Trout Fishing Near Bend, Oregon

Trout Fishing Near Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon, is renowned for its spectacular trout fishing, surrounded by a plethora of rivers, lakes, and streams teeming with various trout species. This detailed guide explores the art and science of trout fishing in the region, focusing on the techniques, seasonal variations, and prime locations that make Bend a premier destination for anglers.

Trout Species in the Bend Area

  • Rainbow Trout: Including the famous Deschutes River Redbands, rainbow trout are prolific in the area, known for their vibrant colors and fighting spirit.
  • Brown Trout: Sought after for their size and elusiveness, brown trout in the region are often found in larger rivers and lakes, offering a challenging quarry for seasoned anglers.
  • Brook Trout: Common in higher elevation lakes and streams, brook trout are smaller but provide exciting fishing, especially in more remote, pristine settings.
  • Native Bull Trout: A protected species, bull trout are present in some waters around Bend, requiring special regulations and often catch-and-release fishing.

Prime Trout Fishing Locations

  • The Deschutes River: A legendary trout fishery flowing through Bend, it offers world-class fishing for native redband rainbow trout and large brown trout.
  • Fall River: A spring-fed, crystal-clear river known for fly fishing, Fall River harbors large rainbow and brown trout and is restricted to fly fishing only, catch-and-release.
  • The Metolius River: Famous for its scenic beauty and challenging fishing, the Metolius hosts a variety of trout species, including redband rainbows, browns, and bull trout.
  • Crane Prairie and Wickiup Reservoirs: These reservoirs are known for large rainbow and brook trout, with Crane Prairie also being a hotspot for trophy-sized native redband trout.

Fishing Techniques

  • Fly Fishing: The rivers and streams around Bend, such as the Deschutes and Metolius, are prime for fly fishing, with techniques ranging from dry fly to nymphing and streamer fishing.
  • Spin Fishing: Effective in both river and lake environments, spin fishing with small lures or bait can target various trout species, especially in larger water bodies like Wickiup Reservoir.
  • Stillwater Fishing: In lakes and reservoirs, trolling with lures or bait, or fishing with flies from a float tube or boat, can be very productive, particularly for large trout in Crane Prairie Reservoir.
  • Ice Fishing: During winter, ice fishing becomes popular in some higher elevation lakes, targeting trout with jigs and bait under the ice.

Seasonal Patterns

  • Spring: As waters warm, trout become more active, feeding on hatching insects, making it an excellent time for dry fly fishing in rivers.
  • Summer: Early mornings and late evenings are best to avoid the heat, with trout seeking deeper, cooler waters during midday.
  • Fall: Trout feed aggressively to prepare for winter, providing excellent fishing in both rivers and lakes until the first freeze.
  • Winter: While river fishing slows, ice fishing in lakes can yield good catches of trout, with some rivers like the Deschutes offering winter fly fishing opportunities for hardy anglers.

Conservation and Ethical Fishing

Conservation is paramount in maintaining the trout fisheries around Bend. Practicing catch-and-release, especially for native species and larger breeding fish, helps sustain healthy populations. Following regulations set by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, including respecting closed seasons and special area rules, ensures the continued vitality of these fisheries.


Trout fishing near Bend, Oregon, offers a rich and varied experience, reflecting the ecological diversity and natural beauty of the region. With a commitment to understanding the behaviors and habitats of different trout species, mastering a range of fishing techniques, and adhering to conservation principles, anglers can enjoy some of the most rewarding trout fishing experiences available in the Pacific Northwest.

Fishing Guides In Oregon

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