This 28-acre reservoir in the Cascade Mountains east of Roseburg offers excellent seasonal trout fishing, thanks to regular plantings of hatchery fish by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
This is a nice forested spot good for both a day fishing trip or a camping adventure at the U.S. Forest Service campground located on the west end of the lake.
Due to its fairly high elevation (about 4,000 feet), Hemlock gets off to a slow start, with the first trout planting typically scheduled in April but potentially delayed during late snow seasons.
It’s not unusual for ODFW to stock 2,000 or more fish each on several stocking runs up to Hemlock during the spring season. The early stockers tend to be pan-sized fish in the 8-10 inch range, but some late-spring fish might be foot-longs.
Speaking of larger, Hemlock Lake is one of this area’s waters often scheduled for getting a batch of larger “trophy” fish in the 16-inch range during the late summer. At our most recent check, those big fish were planted in late August, but it’s wise to consult the annual stocking schedule for details.
Hemlock offers good access for bank anglers, including a trail around the lake. You also can launch a small boat from a ramp around the lake’s east arm, but note that motors are not allowed.
The typical trout-fishing tactics will all work here. (More detail: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.)
Agencies also report that there are kokanee in this lake, which is up to 33 feet deep. (These land-locked sockeye salmon could be harvested as part of a trout limit when under 15 inches, as they almost surely would be.)
Expect the drive from Roseburg to take a little more than an hour. Head eastward on North Umpqua Highway (138) to Glide, then south on Little River Road (a county road that becomes Forest Road 27) to the lake. It’s about 32 miles from Glide.
About five miles before you get to Hemlock Lake, you’ll pass Lake in the Woods, a small lake modestly stocked with trout on the same schedule.