It's high and it's gonna stay that way - maybe.....
The river is high and it is likely to stay that way for a while. We are not the managers of the dam complex, we were not responsible for the large snowpack, and we are not able to look into a crystal ball to tell you what will happen in the future to the water flows, the weather, the stonefly hatch, or the color of the water. What we can tell you is that the river is in no way unfishable.
Several guides stopped through on their way through town yesterday - experienced long-time Deschutes guides who have been guiding the stonefly hatch for decades. They are licking their chops at the current water conditions - this is they way it used to be for years and years. Fishing the stonefly hatch on high water on the Deschutes is amazing. The fish tuck into the edges of the river to get out of the fast current. They find themselves right up in the trees since the branches are hanging into the water. They find that they can hug the undercut banks and keep an eye on the grasses dancing overhead. The trout are LOVING this high water.
Bonus for anglers: you don't have to wade too often. The fish have been delivered to you on a silver platter. Keep your flies tight to the edges of the river. Stay low, keep your profile as small as possible, wear camo clothing (or, at the very least, don't wear the bright white t-shirt and red hat). Start searching the banks with a big dry stonefly first. Why nymph fish when you can do that anywhere, anytime? You are here, the hatch is ON, don't go skiing the groomed trails on an epic powder day!! If you start with a big dry and it doesn't get crushed, THEN add a dropper nymph. Keep the big dry on top and it will eventually get seen by a bruiser who knows what he wants. Until that bruiser comes along, you will be busy with all the trout that are snatching your dropper nymph.
Let me wrap this little pep talk up with a reiteration of the beginning of this report - we cannot predict the future. We cannot tell you what the dam operators are going to do tomorrow or next week or any time in the future. We can tell you that there are more and more bugs in the bushes and in the air (now with the warm weather) every day that the sun comes up. If you wait around for perfect conditions, you may as well buy yourself a video game called, "The Great Salmonfly Hatch" and sit at home and play that video game because those that stay home and wait for a good report are going to miss the hatch.