Drift boat on the Lower Deschutes


New member
Hi All- I'm new to the forum and relatively new to Oregon so hoping to get some feedback from folks that know the area.

I have the opportunity to pick up a drift boat for a good price, but I have no experience with rowing a drift boat or raft. I do a bit of fishing on the Lower Deschutes (around Maupin down to Macks Canyon), so that's my first thought on where to go as I'm primarily interested in trout fishing. However, I know there are some serious rapids in that section. Does anyone know if there are any mild floats on the Lower Deschutes that would be good for a beginner?

Or are there any other easy floats within 2.5 hours of Hood River?

Thanks in advance!


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I have floated the Deschutes from Mecca Flats/Warm Springs up by the damn all the way to the mouth - all sections in various separate trips. Sometimes in drift boats and others in catarafts. I think the easiest section of that entire stretch is from Mecca Flats to Trout Creek. Driving to the launch is a couple hours from HR. That stretch is not free of rapids or white water, but I think it would be the most manageable section to start on. You should still do it with someone familiar with drift boating the rapids on that river who can talk you through positioning for the rougher spots.


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The Sandy from Dabney to Lewis and Clark Park is a softer drift for the beginner. As Aervax said the Deschutes from Warm Spring to Trout isn't bad, but best to go with an experienced person first. In the meantime there is a great book By Dan Alsup called Driftboats a Complete Guide Frank Amato Publishing. Well worth the time to read it. And Welcome to the forum!