At Lava Lake, it’s all about the numbers. Sure, big fish can be found at Lava, but the angling experience is less about the size of the fish and more about the sometimes nonstop action. Lava Lake is about 40 miles southwest of Bend, high in the Cascade Mountains. Aside from its fishing, the lake is well known for its mountain scenery.
Spring-fed Lava Lake covers about half a square mile and is 30 feet at its deepest. Rainbow trout are stocked there each year, and fishing tends to peak in the early summer and again in the fall. Most bait anglers prefer the deeper water at the northeast part of the lake, and they often still-fish with PowerBait or worms. Fly anglers typically use chironomids, callibaetis and leeches. The fish usually hang out at the bottom of Lava Lake.
Directions: From Bend, take Century Drive and Cascade Lakes Highway southwest for about 37 miles to the left turn into Lava Lake.
Main catch: Stocked rainbow and brook trout.