East Lake Fishing Report

The Fly Fishers Place

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East lake is very low and is challenging to launch any boat with a V Hull or bigger than a drift boat due to low water, docks that are too short and exposed boulders on the ramp and dock areas due to a second year of low water.

Is this the new normal for East Lake? More than likely, which I ask you to please call the Bend Fort Rock USFS District Rangers Office and ask them to place 2 extensions on the dock at East Lake Campground, and to remove/move the boulders on the ramp and dock areas at EL CG and Hot Springs. The low water makes these boulders a launching or docking hazard and someone is going to have an accident because of them.

We are obviously in a new weather and water cycle all over Oregon, so they can’t manage it like the good old days, the USFS needs to adapt the facilities to the way it will probably be in the future and that is more low water.

To me, it seems simple to use a tractor and move the boulders out of the path of outgoing and incoming boats using the docks and ramps. And it seems wise to put to more pieces of dock (enough for a 16-20 foot boat to have room for a trailer to back in) and keep people safe on a windy day trying to load up a boat.

Next…. There are 1000’s of rainbows along the shorelines going through the motions of spawning. I don’t know if this is a successful endeavor for them or not. It would seem likely some would successfully spawn on the springs and in aerated rocks along the shoreline. So, my advice is to let them do their thing for another week or 2 and leave them alone. If they are in a few feet of water or less, in pairs or multiples, don’t fish there. Fish the 5 to 12 foot zones with indicators and nymphs or sinking lines and leeches and leave the spawners be for a bit. Those fish will come off the spawn healthier and more catchable if we do that for them now.

Also, the lake appeared to be in turn over this week. Very green. If indeed it is a normal turnover it takes 4 to 10 days to clear up.

Last fall the lake seemed very green then too. So maybe it is something else besides turnover, but turnover is a natural process of most lakes after ice off that allows the cooler surface water to sink and the warmer water at the bottom to rise, bringing with it all the dead algae and weeds and things that stain the water. It is in inconvenience for a week but it is a natural and good thing for the lake.
Also, we need to encourage ODFW to do the Tui Chub traps in the lake again this season. They took 2020 off due to Covid and chubs came on in force. That is bad for the trout. Let’s keep on the agencies that manage this and not let one of Central Oregon’s best fisheries go by the wayside due to mismanagement.

How can we band together as individuals and as guides and fly fishing club people to keep asking for what the lake needs from the Forest Service and ODFW? I am open to dialog here. Please reach out and let’s work together.

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