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.

    Methow River (WA)

    The Methow River opened last Saturday for the winter whitefish season. I was able to get out for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon and was able to find a couple of nice scrappy whiteys along with a couple of inessential cutties. Right now, we have been experiencing some single-digit temperature nights, but the weather forecast says that will be changing this weekend. There is a hook size restriction for the fishery that only allows #14 hooks with a hook gap of 3/16-inch or smaller. Some of the flies I was using were a; #16 red or purple flash-a-midge, a #16 silver or pearl lightning bug, a #16 shell pink micro egg, and just a simple #14 or #16 black all-purpose nymph. Your favorite floating line with a 9-foot 3X or 4X leader and two feet of fluorocarbon tippet under an indicator. I found most of the fish more in the soft tail end of runs in about 3 to 5 feet of water. Dress warmly because it’s brrrrr cold out there!

    Omak Lake and Rufus Woods (WA)

    Both bodies of water have slowed way down due to the cold weather. Hopefully, by next week I will have some good news to report.

    Fly tying classes, will be starting this Friday, at 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. so, give the shop a call for more details and information on these free classes.

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