Eastern Washington Fishing Report 11.29.18


Omak Lake (WA)

It’s that time of the year when the weather doesn’t know how to make up its mind. Outside of when the wind decides to pick up a little more than it needs to, the weather we are having is not having a negative effect at the lake. I’m not going to tell you that the catch rate is high, but you can still have a good time going after enough Lahontan cutthroats to make it worth your while. Both Nicholson Beach and Cowpie Beach are producing with Cowpie beach being just a little more productive. If you are using a larger boat on the east side of the lake, go in close to the rocky outcroppings as well as the rock faces. These are good places to work. From the beach, cast out to where the bottom drops off. The depths there should be in and around 10 to 12 feet. Right now, it seems balanced leeches and bloodworms under an indicator are what's getting the most action. For balanced leeches, a couple that I use most of the time are; TFP’s #8 black or purple balanced squirrel leech, #10 black or bruised Rowley’s balanced leech. For the bloodworm, a #14 or #12 is what's working. I’m still picking fish up on small and medium-sized streamers. An olive baby gonga, sculpzilla, and stinging smolts are filling the bill for streamer action. The nice thing about Omak Lake, there is always some fish to be caught if you put a little time in.

Rufus Woods (WA)

Things have slowed down a little at Rufus. The water level is a little low, but hopefully, this will change soon. A few nice rainbows are being caught by a few anglers that are willing to put the time in. I have found the water above Nespelem Creek to be a little more productive right now for those of us throwing a fly. Depending on the time of day, black balanced leeches under an indicator are working the best. I’ve still been able to pick up a few rainbows swinging olive/white or black streamers. Rufus can be one of those bodies of water that can turn on at any given day. So, the way I look at it is, if you're sitting at home you will never know how good it is.

Methow River (WA)

Good news for those wanting to cast small nymphs on the river. The Methow opens December 1st for whitefish fishing. Using #14 or smaller hooks with a 3/16” gap from point to shank, single barbless are the rules. So, break out your favorite nymphs and have a little fun catching these fish. I know on the Methow the average size will run between 16 to 18 inches, but don’t be surprised if you hook into a few that will hit the 24-inch mark. I, for one, will be on the river Sunday for a few hours, seeing how the river is only a block away from my house!

See past reports from the Omak region, or click here to view all northwest regional reports.

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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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