Crane Prairie Reservoir, Oregon

Crane Prairie Reservoir, Oregon is world famous fly fishing for large rainbow trout

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Crane Prairie Reservoir is one of the top producing rainbow trout fisheries in Central Oregon. Rainbow trout here average 2 inches of growth a month during the summer. The record rainbow to date weighed over 19 pounds, with abundant rainbows in the 4 to 10 pound range. Crane Prairie Reservoir is a Wildlife Management Area. Osprey, bald eagle and many waterfowl frequent the area.
Crane Prairie Reservoir is located on the Deschutes National Forest and is a large, shallow impoundment on the upper Deschutes River approximately 30 miles southwest of Bend and is accessible from Century Drive (Forest Service Road 46), and Forest Roads 40, 42, and 4270. Crane Prairie was a natural meadow in which the Deschutes River, Cultus River, Cold Creek, Quinn River, Deer Creek, and Cultus Creek Converged. Crane Prairie Reservoir was first created in 1922 by rock filled dam and reconstructed by Bureau of Reclamation in 1940. The inundated trees and five square miles of shallow water coupled with 24 miles of shoreline and many cool water inlets makes Crane Prairie Reservoir a very rich and productive aquatic system producing numerous trophy size rainbow trout.
The lake is not very deep (11 to 20 feet), water levels are fairly consistent. Fish enjoy good cover and plenty of insects. Most people fish the reservoir from a boat or float tube. Try trolling large streamers and other wet flies. Nymphing works well early in the season. Fish near Crane’s distinctive submerged trees and stick-ups and close to the shoreline when the water is high. In low-water conditions look for the two main (submerged) river channels.
Large Mouth Bass were illegally  introduced into Crane Prairie in the mid-1980's and have prospered. Crane Prairie bass are big for Oregon standards. Bass is excess of 8-pounds have been landed in local bass tournaments. Bass fishing starts in the shallows at the north end of the lake in late May.

Information Source: Deschutes National Forest

 

Lake Size: 4,940 acres
Maximum Depth: 16'-20'
Elevation: 4445 feet
Fishing Methods: all methods allowed
Fish Types: rainbow trout, brook trout, bass
Access: many Forest Service camp grounds,
              Crane Prairie Resort 541-383-3939
Camping Area:

 

Regulations:
Open April 26-Oct. 31.
Closed
from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour before sunrise.
Daily trout limit may include only 1 rainbow trout over 16 inches in length.

 


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