Fishing Beyond the road – Central Oregon’s Odell Creek


There are so many great places to fish in central Oregon that it is hard to choose where to go. Luckily most of the small streams in the area are managed so that the native fish will not be depleted and people can enjoy to fish in them for years to come. Odell Creek is currently catch and release for all trout and limited to using fly or lures.

For every trip I take like this I always have a checklist of things to bring with me. For anyone hiking remote areas you should always have a backup plan for emergency. The main three to always focus on are shelter, water, and food. And always in that order. There is no need to buy the fancy expensive hiking ones. But even something as simple as a life straw can mean the difference of being stranded and waiting for help and waiting for help and having any type of intestinal issues from drinking unpurified water.

Odell creek is a small stream flowing from Odell Lake down through mostly thick timber down to Davis lake. In low water years like this year is turning out to be the upper end by Odell lake is very shallow with few places for fish. The lower end closer to Davis lake picks up some water and has some decent rainbow trout fishing. The size varies year to year depending on the water levels in the area. In early 2005 a fire swept through the area and the removed all the heavy timber in the last few miles of the stream going into Davis lake. No shade for fishing or to keep the water cooler. Still chilly even without the shade.

90+ temps but still fun
Towards the area outside of the fire burn.

Since I was a teen I have always enjoyed fishing this gem of a stream. In the really hot years once Davis lake gets warm the larger trout can swim up into some of the deep holes in the creek. Sadly the large fish in Davis are not what they used to be. Bass were illegally introduced in the mid 1990’s and that has hurt the trout population. For avid bass fisherman this is a great thing, but for those of us that love the trout it is a sad change. You can still find these bigger trout but since the fire I have noticed less of them going very far up into the creek.

At the edge of the old burn line the smaller brushy river alders are making a comeback
Closer to the lake the banks are still bare of any sized trees. There are a lot of smaller ones coming up now.
A larger native rainbow.

In my last couple of trips to the creek the average size has been around 6″-8″ with the occasional larger fish. I normally spin fish with lures but this is a great creek to fly fish in. Just lots of brush and logs in the water to make it a bit challenging.

Since It was a nice day this last time I also made a short fishing video. Not a lot of fish caught but it is a great hike along the creek.

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2 thoughts on “Fishing Beyond the road – Central Oregon’s Odell Creek

  1. eric charnov

    Hi Shane; If you fished it on sept 4, 2020, I may have been the other person fishing those runs. Odell is beautiful, and i have fished it for several years. yup, many small rainbows. Bigger rainbows beginning end of july in the lower part, and tons of big[ to 17″] Mountain whitefish downstream. Whitefish take beadhead nymphs readily, and one can catch dozens in an afternoon. In 2018 the state transplanted 750 9″ Bull trout into odell creek. Sometimes Kokanee come up from Davis Lake and in 2014 about 8000 of them were in the creek from mid july; pretty far upstream too. The 8000 number comes from photo weir counts.
    I am a retired Fisheries biologist, and read the technical reports.
    If you care to email me I would be interested in hearing more about Bigger rainbows in Odell in the old days. 2018 was an amazing year, and 30 fish days for rainbows 8-17″ could be had in august/sept.

    Like

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