High and Mighty

High and Mighty

The arid desert ground has absorbed all the water it could absorb, the rest of the rain and snowmelt mixed with soil and run directly into the Deschutes. Look at the Madras water levels and you might think everything is A okay on the river, since it only came up a few hundred CFS. The Moody water gauge tells a different story. The river is over 8000 CFS near the mouth and that is a result of the many tributaries that flow into the Deschutes that don't even exist for 11 months of the year. The river is high and has a lot of color in it. 

This is not what we would call a flood or even what we would consider a good flush, it is just standard post run-off high water. Can you fish in this? Sure. Will it be productive? That depends on the spots that you choose to fish and how murky the water is where you have chosen to fish. 

The river is closed in the Warms Springs/Mecca/Trout Creek/South Junction areas. Wherever the Deschutes is bordering the Warm Springs reservation lands the river is closed on both banks. Down here in the Maupin area, however, the Deschutes is open year-round for trout. This year, the river is closed to steelhead fishing and steelhead retention and has been since September 1. It will remain closed to steelhead through May of 2022. 

Get your trout rods and bright flies out. The snow is gone and the sun is shining out here with temps in the mid-40s forecast. The flows are already leveling out, the river is clearing up, and it should begin dropping back into shape soon. 


  • Hi David, I found this on the Central Zone E-regs:
    Northern Boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation to the Pelton Regulating Reservoir.
    •Open Apr 22 – Dec 31 for trout and hatchery steelhead.
    •2 rainbow trout per day, 10 inch minimum and 13 inch maximum length.
    •Open for coho salmon Aug 1 – Dec 31.
    •No limit on size or number of bass.
    •No angling from a floating device.
    •See Lake Simtustus.
    •Closed from Pelton Regulating Dam downstream approx. 600 ft to ODFW markers.,of%20bass.%20No%20angling%20from%20a%20floating%20device.

    Bryce Brooker
  • My reading of the regs says that the Warm Springs and Trout Creek area are only closed for steelhead (specifically angling for and retention thereof). This implies that trout fishing is NOT closed. What am I missing?

    David Glassman
  • Thanks for posting information
    On the river. Planning a winter camping trip soon and will come visit your shop.


Leave a comment

What are you looking for?

Your cart