Eastern Washington Fishing Report 06.08.18


Chopaka Lake

Quick little update on the road condition leading into Chopaka Lake. As of right now the road is still technically closed. Unfortunately, I do not have any more information on when it will be reopened. There is not official time from you when the road will be fixed and usable again.

Spectackle Lake

With water temperatures edging up in some of our lakes, we are break out the 8wt rods and heading to some of our favorite bass waters. Spectackle lake is about 7 miles N.E. of Tonasket. With both largemouth and small mouth bass in very respectable sizes, you have a chance of hooking into some real bucket mouths. Find structure and you will find largemouth. Right after sun up and until the sun starts to cover more of the water is a good time to be rigged up a floating line and to throw poppers. #4 Kermit, #6 Froggy Bottom and a #6 Splatter are couple of my go to poppers. For the small mouth you will need to find the rocky areas and go down for them. Depending on how deep they are, I would start with an intermediate line then switch to a type 3 full sinking. Two real good patterns for the small mouth are the, #4 Near Nuff Crayfish and the #1 RJ's Black Jiggy Worm. When using poppers, I use a 7' 6" leader in the 3x or 2x strength. Start your retrieve, short and quick. Get that big to make noise and splashes. You may have to adjust your retrieve until you find what the bass will key in on. When I am going down to the bottom I will run 5' to 6' of start 10lb leader. I'll like to retrieve these flies by jigging them across the bottom, with a up and down movement. Again, you may have to make some adjustments until you find what the bass will key in on. Having a largemouth bass explode on your popper will get the heart started.

Buzzard Lake

This was one of the lakes that had reportedly winter killed. From what I've heard it did not entirely die out. The fish and wildlife has restocked it with some nice rainbows. Steph Avena from the shop went and hit the lake the other day. He was able to fish it for a couple of hours. He gave the old fishing was great, but the catching was not to good. Steph said he had fish hitting the surface in the shallows but could not see any type of a hatch going on. He a couple of real bruisers hit his strike. Steph said he went through everything in his box but no takers. I've run into this in the past at other lakes. I have found when you have fish striking the surface at your indicator, tie on a bright color foam fly or a booby fly. You can fish them on the surface or use a full sinking line and take them down. The fish I have found are not interested in natural looking flies but will be more inclined to strike at an attractor style fly.

I did get a report from a couple of my local angler who fished it to day and were able to bring a handful of rainbows to the net. #14 or #12 damsel nymphs seem to be doing the trick. The other fly that was working was a #12 dark olive leech. Buzzard has always been a lake that can treat you like a king or send you packing with nothing but a sore arm.

Methow River

The Methow River opened Memorial weekend. Right now, the flow is about 3300 feet per second and dropping. Clarity is pretty good for that level. Not much for wade fishing, but there are a few places that have been productive. A couple of my friends have been out fishing it since open. Mostly swinging flies and have come up with some nice rainbows, cutthroats and the incidental bull trout. Nymphing has been paying off as well. Most of the fishing is going to be close into shore, working the seam water. A good 5wt or 6wt switch or trout spey rod is a perfect match for these conditions on the river. With the amount of water and the close proximity the fish are from the shore I will fall back to my glass rod and a short spey head and single hand spey cast a lot of these spots. If you're going to use streams I would recommend #8 Sculpzilla, #4 TFP Bald Eagle or the #4 TFP Skittish Smolt. For nymphing stick with your stone fly patterns and may flies. If you choose to float it make sure you have your PFD on and have a good knowledge of the river. The Methow River can still throw you a curver every now and then. Baring and heavy rains the river will continue to drop into better shape in the coming weeks.

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There are more than 50 productive lakes within a two-and-half-hour drive of Omak, Washington. One of our favorites—and judging by the pressure on this lake it’s probably one of your favorites, too—is Chopaka, which boots out some hefty rainbows in the 16 to 20-inch range. Omak Lake is only 15 minutes away from the shop and its emerald-green water kicks out big numbers (and big sizes) of Lahontan cutthroat trout. Southeast of the shop is Rufus Woods Lake, which produced Washington’s state-record rainbow, a 29.6-pound giant that was landed in 2002. In addition, some of the best stillwater action in the world can be found across the border in British Columbia’s southern interior. This region offers hundreds of quality lakes hiding fat rainbows that are eager to please. West of Omak is the North Cascades Mountain Range, which offers great options for cutthroat and rainbow trout in turquoise-colored lakes resting at the base of glacial cirques. To the south of Omak you can test rainbow and brown trout in the Columbia Basin, including on Dry Falls Lake. You’ll find more Lahontan cutthroats just beyond at Lake Lenore. But, it’s not all about lake fishing—when the numbers are right, the Methow and Okanagan rivers offer some of the best steelheading you’ll find anywhere. During eastern Washington’s annual summer heatwave you can test largemouth bass on several lakes and smallmouth bass (some to six pounds) on the Okanagan. We carry an ever-growing selection of traditional and locally tied flies for stillwater trout, steelhead, and bass. For an up-to-date report, stop in the shop. The coffee is always on.

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