Fishing at Chickahominy Reservoir

May 21, 2008: We were planning to go fishing at Chickahominy Reservoir, tucked into the high desert country in the northwest corner of Harney County, OR, about 30 miles west of Burns, just off highway 20. The terrain is mostly volcanic rocks with sagebrush and juniper for greenery. The lake is not visible from the highway but you might notice a small city of RV’s using the fee campground managed by the United States Department of the Interior (USDI-BLM).

Traffic on highway 20 rolls along well above the posted limit of 55 mph so check your mirrors before you slow down for the exit to the campground and use your turn signals early. For safety’s sake, if we are meeting traffic, we usually go past the access road heading east then return west bound so we can make the turn off the highway to the right instead of parking on the highway waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so we can make the left turn.

Campsites are the “pull-through” type allowing for easy RV entrance and departure. Picnic tables and fire pits are provided although there is no firewood. Vault toilets are scattered throughout the camping area.

It is not unusual for the wind to blow from sunup to sunset. The good news is that the mosquitoes won’t bother you while the wind is blowing. It’s hot when the summer sun shines so fishing seems to be more popular early spring or late fall.

We came for the fishing. The limit is five per day and ten in possession. We catch and release anything under 14 inches. The ones we kept averaged about 17 inches.

When we arrived late afternoon on the 21st the wind was blasting about 40 mph with the outside air temperature at 40 degrees. Wind chill put the equivalent temperature about 10 degrees above zero, not fun for tent camping, but fortunately for us our friend, Richard, had a comfortable trailer that he was willing to share.

With the wind forming whitecaps on the lake fishing was out of the question. We opened a bottle of Burgundy and contemplated dinner.

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