So last wednesday was my last great day of fishing on the lakes. Thursday 9/7 we got a big thunderstorm and it rained hard. Friday AM greeted us with fresh skies, no smoke, and clear water on East lake. But the fishing was S-L-O-W. It did pick up a bit in the afternoon but not to the level I’d been experiencing for the last 4 or 5 weeks.
Monday and Tuesday at East lake brought around 10 fish per day, mixed on a slow chironomid bite, some callibaetis risers in the morning and some beetle or ant fishing in the afternoon.
So wednesday I decided to go to Hosmer. It was also quite slow. Lot’s of cruising fish that looked to be feeding but we enticed very few. Red Chironomids were the best bet. We rose a couple of fish on ants, and saw a few fish take a damsel adult or rare callibaetis. It was a weather pattern change day and was cool and windy which is always tough at Hosmer.
I’m headed back to East several days next week and hoping for the best. This is often a magical time on the lakes but right now is also a transition time between the end of summer and the beginning of fall. I am hopeful the fall weather, with the cold rains and spitting snow that begins on Monday and lasts for 2 or 3 days over the Cascades is the change we need to get the fish realizing it is fall and they need to feed like it is a frenzy time because Winter is Coming.
I heard some good reports from Crane on Leech Patterns this week around Quinn and Rock Creek.
Also, Adam from the shop was on Wickiup yesterday and bought some nice Browns streamer fishing.
Lava ought to be picking up for fall. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s been there.
East lake — I’ve been practically living on East Lake, 3 to 6 days a week for the last month or more and have seen a lot of different stuff going on, but I’ll say the last 7 to 10 days since I updated the report last it has gotten better for a number of reasons.
First is the turnover and pollen scum has cleared and the water is clean with good visibility.
One thing to watch is afternoon water temps. Highest I am seeing late afternoon is 68. Remember to shut off fishing if it hits 70. Morning temps are 65. It is good the nights have been cooler and we’ve had more days up there in the 70’s lately than nearing 90 like we had 10 to 14 days back.
Getting a lot of fish on dries. Especially Beetles and Ants and most days on Callibaetis Parachutes and Emergers.
I’ve had really good luck wind Drifting with type 3 sinking lines. Flashback PT’s and Red Ice Cream Cones have been awesome as a trailer behind a Possie Bugger or Black Bugger. Seems to me way more fish going with the Type 3 than the typical Clear Camo Type 1.
Really good afternoon Damsel action, plus beetles and ant’s and in the evening you’ll see more callibaetis, BIG traveling sedges and right before dark tiny Caenis spinners. Love the Cranebows ODFW stock now. Hosmer is a great spot.
Temps are above 70. Give it a wait until it cools a bit or fish really deep early in the AM with Chironomids.
Warm Water in the lake has fish in the Channels. Fish close to the Source of the Deschutes Channel or in the Quinn Channel with Chironomids. Damsels and a little opportunity for Leech fishing in the morning too.
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It’s an intersting year, or at least an interesting last couple of weeks at East Lake.
One note it the lake has recently turned over and there is a fair bit of debris/algae/detritus floating and that mixed with a S**T Load of Pine Pollen in some areas the surface of the lake is just yellow.
Fishing is pretty good, but I’d say at the moment not as good as normal for this time of year and for myself I am having to do really different things to get fish.
For example, I love to fish chironomids in 12 to 18 feet of water. It is a staple of my daily routine. I usually fish a Red Ice Cream Cone on the bottom and a black or olive chironomid 18 to 24 inches above the bottom fly. This year (so far) it is like crickets. Nothing. Zip.
What is working is running on the bank lines. Plenty of fish there. Some days they are eating Callibaetis, other times terrestrials. I am finding Black Beetles to be my best dry this year.
Yesterday they were eating Callibaetis parachutes, 2 days ago they likes a Brooks Sprout, 2 days before that a BB Callibaetis and one day last week all they wanted was a Harrops CDC Callibaetis Cripple. So everyday is different. It’s a game and it’s fun but it’s not easy.
Sometimes they key on spinners too, and that’s the other thing to watch. The spinner fall dance will be heavy and we assume spinners are what the fish are keyed on but if you look carefully the emergence of new Duns is happening at the same time but being over shadowed by the spinners.
Wind Drifting has been good. Some nice trout and a ton of small Kokanee. I am running a Callibaetis nymph on a Type 3 full sink on 5x Fluoro and running a tiny red worm (#22) as a dropper on 6x fluoro 20 inches behind the 1st fly. It’s very productive and great for kids and newer anglers who you just want to have a lot of success.
Definitely catching more on the type 3 than on an Intermediate but that can change from day to day.
Will be watching water temperatures. 65 now. 69 is our stopping point to keep the trout safe. A little cool down will be welcomed, including a big thunderstorm with some hail. That would be great!
East lake has been good for me this week. Beetles were my hot fly a couple days ago, but we caught fish on Callibaetis nymphs and dries and on Black Chironomids under an indicator in about 6 to 8 feet of water.
Hosmer has been really good. Today there were a number of Alder Flies hatching and we got ’em up on top on a Black Elk Hair Caddis. We also got fish on my Jeff’s Black Butte Callibaetis parachute and Red Chironomids under an indicator today. We’ve had guides out all week and this has been consistent. Today I saw a ton of Damsel Adults. Last week we had some great fish on Damsel Nymphs but not today…go figure. I won’t give up on that of course because those are hot until fall.
Crane is warming up and the fish are headed to the channels. Look for good callibaetis hatches mid morning and damsels following them. Chironomids and Leeches are CP staples.
I was on Hosmer today and also a few days ago and it is good fishing. I plan to go back again friday. Today the Callibaetis were hatching a little bit all day long, and for a while there were damsels on the water too. These damsels are tannish brown. I believe they are of the species Argia Vivida and the females are tan. It’s an interesting hatch and one we don’t see often but I have seen fish really slam adults struggling in the surface.
East Lake is still quite good (and should be until late fall!). Chironomids and terrestrials so far are the sweet ride up there. Fish seem to be in one to 10 feet of water and seldom are we finding them deeper.
Crane is good, a little on and off but the trend is good. Callibaetis, Chironomids and Leeches have been best.
Lava is decent. The spawn seems to be over which is great to get all the fish off the bank lines. Callibaetis are your best bet followed by a leech and chironomid.
I haven’t been to Davis yet, but I’ve heard about some huge trout on damsel nymphs and callibaetis. I know back about 10 days in the hot weather the bass fishing was darn good too with fish coming to poppers in the reeds. Should be good again next week for that.
Hosmer is open and accessible and fishing is good on Chironomids, Leeches and Callibaetis nymphs.
East is accessible with EL CG Boat Launch now open. The Ramp is open and parking is good, but the dock is not in as of Monday anyway. The resort ramp has a dock and you can use it for $5.
Still some drift (snow) at Hot Springs.
Fishing is good. Chironomids, Leeches, Callibaetis Nymphs and Scuds. Ants and Beetles and perhaps some midge adults on the surface too.
A lot of things to talk about on the Cascade lakes with access, fishing conditions and flies.
East Lake is fishable. Fish are on the shoal near the resort. Float Tube or Wade Fishing access from that beach is good. There is no access to EL Camp Ground or Boat Launch, Hot Springs Boat Ramp or Cinder Hill CG and Ramp. There is access at the resort but it’s limited due to snow. As of yesterday there is a good 3 feet of snow in most of the camp grounds and parking lots.
Crane Prairie is good. The fish are taking chironomids, back leeches, maroon leeches and this week the callibaetis hatch came off good and the fish were hitting the duns on top but really liked nymphs down a few feet on a slow strip.
Lots of Callibaetis at Davis. Fishing is fair, seems like it should be better with all that hatch going on. I’d also have a good leech selection and damsel nymph patterns.
Lava has been good for us. We’ve been seeing lots of fish on the shorelines nearly all around the lake. The best fish for us have come on chironomids under an indicator about 3 to 5 feet.
Homer‘s access road is still closed. I know some people who walked in yesterday. Looks like you could launch a tube very easily. Should be amazing! Road ought to be open within a week….the snow drifts looked thin and hot weather is coming back.
Lava Lake is open and fishing well. The fish are on Leeches mostly and we have found Brown to be the best color but Olive to be a fine choice as well. There have been times when a black chironomid pupa has produced well in the last week too.
Crane continues to fish best in the Deschutes Channel area on Black Leeches and Black/Red Chironomids. We had a customer there over the weekend who saw some callibaetis hatching too.
No access yet to Hosmer.
Crane Prairie. Fishing is good on Leeches and Black and Red Chironomids. The Deschutes Channel seems to be the most productive area. I ‘ve been up there fishing a couple of days this week and there is a midge hatch that is deserving of a National Geographic special. If you go, be prepared with a bug net or at least a hat and a Buff to keep them from going up your nose, or in your ears and mouth. The fish don’t seem to be eating them, at least on the surface, and a size 28 pupa is hard to come by. It is the hatch of the century. I’ve never seen so many midges and it borders on gross and certainly annoying. Not sure how long something like this lasts, but usually these phenomenon’s don’t go too long. Thank god. It’s been 7 or 8 days already.
Wickiup. Fishing is good with small streamers, leeches and damsel nymphs. The areas of Sheep’s Bridge, the Davis Arm and the reeds between the Dam and the Gull Point Launch has been good. Kokanee anglers are reporting good catches on Lures in open water and very near the surface.
Davis Lake. Davis is good with the first few Bass showing up, and some decent Rainbows on Leeches. I’ve heard just a few snippets on Davis but have seen a few photos of nice trout on social media in the last couple of weeks.
3 Creeks is still iced over and won’t be accessible until Mid June at the earliest.
East and Paulina are iced over still as of my fly over this morning. Road crews are working to clear the road and looks they made great progress so if the lakes ice out May 22nd is when the gate opens. Cross your fingers.
Lava is still iced over today. I flew over it this AM and the ice looked like it was going very fast. Little Lava was ice free. The gate at Deschutes Crossing is still locked so no access, plus there was a fair bit of snow around the lakes and side roads, although the Cascade Lakes Hwy looks all clear from the air.
Same story at Hosmer. It was free of ice in the Channels but the lower lake was still solid white. The road is closed in there still.