Mann Lake

Mann Lake in South Eastern Oregon is a very good bet for early season fly fishing for trout.

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Mann Lake is located in South Eastern Oregon  about 80 miles south of the town of Burns.  This is sage covered high desert country.  This lake offers spectacular early season fishing in a spectacular setting.  However be aware that there are some serious travel and camping considerations.  Be prepared for extreme conditions.  Carry a good spare, jack & tools.  

Mann Lake is the place they were talking about when they said, "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. It will change."  This is particularly true during  early spring when the fishing is best.  On each multi-day trip we have languished in idyllic warmth of spring sunshine and also suffered the icy blasts of seeming-to-never-end screaming winds. The weather is always shifting and adding  drama to the surreal landscape.

One thing is for certain. You are going to catch some trout. Some days are easier than others, but very few days will be empty. When the weather is cold there is no reason to get up early. The best bight will be during peak water temperature times in the middle of the day. Go ahead sleep in. Eat a late breakfast...but keep a good eye on anyone fishing to see if they're getting any action. When the weather is warm, be fishing at dawn. Some days the bight can last all day. Most days one certain fly pattern will out produce all others. Observation and luck are usually the keys.

Mann Lake is full of Lahontan Cutthroat trout.  These fish have adapted to the extremes of the Great Basin from the times when it was a vast inland sea. Pyramid and Walker Lakes in Nevada are the only remnants of Lake Lahontan which at its peak 25,000 years ago, drained nearly 45,000 square miles. These lakes are very alkaline to saline in nature. This sub-specie of cutthroat is the only salmonid which can survive in many of the most alkaline lakes of the west. In the past they grew to huge sizes. Forty-one pounds is the world record.

Mann Lake is the Oregon State repository of Lahontan Cutthroat genetics. This is where all of the states brood stock are raised. You are actually fishing in the rearing pond.
The majority of the trout caught from Mann Lake are 18"-19", the largest seen in recent years is 24". 

Best: April - June but also fishes well in the fall

Natural Lake: fairly stable water level

Elevation: 4150'

Area: 276 acres max.

Depth: 14' max.

Fish species: Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

- artificial flies & lures only 
- limit 2 fish 
- motors allowed 
- speed limit controlled 
- open year round

Man Lake has the full compliment of insect hatches that you will find in most desert lakes.  Chironomids, Calibaetis May Flies, Damsel flies and dragon flies abound.  Leeches and scuds are also prominent.

How to get there from The Fly Fishing Shop:
Take Hwy 26 to Bend, OR
at Bend turn east on Hwy 20 drive to Burns, OR
at Burns turn south-east on Hwy 70 drive to Follyfarm
turn south at  the sign to Fields, OR.

 The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

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Mann Lake photos by Mark Bachmann - all rights reserved.

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