Tucked away in Eastern Oregon twisting it's away along red rock cliffs and pinnacles is a small tailwater fishery that is a big brown trout playground. This river, that comes alive in the alpenglow light on the canyon walls is an oasis amongst the sage. This is the Owyhee.
Off the beaten path, it is a great, easily managed walk and wade fishery. Low gradient, with lots of riffles, runs and channels to explore along a dense riparian zone that quickly gives way to the high desert that is Eastern Oregon. There are prolific hatches and the alligator jawed browns that call it home are willing and prolific targets. Prime time hatches include late winter/ early spring blue wing olives and the Skwala Stonefly hatch. The Skwala hatch is one to hit. Big dries and slurping browns. Summertime will bring PMD,s, midges, large trico hatches will be your wake up call. Pods of smudging trout to work over is the norm. With the lush willows and grasses late summer brings hucking hopper and terrestrial patterns along the banks.
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The Low Down
The average fish is a solid 15" to 18" inch fish with fish to 24" around for sure. It is a big brown trout grip and grin bonanza. The Owyhee is just good old fishing fun, large fish, a variety of fishing styles, consistent dry fly action, opportunity for good numbers of fish and all in a manageable sized package.
It is a remote section of the state, but close enough to amenities. Boise, ID is a bout an hour or so away and the best place to fly in to. There are two options as far as accommodations. Option one it to stay in a motel and eat at restaurants. These are small towns and there are not tons of hotel and restaurant options. If a more diverse selection is more your style, then the extra drive time being based from Boise, might be the best option. It's not a long drive from these small towns to the river.
The second option is to immerse yourself in the canyon country and join us on a safari camping style excursion. Guest tents with cots and pads, dining tents, the full nine yards to provide a comfortable camp. All meals are provided and hearty home style dishes are to be expected. To us this feels like a fishing trip. Watching the stars at night, listening for coyotes and then waking up to a hot cup of coffee already riverside is the full experience.