Crooked River Outing
- The Crooked River below Bowman Dam is a tail-water stream coming out of Prineville Reservoir. The river runs 19 mi. to the town of Prineville. The river runs through a rugged, dramatic mini-Grand Canyon through basalt walls, juniper, pine, and sage covered flats. It is truly a beautiful, murky, little gem of a stream! The Crooked yielded the runner-up state record Redband trout in 1984 (4 lbs. 9 oz.)!
- The river held 4-5 thousand trout (Redband) in the years prior to about 2003-2004, and then the numbers dropped dramatically, supposedly because of high spring run off and concentrations of nitrogen in the water. The water is nearly always off colored and the slippery, jagged rocks require a staff and preferably studded boots. The muddy water doesn't seem to affect the fish. The fish population is making a come back in the last couple of years.
- The best fishing seems to be in the upper reaches of the river above the private land starting at about Milepost 12. There are many good access points all the way to Bowman Dam.
Where to Fish
- Concentrate fishing above Chimney Rock. The slower water in the lower sections of the river does hold fish and look for rising fish here. However, the following campgrounds have been the most productive in the past: Cobble Rock, Devil's Post Pile and Poison Butte. There are also some good spots all the way up to the dam above and at Big Bend.
What to Use
- Patterns to be used are affected by weather, water temperature, and runoff, but the most productive patterns have been:
- Blue Winged Olives, Pale Morning Duns, Comparaduns, Caddis and Griffith's Gnat.
- Bead-Head Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, Flash-back Pheasant Tail, Zebra Midge, Hare's Ear, CDC Emerger (olive and rust-brown), Hearl Emerger, Orange & Pink Scuds, Buggers and Leaches (black & olive).
- Use a 3-5-weight rod and a dry line. Fish a strike indicator with nymphs fished in tandem. You can also fish a dry with a nymph or midge dropper. Usually fish sizes #18-#12 hooks, adjust to size of insects.
- Concentrate fishing above Chimney Rock. The slower water in the lower sections of the river do hold fish and look for rising fish here. However, the following campgrounds have been the most productive in the past: Cobble Rock, Devil's Post Pile and Poison Butte. There are also some good spots all the way up to the dam above and at Big Bend.
- To contact the outing Fishmaster, go to the Calendar page.