I have no pictures for the report because I was unable to leave the shop today as I was in here solo. We are closed on Sunday.