Are you looking for a POT to fish in? Here are the best places to fish in Central Oregon’s path of totality.
On August 21, 2017, at 10:19am, the moon will pass in front of the sun. Across all of Central Oregon, the sky will darken, the stars will shine and the horizon will glow. Though it will be a summer morning, the temperature will drop and day will turn into night. Central Oregon is on the centerline.
A shadow will hit the coastline at 10:15am, north of Newport and, at 10:17, Salem will begin to go dark. On Detroit Lake, the light will go away seconds later. At 10:19, the eclipse hits Madras. Mitchell, John Day, Seneca, Prairie City, Baker City and Ontario are next in the path of totality (POT).
If you can’t find a POT to fish in, you’ve come to the right place. The Fishing Central Oregon book is THE best resource for the most current information on fishing Central Oregon’s solar eclipse.
We believe the morning of August 21 will be one of the best fishing days of the year. Think about it. The best times to fish on a summer day are morning and evening. You get an early hatch of insects, you get increased feeding activity and just when the water is warming and the action is slowing down, you get a darkening – a lowering of temperature, the light drops, another “evening” hatch, increased feeding activity. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
On the Centerline of Totality
Let’s focus first on the centerline. The solar eclipse hits our region at 10:17 on Detroit Lake. This is one of Oregon’s top trout fisheries. Detroit Lake offers lodging, boat rentals and nearby camping in the national forest. See page 168.
Another good one is Olallie Lake near Mt. Jefferson. Again there is a resort with nearby camping and boats available for rent. We suggest bringing a canoe or a float tube. Olallie is one of the best places to catch really big fish. See page 171.
The shadow strikes the Warm Springs Indian Reservation next. And there is fishing available for tribal members. See page 198 for more information.
On the east side of the reservation, the darkness will slide over Lake Simtustus. This is a long, narrow reservoir. It’s cold waters make it a great rainbow trout fishery all through the summer. See page 57.
Lake Billy Chinook is the next reservoir upstream from Simtustus. Just south of the centerline, this one will be super busy during the eclipse. If you want to fish it, focus on kokanee. See page 54.
To the east, the smallmouth bass angler should focus on the John Day River. The POT will bisect the river and parallel its path in several spots. Look at the map south of Fossil and north of the city of John Day. In the town of Service Creek (population approx. 2), there is a store with lodging and rentals. We suggest you bring a good raft for river running in August. See page 117 for advice on how and where to fish the John Day. It is possible to catch 100 or more bass per day any day in the summer.
Greater Path of Totality
In the greater path of totality, there are a number of good options. The best known waters will be Haystack Reservoir (rainbow trout and warmwater species), Prineville Reservoir (bass and crappie), Ochoco Reservoir (rainbows and crappie), Walton Lake (rainbows), and Deschutes River – middle and lower – for summer steelhead and redsides. Expect a bunch of caddisflies struggling on the surface when the light starts to go down at 10:19am.
Private Waters in the POT
One of the best options for fishing the eclipse are Central Oregon’s private pay-to-play waters. In these lakes and ponds, the fish can go to ten pounds or more! In the path of totality, there are some really good options: Justesen Ranch Lakes (near Shaniko), Fessler Lake (near Madras), Grindstone Lakes (near Post and Paulina) and Antone Ranch Lakes (near Mitchell). You can find information on all these lakes in the Private Waters section of the Fishing Central Oregon book, starting on page 177.
We’re fishing Central Oregon during the eclipse. Campsites will be full and the lakes will be populated with anglers, but we can’t think of anything better than looking at the corona through the dorsal fin of a spotted rainbow.
Check out the Fishing Central Oregon book
For a detailed path of the eclipse, check out this map of Oregon
Gary Lewis is the author and publisher of the Fishing Central Oregon book.
Solar Eclipse Fast Facts
Date: Monday, August 21, 2017
Eclipse begins: 10:19am (Central Oregon)
Duration: approx. 2 minutes
Centerline cities: Detroit, Madras, John Day, Prairie City
Centerline path of totality
Lake Billy Chinook
John Day River (bisects it in several places)
Warm Springs Reservation lakes
In greater path of totality
Lower Deschutes (downstream to Maupin)
Private waters in POT
Justesen Ranch Lakes
Antone Ranch Lakes