Elk Lake has a picturesque setting, with the Three Sisters toweringover the north end of the lake and Mt. Bachelor dominating the eastern horizon. It is not a rich lake but is so transparent you can see the bottom clearly from any location on the surface. The kokanee are commonly 7 to 10 inches in length, not large but abundant, make excellent eating because of the cold water. These fish are mainly found at the south end of the lake near the lava flow where it is the deepest part and few kokanee are caught elsewhere on the lake. Night crawlers, eggs, and periwinkles; still fishing, wind drifting, and jigging. The water level at Elk Lake can fluctuate as much as 15 feet through the year, but the boat ramps remain usable. There are no obstacles to boating on the lake, and the few weed beds stay pretty short.
Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed on this body of water.
Lake and Pond Fishing
Twenty thousand brook trout fingerlings are planted every summer. The average catch is about 12 inches in length with fish up to 18 inches, and good numbers in the 2 to 3 pound range. Commonly used methods are still-fishing worms, trolling, or fly fishing with black flies and lures. Gold flashers with worms on a long leader work well. The best shore fishing is off the south end using worms.
Early season fishing for brook trout is best. Most are caught in shoal areas, usually in water no deeper than 20 feet. Late fall evenings can be very good fly-fishing. Always check the current ODFW regulations before fishing. There is a boat speed limit of 10mph.
What To Expect
- Vehicle Access: From Bend take the Cascade Lakes Highway for about 25 miles. Elk Lake fishing map under construction.
- Fishing Access: Campgrounds, resort area, and walking along lake.
- Boating Regulations: See boating regulations.
- Fish Species Present: Kokanee and brook trout
- Physical Characteristics: Size: 405 acres Depth: 25'-75'; Elevation: 4884'
- When/How to fish: Get a weekly fishing report from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. June is best time but is fished year around.
- Popular Fishing Methods: Still-fishing, trolling and fly fishing
- Bait/Lure Fishing Method: Night crawlers, eggs, periwinkles, jigging, still-fishing, and drifting.
- Fly Fishing Methods: Late fall evenings are a good time for taking fish on a fly and the weather is more dependable.
- Insect Hatch/Flies to Use: Hatch is under construction. Black flies lures and caddis nymphs.
- Camping Information: Little Fawn Group Camp (area is unavailable), Point Campground, and Elk Lake Campground, Day Use Only: Sunset View Picnic Area and Beach Picnic Area
- Resort Information: Elk Lake Resort
Source: “Fishing Central Oregon-Third Edition”, 1998. Geoff Hill, Brooke Snavely, and Raven Wing. Sun Publishing, 716 NE 4th Street, Bend, Oregon. http://www.sun-pub.com