Owyhee River Fly Fishing
OWYHEE RIVER GUIDE TRIPS
The Owyhee River is Oregon’s finest tailwaters. The river is perfect for taking in vast desert landscapes with steep-walled canyons and a very prolific river chock full of massive brown trout!
Three Rivers Ranch is proud to offer Owyhee River Fly Fishing Trips. We have been in business for nearly 100 years and have been guiding fly fishing trips since 1974. Our veteran guides have been fishing the Owyhee River their whole lives and treat the river and other anglers with respect. The Owyhee River is about an hour and a half away from our Boise Fly Shop – located in the town of Eagle, Idaho. If fly fishing the Owyhee River is not enough, we also serve you gourmet lunches from Porterhouse Deli in Eagle, Idaho.
Owyhee River Trip Prices
OWYHEE RIVER INFO
Beginning in northern Nevada, the Owyhee River flows northward toward southeastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho before it joins, as a major tributary, the Snake River.
The Owyhee and its tributaries gather watershed from the Owyhee Plateau. The river travels through steep canyon area, valley communities and the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Once it crosses the Idaho border, it eventually meets up with the South Fork Owyhee River.
As it passes through the lower southeast corner of Oregon, it combines with the West Little Owhyee River (from the south), the Middle Fork Owyhee River and the North Fork Owyhee River (both from the east).
Other tributaries such as Jordan Creek, Rattlesnake Creek and Crooked Creek merge into the Owyhee as it makes its way toward the Snake River near the Idaho-Oregon border.
Before the river officially meets up with the Snake, it’s stopped by the Owyhee Dam, which creates man-made Lake Owyhee. Below the dam the river then merges with the Snake River.
WHEN TO FISH THE OWYHEE RIVER
Summer is the best season on the Owyhee River (below the dam). The flow of the river is dictated by summer irrigation demands. Skwalas and Blue Winged Olive will start as early as March. Caddis will creep, most likely, mid-April. May brings a wide variety of hatches including PMD’s, Callibaetis, Yellow Sally, Ants, Beetles, and Grasshoppers (Mid July). By September, we’ll see Mahogany Duns and Crane Flies. Check out our Owyhee River Hatch Chart and feel free to call our Boise Fly Shop at (208) 939-6065 for up to date info.
Fishing is technically open year-round; however, we stop fishing the Owyhee River from October until December due to spawning brown trout. Sometimes later into the winter, due to extremely low flows which put added pressure on trout.
HISTORY: OWYHEE – HAWAII
The explorer, Donald McKenzie led an expedition in Southern Idaho, Eastern Oregon and other locations in 1818-21 for the North West Fur Trading Company. McKenzie sent three Hawaiian natives to explore the river in the winter of 1819-1820, they never returned. Most historians and books assumed the group was killed by Indians.
If you pronounce “Hawaii” without the “H” you get Owyhee. Back in 1918, they nicknamed the three Owyhees. After the group came up missing, McKenzie honored them by naming the river after them.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO FISH THE OWYHEE RIVER
At Three Rivers Ranch, we have boots, waders, rods, and reels all available for rental. We have various fly fishing gear from clothing including shirts, pants, sandals, and waders available for purchase. In addition, we have sunscreen and a few other miscellaneous items you may have forgotten, available for purchase. Don’t forget to stop by our shop and load up on the flies you’ll need, don’t hesitate to ask our knowledgeable fly shop guides, chances are they were out fishing yesterday or that morning.
View, download, or print our FREE Owyhee River Gear Checklist PDF.
- Oregon Fishing License (12 years +). Available for purchase at our Boise shop or online (2019 Free Fishing Days)
- Rods: For the Owyhee a 4-6wt rod will work great.
- Reel: Bring 1 reel with an extra spool. We recommend a weight forward floating line for dry fly fishing and an intermediate sinking line for streamer fishing.
- Leaders: the best all-around leader size is 9f, 4x – 6x
- Tippet: It is always a good idea to have tippet ranging from 2x – 6x in your pack. This way you can build your own leaders if needed.
- Waders: We have waders available for rent however, if you have your own, bring them along. You will meet with your guide in the morning and he or she will let you know if it is necessary to bring your waders along or if you need to rent any for that day. In the summer months, there are great opportunities for wet wading. This is a tailwater, so river temperatures are consistently cold as…
- Wading Boots – If you’re traveling in from other states, make sure to clean them well and dry them off completely. Avoid the transfer of invasive species.
- Nippers: It is always a great idea to pack two, just in case you lose one to the river.
- Forceps: Great for pinching those barbs.
- Sunglasses: Make sure they are polarized, it is crucial for cutting out the glare from the sun. Amber is generally the best overall lens color.
- Split shot (non-lead)
- Indicators (if nymphing)
- Day Pack
- Wading staff
- Flies: The type of flies you should have in your box will vary depending on the time of year your trip is. Be sure to take a look at our Owyhee River Hatch Chart or give one of our fly shops a shout and we will be able to help you decide what bugs you should have on hand.
- Rain Jacket (always have this with you)
- Synthetic quick drying long sleeved and short sleeved sun shirt (spf 15+)
- Synthetic quick drying pants and shorts
- Lightweight non-cotton socks
- Hat and a ski-cap
- Fleece (wind breaking) jacket
- Sun Gloves / Winter Gloves
- Insect repellent
- Water bottle
- Digital camera
- Memory Cards
- Waterproof phone case
- Personal medical supplies and prescriptions
- Corrective lenses
- Lip balm
Owyhee River Fishing Report – 6/2/23
Flows are great at 200 cfs. Primary hatches consist of midges and BWOS. Caddis are present to varying degrees as well. Dry fly opportunities have been spotty but are there if you are trying
Owyhee River Fishing Report – 5/19/23
Flows are currently at 201 cfs. Primary hatches consist of midges and Bwo's. Caddis are present to varying degrees as well (Elk hair caddis #18). Dry fly opportunities have been spotty but are there
Owyhee River Fishing Report – 5/5/23
Flows are currently at 168 cfs, water is a little off color, and it sounds like flows may be increasing in the next week or so. Nymphing or using a dry dropper seems to
The Owyhee River Fly Fishing Report as of March 29, 2020
Owyhee River Fishing Report Fishing has been getting more and more consistent as we move further into the 50’s and 60’s for our daytime highs. The question on everyone’s mind “are the skwala’s out?”