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

    The lake has turned on and the Lahontan cutthroats are cruising closer to shore. Finally, the pods of cutties are moving around and the action shows it. Both ends of the lake are having good action. From what I can tell the water temperature finally warmed up to trigger what we have all come to expect this time of year when fishing Omak Lake. Best times seem to be first light till 11:30 a.m., then again around 3 p.m. on till dark. A power boat will open up waters that the shore anglers can't get to. Those with pontoon boats are doing real good working the drop-off on into the shallows. Just be mindful of the shore anglers that might be there. The Lahontans are running on the average 18" to 22".

    Double-digit catches are becoming the norm now. One thing some of the new anglers are learning is you don't use tippet smaller the 3X, I recommend 2X or 1X. When I'm using streamers, I make my own leaders. For the most part they are about 5-inches long and comprised of 18" of 15 or 20 pound Maxima Ultragreen, 36" of 15 to 12 pound Maxima Ultragreen, and the last 18" to 24" of 8 to 10 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon. I strongly recommend using a 6 weight or larger rod. I have had reports of a few cutts over 28" being caught of late. When I'm throwing streamers, I use a Sage Pulse in an 9' 8 weight, loaded with either a sink-tip or a full intermediate line. For hanging a Balanced Leech under an indicator, I use my Echo 3 10' 6 weight loaded with Rio’s Indicator line. From what I've been using for flies and the what the customers are buying I recommend the following flies: a #6 pearl gold and or sculpin color Coffee's Sparkle Minnow, a #8 white or olive Sculpzilla, a #2 white or olive Complex Twisted Bugger, and a #8 or #6 white Crystal Bugger.

    For Balanced Leeches, a #10 to #6 olive, black or blood works. The other hot Balanced Leech is the #8 or #6 purple TFP Balanced Squirrel Leech. You will need a Colville Confederated Tribe non-tribal member fishing license to fish Omak and you can buy here at the Omak North 40 Outfitters store. Remember we are guests on their land so be mindful of their rules. For the up to the next 45 days or more the fishing is only going to get better.

    Green Lake

    Good news, Green Lake is iced off and has been fishing pretty good. Seems like when I hit the water the weather is not favorable and when it is I'm obligated to be in the shop. Thank god for customers who come in to rub it in about how good they did. No one is sure if the lake has turned over yet and I'll keep checking for that if it hasn’t happened yet. The size of the rainbows that the gang has been catching are running between 14" to 16" with a few bigger than that. Double-digit days seem to be the norm. Indicator fishing is the top dog for the best results. Productive flies are a #16 to #12 chironomid. Leeches are the second go-to pattern that is being used. A #10 to #8 in black, bruised, olive or blood all have been working. We now have a large selection of chironomids and leeches in different styles and colors. One of my anglers even did good on small minnow patterns in a size #8. Green lake is a selective gear rules lake so check WDFW rules pamphlet for specific language on this.

    Rat Lake

    Due to the runoff from the rains, Rat Lake has gotten a little dirtier. The good thing about Rat Lake is that it has an outlet stream, so this should help speed up the clearing process. Once it gets to at least 1' to 2' of visibility fishing should be back on in force.

    Lowland Lake's opener

    The general lowland lake opener is April 28 this year. From what I've been told and have seen for myself most of the lakes are iced out. A couple are still capped in ice, but I would think that will change with the weather we are getting into.

    Chopaka Lake

    As of right now I do not have any updated information on the lake or the road into it. Last report I had from a little over a week ago was the road was still impassable. I'm hoping to get an updated report from Dept. of Natural Resources later today. Once I know you'll know. Feel free to contact us here at the Omak shop for this information.

    Click here to see past reports from this region, or click here to view all northwest regional reports.