Crane Prairie - Land of Lunkers
Of the many amazing and productive stillwater fisheries here in Central Oregon that are fly fishing-friendly, perhaps none is more iconic than Crane Prairie Reservoir. There are several reasons for this. One is that it is set in a spectacularly beautiful spot, surrounded by old growth pine and towering snow-capped volcanoes. Another is the thousands of dead trees still standing in the shallow water, some reaching thirty or forty feet above the surface; hunting platforms for bald eagle and osprey, or covered in brilliantly colored damselflies.
Then there are the fish! To go fly fishing on Crane Prairie is to pursue tremendous trout. There are average fish in the lake, and then there are the BIG ones. On any given day at Crane Prairie, you might hook the largest trout of your life. This is what has created the almost mythological reputation Crane holds, and when you actually do connect with one of these fish, you will completely understand. Just don’t forget to have a look around from time to time. The beauty is everywhere and massive. At Fly & Field Outfitters, all of our guides have been fishing these waters for years and we can always give you the local secrets and hacks to ensure a productive day on the water. Call us at 1-866-800-2812 for more information.
The Scenery and More
The Inside Scoop
The stats on Crane Prairie Reservoir are a surface area of 3400 acres with an average depth of only 15 feet, at 4,450 feet of elevation. It is the first proper reservoir on the Deschutes River. Crane has several spring-fed channels where once small creeks fed the Deschutes. These channels are now where the fish congregate during the summer when the rest of the lake gets too warm.
The predominant food sources are damsels, callibaetis, chironomids, leeches, caddis, and ants. These are well-fed fish to be sure. Because there are so many varieties of food, there are several ways to approach the lake with a fly rod on any given day. That’s where Fly and Field Outfitters comes in. Crane Prairie is not a lake to approach “blindly”. You must have some flotation, and at first glance, she gives up no secrets. The channels are unseen until you row or motor over them and the fish can be awfully spooky. The bugs need to be just right and fished the correct way in productive water. But fear not! If you have some stillwater experience, we will show you the right flies and gear to accomplish your goals.
If you want to get out there and be put on fish with the right rigs, and cut the learning curve in half, let us take you on a guided trip to this very special fishery. It will be a day you won’t soon forget. Our lake guides are the best in the business and have spent decades learning every seasonal detail of how lakes like Crane Prairie work. Call us today at 1-866-800-2812 to speak with our trusty local guides and get all of the fly fishing information you need about Crane Prairie Reservoir.t
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