Amber, Coffeepot and Lenore report:Ive's mini-trip


Active Member
I pulled out early Tuesday morning and drove down to Amber. I was the first arrival on the lake, got my gear organized and started kicking to the upper end of the lake. It was my first trip out this year and the far end looked like it was in another zip code. It took about an hour to get up there but I had it all to myself for awhile and made the best of it. Fish were taking olive seal buggers with a red thread head and quite aggessively. I caught about half a dozen over 16'', a couple at around 18'' and had the obligatory breakoff of a fish well over 20''. The rush of the day came when I cast a sealbugger against the shore and a fish snapped it off on a slack line! I never got control of the line with my left hand when there was a huge swirl and the line came back naked.

After losing all of my sealbuggers I caught a couple more on cronies but had to face the kick back to the launch. And of course the wind had come up by then. The fish were well fed and very thick and look to be in prime shape. The lake is getting more pressure every year and although it was a weekday a lot of people were there when I left with more coming.

I drove out the back way towards Sprague on the way over to Harrington. It is a little used road but very scenic in places where it runs through the scablands. A much more pleasent drive than the freeway. By the time I reached Coffeepot it was too late to fish but just in time to visit with those that had been fishing. The buzz was that the lake is real low, boats can no longer reach the upper end and fishing had not been too good. Wednesday morning I went out to see for myself and discovered that there are indeed some big fish in the lake but was also reminded that big fish mean little if the ambiance is not right. If watching guys troll around in a power boat killing big fish and swilling Bud Light at 9:00 am is your thing you might like it there. After catching their limits in less than an hour they headed up the lake to 'look for some crappie'. That is poacher-speak for 'we are going to catch another limit where no one has been watching us'. There is little enforcement over there so leaving with a cooler full of fish is not a high risk proposition.

The number of boats on a weekday was pretty surprizing and the number on the weekend must be truly amazing. At least one fly club will be out there this coming Sunday so I'm thinking it will just be a zoo. A good day to go to the mall with your wife or watch golf-anything other than combat fishing.

So by noon I was headed for Lenore-the back way of course! There is some truly lonesome country out there on the prarie but it is worth a look and always more entertaining than taking a known road. I was using a dog-eared old set of maps from the last centuary and found that some of the roads on the map didn't match the new signs or so I thought. For instance-say you are looking for a dirt road heading north that will eventually run into a paved state highway. The map says you should turn right on Squaw Basket Road and drive north for 18 miles and you will run right into the state highway. I usually trust my maps and have become adept at deciphering their intent after driving for over 50 years. But no Squaw Basket Road shows up and I keep driving. Suddenly the lights go on and I screech to a halt, whip the truck around on the dirt road and start back. It is the PC Police! They are everywhere, even out here on the edge of civilization. I reach Squaw Basket Road and sure enough it is now Maiden's Luggage Lane! I turn left and head for the state hiway which is predictably 18 miles away just like the map said.

An hour later I am visiting with CouleeFlyFisher a member of this board who lives in Coulee City. He brings me up to date on area fishing conditions and after a nice visit I am on the way down the road to Lenore. There I meet Willieboat-another member of the board who has taken the day off to make the marathon drive over from the coast for a single days fishing. That is a studly drive, dude! After exchanging greetings and getting filled in on hot patterns I got my gear on and hit the water. The next couple of hours were hell as everyone around me seemed to be hammering the fish on cronies while I caught 3. I had never spent an entire hour in my life fishing with just chironomids but I made the effort and stuck with it until near dark. As the evening progressed the fishing became ever hotter and by the end just 6 of us were left on the lake-3 of us on the bank and 3 that had waded out from shore to fish. At times all 6 of us had fish on at once and you simply couldn't throw a fly in the water without getting some kind of take. I ended up with around 25 fish but quit early as the long kick at Amber and the wind at Coffeepot had pretty much zapped my endurance. I needed food and sleep and headed for Soap Lake to catch up on both.

Willieboat's friend Bob had invited me to come back and fish Lenore on Thursday but during the night I came down with a sore throat and a stiff neck so just heading back to the ranch made the best sense.

Not a bad trip for openers, I enjoyed fishing with a board member and appreciated all the help and suggestions I received from those guys. Thanks Don and Bob. Ive