The Deschutes River Steelhead Camp, Sept 11-20, 2017

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Photos by Louis Cahill

Photos by Louis Cahill

The Deschutes Steelhead Camp, operated by Jeff Hickman’s Fish The Swing, is one of our most popular trips and many anglers return year after year.

In order to accommodate more anglers we are excited to be extending this year’s trip with an additional group. The trip is broken into 3 groups fishing Sept 11-14, Sept 14-17 & Sept 17-20. You could choose to join us for 3, 6 or all 9 days. The cost for each 3 day session is $2200 and includes guided fishing, instruction, lodging and chef-prepared meals.

_DSC1758The Deschutes steelhead camp is a blast. Jeff’s operations, both here in the states and at his lodge in BC, have a fun mellow vibe. Just good times and good fishing, no attitude or pressure. The Deschutes is a beautiful river and has a fantastic steelhead run. We fish the lower river. The Deschutes is a major cold water tributary of the mid-Columbia, so steelhead bound for all of the rivers of the upper system stray into the lower Deschutes to take advantage of the cool oxygen rich water. You have a chance to catch steelhead that are headed for Idaho there.



The Deschutes is one of the best rivers anywhere to catch a steelhead on a floating line. Casting a dry line is a real pleasure, but when a big steelhead rockets up through eight feet of fast water to eat a small traditional fly, it’s anything but relaxing. The steep canyon walls offer us plenty of shaded water through the day to take advantage of the dry line bite, and even wake dry flies. It’s super fun fishing!

DSC_1863We run up river in jet boats to the campsite and use that as our base. There are only a few outfitters licensed to run jet boats on the river. The jets give us the ability to access fresh water any time we like, which is huge. After we get settled in at camp and have a bite to eat, we hit the river and fish until dark. The next two days we start fishing before first light and fish until lunch. We return to camp for a hot lunch and a big nap, then head back out in the afternoon as the shadows fall on the river and fish until dark. Then we have a big dinner (the food is awesome) maybe a drink or two, and hit the sack. The last day we fish until lunch and head back to the boat ramp.


DSC_3541Jeff and his crew set the camp in advance. You arrive to a big stand-up tent with cots and sleeping pads. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag and pillow. There is a screened dining tent, a tent with a camp toilet and a shower tent. There is electricity from a bank of solar cells and batteries. It’s ridiculously nice. There are also ample public composting toilets along the river if you prefer those.


DSCF0608The river is beautiful and the stars at night are amazing.

You can see the milky way clear as a bell. The water is beautiful. There are great steelhead runs everywhere you look and dramatic rapids. It’s fishing of course, so it’s dangerous to make promises, but it has always treated us right. We often get into fish within a couple of hours and there aren’t many steelhead rivers you can say that about. It is steelheading though and it’s about the experience, not the numbers. Even one wild steelhead makes a trip you’ll never forget.


DSC2966We encourage beginners to join this trip. There’s no better place to learn than the Deschutes and no better folks to learn from than Jeff and his guides. They say there are no guarantees in fishing but I feel confident in promising this: you will leave with new friends and a shared passion for steelhead. This trip is a real highlight in my fishing season. I hope you will be able to join me.

Email HOOKUPS@GINKANDGASOLINE.COM for more info or to reserve a spot.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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