This reservoir southeast of Prineville can be excellent for rainbow trout fishing in some seasons.
The best time to go fishing at Antelope Flat Reservoir is usually in late May or early June, close to Memorial Day, when the reservoir is typically stocked with a decent number of hatchery trout, often including some larger “trophy” fish. Check the stocking schedule link below to see when plantings are going to occur.
Also, the rich environment can grow trout quickly, and pan-sized stockers that don’t get caught here frequently reach 18 inches.
Summer fishing can be tough in this harsh high-desert location, when the water warms and can be turbid. There’s some pine trees for people to get a little relief, but it can really bake out here during a hot spell.
Whatever trout survive the summer will put on weight and be on the bite again in the fall and often through winter during breaks in the weather, when access is good, but check the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s weekly recreation report to see how it’s going before making the drive. Drought years, heavy draw-downs, and winter kills can wipe out the fishery for part of the year, until the next stocking season, but new trout grow quickly in this rich environment.
All methods will work on the rainbows here, including using bait, lures and flies.
Bank anglers often turn to still-fishing with a variety of baits, including nightcrawlers or PowerBait. Bank access is pretty good here but a boat, float tube or other watercraft will make the catching easier.
Boat anglers often troll with lures or bait or a combination of both and can do very well at Antelope Flat during the prime season.
Located in the Maury Mountains on the edge of a section of the Ochoco National Forest, Antelope Flat is about an hour and 15 minutes driving more than 40 miles southeast from Prineville, heading east on Oregon Highway 380 and then south to the reservoir on Forest Service roads. It’s roughly an hour and a half driving from Bend out Highway 20 and then north from Brothers.
Antelope Flat Campground, day-use area and boat launch are located on the west end of the reservoir, near the dam.