Eastern Washington Fishing Report

Lake fishing takes second place to river fishing in most of the West, but in eastern Washington that may not be the case. That’s because eastern Washington, and especially north-central Washington, abounds with quality lake fishing options. Rainbows, browns, and the unique Lahontan cutthroat, which may grow to 15 pounds or more on some waters, slam flies on a regular basis. That said, don’t forget your river options here—you’ll find steelhead on the Okanagan, Similkameen and Methow rivers, and big cutthroats and ‘bows on other area streams. If you’re headed to north-central Washington we have advice—pack a variety of rods because you’ll need them.

    Omak Lake (WA) 

    The number one question I keep getting asked, “are the Lahontans at Omak Lake podded up and in the shallows?” Sorry but, no, they are not. With that said, I can tell you that, that doesn’t matter. The fishing has been great and the anglers out at the lake are having no problem getting into several the Lahaontan cutthroats that are there. As I have been reporting before, they are hanging right at the drop-off and most of the fly anglers are having no problem hooking into them. As far as what size they are catching, that seems to vary at times.

    There has been a number of fish, in the 28” to 30” range, reported to us. It appears that certain age groups are moving together at any given time. You might be fishing a spot and most of the fish you are catching for, a period of time, maybe in that 16 to 18-inch range then die off and the next one could be larger or smaller. We had one lady angler report a Lahontan in the 38-inch range. Now, that is what dreams are made of when fishing there. 

    Based on what has been told to me the last couple of days, bloodworms under an indicator are the ticket right now. My supply of Holo worms and frostbite bloodworms are taking a good hit because of that. Olive or black balanced leeches fished five feet under an indicator is another productive setup. If you are one that prefers to throw streamers, a couple of the more productive ones are Keller’s she demon bugger and a sculpzilla. You'll want to fish these close to the bottom. You will have to play around with your retrieve to see what the fish are liking at that moment.  About the only time when the fishing slows down is when the sun is bright overhead at midday.  

    Green Lake (WA) 

    Nice chunky rainbows up to 17 inches are being caught at both Little and Big Green Lakes. The lakes turned over shortly after ice off, so the fish are on the move and hungry. A #10 pumpkin head leech, as well as simi seal Canadian black leeches, will work. For those that like to fish chironomids, bloodworms and Chan’s holo black chironomid are doing well too. The fish are in different depths depending on the time of day, so don’t be afraid to move around the lake and explore. 

    Rat Lake (WA) 

    We have a saying when it comes to fishing Rat Lake, anything green. Green leeches or buggers are a top producer there. You might have to switch flies a little to find out exactly what style or combination of green is working that day. Generally though, as a rule, green will be your starting point. Also, there are nice rainbows up to 20 inches being caught along with a few 16-inch browns. I’ve been doing well with a #12 Foisset’s tws bugger in olive and redhead. A couple of the others that have been producing is Rowley's waste troll and Rickard’s seal bugger #3. I’ve been finding a lot of the fish five to 15 feet of water. I’m not one to troll a fly so I have been casting and using a slow retrieve with short pauses.  

     General Lake Opener 

    This coming Saturday, April 27th is the general lake opener. The rest of our area lakes will be opening then, and all are ice free. They have been ice free now for over three weeks and from what I can tell have already turned over. 

    Chopaka Lake: The road was repaired last fall and you should have no problems getting in it. 

    Blue Lake (Sinlahekin): The road that leads to Ford and Conner Lakes was repaired and is good to go. The lake level is a little low from last year. 

    Aeneas Lake: Is good to go with nice rainbows and some good size browns. 

    Big Twin Lake: From what I hear, we did not have winter kill this year so there should be a number of fat, carried over rainbows available. 

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