April 29, 2020, day 41 captains log.
Currently the Deschutes is open for fishing provided you are an Oregon Resident with a valid Oregon fishing license. Access is limited to day use sites only, exception of Deschutes State Park is closed. Toilets are locked and campgrounds closed. At a minimum there will be no legal boating prior to May 20th. The Prineville BLM has refunded and cancelled all Deschutes boaters passes that have been issued. Boaters passes for May 21 and beyond are available. Oregon State Parks are closed 100%, indefinitely, that means closed boat ramps regardless of having a boaters pass or not. I am hopeful that things change but I predict Oregon State Parks stays closed until after Memorial Weekend…I hope I’m wrong.
If you want to fish the Deschutes anyway understand it’s going to be crowded, and access, very limited…but if it were me and I wanted to go I’d head to Mecca Flats, it’s open. The trail from Mecca goes clear to Trout Creek so if you’re willing to walk you can find a spot to fish. This time of year you’ll find pre-hatch conditions, pre-salmonfly/stonefly that is. Mostly nymph fishing, some intermittent mayfly action but mostly nymphing. Don’t be without a Pat’s Stone or some variation, I like a tungsten bead on mine. Anglers able to get down river of Macks Canyon will likely encounter adult salmonflies and stoneflies this week, heck maybe today. Water temps have been above 57 for several days down there so here come the big guys.
One last note, I caution you from fishing if there are people everywhere, especially in Maupin. If you show up there and it’s super busy, drive over the hill to Trout Creek or even Mecca Flats. Too many people and the whole thing could get shut down, so use your best judgement when it comes to wide open spaces or a small town in central Oregon.