Report- Lava Open and South Twin is Fishing- Don Gamiles
Word got out that Lava Lake was open from the south part of the Cascade
Lake Highway yesterday so I took a quick run out to look at the lake. There’s still a
lot of snow surrounding the lake and it doesn’t look like any part of the campground is
accessible. The road to Little Lava is still snow covered with up to two feet of snow
covering parts of the road. The Lava Lake boat ramp is open and the lake looks like it’s
clear of ice.
If sitting is the giant ice box called Lava Lake doesn’t sound appealing, a really nice
warm place to fish is South Twin Lake. The lake is stocked with nice size rainbows that
range from ten inches to some really big brood stock. The lake was killed off last fall
because someone introduced brown catfish and sticklebacks to the lake. The month of
May is a great time to fish this lake because the water is high and weeds are small. It’s
an ideal place to take kids because of the easy access to the bank and fish remain near the
shore until the lake starts to warm in mid-June. The lake now has a resident bald eagle
that competes with the Osprey that’s been there for years.
One of the biggest mistakes boaters make this time of year is they tend to fish out in the
middle of the lake. I caught six nice rainbows today in less than two hours and my bait
was never more than 50 feet from the shore. The most productive rig for fishing South
Twin is using Salmon Egg flavored Powerbait with an Eagle Claw size 14 circle hook.
I’ve found that about seventy percent of the trout that I hook using the small circle hooks
end up in the trout’s jaw. This really helps when you hook small fish that you want to
put back. Use a leader that’s between 2 to 3 feet, a couple of split shot and you’re ready
Anyone fishing Central Oregon lakes knows that by late afternoon the wind tends to
pick up and the fishing becomes a lot more difficult. A fun way to use the wind to your
advantage is to lower your anchor about halfway down the water column and let the wind
slowly blow you across the lake. Trout that go nuts for salmon egg scented Powerbait
are even more aggressive when the see it bouncing across the lake. This technique works
well this time of year because the weeds are still pretty small.
There are plenty of fish to be had, so go fishing!
Don Gamiles is an avid Central Oregon trout fisherman.