With the opening of the Lower Deschutes and many of Central Oregon’s lakes it is starting to feel more like spring and it’s definitely time to get on the water. Access to Crane is somewhat limited with the Cascade Lakes Highway winter closure, and for the time being the only access points are on the East side of the lake. Those with boats should plan to use the ramp at the resort. Early season fishing on Crane Prairie is notoriously difficult, and with fish spread throughout the lake plan to put some time in to find success. The good news is that the fish are hungry and feeding activity is increasing after the long winter, so there are definitely opportunities to find the big Cranebows we all love to chase. Leech patterns on intermediate lines are a great way to cover water in search of concentrations of feeding fish, but expect to see the most fish come under an indicator on Chironomids, Bird’s Nests, and other lake-specific nymphs. There has been a strong and consistent Midge hatch starting mid-day and fish are keying in on the emerging bugs at various levels in the water column. The difficulty in fishing Crane right now lies largely in finding fish, so stay take note of specific areas and features when you see success.
Suggested Flies: Black or Red Zebra Midge #16-18, Black or Red Chironocone #14-18, Grey Gillie Midge #16, Tiger Midge #16-18, Olive Juju Chironomid #14, Dark Assassin #14-18, Bird’s Nest HE #14-18, Bird’s Nest or Black Depth Charge #16-18, Bruised or Olive Balanced Leech #10-14, Ruby Leech #10-12, Agent Black #14-16, Olive or Black BH Mini Leech #12, Thin Mint #10-12, Black Wooly Bugger #10-12