Finally made my way up to Cougar Reservoir, which is an impoundment of the South Fork Mckenzie River. The lake this time of the year is hardly used by fishermen as the water is drawn to make room for winter storm water. So the boat ramps are high and dry and pretty much useless until the lake get’s some more water coming in. This makes for good fishing especially if you’re like me and enjoy not having to fish next to a whole bunch of other people.
Made the trek this day with my friend Ted and we found a cool primitive camping spot that was on the backside of the lake.. This spot was also nice because there was an old road carved into the muddy hillside so it made carrying out pontoons to the lake a bit easier. The weather was pretty decent after we got on the water and alot of fish were surfacing near the inlet. So after some conversation we decided to camp here for a couple nights. I stayed at the lake and fished while Ted drove to town and got his camping gear and food and beer for us.
The camping was fun, but the fishing was a little disappointing. We caught plenty of fish, but most were real small landlocked Chinook Salmon. This lake isnt stocked with rainbow trout or anything other then the Chinooks, but none of the chinooks I caught were fin clipped, so i’m not really sure what the deal is. Caught a couple cutthroats that I let go, but was really hoping to catch my first bull trout.
The Chinooks were hitting just about everything I used. Hot Shots, Countdown Rapala, Thomas Buoyant Spoons, were the main lures I used and was getting the little bastards on. Other then the semi disappointing fishing the scenery was really nice. The lake is super deep and steep and has some really cool rock features you can see when the lake is drawn down like it is right now. The lake also offers a hot spring which we camped on the other side of the lake from. From what we seen the hot springs is a very popular place especially on the weekend, the parking lot was packed! If it was’nt so popular I would of went over and scoped it out.
All and all it was a fun trip seeing and fishing a new area to me.
Thanks for reading and tight lines!