Early Summer can produce some awesome fishing on Central Oregon’s high Lakes. Take a break from the rivers, load up your float tube/pontoon/drift boat and go fishing on some of the Pacific Northwest’s best stillwater fisheries. Here’s whats been going on out there as of late:
East Lake is fishing great right now. With consistent hatches of callibaetis coming off daily, now is the time to head out there. This lake fishes consistently well throughout the Summer, but I’ve encountered some of my best fishing on East around this time of year. During the morning, fish chironomids or slowly retrieve callibaetis nymphs such as the Epoxynymph Callibaetis and the Emerging Callibaetis with an intermediate sinking line. You can also strip buggers and leaches using the same technique, with our personal favorite being the Hale Bopp Leech. In the afternoon, the callibaetis will start coming off, so switch to the dry line and start throwing some callibaetis dries!
Lava has been more productive than Little Lava as of late. Bring a similar assortment of Leeches, callibaetis nymphs, and damsel nymphs to fish with an intermediate sinking line. The flying ant hatch is a hatch that is often overlooked at Lava, and it should be happening anytime now. This can produce some superb fishing, so don’t forget to pick up some CFO Ants before you head out there.
Focus your efforts at Hosmer during the early mornings (sunrise) and evenings. Not only will this allow you to avoid the “kayak hatch” that seems to occur there every afternoon, but these are also the times when you will find your most consistent fishing. To target the larger brookies that lurk in this lake, strip buggers and leeches with sinking lines early in the morning. Throughout the day, switch to callibaetis and damsel nymph presentations, and don’t hesitate to fish chironomids in the channel and along the weedbeds as well. You’ll encounter your best dry fly fishing in the evenings, with callibaetis cripples and midges the most predominate bugs on the water.
Crane Prairie Reservoir
Crane has been a bit tougher lately. The water hasn’t sufficiently warmed enough yet to fully consolidate the fish in the channels, so locating the fish has been tricky. Fishing chironomids, such as the red and black Ice cream cone, has been producing a few fish, but it isn’t red hot yet like we all know Crane can be. During this transitional period, stripping black leeches or streamer patterns that imitate the stickleback minnows that inhabit the lake, such as the Sculpzilla, can be an effective way to locate the fish.