The Cascade Lakes Highway provides access to a score of beautiful trout lakes within an hour of Bend. Most all of them offer good fishing. Hosmer Lake, my personal favorite, offers absolutely fantastic fishing.
It’s also just a gorgeous lake, offering vistas to South Sister, Broken Top and the backside of Mt. Bachelor.
The lake is best accessed by boat of some sort. In my opinion, you can’t beat a canoe.
The best part, though, is that Hosmer is entirely accessible via single track MTB trails and dirt forest roads. The Mt. Bachelor loop circumvents the mountain and connects Hosmer, Lava and Little Lava lakes via 100% single track. It’s an excellent day ride. Or you can ride up from town for a weekend adventure. If you keep a canoe at the lake like I do, then all you have to do is pack your fishing and camping gear.
There are two campgrounds on the lake, as well as some awesome cowboy camping to be had in the surrounding forest. It’s all very family friendly and would make a great introductory family bike-packing adventure.
As for the fishing, it’s about as good as lake fishing gets. The water is crystal clear, meaning on days with light wind you can stand up in the canoe and sight fish. It’s entirely restricted to catch-and-release fly fishing, which has helped secure a very health fish population.
The lake holds sleek and silvery cutthroats, gold-speckled brookies, and big bright rainbows.
Part of my love for Hosmer stems from the proliferation of bright blue damsel flies throughout most of the summer. It doesn’t get much more fun than targeting 20” fish on big, bright dry flies! Sometimes it feels like the Cascades version of bone fishing in the Caribbean salt flats.
For guided day trips or overnights to Hosmer, email me: email@example.com