Crane Prairie Reservoir can fish well into October, so don’t shy away from the lakes even though the leaves have started to Fall!
I headed out to Crane Prairie earlier this week to get my late Summer lake fix and forgot how much fun fishing at Crane Prairie can be. While the fishing was by no means “red hot” as it can be during the heart of Summer, we still found some awesome “Cranebows” that were willing to eat the chironomid. We focused our efforts in the channels where the water is deeper than the rest of the lake. With the water as low as it is right now, it is important to fish the drop-offs and troughs where a majority of the fish hold.
We fished with juju chironomids , ice cream cones, and various callibaetis nymphs suspended under a strike-slip indicator about 1-2 feet off of the bottom of the lake. We caught fish on both the chironomid and the calli nymph, so be sure to have both if you head out there. The fishing got significantly better once the afternoon wind picked up and the lake got a bit choppy. I think this gets the bite going because it gives your flies a bit of movement as they sit suspended off of the bottom.
To ensure you are fishing your flies at the correct depth, tie on a fly to the end of your leader, then tightly attach your forceps to the fly and drop it to the bottom. This will give you an idea of the depth in the channel and you can rig accordingly. I also recommend fluorocarbon tippet in these low, clear water conditions.
Until the weather cools down significantly (in about a month or so), Crane Prairie remains an option. Be sure to head out there and get your last dose of Lake fishing in before it gets too late!