Chopaka Report

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by chief, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. [​IMG]

    Nuff said.............
     
  2. LOL!! Great report :thumb: I have some parachute adams' in my fly box in a similar state of disrepair from my May trip out there. Was hoping to go this month but it ain't gonna happen. :( Glad you had a good trip.

    Tony
     
  3. Chomp, chomp, set!
     
  4. Where's the report. All I see are some poorly tied flies;) Hit the brush too many times on your backcast?
     
  5. I Guess PT has never been to Chopaka ot understand.
     
  6. Interesting assumption.

    I gather more that PT might be wondering where the reoprt is...nuff said.
     
  7. Damn!! One of my most favorite places. Wish I were there instead of where I'm at.
     
  8. I spy one "dry" fly and three "wet" flies. Where have all the feathers gone? Long time passin'. SS
     
  9. OK, here's the report. The crowd's have thinned out and the fish are hungry. There were no significant hatches, and not many fish rising. We fished the reed lines and the shallow end with mostly bunny leeches in white or black. We caught fish consistantly throughout the day. We like to let the day unfold at a leisurely pace so we didn't rush onto the water in the morning we fished mostly from about 10AM to cocktail hour.......

    One thing I will mention is that I came away with a concern that the lake has been overstocked since the rehab. The smaller fish up to 18" have adequate girth and put up a good fight, but many of the carryover fish from last year - the 19"-23" fish had big heads and snaky bodies. I mean snaky to the point you would hook them and then skim them across the surface to land them as fast as you can strip in your line. No fight, no runs, no jumps, just a hard take and then yard them in. At first I thought that maybe it was from overhandling and limited to specific fish being damaged from catch and release, but as we caught more fish the trend started to become pretty apparent. My buddy I was fishing with knows the biologist for the area and was planning on talking to him, but I haven't heard anything back yet. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has noticed this? I have been making and annual Fall trip to Chopaka since 1995, so I do have a fairly good "sample" to compare my findings too.

    To me there are very few places as inspiring as Chopaka in the Fall, when there is just enough crispness in the air to make you want to breath it all in before Winter comes. All in all it was a great trip in a beautiful setting and I am grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy it.
     
  10. I felt the same way ever since they restocked the lake. There are way to many fish in that lake. I felt that the hatches are not as good as they used to be, but I think they will come back slowly too. I was there earlier this year and catching 30 to 40 fish a day was way to easy at that lake. Hope things will flatten out and get better.

    Adam
     
  11. Absolutely spot on observation. I was there two weeks at the end of Sept, 1st of Oct with club members from Wenatchee FF. We have since had many a discussion and come to the conclusion that overstocking is putting to much competition on the food supply. Blue lake in the Sinlahekin has gone the same route but a season or two ahead of Chopaka. We're hard pressed to find the bigger fish in Blue like we had 2 seasons back, tons of 12"-14" though. With the same management at Chopaka, I think we are in for the same results.

    Mark
     
  12. If you guys think that the fish are stunted from overpopulation, don't blame the WDFW for stocking the lake. Instead use the tools that you have at your disposal. There is a one fish per day limit. When you have landed your 30th fish and are done fishing for the day, take one back to camp and have it for dinner or breakfast. SS
     
  13. Thanks for the report. I made my spring trip to the lake and had great fishing but haven't been there this fall. That's enough to get me away from the rivers for a couple days.
     
  14. I was at Big Twin in Winthrop this weekend and the fish were snakes, big head and skinny bodies. Same cookie cutter size 16 to 17 ", . Havent seen that in awhile looks like a problem in the Okanagan. Chief I tye the same leeches in size 14 to 16 and they work great in the shallows.
     
  15. Nice pre and post flies... Maybe the report should've been titled CHOMPAKA
     
  16. Interesting about the snakey fish. When I was there in June the Callibaetis were hatching medium-heavy and the fish were solid and very feisty. Could they have had a rough summer?
    [​IMG]
     
  17. I went to Chopaka about two weeks ago with an old college buddy and was successful fishing a stillwater nymph deep on an intermediate line.

    Our drive started about 10:30 a.m. in Seattle and by the time we got there the sun was almost down over the surrounding hills. So instead of fishing right away we got camp set up, launched the boats and made sure the bar was open for business.

    View attachment 35223
    View attachment 35224
    View attachment 35225

    The next morning we got on the water at a decent hour to rising fish and caught them using chironomids fished vertically, long lined and with an indicator. We finally decided the bigger fish seemed to respond best to a stillwater nymph as it was being pulled off the bottom in 20-25 feet with an intermediate line. I did notice a few fish appeared thin but there were also some healthy fish released.

    View attachment 35226
    View attachment 35227
    View attachment 35228
    View attachment 35229

    The pattern proved itself worthy each day. The fishing wasn't hot, but we were consistently into decent sized fish with a lot less traffic at the deep end of the lake.
     
  18. If the lake was over stocked all of the fish would be skinny, the smaller fish in there right now have small heads and big bodies, a sign of good forage in the lake. I've fished Chopaka for about thirty years now and in the "good old days" you could let the wind blow you from the south end to the campground and almost constantly see fish. We're not even close to that right now. Take a look at the stocking record since the rehab, there's been about 12,000 to 14,000 fish planted in there and some of those (maybe half) are about to hit the end of their life.

    Chopaka has always had big headed skinny big fish. Those are the 14"+ fish they stocked right after it was rehabbed. Most of the stocks that WDFW uses have a 5 year life span (if they make it that long), so a couple of tough years in the hatchery plus a couple years in the lake equals about time to die.

    WDFW considered leaving the lake fallow for a year because they were worried that the bass had cropped the invertebrates down too much. Chironimids and mayflies have multiple broods per year, so far with less fish present than during the bass days plus a couple of summers equals plenty of food. The good condition 18" fish are from the first fry plant after the rehab. They are about 3 years old and within the next year or so will look like big headed skinny big fish as they reach the end of their life span. But what do I know, I've only been a fish biologist for the last 32 years.
     
  19. Bullseye Bob. Nice.

    I remember a guy who went to Canada goose hunting with us. He got real vocal complaining that the geese weren't big enough (young of the year birds) and there were too many of them. I suggested he stop shooting them. He didn't of course.

    I'm also reminded of some of our patients in the VA hospital inpatient treatment program. They complained the food wasn't good enough and they weren't getting enough of it. We suggested they ask for double portions which they always did.
     
  20. Bob:

    Nice explanation. A few of use have learned a thing or two.

    MB
     

Share This Page