Fly fishing the Fall river near Bend, Oregon

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Fishing

Fishing Around Bend, Oregon

Rated by Fly-Fisherman Magazine as one of the Top 10 ​fly fishing towns in the United States, Bend is truly a fishing paradise. In addition to year-round fishing for trout and seasonal steelhead fishing, Bend is surrounded by nationally renowned rivers, streams, and lakes that provide anglers with an abundance and variety of world-class fishing opportunities.

Fishing in Bend, Oregon is a utopia full of rainbows, browns, brookies, bulls, and steelhead, among other species. With miles of pristine rivers, streams, and stunning alpine lakes a short distance from town, you can make as many casts as your heart desires. And one of the best parts, there are year-round opportunities to catch some hungry trout.

Spring and Summer are the busiest months, with anglers enjoying hatches, hungry fish, warm weather, and cool water. Fall also presents opportunities for Steelhead on the Deschutes, although in recent years, counts have been low and restrictions have been put in place. Winter months can be more challenging with less access and cold temps, but if you’re up for a cold-weather adventure with fewer people, then bust out your rod and reel and enjoy an afternoon hatch when the sun shines.

Whether you’re casting dry flies, throwing lures, stripping leeches for bull trout, trying Euro Nymphing for the first time, or swinging for steelhead, the fishing opportunities around Bend are seemingly endless. Because fishing is so popular, remember to use best practices like catch and release, and respect other anglers, riparian areas, redds, and our lovely fish. And for info on regulations, licenses, and reports, check out the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Homewaters of Central Oregon

If you’ve ever dreamed of fishing in a wild and scenic canyon where bald eagles and osprey soar, epic scenery awaits you around every bend, and fishing that’ll blow your mind, then be sure to book a fishing trip on the Deschutes River. The Lower Deschutes is home to redband trout, rainbow trout, whitefish, and steelhead. From day floats to multi-day float trips where you can fish your brains out all day and relax at camp in a beautiful canyon, a trip on the Deschutes is as much about the scenery and wilderness as it is about the fishing.

For smaller rivers with plenty of bank access, the Metolius and the Crooked are a must. The Metolius is a gin clear spring fed river, so it’s cold, maintains a consistent flow, and the trout are healthy and lively. From rainbows and whitefish to the coveted bull trout, this fly fishing only river is challenging but rewarding and is unbelievably beautiful. The Crooked River flows through a gorgeous desert canyon filled with fragrant junipers and lots of sunshine. Water is dam released and flows can fluctuate, so it’s always a good idea to check ahead of time. Playful rainbow trout and whitefish call this river home, and because of the great access, the Crooked is an excellent place to head for a guided trip or if you’re new to fishing.

Lake fishing near Bend is full of dreamy alpine lakes that come with spectacular mountain views, great boat access, and spectacular fish. Crane Prairie Reservoir, home of the cranebow, is nestled high in the Cascade Mountains. Here you’ll find tons of access for your drift boat, float tube, or lake boat, so you cast and troll all day long for a wide variety of species like rainbow trout, kokanee, and even bass. East Lake and Paulina Lake are located in the Newberry Caldera, so you can fish for rainbows, browns, and kokanee in an ancient volcano. And if that isn’t cool enough, why not spend the weekend RV or tent camping lakeside at East Lake Campground or grab a burger and a brew at Paulina Lake Lodge.

If you’ve got the kiddos with you and they’re itching to use that new fishing rod, then head over to a pond for some kid-friendly fishing in Bend. Pine Nursery Park and Shevlin Park have stocked ponds so kids under 17 can get hooked.

Fishing Shops and Guide Services

Saying that fishing in Central Oregon is a passion is an understatement. It’s an obsession, frenzy, and for some locals, it’s their livelihood. Because we’re such a fishing destination, there are several outstanding shops and guide services in the area. Need a few blue-winged olives for the Metolius, new waders, or looking to book a three-day adventure on the Deschutes? You’ll find local retailers and guide services like Fly and Field Outfitters, Bend Fly Shop, and The Fly Fisher’s Place, among others, ready to hook you up with intel, gear, or an epic day of guided fishing.

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