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Bend Golfing

There are over 25 Central Oregon golf courses to play at and three 18-hole Sunriver golf courses. Sunriver’s Woodlands Golf Course, a Northwest favorite, is home of the Oregon Open, the state’s premier pro-am tournament. This Sunriver Golf Course features 6,880 yards of golf with a par of 72. The course rating is 73.0 and it has a slope rating of 131 on grass.The Meadows Golf Course features 7,012 yards of golf with a par of 71. The course rating is 72.8 and it has a slope rating of 128 on grass. The Meadows course has played host to numerous USGA and NCAA golf championships, including the NCAA Men’s Division I championship tournament. Meadows is also home to the popular 9-hole putting green.The third Sunriver Golf Course is the “Crosswater” course at the Crosswater Club. This course, which was hailed by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Courses,” features 7,638 yards of golf with a par of 72. The Crosswater course, host of the 2007-2010 annual Jeld Wen Tradition tournaments, has a course rating of 76.9 and a slope rating of 150 on grass. Also in the Sunriver area is the 9-hole “Caldera Springs” course. This family friendly course was recently opened in 2007 and features all the trademarks of Sunriver, Oregon golf. Holes range from 60 to 185 yards in length making it the perfect course to hone your skills or introduce your children to the game.

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Sunriver Fishing

Central Oregon fishing is world famous. Not only do we have year-round fishing in Central Oregon for trout and steelhead, the region is also nationally renowned for its fly-fishing-only waters. The Central Oregon landscape offers a spectacular environment for anglers: elevated desert lakes, rim rock river canyons, ponderosa pine-studded creeks, pure alpine lakes and open reservoirs. The Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway is spotted with dozens of lakes abundant in trout. Try your luck at Cultus, Hosmer or Twin Lakes, and take home the big one (or just take a photo and release him). If rivers are more to your likings, Deschutes River, Fall River, Crooked River and Spring River are stunning to see and plentiful to fish. Central Oregon also has a bounty of reservoirs. Try Crane Prairie and Wickiup reservoirs for their brook trout, kokanee, Coho salmon and largemouth bass. Head east for largemouth and smallmouth black bass at Prineville and Ochoco resovoirs. Or drop a line at Billy Chinook and witness some of the largest bulltrout you’ll ever see. Not an experienced fisherman (or woman)? There are several Sunriver fishing guides and outfitters who can give you a few pointers, as well as the inside scoop on the best places to fish. They can also hook you up with the latest and greatest gear and equipment, so you don’t have to pack yours with you on vacation.

Latest News: Clearing snow for anglers

Deschutes County Road Department worker Lance Younger drives a front-end loader with a blower attached to clear snow from the road on Cascade Lakes Highway west of Lava Lake earlier this month. Crane Prairie should be accessible for opening day of fishing season on April 28

By Mark Morical / The Bulletin

This past winter was not as harsh as the previous winter in Central Oregon. But due to lingering snow and ice, the fishing opener for high lakes southwest of Bend will likely be similar to last year’s.The opening day of lake trout-fishing season in Oregon is Saturday, April 28, and Central Oregon Cascade lakes expected to be accessible are Wickiup Reservoir, North Twin and South Twin lakes, and Crane Prairie Reservoir — just like last spring’s opening weekend. Farther southwest along state Highway 58, Odell and Crescent lakes are reportedly ice free and accessible.Roger Olson, operations manager for the Deschutes County Road Department, reports that most roads leading to the high lakes are already plowed. But ice on the lake surface will probably force Lava Lake, Paulina Lake and East Lake to open later in May, as is typically the case.“The (U.S. Forest Service) 40 road out of Sunriver is already in really good shape,” Olson said this week. “It didn’t take as long as past years. Everything is in good shape.”To reach Crane Prairie, Wickiup or either of the Twin lakes on opening weekend, anglers from Bend must travel through Sunriver, as Cascade Lakes Highway from Mount Bachelor to Elk Lake will not open until late May, according to Olson. Pat Schatz, owner of Crane Prairie Resort, said this week that Crane Prairie Reservoir is 85 percent ice free, and he expects most boat ramps and campgrounds on the reservoir to be accessible by April 28. Loggers kept the 4270 road, which leads to the reservoir from Forest Road 40, plowed throughout the winter, according to Schatz. “I’m going to say it’s going to be 100 percent accessible other than Cow Campground,” Schatz said of opening day on Crane Prairie. “Loggers plowed the road all winter for us. They logged up there all winter.” Schatz said the timing of the ice melting off Crane Prairie should benefit opening-weekend anglers, who will seek to land some of the reservoir’s renowned trophy rainbow trout.“The ice is off two weeks before opening — that’s perfect,” Schatz said. “That gives the water some time to warm up.”Crane Prairie’s elevation is 4,445 feet, while Lava Lake is just a bit higher, at 4,790 feet. But it is enough of a difference that Lava Lake is currently frozen solid, according to Joann Frazee, owner of Lava Lake Lodge and Twin Lakes Resort. She said that her husband, Joe Frazee, flew a small airplane over the lakes this past Saturday to gauge the amount of ice that remains on the surface.“He’s a pretty good judge of it,” Joann Frazee said. “You can see more from the air than you can on the ground. Saturday it was still frozen solid. I kind of don’t think (Lava Lake) will (be accessible) for opening weekend unless we have real hot weather between now and then. But pretty shortly thereafter.”She estimated the current snow depth around Lava Lake at 3 to 4 feet. “We did get quite a lot of snow, even though we didn’t get too much in (Bend),” Frazee said of this past winter. “There’s no way to get in (to Lava Lake) yet.” Wickiup and the Twin lakes are completely ice free and accessible, according to Schatz. East of La Pine in Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Paulina and East lakes are not expected to be ice free until mid-May or later. Paulina Lake Lodge is scheduled to open on May 12, according to lodge owner Karen Brown. “We hope to open by Mother’s Day weekend (May 12-13),” Brown said. “But (Paulina Lake) could always still be frozen. The gate (into the monument) will not open until the lakes are ice free. The road will be plowed but the gate will be closed.” David Jones, owner of East Lake Resort, said he does not plan to open the resort until May 25. He said he expects the lake to be mostly free of ice by then. “Even if the resort is not open, a lot of people will fish along the shoreline (once the ice melts),” Jones said of East Lake. “There’s usually always open water along the Hot Springs.”

Check out this article to see the Top 10 Best Hunting and Fishing Towns in the US.

April 11, 2012

Now in its fifth year, our annual “Best Towns for Sportsmen” feature is an OL institution. Readers love to argue the merits of their burgs based on our rankings; local newspapers crow about the inclusion of their town; and realtors call to ask for extra copies of the issue. This year we’re forgetting all the socio-economic data and focusing on what matters most: hunting and fishing. In the next few pages, you’ll find the 35 towns in the U.S. where we would live right now, based solely on the outdoor opportunities there. Some boast bass and deer, others elk and trout or ducks and redfish. Regardless, each of these towns is an outdoors mecca in its own right, and from sea to shining sea, they offer the best hunting and fishing in America.

#1 – Appleton, WI

More than 170 years ago, trappers and fur traders chased the promise of lucrative beaver pelts up the Fox River and settled the town of Appleton. Today, enormous whitetail deer draw outdoorsmen and -women to the Fox River Valley. The Boone and Crockett Club recently anointed Wisconsin the number-one trophy whitetail state in the country, with Cheesehead hunters logging 383 B&C entries in the last five years. In the last three seasons, three different bucks killed within 50 miles of downtown Appleton have either broken or threatened Badger State records. But there’s a lot more to do in Appleton than sit in a treestand. Nearby Lake Winnebago and the Fox River, which runs through town, are premier walleye fisheries. Green Bay, 30 minutes to the north, offers some of the best smallmouth bass and muskie fishing in the country. Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area sits 70 miles to the south and is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the country. Hundreds of thousands of geese migrate through the region each fall. Sixty miles to the north, the 661,000-acre Nicolet National Forest, home to deer, bears, and grouse, is one of the last true wild places in the northwoods.

#2 – Salmon, ID

This town’s name should be your first clue as to why it attracts sportsmen the way a spawning run draws bears. Located right on the Salmon River—and bordering millions of acres of public hunting ground, including the largest wilderness area in the Lower 48 (the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness)—Salmon has, well, everything. The Salmon and its tributaries offer world-class fishing for trout, steelhead, and other species year-round. On the crags and benches above the Salmon and other nearby rivers, wingshooters chase chukar and huns, while at higher elevations blue and spruce grouse predominate. The big-game scene has changed in Salmon with the resurgence of wolves. But trophy elk, mule deer, and whitetails are still accessible, and the hunting for bears and mountain lions is second to none.

#3 – Venice, LA

If you like your saltwater rimmed by white sand beaches, palm trees, and tiki bars, this is not the place for you. However, if you live to hunt and fish, and yearn to do it 24/7/365, then this tiny community at the mouth of the Mississippi River beckons. Despite its infamy as the epicenter of both Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Venice remains arguably the greatest place in North America to fish and hunt waterfowl. In 2011, Bassmaster Classic competitors ran down the Mississippi from New Orleans to Venice—more than two hours by boat—to fill their livewells with largemouths. However, it’s world-class redfish and speckled trout fishing that draw the recreational fishermen. You will catch fish here every day that you hit the water, and you can’t say that about very many other places in the country. If you get bored in the marshes, big-game fishing opportunities—from marlin to tuna, sailfish to swords—are plentiful around the offshore gas and oil rigs. September marks the beginning of teal season in this waterfowler’s paradise, with more than 14 percent of the country’s wetlands located in this region of southern Louisiana.

#4 – Rapid City, SD

This gateway to the ruggedly beautiful Black Hills region of western South Dakota offers its 67,000 residents a wide variety of hunting and fishing opportunities. Mountain lakes and coldwater streams to the west of town are home to brook, brown, and rainbow trout. In the surrounding prairie, a constellation of reservoirs and stock dams hold largemouths, pike, and panfish. Hunting opportunities are available nearly year-round. Whitetails, mule deer, elk, and Merriam’s turkeys prowl the mountains. A short drive will put you into pheasants, sharptails, and prairie chickens. Pronghorns, coyotes, and prairie dogs are plentiful in the grasslands.

#5 – Centerville, IA

They got the name right. Centerville is in the middle of a sportsman’s paradise. Epic whitetails get the headlines (the 307-inch Lovstuen Buck was killed just north of here), but south-central Iowa has plenty of four-season opportunity: abundant turkeys and waterfowl, plus great crappies, walleyes, and channel cats on Rathbun Lake north of town. But it’s the human dimension of this place—the classic Midwestern courthouse square, the easy friendliness of its residents—that makes this a great town to call home. Plus, Centerville has some bona fide hunting pedigree: It’s the original home of groundbreaking Knight muzzleloading rifles.

#6 – Grand Junction, CO

Magnificent mesas and endless elk—Grand Junction’s breathtaking scenery makes the perfect backdrop for chasing public-land bulls. Numerous alpine trout lakes keep local anglers busy.

#7 – Georgetown, SC

Several rivers converge at the Intercoastal Waterway in this city in the Carolina Lowcountry. Famed lakes Moultrie and Marion are a short drive to the west. The Francis Marion National Forest provides more than a quarter million acres of public-land hunting for deer, turkeys, quail, and small game.

#8 – Bend, OR

Drive less than an hour from Bend and you can be fishing a stream in a desert canyon, a high alpine lake, or a spring creek.

#9 – Bismarck, ND

If you’ve got your eye on walleyes, set your sights on Bismarck, on the banks of the Missouri River. Grouse, pheasants, ducks, and geese abound in fall and winter.

#10 – Saratoga, WY

With the North Platte River running through downtown Saratoga, your next trout is never more than a cast away. Elk, deer, and pronghorns roam the mountains and prairies around town.

2012 U.S. Fly Fishing Championships coming this fall

 

By Mark Morical / The Bulletin

Published: February 23. 2012 4:00AM PST

advertisement:2012 Fly Fishing National Championships A competitor makes a cast at the 2011 National Fly Fishing Championships held last May in Cherokee, N.C. The 2012 nationals will be staged in Central Oregon this fall. What: Qualified anglers competing on Central Oregon waters for a chance to qualify for Fly Fishing Team USA When: Oct. 18-20 Where: On Central Oregon waters yet to be determined; possibilities include East Lake, Lava Lake, the Crooked River, the Metolius River, the Deschutes River (upstream of Bend), and Tumalo Creek Volunteer information: www.visitbend.com or 541-382-8048 Team USA website: www.ffteamusa.com Fly-fishing is a popular recreational sport among millions of outdoor enthusiasts. But as a competitive sport, it occupies only a tiny niche. So the significance of Central Oregon being selected to host the 2012 Fly Fishing National Championships is not so much about the potential economic impact of the event as it is about the exposure for the region. “We’re excited about the chance to highlight how great our fishing is,” says Kevney Dugan, director of sports development for Visit Bend. The event, scheduled for Oct. 18-20, is expected to draw 70 to 80 anglers to the area, as well as family members, spectators and event organizers. Participants will fish a combination of lakes and rivers on a catch-and-release basis. The nationals will include three days of fishing at five different locations yet to be determined. Among the possible water bodies for the competition, according to Dugan, are East Lake, Lava Lake, the Crooked River, the Metolius River, the Deschutes River (upstream of Bend) and Tumalo Creek. Most of the catch figures to be rainbow trout and brown trout. Scoring will be based on the size and number of fish caught. Volunteer “controllers” will monitor anglers and count and measure fish landed. Anglers qualify for the national championships by placing in the top five at one of five regional qualifiers staged throughout the country. The Western regional qualifier is scheduled for March 9-11, in Reno, Nev. At least three anglers from Bend are headed to Reno to attempt to qualify for the nationals: Scott Robertson, his son Russell Robertson and Matt Paluch. Central Oregon has long been a fly-fishing mecca. But Scott Robertson’s influence as a competitive fly fisherman and former member of Fly Fishing Team USA was what started the process to bring the nationals to Oregon’s High Desert. Robertson approached Dugan with the idea, and Visit Bend — the city’s tourism promotion agency — embraced it. Central Oregon had already hosted regional qualifiers in each of the previous two years, and it hosted the first-ever Team USA qualifier in 2005. Robertson finished 15th at the inaugural Fly Fishing National Championships in Boulder, Colo., in 2007. He was fifth in the 2008 nationals, also staged in Boulder. The event was held in State College, Pa., in 2009 and 2010, and in Cherokee, N.C., last year. Robertson has not competed in the nationals since 2009, but he is looking forward to possibly competing on rivers and lakes that he fishes regularly in his own backyard.“It’s my home water,” Robertson says. “There’s a little more pressure that way. You’re expected to do good when it’s on your home water. But I’ll relax and go with the flow.” Competitors at the national championships have a chance to qualify for the 15-member Fly Fishing Team USA, based on points accumulated from the regional and national events. The top three anglers from the team earn a spot at the 2013 World Fly Fishing Championships, which are scheduled to be held in Norway. Three other roster spots for worlds will be selected based on points, experience, team fit, performance in larger events and venue-based skills, according to www.ffteamusa.com. The mission of Fly Fishing Team USA, according to the website, is “to share the world of competition fly-fishing within the United States and to expand the sport and passion for the outdoors.” While the competition heats up this coming fall on the waters of Central Oregon, other anglers need not worry about access to their favorite fishing holes. “All of the waterways will remain open to the public during competition, and we’re hopeful the dates we’ve selected will minimize impact on other anglers,” says Doug La Placa, president of Visit Bend. “From a tourism standpoint, this is an excellent way for us to share Bend’s amazing fly-fishing opportunities with sportsmen and sportswomen from around the nation.”

 

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