Fall River is a beautiful spring-fed stream flowing through rolling pine forest. It is open to fly fishing only. Clear and cold, it springs full-blown from the ground about 2 miles northwest of Pringle Falls and winds it’s way northeast to join the Deschutes River. Fall River is an outstanding contributor of brown trout to the Deschutes River and provides excellent winter habitat for numerous species. Its pristine water supports a productive hatchery and contributes invaluable water quality to the Deschutes system. Legal size brook and rainbow trout, stocked several times a year, merge with the naturally reproducing brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Native whitefish inhabit the river below the falls.
From Bend, take Highway 97 south, get off at the Sunriver exit and drive west. Go straight through the roundabout, and continue driving until you reach Century Drive where you turn left. Follow this road south for about three miles until you hit the first obvious road on the right hand side, which is South Century Drive (also County Road 42). Take this right turn heading west. Follow South Century Drive for about 10 miles, Fall River is on the left.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
River and Stream Fishing
Wild brook trout average less than 8 inches in length, and stocked brookies average 8 to 12 inches. Brown trout at 8 pounds have been pulled out of Fall River, although the average catch will run up to 10 inches, and anglers will probably catch many in the 6 to 8 inch range. Rainbow trout average 8 to12 inches, with an occasional holdover to 20 inches. Whitefish are typically 6 to 12 inches.
The water is very clear and cold year-round, with steady flows and temperatures. The river has a variety of depth and structure and averages 25 to 50 feet across. Some willows line the banks. The streambed is mainly of fine pumice, easy to wade, but it can be very soft in places. Many downed logs in the river provide cover for the trout, and weedbeds provide insect habitat.
National Forest land borders half of Fall River’s 8 miles. Most of the remainder is private land especially along the lower 4 miles of the stream. Watch carefully for "No Trespassing" signs and be prepared for ravenous mosquitoes.
What To Expect
- Vehicle Access: South of Bend take Highway 97 to Forest Service Road 42.
- Fishing Access: Forest Service Road 42, Fall River trail (from springs to fish hatchery), and Fall River campground.
- Fish Species Present: Rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout and mountain whitefish
- Physical Characteristics: Size: 8 river miles; Width: 25'-50'; Depth: fluctuates; Elevation: 4270'-4170'
- When/How to fish: Late afternoon and evening. Get a weekly fishing report from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Popular Fishing Methods: Fly fishing only
- Bait/Lure Fishing Method:
- Fly Fishing Methods: Use a 12' leader tapering to 5X or 6X, a 4X should be used with any nymphing situations.
- Insect Hatch/Flies to Use: Check the Fall River Major Hatches chart below.
- Camping Information: Fall River Campground
Source: “Fishing Central Oregon-Third Edition”, 1998. Geoff Hill, Brooke Snavely, and Raven Wing. Sun Publishing, 716 NE 4th Street, Bend, Oregon. http://www.sun-pub.com