Davis Lake

Davis Lake is fly fishing only. It has great hatches and big rainbow trout and large mouth bass.

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Davis Lake in Central Oregon. Davis Lake by USFS.
Tui Chub
Location Map
Bathymetric Map
Hatch Chart
Every picture is mouse-over.
This 26" Rainbow took a Dragon Fly Nymph, mid-morning. (Click For Larger View)!

Davis Lake looking south at dawn.

Large Mouth Bass are prolific in the weeds.
Davis Lake is one of the most popular "fly fishing only_ lakes in the  Pacific Northwest, producing abundant trophy size rainbow trout. Rainbow trout here are common in the 2-5 lb range during periods of wet years. Trout of over 15 pounds have been caught from this lake in the past.  During recent years the trout are much smaller. Introduction of exotic species of fish and low water are blamed for the degeneration of the trout fishery. Davis Lake is located at the southern end of Cascade Lakes Highway in a picturesque setting on the Deschutes National Forest and is a large, shallow lake that was formed approximately 6,000 years ago by a lava flow cutting off Odell Creek. Prior to the volcanic eruption, Odell Creek was probably directly connected to the upper Deschutes River.
The 3,000 surface acres of shallow water coupled with the primary inlet Odell Creek, makes Davis Lake a very rich and productive aquatic system producing numerous large rainbow trout. Davis Lake is open to fly fishing only.

Klamath rainbow trout have been planted annually to supplement natural reproduction, which was successful until the drought in early 90ís. Tui chub have been a problem in the lake, and it is hoped that the piscivorous (fish eating) Klamath trout are dining on the chubs. The stocking of Klamath strain rainbows was discontinued in 1999. The wild rainbow population seems to be doing fine since habitat and structure restoration work in Odell Creek. Largemouth bass were illegally introduced in 1995 and seem to be thriving. Their impact on the lake ecosystem is a constant controversy among managers and anglers.  Some people think that they may prey on small trout and compete for food.  Others say that the bass help control the Tui Chub population and provide a fishery in areas of the lake un-utilized by trout.  Whatever the viewpoint, they are likely here to stay. In recent year bass of over six pounds are regularly taken on flies each year.

Vehicle Access:

Davis Lake is near the southern end of the Cascade Lakes Highway (FS Road 46).

Fishing Access:

To fish the best fishing areas, you need a boat or float tube. Lakeshore is primarily reeds and grasses and muddy bottom, making it difficult to wade and fish from the shore. Motors are allowed.  Speed limit is strictly enforced.  Electric motors are preferred.

Launch Points:

There is a primitive boat launch at West Davis Campground, and a good boat ramp at the Lava Flow Campground on the northeast corner of Davis Lake (due to some nesting eagles nearby this ramp may be closed). A new primitive campground has bee established near the lava flow away from the eagles nest.

Fish Species Present:

Rainbow trout (2 to 15 pounds or more), and largemouth bass.

Physical Characteristics:

Size: 1,000 - 3,906 surface acres. Depth: At full pool, average depth of 9 feet with 20ft maximum depth. Elevation: 3,386 feet

When to fish:

May to October. Get a weekly fishing report from ODFW.

Popular Fishing Methods:

Fly fishing only

Fly fishing methods:

Most productive areas are: the northeast end near the lava dam; the west shore between Ranger and Moore Creeks and in the Odell Creek Channel. Floating, intermediate and slow sinking lines are used. 


Hatch Chart for the Davis Lake.

Camping Information: East Davis Campground, Lava Flow Campground, and West Davis Campground

Davis Lake morning.  Go get 'em PB!

Patty Barnes with a nice rainbow.  (Click for larger view!)

  The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1 (800) 266-3971

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East Lake photos by Mark Bachmann - all rights reserved.

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