Trip Report Paulina Lake, Oregon

For those of you not familiar with Paulina Lake, it is situated in the Newberry National Monument Volcanic Crater about 20 miles south of Bend, Oregon at an altitude of 6,350 feet with its twin body of water East Lake which are separated by a ridge. Paulina Lake is primarily a Kokanee fishery but is also know for growing large Brown Trout. I go there to catch the Rainbow trout that most others ignore.

I fished Paulina Lake from last Sunday evening through Thursday evening. I fished a total of 19.5 hours and C&R'd 96 fish(95 rainbows + 1 kokanee). Water temperature was a consistent 61 degrees in the AM and up to 63 degrees by early evening. Water clarity was excellent with clear visibility to at least 12 feet depth.

Sunday evening I landed 11 rainbows and the lone koke in 1.5 hours on what I call Mel's Magic Mayfly Nymph(M3N) in muskrat gray.
M3N.JPG
It's not anything fancy, but it is easy to tie as well as effective in catching trout that are seeking mayfly emergers.

Monday I put on the M3N callibaetis brown on both rods(Type6 and Intermediate) and put 36 rainbows in the net with 19 in the AM and 17 during the PM hours. I was feeling pretty confident in breaking my 140 fish landed record at Paulina in 2019 with 3 more days of fishing.
M3N Brown.JPG

Tuesday brought my confidence level back to a reasonable level. I landed a total of 3 trout(1 in the morning + 2 in the evening) in fishing 3.5 hours. I probably wouldn't have caught the 2 evening fish if I hadn't switched out to a black/blue leech on the Type6 fast sink line. It shouldn't have been a surprise since I had not seen any mayfly's hatching out or even flying.

Wednesday I fished a callibaetis brown on the intermediate line and the black/blue leech on the fast sinking line and only put 2 fish in the net during the morning hours. I decided to switch to a small thin black leech in the evening and was rewarded with 14 trout netted.

Thursday I kept with the small black leech's and landed 29 rainbows.

My best fish of the trip.
Capture11-1.JPG

Prettiest fish.
Capture11-2.JPG

Two more good size rainbows.
Capture11-3.JPG
Capture11-4.JPG

I finished off the fishing trip with this double on Thursday evening!
Capture11-5.JPG
 

Peach

Peach
In the amount of time you did fish - I am kind of surprised you didn't connect with a Brown or two - I know those big guys in that lake go for big food - but still a bycatch wouldn't surprise me too much.
 

MelW

Certified Curmudgeon - GET OFF MY LAWN!
I went back and checked my fishing records and the last brown I caught in Paulina was in 2017.
I did see a very large trout chasing after a rainbow I was bringing to the net last year.
 

Chucker

Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
Spent a couple days on Paulina a few years ago. Got some decent sized browns on chironomids, but all the rainbows were dinks. Much better average size at East lake.
 

MelW

Certified Curmudgeon - GET OFF MY LAWN!
Much better average size at East lake.

Several years ago that was true. Unfortunately there has been a 35.7% decline in rainbow trout that ODFW has put into East Lake since 2017.
19,346 in 2017
12,433 in 2019
Some might counterpoint that fewer fish equal larger average size.
 

jmaxwell5611

FishnCamas
I was up at Paulina lake in early July as well. I hiked along the shoreline a couple miles to a Hot Springs right on the beach. Beautiful! Ton's of large browns cruising the shoreline weed beds with zero people fishing for them (everyone was fishing deep water for Kokanee in boats). I would suggest this area for large Brown's. A paddle board or float tube might help, but the advantage of shore is you can see the fish cruising, so you can sight fish for large Browns! Just don't tell anybody!
 

Dustin Bise

reformed hot-spotter
I was up at Paulina lake in early July as well. I hiked along the shoreline a couple miles to a Hot Springs right on the beach. Beautiful! Ton's of large browns cruising the shoreline weed beds with zero people fishing for them (everyone was fishing deep water for Kokanee in boats). I would suggest this area for large Brown's. A paddle board or float tube might help, but the advantage of shore is you can see the fish cruising, so you can sight fish for large Browns! Just don't tell anybody!
seriously, your the one doing nothing but making posts that highlight fisheries by name. "just dont tell anybody".... come on dude....
 

Drifter

Active Member
Fishing red and orange chiro's last June tied us into 12 browns in around 15 to 20 feet of water off a large flat indicator fishing. Both Crane and Paulina have a kind of orange or light red chromie I'd call it and they are big like a long 12 or even 10! It was only my second time their but we already have a week planned in June and many more tactics to try for bigger browns and fishing deeper with heavy sinking lines fishing straight down over big sonar marks and speed trolling large fish patterns way back 100 to 150ft along with indi's and chiro's! Can't wait for that trip!!! The bows just don't get that big in Paulina but I did hear of a 20 incher caught while we were their and we caught all 3 species with red chromies rainbows - browns - kokes heck we only fished a few hundred yards from the ramp wait tell i get a lot of time on that lake like this year! We only fished it one day because the fish at East even 20 inchers were skinny and weak!!! Maybe I'll give a report back in a few months but maybe not LOL happy fishing-----
 

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