Madras, OR 97741
- 100 miles
- 4775 feet
The Crooked River experience is one of rugged, dramatic canyons, enthusiastic fish, Wild and Scenic tracts, bald eagles and kingfishers, and cool, spring-fed headwaters. The river maintains a wild feeling, even in the most popular sections. Well-known locally for dependable fishing and routine rattlesnake sightings, this comparatively small river produces and supports excellent populations of trout and whitefish. In 1984, the Crooked River yielded the runner-up state record inland redband trout of 4 pounds, 9 ounces.
The main stem, formed by many tributaries like the South Fork, North Fork, Howard Creek, Wolf Creek, and Beaver Creek, flows over 100 miles northwest to Lake Billy Chinook and is a major tributary to the Deschutes River. In general, you will find a variety of deep pools, shallow riffles, rocky shorelines, and channels full of boulders and cobbles throughout the length of the Crooked River. A few meadow portions are the only exceptions. Water levels fluctuate with spring runoff and the irrigation season.
The North Fork of the Crooked River originates in the Ochoco Mountains 75 miles east of Prineville, and has many smaller tributaries like Deep Creek as inputs to the main river. Angling is fair for wild rainbow trout. The South Fork of the Crooked River begins about 60 miles east of Bend. It has been stocked annually since 1981 with Deschutes red sides and also contains a few Smallmouth bass and brown bullheads. The South Fork is open only to angling with artificial flies and lures and has a reduced (2 trout per day) catch limit for trout. Check the regulations for details. The North and South Fork meet along the Post-Paulina Highway about 25 miles east of Prineville. From this point downstream to Prineville Reservoir, the river is severely affected by overgrazing and irrigation withdrawals and support only skimpy numbers of Smallmouth bass and brown bullheads.
1950 at confluence with Deschutes River
Bait/Lure Fishing Methods : Cheese, power bait, single egg, night crawlers, and spinners
Map + Directions
From highway 27 south of Prineville and along the Post-Paulina Highway east of Prineville.