Eastern Washington Fishing Report 10.12.17

—North 40 Omak


Chopaka Lake

The fall season is in full swing at this gem of a lake. It seems it doesn’t matter what you are using, the fish are going after a variety of bugs. Nighttime temps are dipping down into the high 20s with daytime temps ranging to a pleasant upper 60s to low 70s. So make sure to bring some warm clothes for the morning bite. Water temperature is holding close to the mid-50s. Time of day will determine where you fish. The chironomid users are fishing anywhere from 5' to 15’ down. The most popular chironimid seems to be Chan's Beadhead Chironomid Bomber in black and silver, or Chan's beadhead Chironomid Bomber in brown and red. Fish both of these in size 12. Don't forget your Balanced Leech's in colors black, olive or even red. Two bugger patterns that have been doing good are the Bread N' Butter Bugger (Blonde) #8, and the gold bead Crystal Bugger in yellow #8. A type-3 full-sinking line or a type-3 sink-tip should cover your bases. Nothing beats the scenery around Chopaka in the fall.

Rat Lake

I fished Rat a few days ago and was pleasantly surprised to find I had the lake to myself. Lake temperature was 58 degrees. As soon as I moved out from the boat launch the screen my Humminbird Helix5 lit up, marking fish from 15’ down all the way up to just under the surface. My 6-weight rod was rigged up with a sink-tip type-3 line and on my first cast with a Simi Seal Leech, black and blue #10, I hooked and netted my first fat 16" rainbow. Moving around the lake a little brought six more rainbows in the 14" to 16" range. I changed over to a Pumpkin Head Leech, olive #10, and the bite continued for another eight fish. I switched from my sink-tip line to a full-sinking type-3 line and tied on a #10 Pickled Cabbage Booby Fly. I picked up another dozen or so fish before calling it a day. It was a great day of fall fishing at one of my favorite lakes in the area and the fishing should hold strong for a while.

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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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