The Lava Lakes (“Lava” and “Little Lava”) in Central Oregon lie along the Cascade Lakes chain. Both of these lakes provide a beautiful, peaceful and productive day of fly fishing. They have good populations of trout, convenient ramps and amenities including wonderful camping options. While not the marquee still water destination that Crane Prairie Reservoir and Wickiup Reservoir are, these lakes have been a favorite for generations of Oregonians.
Lava Lake sits at 4740 feet of elevation, covers 370 acres with an average depth of 20 feet. Little Lava Lake is at the same elevation, covers 140 acres with an average of only eight feet deep. Both have classic high mountain lake sub-surface topography with shallow shorelines and deeper holes towards their center. Both can be fished with floating or sinking lines. The food source is also similar between the two lakes: chironomids, callibaetis and leeches will all fool trout just about any day from mid-May to the end of September. As with most lakes, bigger, stripped buggers and leech patters on sinking lines will fool more fish early and late in the season. Late morning hatches come off regularly all summer. On any given day you can bugger fish the intermediate line early, switch to the floater and callibaetis emergers and dries around 10:30, fish dry until 2:00, then back sub-surface for a few hours before the evening hatch/spinner fall. There is never a shortage of trout to fish for. And some are quite large. This summer of 2014 ODFW planted a lot of 20”-24” rainbows in Big Lava Lake. Both lakes also have resident brook trout.
The Lava Lakes are considered “put-and-take” fisheries, which is to say there are lots and lots of trout planted in both every spring and into the early summer. And while both lakes are popular with those who prefer methods other than fly fishing, they can be approached successfully with fly rods any day of the season.
Both Lava Lakes are perfect DIY options for fly fishing in Oregon. Here at Fly and Field Outfitters we will be happy to set you up with the right flies, make sure your leader and tippet are sound and send you on your way. Or if you’re looking for a day of luxury we can take you for a full or half day guided trip and take care of all the details for you!
If you want to learn some of the insider secrets for fly fishing at The Lava Lakes check out the latest Lava Lakes Fishing Report or schedule a Cascade Lakes guided fishing trip with us by clicking below, calling us at 1-866-800-2812, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.