Floating the Deschutes from Maupin


I've never fished the Deschutes before, much less floated it, so I'm looking for some advice:

By way of background, I'm taking a 3 day spey casting course on the river near Maupin that concludes on Sept 20th. On the 21st I want to undertake a full day float, fishing for steelhead using what I hope are some newly acquired spey-casting skills.

At this point, I'm doing this alone using an 8' pontoon boat in which I've floated the Stilly and easy sections of the Sky. I'm comfortable but by no means am I an expert. Are there sections of the Deschutes that can be comfortably floated with an 8' pontoon boat?



P.S. If anyone thinks they might want to partner up, send me an email ([email protected]). However, I am locked into the 21st of September.


Active Member
Try posting on the Oregon board at westfly.com, there are quite a few guys and/or guides that are knowledgeable about the Deschutes.

I have done the drift from the locked gate to the takeout above Shearers Falls. There are two rapids that are iffy in that stretch....Boxcar and Oak Springs....at minimum you should scout them. Boxcar is just one big drop and you can probably portage around it if you decide not to run it. Oak Springs has two channels, one has a big hole that can flip you pretty easily, the other is smaller water but more technical.

I think the water below Shearers Falls to Macks Canyon isn't that tough, maybe one class III rapid, but I've never run it. The guys at Westfly just had a big gathering on that strech. They should be able to give you the scoop.