Fishing Near Bend, Oregon

Fishing Near Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon, is a renowned haven for anglers, offering a diverse array of fishing opportunities set against the backdrop of the majestic Cascades. This in-depth guide delves into the rich fishing culture of Bend, highlighting the techniques, seasonal patterns, and key locations that make this area a premier destination for fishing enthusiasts.

Fishing Diversity in Bend

The region around Bend is known for its variety of fish species, including trout, bass, and kokanee salmon. The area's rivers, lakes, and reservoirs provide unique ecosystems suitable for different angling techniques and experiences.

Prime Fishing Locations

  • The Deschutes River: A legendary fly-fishing destination, the Deschutes is renowned for its native rainbow trout (Redband trout) and summer steelhead runs, offering world-class fishing experiences.
  • Crane Prairie Reservoir: Famous for its large rainbow trout, Crane Prairie is also home to brook trout and kokanee, making it a popular spot for both fly fishing and trolling.
  • East Lake and Paulina Lake: Located within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, these lakes offer excellent fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee, with clear waters and stunning volcanic landscapes.
  • Fall River: A spring-fed river with crystal-clear waters, Fall River is a fly-fishing-only stream known for its abundant rainbow and brown trout.

Fishing Techniques

  • Fly Fishing: The rivers and streams around Bend, especially the Deschutes, are ideal for fly fishing, with techniques varying from dry fly fishing to nymphing and streamer fishing.
  • Trolling: In lakes like Crane Prairie and East Lake, trolling with lures or bait is effective for catching larger trout and kokanee, especially during the early morning or late evening hours.
  • Spinning and Bait Casting: These techniques are useful in both river and lake settings, with spinners, jigs, and soft plastics being particularly effective for bass in the warmer waters of lower elevation lakes.
  • Ice Fishing: During the winter, ice fishing becomes popular on lakes like Paulina and East Lake, targeting trout and kokanee beneath the ice.

Seasonal Patterns

  • Spring: As the ice melts and waters warm, trout become more active, making it a prime time for fishing in both rivers and lakes. The hatching of aquatic insects triggers excellent dry fly fishing opportunities.
  • Summer: Early morning and late evening are best for trout in rivers, while kokanee and bass are more active in lakes. The Deschutes River also sees the arrival of summer steelhead.
  • Fall: Trout and steelhead are highly active as they prepare for winter, offering excellent river fishing. Lakes can produce good catches of trout as water temperatures cool.
  • Winter: Ice fishing dominates, with trout and kokanee being the primary targets. River fishing can be productive for steelhead and resident trout species, albeit in colder conditions.

Conservation and Ethical Fishing

Sustainable practices are paramount in Bend’s fishing community. Catch-and-release, particularly for native species like the Redband trout and steelhead, is encouraged to preserve the fish populations. Anglers are also urged to follow state regulations, including season closures, bag limits, and gear restrictions, to ensure the health of the aquatic ecosystems.


Fishing near Bend, Oregon, provides an exceptional array of opportunities for anglers to connect with the natural world through the pursuit of various fish species. With its diverse habitats, abundant fish populations, and stunning natural beauty, Bend is a fishing destination that offers both challenge and reward. By employing the right techniques, understanding the seasonal dynamics, and practicing ethical fishing, anglers can enjoy and contribute to the sustainable future of this angling paradise.

Fishing Guides In Oregon

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