Davis Lake: Davis is our third Fly-Fishing Only lake in the region and one that most certainly has some interesting fishing that sometimes challenges and frustrates even the most educated anglers.
Davis was at one time our best trophy rainbow fishery, and while it still is a great place to stalk giant, 6 to 12 pound rainbows the illegal planting of largemouth bass really changed the habits and abundance of the trout.
After years of sorting itself out, the trout and bass seem to coexist well enough and we are again finding huge bows typically on one side of the lake and bass, including some awfully big ones on the opposite side of the lake.
Sure, some mixing occurs but if I were to generalize it the trout hang out mostly from O’Dell Creek on the south end out to about the middle of the lake, and the bass take over from the middle to the natural lava dam on the northeast side and especially like to hang out in the thick islands of reeds on the north and northwest corners of the lake.
Davis Lake is not stunningly beautiful like Hosmer and Sparks but the fish at Davis could be the fish of a lifetime and you won’t find that at the other two fly only lakes.
For trout Davis Lake is quite good with leeches, callibaetis, damsels and dragon flies. The Bass take poppers nicely but you need to be out at dawn and up at nearly sunset for the best action. Most bass are taken on big bunny leeches or on nymphs. A surprising amount of bass are caught on damsels, both nymph and adult.
When fishing Davis you’ll need a floating, hover and clear camo line on a 5 or 6 weight for trout. A stout 7 or 8 weight is best for the bass and floating line should do the trick almost all of the time but plan on fishing really stout 10 to 15 pound tippets.
Davis Lake can get pretty low in the summer and fall, so low in fact there can be excellent wading opportunities near O’Dell Creek. Gas motors are allowed on Davis. A smaller boat that is easy to launch from either a primitive or nearly dry boat ramp is a good idea. In other words, this is not the place to try to launch your big Sled.
I prefer to use my drift boat here and either run a 9.9 HP 4 stroke gas motor or my long shaft electric motor to putt around. A row boat is OK and could work very well on Davis, and there are some tube and pontoon opportunities too.
Davis is accessed by National Forest Road 46 and is south of Bend, Oregon about an hour.