Crane Prairie Reservoir is the first reservoir of many on the Deschutes River. It’s arguably the most scenic of all the other Deschutes reservoirs. Volcanic peaks and endless forests surround the reservoir. The creation of Crane Prairie has caused the average size of the trout to skyrocket. Crane Prairie is well known as a fishing location for a good reason.
The rainbow trout in Crane Prairie (sometimes nicknamed cranebows) grow to immense sizes. There is an abundance of aquatic invertebrates within Crane Prairie. Rainbows average 2 inches of growth per month during the summer thanks to all the aquatic bugs. Ten-pound rainbow trout are caught here every year, making it a premier fishing location.
Brook trout are also present in Crane Prairie. Unlike the rainbow trout, they are not native to the waters of the Deschutes. This does not mean they don’t get huge. There are some insanely big brookies in Crane Prairie, some reach the 20-inch mark.
Kokanee can be found in Crane Prairie. These landlocked salmon will run up the Deschutes every fall, which is a fun sight, especially if you’ve never seen spawning fish before. Although kokanee doesn’t reach the same sizes as sockeye salmon, they are still fun to fish for and they taste great.
The largemouth bass is present in the warmer shallow water of Crane Prairie. They may not be the biggest bass you’ve ever seen, but they’re still fun to catch.
Whitefish can also be found in the reservoir. In fact, the state record whitefish were caught in Crane Prairie. Although they aren’t sought after, whitefish will fight fairly hard and can help fill in gaps in the day when the trout aren’t keen on biting.