Eastern Oregon Charm

Beginning in the foothills of the Steens Mountains and carving its way North through a stunning desert canyon, the Donner Und Blitzen River is an awesome trout fishing destination for late summer.


An area that once encapsulated the nation with its constant news coverage during the Malheur Refuge occupation has now settled back into its sleepy yet charming self. The Eastern part of the state is vast, open country; However, sprinkled throughout are some of the true gems of Oregon. The Donner Und Blitzen River is one of them.

While it is a bit of a drive if you don’t live in the Eastern part of the state, the Donner Und Blitzen is worth the trip regardless of where you reside. Simply the desert oasis setting and “big sky” scenery is what keeps me coming back.

August is terrestrial time on this small stream. While it is a healthy river in terms of bug life for most of the Spring, Summer, and Fall, the menu changes in August. Small hoppers click around the riverside vegetation constantly and flying ants make themselves delicious options for the residing rainbow trout. Since Oregon’s terrestrial fly fishing options are a bit more limited compared to some of our surrounding states, my friends and I jump at the opportunity to fish with grasshoppers whenever we can!


While there are some large and truly stunning fish in the Donner Und Blitzen, we weren’t lucky enough to come across any of the big boys on this weekend outing. However, there were plenty of eager, hungry fish to keep the four of us laughing and passing one fly rod around all day long. It really is tough to beat small stream hopper fishing.

Small foam hoppers, such as the Morrish’s Golden Hopper, were the ticket for us. A trip to the Donner Und Blitzen is a great opportunity to break out the 3 weight.

As is so often the case, the fishing itself was just a small part of an epic night out East. Spending the night out in the desert with your closest friends, playing guitar, sleeping under the stars, and watching everyone catch fish is seriously what its all about. Cheers to friends and fly fishing, what a dull life it would be without either.


Get it while the gettin’ is good!


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1 Response to Eastern Oregon Charm

  1. david jensen says:

    Love this little river. Dave Helfrich and I boated it in the Spring 40 years ago. Rattlesnakes galore, hungry trout that had not seen a fly. Great Spring inflatable float, especially after Little Blitzen hits the river.

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