Of the many amazing and productive still water fisheries for Central Oregon fly fishing, perhaps none is more iconic than Crane Prairie Reservoir. There are several reasons for this. One is that it is set in a spectacularly beautiful spot, surrounded by old growth pine and towering snow-capped volcanoes. Another is the thousands of dead trees still standing in the shallow water, some reaching thirty or forty feet above the surface; hunting platforms for bald eagle and osprey, or covered in brilliantly colored damsel flies. Then there are the fish! To go fly fishing on Crane Prairie is to pursue tremendous trout. There are average fish in the lake. Then there are the big ones. On any given day at Crane Prairie you might hook the largest trout of your life. This is what has created the almost mythological reputation Crane holds. And when you actually do connect with one of these fish, you will completely understand. Just don’t forget to have a look around from time to time. The beauty is everywhere and massive.
The stats on Crane Prairie here in Central Oregon are a surface area of 3400 acres with an average depth of only 15 feet, at 4,450 feet above sea level. It is the first proper reservoir on the Deschutes River. Crane has several spring-fed channels where once small creeks fed the Deschutes. These channels are now where the fish congregate during the summer when the rest of the lake gets too warm. The predominant insects are damsels, callibaetis, chironomids, leeches, caddis and ants. These are well-fed fish to be sure. Because there are so many varieties of food, there are several ways to approach the lake with a fly rod on any given day. That’s where we at Fly and Field Outfitters come in!
Crane Prairie is not a lake to approach “blindly”. You must have some floatation. At first glance she gives up no secrets. The channels are unseen until you row or motor over them. The fish can be awfully spooky. The bugs need to be just right, fished the correct way in productive water. But fear not! If you have some still water experience, we will show you the right flies. If you want to get out there and be put on fish with the right rigs, let us take you on a guided trip to this very special fishery. It will be a day you won’t soon forget. Our Oregon fishing guides are the best in the business and have spent decades learning every seasonal detail of how lakes like Crane work.
If you want to learn some of the insider secrets for fly fishing at Crane Prairie check out the latest Crane Prairie fishing reports or schedule a guided Cascade Lakes fly-fishing trip with us by clicking below, calling us at 1-866-800-2812, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.