The Lava Lakes- Cascade Lakes Splendor
The Lava Lakes (“Lava” and “Little Lava”) here in Central Oregon lie along the Cascade Lakes chain. Both of these lakes provide a beautiful, peaceful, and productive day of fly fishing. They have good populations of trout, convenient ramps, and amenities including wonderful camping options. While not the marquee stillwater destination that Crane Prairie Reservoir and Wickiup Reservoir are, these lakes have been a favorite for generations of Oregonians. Both lakes are planted with good numbers of “catchable” trout as well as maintaining populations of hold over fish that can get large.
Scenes from the lakes
The Inside Scoop
Lava Lake sits at 4740 feet of elevation, covers 370 acres with an average depth of 20 feet. Little Lava Lake is at the same elevation, covers 140 acres with an average depth of only eight feet. Both have classic high mountain lake sub-surface topography with shallow shorelines and deeper holes towards their center. Both can be fished with floating or sinking lines. The food source is also similar between the two lakes: chironomids, callibaetis and leeches will all fool trout just about any day from mid-May to the end of September. As with most lakes, bigger, stripped buggers and leech patters on sinking lines will fool more fish early and late in the season.
Late morning hatches come off regularly all summer. On any given day you can bugger fish the intermediate line early in the morning, switch to the floater and callibaetis emergers and dries around 10:30am, fish dry until 2:00pm, and then back to sub-surface for a few hours before the evening hatch/spinner fall. There is never a shortage of trout to fish for. And some are quite big. Most years ODFW plants a lot of 20”-24” rainbows in Big Lava Lake. Both lakes also have resident brook trout.
The Lava Lakes are considered “put-and-take” fisheries, which is to say there are lots and lots of trout planted every spring and into the early summer. And while both lakes are popular with those who prefer methods other than fly fishing, they can be approached successfully with fly rods any day. For more information on DIY options for fly fishing in Oregon, call us at 1-866-800-2812 for more information.
FAQ’s About Fly Fishing the Lava Lakes
We’re Here to Help
Both Lava Lakes are perfect DIY fly-fishing options in Central Oregon. Here at Fly & Field Outfitters, we will set you up with the right flies and gear, and also make sure your leader and tippet are sound and send you on your way. Or, if you’re looking for a day of luxury we can take you for a full or half day guided trip and take care of all the details for you!
If you want to learn some of the insider secrets for fly fishing at the Lava Lakes check out the latest Lava Lakes Fishing Report or schedule a Cascade Lakes guided fishing trip with us by clicking below or calling us at 1-866-800-2812.