Tucked away in Eastern Oregon, and twisting its way along red rock cliffs and pinnacles, is a small tail-water fishery which is a big, brown trout playground. The Owyhee is a river that comes alive in the alpenglow light on the canyon walls and is an oasis amongst the sage. This off the beaten path river, it is a great, easily managed walk and wade fishery. It features a low gradient, with lots of riffles, runs and channels made to explore, and a dense riparian zone that quickly gives way to the eastern Oregon high desert. There are prolific hatches throughout the year and the alligator jawed browns that call it home, are willing participants. Prime time hatches include late winter and early spring blue-wing olive and March skwala stonefly hatches. The skwala hatch is, without a doubt, the one to hit. Large dry flies and slurping browns combine to make this a highlight of the Owyhee. Summertime will bring pale morning dun, midges and large trico hatches that will keep the fish looking up. Pods of glutinous trout to work over is the norm. Along the lush willows and riverside grasses, late summer brings hoppers and terrestrial patterns along the banks. Watching big dries getting flushed by mouths that look like garbage cans is a treat. The average fish is a solid 16" to 20" fish with fish up to 24", a real possibility. This is a big brown trout bonanza that has stayed off the radar for those outside of Oregon and Idaho for many years. With the help of guide Cory Godell, Fly Water Travel is happy to introduce this fishery to all willing anglers. The Owyhee is just good old fishing fun with large fish, a variety of productive fishing styles, consistent dry fly action, and an opportunity for good numbers of fish, all wrapped up in a manageable sized package.
While the Owyhee is in a remote section of Oregon, amenities are within reach. Boise, Idaho is about an hour or so away and is the best jumping off point for trips to the Owyhee. Immersing yourself in the canyon country and joining us on a safari camping style excursion is by far the most enjoyable way to experience the Owyhee. Guests sleep in double occupancy tents with cots, sleeping pads and dining tents which provides a comfortable camping and fishing trip to remember. All meals are provided and hearty home-style dishes are to be expected. Watching the stars at night, listening for coyotes and then waking up to a hot cup of coffee riverside is the full experience. Day trips can be accommodated upon request.
The Owyhee is a walk and wade fishery, small enough to cover without the need for boats. A small forest road follows the river for many miles allowing access to some of the best dry fly water in all of Oregon. Large brown trout are the quarry, but don’t be surprised if you run into a super charged rainbow trout or two. The river is blessed with an incredible amount of bug life. The trout have a continuous conveyor belt of food headed their way almost the entire year. During the late summer the terrestrial patterns continue to get looks from the fish below making the Owyhee one of the best hopper fisheries west of the Rocky Mountains. If big streamers are your fancy, hold on, as the big browns love to chase down those big meals. Pods of rising fish are the norm, as the slack water pools boil with fish and bug life. During mayfly hatches, you may not move for an hour while you target the numerous feeding trout surrounding you.
Accommodations and Meals:
The best way to enjoy this fishery is our on-river camp. Your guide will host you riverside in comfortable tents with cots and pads. Meals are served in a separate dining tent and consist of home-style dishes of tri-tip, pork loin or chicken with sides and dessert. In the morning coffee is served and you may have a chance to catch a big one before breakfast. You will fish the morning before returning to camp for lunch and maybe a siesta before heading back out for an afternoon and evening of chasing trout. When sleeping under the starry nights of eastern Oregon, you will notice the quiet and the lack of luminous light from any big cities.
Day 1: Arrive Boise, Idaho and if arriving late, overnight at your independently arranged accommodations (not included).
Day 2: Rent a car (not included) and drive (approximately one and a half hours) to the riverside camp where you will meet your guide for a full day of fishing, then overnight.
Day 3: Full day of guided fishing. Overnight at your stream side camp.
Day 4: Full day of guided fishing. Depart for Boise and home or points beyond.
2017 Rates: $1,000 per person for a 2 night/3 day package
Included: Camp gear, camp meals, non-alcoholic beverages, guided fishing, tackle, fly rods, and flies.
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Boise, Idaho, accommodations in Boise, transportation between Boise and camp, fishing license (available online), alcohol, personal items including sleeping bag, guide gratuities, waders, boots with studs.
Species: Brown trout and rainbow trout
Season: March to October
Capacity: 4 anglers