Historically, Davis Lake has been one of Central Oregon’s fishing meccas, a great place to catch oversized trout on the fly.
While Davis still puts out rainbow trout of impressive sizes, the illegal introduction of largemouth bass in the 1990s has changed the fishery somewhat.
Davis Lake is a natural lake formed by lava flows across Odell Creek in this now-quiet volcanic landscape.
It is located on the boundary line between Deschutes and Klamath counties near fantastic fisheries such as Odell Lake, Wickiup Reservoir and Crane Prairie Reservoir.
Davis Lake is one of several Central Oregon waters where anglers must use fly gear (not just a fly below a casting bubble) and barbless hooks, even for the non-native bass.
Other great fly fishing-only waters in the immediate area include Hosmer Lake, Sparks Lake and Fall River.
Note that at this writing, regulations for Davis Lake apply for the Odell Creek channel up to the boat ramp. Always check the current regulations before fishing.
Besides the impact from the large numbers of bass, low water conditions periodically can have an adverse impact on trout populations here, but it bounces back after a few typical precipitation years.
The lake is only about 25 feet at its deepest point when full, and quite a bit of it is much shallower.
Trout Fishing at Davis Lake
Davis Lake’s clear but productive waters on Odell Creek in the upper Deschutes River drainage still grow excellent rainbow trout.
Nymph fishing can be quite good much of the season here, and sometimes the dry fly action will get going as well. Common hatches here include mayflies, midges and mosquitoes.
These days, all trout must be released at Davis Lake, which is helping maintain a trophy sport fishery. But since the larger trout have likely been fooled before, they tend to be wary, so you’ll have to bring your best game for this challenging lake.
For a lot of rich detail on trout fishing here from a local expert, see our article Fly Fishing for Trout at Davis Lake.
Bass Fishing at Davis Lake
In the heart of trout country, Davis could easily make a case for one of the best largemouth bass fishing spots east of the Cascades, if not THE best.
Large streamers are effective here. We’re talking up to 3 inches long to imitate smaller forage fish. Leeches, woolly buggers and similar wet patterns in larger sizes will also get the job done.
During the warmest months of summer, fishing poppers can bring about a vicious surface bite, so come prepared for some heart-pounding action.
You can keep all the bass (any size) you want here, and they are pretty fine eating from this clean water. Bass purists might object, but trout purists will rejoice. Your call!
We got a lot more information on this fishery from a local expert for the following article: Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass at Davis Lake.
Camping at Davis Lake
East Davis Lake Campground offers seasonal camping under the pine trees at near the inflow of Odell Creek, but note that the campground is immediately next to a previous forest fire burn area.
Lots of other camping is available throughout the Deschutes National Forest.
There is a boat launch on the Odell Creek arm near the campground.
Davis Lake is located about an hour’s drive southwest of Bend using South Century Drive and Highway 46.
It’s about an hour and 45 minutes from Eugene, heading out Highway 58 and turning north just southeast of the Crescent Lake area to access the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Highway.