In many parts of the world trout fishing season doesn’t open until May. Not in Oregon. The Beaver State is blessed with an abundance of year-round angling and in March, there are winter steelhead on coastal streams, giant sturgeon in the Columbia and trophy brown trout on the Owyhee River near the Idaho border. If you like to fly-fish for trout, it’s pretty hard to beat the rich diversity that Central Oregon affords. From intimate spring creeks to high desert tailwaters to private lakes stocked with bruiser rainbows, the options are astounding. Better yet, you don’t have to sit in your motel room watching your waders dry once you’re off the stream. In early March, my fishing buddy Hamilton Byerly and I headed over the mountains from Portland to see what the trout streams of Central Oregon had to offer. We found a few nice fish, for sure—but in Bend there’s also a thriving restaurant scene, seven brewpubs (not bad for a city of 80,000!) and live music every night. And in the surrounding smaller towns we also found dazzling scenery, eclectic accommodations and some haute cuisine you wouldn’t expect in fishing country.

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