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Apr 23,2009
Central Oregon Fishing Report 4/22/09

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Several Cascade lakes will be accessible and ice-free in time for their spring opener on April 25, including Crane Prairie and Wickiup reservoirs, and Odell and South Twin lakes. 

  • Crescent Lake has been giving up great catches of lake trout and brown trout.

  • There have been reports of anglers catching some nice fish on the Fall River – expect insect activity to increase as temperatures increase.

BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout

Big lava is currently still ice covered and it appears that it will be inaccessible for opening day. Big Lava is a great place to catch nice rainbow trout ranging from 12 to 20 inches in length.

CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brook trout, largemouth bass

Crane is mostly ice free and will be totally ice free by opening day. Boat access is available at Crane Prairie Resort and the Forest Service resort ramp. Angling should be good for rainbow trout and brook trout. Please note new angling regulation for Crane in the ODFW fishing regulation synopsis. Crane is a great place to catch larger rainbow trout, though the novice angler will require patience. The Crane Prairie brook trout are the nicest one will find anywhere.

CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

CRESCENT LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and kokanee

Boat launch access is available at the Crescent Lake Lodge beach area for a $5.00 fee and the Forest Service boat launch. Anglers continue to have great success catching lake trout and brown trout. Kokanee anglers should start seeing a little better success as lake temperature increase.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

The Crooked River has experienced fluctuating flows in the past week as law enforcement officials search for a drowning victim at a Smith Rocks State Park. This event should remind anglers to exercise caution when wading on the slick rocks of the Crooked River. High flows are expected to return by mid-week and fishing should stabilize.

Signs marking redband spawning habitat were recently installed by volunteers from the Central Oregon Flyfishers, please avoid disturbing the substrate in these areas. It is also important to note that fishing with bait is not currently allowed; artificial flies and lures only until May 23.

All anglers are encouraged to visit informational kiosks located in the BLM campgrounds in the Wild and Scenic portion of the river where a flier has been posted to assist anglers in collecting valuable information.  ODFW and OSU initiated a radio telemetry study on redband trout and whitefish in the fall of 2007. ODFW and OSU deployed new radio-tags in early October in fish caught by dedicated volunteer anglers from the Central Oregon Fly Fishers, Sunriver Anglers, ODFW, and OSU. Anglers are reminded that radio-tagged fish cannot be legally harvested. To determine if a fish is radio-tagged, anglers should check for an eight-inch wire antenna protruding from the rear of both redband and mountain whitefish. A sample of redband trout and mountain whitefish are also tagged with a numbered floy tag protruding from the back. Anglers who later catch a trout or whitefish with a floy tag are encouraged to release the fish after recording the tag number, fish length and location caught. Anglers can send the information to ODFW at (541) 447-5111 ext. 24 or e-mail.

CULTUS LAKE: Lake trout, rainbow trout

Cultus Lake is accessible though with very limited parking. As of Tuesday April 21 there was limited open water but the remaining ice appeared to be close to coming off. With the warmer temperatures Cultus will most likely be ice free by opening day. The fishing should be great for lake trout and fair for rainbow trout.

DAVIS LAKE:  Rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Davis is now fully accessible and the angling should be more than fine. Remember Davis is a fly angling lake only.

DESCHUTES RIVER: steelhead, rainbow trout

Mouth to Warm Springs: steelhead, trout

The Deschutes River Canyon is ready to burst with spring flowers and bug hatches.  Fly anglers should look for good morning hatches of Blue-winged olive, caddis and some March Browns. If you like fishing underwater, try a large stonefly nymph because the real stoneflies start getting active as the water continues to warm. The highest concentration of trout and whitefish are from around Maupin upstream to the reservation boundary.      

Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent reports. The flows are now well-suited for fishing. This reach of the Deschutes provides good spring angling opportunity for brown trout and redband trout.

EAST LAKE: Brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, Atlantic salmon

East Lake access and open water conditions are tentative at best. Please check with East Lake Resort for opening day lake conditions or the Deschutes National Forest or local ODFW office at 541 -388-6363.

ELK LAKE – kokanee, brook trout

Elk Lake is not yet accessible

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that the angling had been good with nice fish being caught.
The river above the falls remains open the entire year, and is restricted to fly-fishing only. River water temperatures are generally in the 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit range. As mid-day air temperatures get warmer, expect insect activity to increase. This is a popular spring fishery for fly fishers.

HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout

Rainbow trout fishing has been excellent from the shore and boats. Large fish have been active in the recent weeks with reports of 10lb rainbows being caught.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, winter steelhead

Anglers are reporting catch of bright winter steelhead in the lower Hood River from the mouth upstream to Powerdale Dam. Early spring temperatures continue to warm water temperatures which should make steelhead more aggressive.  Counts at Bonneville Dam have been improving, and anglers should be seeing increased numbers of fish. Winter steelhead numbers will continue to increase the next two weeks. Some mint bright summer steelhead have already been caught by anglers.

Find out how many fish are being captured at the Powerdale Dam trap.

HOSMER LAKE: Atlantic salmon, brook trout

Hosmer is not yet accessible


Access is likely marginal due to snow.

LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: bull trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass

Bull trout and kokanee fishing remains consistent at Lake Billy Chinook. Angling opportunities appear to be best in the Deschutes and Crooked River Arms. Kokanee bag limit is five fish per day, included in the trout daily bag limit. Anglers should consult 2009 Sport Fishing Regulations for new angling regulations on Lake Billy Chinook.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: Rainbow trout, brook trout

Little lava lake will not be accessible for opening weekend.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Some recent reports of redband trout being active. The warmer temperatures this week should result in some great hatches and great fishing. April on the Metolius can provide a great angling experience. Please note that the reach of river from Allingham Bridge upstream to the Metolius headspring is currently closed to angling to protect spawning redband.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout
Fishing is reported to be right fine. The lake is fully accessible and will be a great place to take the kids for opening day. Good beaches, good wind protection and good numbers of stocked rainbow trout are North Twin positives.


Bait fishing is not allowed. Artificial flies and lures only, and regulations allow no more than two trout per day with only one trout greater than 20 inches and no trout under eight inches. Opportunities are good for native redband trout.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fishing improves at the head of the reservoir as spring runoff increases. Anglers have reported catches of large fish and fishing is expected to improve with weather.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, rainbow trout, lake trout

Odell is ice free with ramp access at both Odell Lake Lodge and Shelter Cove Resort. Angling should fair to good for kokanee with the kokanee bite picking up as the water temperature warms slightly. There is always the chance though, that the opening weekend kokanee bite might be great; if so, Odell is where you want to be. The lake trout should also be looking to bite and, if one seeks them out, there are also very nice rainbow to be had.

PAULINA LAKE: Brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Lake conditions are tentative. Please check with Paulina Lake Lodge 541-536-2240 for ramp access and ice conditions. One can also call the Upper Deschutes ODFW office at 541-388-6363 for updates as well.


Pine Hollow has been recently stocked and should provide good opportunity to catch various sizes of trout, including some large trout.

PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, bass

Anglers have reported good catches of rainbow trout and smallmouth bass fishing from the shore of Prineville Reservoir.  Anglers should note an error in the 2009 fishing regulations for Prineville Reservoir (p. 63).  The CORRECT regulation is: largemouth and smallmouth bass, 15 in. MAXIMUM length, only one of which may be a largemouth.


Pine Hollow has been recently stocked with trout and should provide good opportunity to catch a limit of trout. 

SOUTH TWIN: rainbow trout

South Twin is fully accessible. A great opening day lake with plenty of opportunity for rainbow trout, great wind protected shoreline and good beach-like shoreline for the kids to run around on when they’re tired of catching fish. A great family lake.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No angler reports, though the lake should provide good opportunity for anglers interested in chasing kokanee or brown trout.  

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout

Taylor Lake has been recently stocked with trout and should provide good opportunity to catch a fat trout. Taylor Lake is also a great spot to catch carp with flies, look for carp in the shallows as water temperatures warm with spring temperatures.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Gate to campground is locked, anglers must walk ¼ mile to the reservoir. Spring temperatures are likely to make ice unsafe; use extreme caution if checking ice conditions. 

WICKIUP RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, largemouth bass

Wickiup is accessible and waiting. Opening weekend on Wickiup should provide good opportunity for browns, rainbow and kokanee. Work the shallows for browns and rainbow. The early morning and dusk are the times to catch the nice browns.
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