Sunday, May 10, 2009

Places to Paddle: 38 miles from Bend, Oregon - Hosmer Lake

Paddle Season: Memorial Day (end of May) to Late Fall

About 38 miles (50 minutes) from the heart of Bend on the Cascade Lakes Highway.

Paddling Hosmer on a still early morning can be a religious experience. The lake is about 160 acres with a depth of 2 - 12 feet, mostly 2 smaller lakes connected by about a mile of channel.

The views are the usual beauties. The amazing view is looking down into the water. Light colored sand in the shallow channels is a contrasting background to the dark colored bodies of hundreds of landlocked Atlantic salmon, and trout. The channels are lined with cat tails, water lilies and other aquatic plants. Families of Otters and raptors including Osprey and Bald Eagles are the only fishers not doing the catch and release thing.

When you first park, you'll see what looks to be a small pond, and wonder why you drove so far. Suck down your latte and take your paddle board off the car, you're going to really like this. Launch your SUP and travel North into the channels. The only motors allowed are electric, so you mostly pass fly fishers in their float rings or on canoes. It's quiet. If the wind kicks up you can't see the fish, so get here early.

Thanks Judy Shasek for the photo.

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