An arcane report from the Okanogan


Idiot Savant
Since the 16th I've been fishing local lakes around the house in the Oroville area. IveofIone and Islander joined me in the venture. Overall we did well, sometimes really well, other times miserable.

Let's start with miserable, Chopaka. Tuesday morning we crested the hill and saw the sea of campers and trailers, we said "shit!" It looked like a KOA for chrissakes. But it was early and most of the guys were just crawling out of their beds. So we geared up and hit the water. It was far from furious, I'm sure the water had been whipped all weekend. We did manage to get a few, but for several hours of fishing it was hardly worth it. Then the wind came up around 11:00. We gave it the Team Rugged go for about and hour and then cashed in our chips. White caps and foam lines are far from ideal fishing conditions. Hamburgers, greasy french fries and a nap made up for the lousy fishing.

Wannacutt is not up to speed just yet, but there were fish to be had. In a few weeks it should be in great shape as the damsels begin to emerge.

Lost Lake gave up some of its fine brookies and a few fiesty rainbows. Ive and I did well that day after a slow start on the north end. The west side and south end were the most productive and I fished one fly most of the morning as it worked like a charm. That is until I kicked into the weeds by mistake. Sure as shoot, the fly got jammed deep into a weed. No amount of finesse would free it. So I did the inevitable and gave it the straight tug, snap! No more fly. I should have expected it but I decided to pitch a major fit and cuss and swear my ass off. Ive paddled off pretending not to know me.

Aeneas was the highlight of the bunch. First, Steve nailed a pig of a brown, some 25 inches or so. Unfortunately, as I snapped the camera, it slid back into the deep. But I'm here to witness, it was a pig! We all did well with a pattern that Steve ties called the Camo Carey. You'll have to bargain with him for the recipe. We fished from 8:00 to 3:00 when our steam ran out and we headed home for lunch. We left Dick Warnke to take up the slack as he met us up there later in the morning. I'm interested to hear how Dick made out.

The most productive flies were Carey's, Six Packs, Half Backs, and such. We did try chironomids, but none of us can stand staring for more than a few minutes, so we switched back to nymphs.

I'm going to try to sneak up again real soon and see how Wannacutt fishes. But for now it's back to the grind.

Nothing beats fishing with friends. And I had two real good ones on this trip, thanks guys!

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew

Nice report! Sorry I didn't make it up to your place. I spent the long weekend at Chopaka with all the others. I had one great day, and two good days. Kind figured that some of the campers would move on after I left on Sunday. Although it was crowded, I did meet some fine folks up there.

I'd like to make another run into the area but it will likely be in the fall.

Sounds like you had a good with some good company.

Roper, I'm glad to hear that you did well at Aeneas this year. It does have some pigs in there. You took my advice in fishing it, well done grasshopper. T.M
Roper, What a pleasure meeting you, Iveofione and Islander. I stayed for quite awhile after you guys left and it never letup I am just elated to see that lake making a come back. It is one of my favorites over there. Ell used to be the other one but we all know where its gone. Don't give up on Ell, myself and a couple of really nice guys by the name of Howard and Charles, had about an hour long conversation with the WDFG biologist for that area and there is some plans in the works to restore Ell, what he had to say was very encouraging. He was also saying they were going to try and increase the population of Browns in the lake where I saw you guys. He was saying they may cut back on the number of Rainbows they plant to try and get the size up, as at this time the ratio between small fish and larger is out of wack. I have a feeling that by fall, when I make my next trip over there, that there will be some substantial sized fish to be had. Providing the midnight power baiters don't clean it out. My understanding is they are very much aware of that problem and keep a close watch on things. Anyway, nice meeting you guys and hope to do so again. :thumb: Dick Warnke, aka Pram-Man.


Active Member
Thanks for the hospitality and being the perfect host. No points deducted for the hissey fit on Lost Lake. It was a hilarious display and as comical as anything Steve Martin or Robin Williams ever did in their prime. And we laughed for days afterward.

It was all good-the roasted potatoes and grilled steaks, the grilled chops and sausages, the hero breakfast of fresh hash browns, sausage, eggs, coffee and fresh baked biscuits slathered with blackberry jam and honey, salads, fresh baked cinnamon rolls, 1/2# burgers with onion rings, cookies, chips, dips, ales, etc,etc. I gained 3# on the trip! As good as the food was the company was better and the fishing good enough to give the trip 5 stars.

Roper might have been a little too kind to Chopaka Lake. If there is ever a fly fishing horror film made surely it will take place at Chopaka. In the opening scene lobotomies will be performed at the top of the hill just before reaching the campground. Then descending to the lake those freshly minted zombies will don expensive waders, get in fancy pontoon boats, pick up $700 fly rods with $500 reels spooled with $90 fly lines and follow each other down to the water. There hundreds of them will line up along the bank, anchor their boats and stare blankly at tiny bits of foam floating on the water while chanting: "We are fly fishing! We are fly fishermen!" This will be a sordid tale and no doubt rated "L" for ludicrous.

The Okonogan is just beautiful this time of year. I came in the back way by Bonaparte Lake and on the return trip took the Toroda Creek road to Wauconda Summit. The early morning low angle sunlight through the new leaves was just stunning with brilliant blue skies and puffy clouds to frame it. The road goes by Beth and Beaver lakes and winds through beautiful valleys and a couple of old ghost towns. Old home sites and dilapidated shacks dot the way and it is far more enjoyable a drive than the main road.

Dick, I'm sorry I didn't get to spend more time visiting with you. By the time you arrived we had caught so many fish we were just limp. And being the oldest I was the limpest! I just wanted an ale and my bed.

Steve, I enjoyed the stories and the laughs. It was great meeting a guy that knows how to live well frugally. You are a man after my own heart.

And Roper-thanks for everything. For years. Ive
Ive, Glad to hear you enjoyed the Okanogan as much as I did. FYI I made it up to that Cutthoat lake Roper said you were thinking of trying on your way out. It fished real well for small, but beauitful colored cutties that were very partial to a dry fly. Biggest maye 12 to 13 inches. But fiesty and aggresive. Beautiful setting up there also. Hope to meet up again out there. Dick Warnke aka Pram-Man.


Active Member
Dick, thanks for the tip. That lake is just 100 miles from my house so once the pram is done I will do a day trip over there. Nice to hear they were taking dries.

Great report, Roper.

I went back home for the weekend to see the family and had intended on hitting Blue, Connors and a few others but got distracted by an old friend. This "friend" was a lake of fond memories and big trout as a kid. It's doing well again this year and I nailed nice sized football fish on my 3 trips to it. The fish fought like crazy and were on average the fattest pigs I have ever seen out of a lake. Fun times. I had one break 2X tippet while going air born multiple times. :D

I'm glad Aeneas is back in form. That was the traditional opening day lake growing up as my Dad joined his buddies from the fly club. It was always a special place and I was sad to see it fall on hard times a few years ago.

Chopaka......don't even get me started on Chopaka.
Well, I'll have to chime in on this as well. Had a super time with Roper and Ive, even with a lake full of "Chironomid Zombies". We left them to the wind and went into town for a HUGE burger. The rest of the fishing was fabulous to say the least. I don't know what they have in the water over there but the fish are active and just go crazy when hooked up. They make several runs and often get airborne. On the way home I hit Blue Lake and then stopped for a few hours to fish Twin Lakes. Both produced excellent fish, I'll definitely be heading back over that way again. Big thanks to Roper and Ive for the hospitality, tying tips, and sharing some of that arcane knowledge they both possess.

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
Great report you guys - thank you for sharing.

I will be heading to Wannacut on June 5th - 8th Roper, so if you're there please look for the black/red GMC truck in the campground of Sun Cove Resort. This is a Port Ludlow club outing I'll be joining in on.

Camo Carey - hmmm sounds interesting Islander :)