Mann Lake in South Eastern Oregon is a very good bet for early season fly fishing for trout.
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.
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.
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".
April - June but also fishes
well in the fall
Natural Lake: fairly stable
Area: 276 acres max.
Depth: 14' max.
Fish species: Lahontan
How to get there from The Fly
The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
Back to Lakes
Mann Lake photos by Mark Bachmann - all rights reserved.