Deschutes River Fly Fishing - Not all guides are the same.
Mar 23, 2014
The Deschutes River in Oregon is one of the most famous destinations for fly fishing in the North America. Every year anglers from around the country make the pilgramage to the fabled waters in search of wild rainbow trout and summer steelhead. Like many famous places to go fly fishing, there are numerous guides, outfitters, and fly shops ready to aide visitors who want to maximize their time on the water. When selecting a fly fishing guide on the Deschutes, it is important that you choose the best value - just becuase a guide can catch fish, doesn't always make them the best value.
As you are wading through the list of fly fishing guides in Bend Oregon, or other cities near the Deschutes River, be sure to ask the following questions when making your selection.
1. Does the guide/outfitter supply equipment - boots, waders, rods, reels? Be sure these items are included in your package. If you have to rent these items, expect to add an additional $25-$45/person/day.
2. Does the package include a barbequd lunch or a sack lunch? The days of soggy bread, cold cut sandwich are in the past. Most guides on the Lower Deschutes offer a hearty lunch, prepared on the grill. Not everyone is in need of a hearty lunch, but if you prefer to have a hamburger or fajitas, you need to make sure your guide includes this in the package. If a sandwich is enough, be sure to let your guide know, they will likely prepare the best sandwich you're ever enjoyed.
3. Does your package include flies? It is very rare to find a guide or outfitter on the Deschutes River that supplies flies as part of the fishing package. If you do find one, it will save you between $15-$30/person. Some fly shops/guide services require thier guests to buy a set amount of flies, regardless if you already have the appropriate flies. So be prepared.
4. What else is excluded? On the Lower Deschutes, boater's passes are required for every person in a floating device. A boater's pass ranges from $2-$8/person/day. If you are on a 4 day trip, the boater's pass can add up. Tribal permits are required if you are fishing between Warmsprings and Trout Creek, and want to fish on the Reservation side of the river. Tribal Permits are $12/person/day. Everyone of course will need a fishing license. A one day license costs $16.75/person. Anglers 14 and under, the license is free. Most importantly, will you guide purchase these items for you? Or do you need to purchase these items? I would caution buying these items yourself, only becuase you may purchase the wrong pass, permit, or license - all of which are not refundable.
5. Do they have any endorsements? The Orvis Endorsement program is a great benchmark for all guides. To be included in the program, guides must demonstrate attention to their guests safety, education, and overall enjoyment of the day on the water. In most cases, Orvis hand selects that best outfitter on each river/water to represent the brand. Once in the program, guides are randomly checked to make sure they are upholding the standards Orvis has in place. Within the Orvis program, there are different catagories of endorsements - guides, outfitters, expeditions, and lodges. Each year members of the program in each catagory compete to be the best in their field, and earn the title Orvis Endorsed of the Year. Any guide/outfitter/guide service/Expedition/Lodge, that carries this badge is going to be great.
6. Is the guide suited for beginners? A good guide should be an instructor first and a fish finder a close second. It makes little difference if your guide can put their guests on fish, if the guests struggle to present the fly. At the end of a successful day with your fly fishing guide, you should have learned some new techniques as well as caught a bunch of fish.
7. Price? Ultimately, the price you pay for a day on the river with your guide will help determine to overall value you recieve. Every outfitter charges a little bit different prices. When weighing the prices of one guide verses another, be sure to factor in the gear rents, flies, and other passes and permits. Too often, we hear guest who choose to fish with another guide, only to find out after they had already booked, that they need to pay for gear and other items. The trip they thought was a great deal, is now a highly overpriced.
You can see that there are numerous elements to consider when choosing your Deschutes River fly fishing guide service. We here at Deep Canyon Outfitters feel we are the best value when hiring your Deschutes River fly fishing guide.
In breif, here's why: All of our guided fly fishing packages include any needed fishing tackle i.e.: boots, waders, rods and reels. We don't charge extra for gear. Our lunch program features locally raised beef hamburgers, pulled pork, or chicken breast sandwhiches, hot off the BBQ. If you prefer a lighter lunch, we utilize a local bakery/deli's sandwiches - absolutely the best sandwiches you've ever tasted. While we don't include flies, we don't require you to purchase more. We do encourage our guests to make sure they have enough of the "hot" pattern for that time of the year. Like most guides on the Deschutes river we do not include pass, permits, and licenses with any package. We do perfer to purchase these items for our guests so they are guaranteed to have the correct paperwork if stopped by law enforcement. Deep Canyon Outfitters is an Orvis Endorsed Expedition and Guide Service, and we recieved the honor of being voted Orvis Endorsed Expedition of the Year in 2012. Education and instruction is the most important element of a successful day on the water for us. Often, guest will call and mention uncertainty if they quailify for a guided fly fishing trip, simply because they've never tried it before - the reality is, 80% or more of our guests are beginner/intermediate anglers, no prior experience is neccessary to have a great time on the water. When you compare our pricing to other fly fishing guides in the Bend Oregon, and the rest of Central Oregon, we are often the most competitively priced. We charge a rate that is fair to us, and fair to the customer.
For all of these reason and because of the great staff at Deep Canyon Outfitters, we believe we offer the highest value guided fly fishing trips on the Deschutes River - Will you come see for yourself? Email us at Info@DeepCanyonOutfitters.com or give us a call at 541-323-3007.