Cooper Lake

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Keith Hixson, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,468
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Visited Cooper Lake on Monday. Several weeks ago fished Cooper and only caught brown trout. Checked with the Game Dept. they did confirm that the lake holds Brown Trout. I wonder how they got there.
  2. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,181
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +158 / 2
    Keith,

    Nice photo. It has been acknowledged for quite some time about the browns in Cooper Lake and River. Quite the fish variety there actually. Have heard of cutts, bows, brookies, browns, and kokanee; none of which get stocked regularly anymore.
  3. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,791
    .
    Ratings: +168 / 0
    Last time I was up there, all I caught were browns.

    MB
  4. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    It's been a long time since I fished Cooper, might have to wander up that way. The scenery alone would be worth the trip.
  5. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,146
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +163 / 5
    Wow, that's a beautiful picture. I might have to put Cooper on my list of "lakes to fish".
  6. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,181
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +158 / 2
    Glad you guys are in to scenery because quite frankly, the fishing can be pretty spotty.
  7. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,468
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Yep, quite slow, very slow, my partner didn't even get a hit but he's a newbie. But what a beautiful lake. Though the browns were quite healthy.

    Keith
  8. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,269
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +26 / 0
    I'd love to camp up there, but I once read a report recalling the sound of ticks raining down on the tent all night long. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about ticks to suggest a tick-free time of the year. I think the guy was camping at the south end of the lake. Anyone camped there before?

    --Dave E.
  9. Rod Sand Member

    Posts: 67
    Tacoma Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Sounds like someone doesn't want you to go there.I've camped up there never had it rain ticks.
  10. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,417
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +685 / 0
    I went there this July for a weekend. We stayed in the walk-in campground (we arrived about 3 pm on Friday and got the last site) and took our 4-yr old grandson and canoe. It is a gorgeous lake and a nice campground, but the fishing is tough. We caught one brown on the weekend, although I must admit I didn't really get much fishing time in. I talked with several other fishermen and the campground host, who fishes it regularly, and all had the same story - very few fish per hour on the water.

    It is a gorgeous place, however.

    D
  11. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,468
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    I wonder if you fished off the boat launch extremely deep using streamers if you could pick up some larger fish. The fishing was slow but the brown I got to hand was about 12" and a very healthy looking fish.
  12. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    it's possible the lake gets more pressure than what we realize.
  13. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,468
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    There were lots of fish rising and feeding. They were feeding on a caddis hatch. I had several hits on a size 16 elk hair caddis. My caddis seemed to match very well the hatch. However after the hatch there wasn't much feeding on the surface. It seemed like there were plenty of fish. Sometimes truly wild trout can be very selective.
  14. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,610
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +759 / 0
    I've moved and caught some very nice Salmo's on that water, it's on my short list of spots for the 2010 Big Brown contest thread. Oh, is that hot spotting?
  15. suckegg Active Member

    Posts: 353
    Ellensburg, WA,
    Ratings: +87 / 0
    Locals poaching has been observed in the past. No cell service up there to call the authorities unfortunately.

    It's in a Wild Species Restoration program according to signage present at this time. I haven't fish it in at least a few years. There was a time when significant specimens could be caught if it was approached in the proper manner. Still might be the case?
  16. Trout Master Active Member

  17. Northern It's all good.

    Posts: 82
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I don't think Cooper has any special regs on trout. There's an emergency rule there currently about not keeping big "kokanee", because there's an effort to reintroduce sockeye. The locals and anyone else are free to keep a state limit of trout if they so choose.

    The walk-in campground's nice, but it's closed as of mid Sep.
  18. suckegg Active Member

    Posts: 353
    Ellensburg, WA,
    Ratings: +87 / 0
    "The locals and anyone else are free to keep a state limit of trout if they so choose."

    Last eye witness poaching report I got was 7 Browns into a boat and that is just what was seen.. before darkness fell..who knows what the actually total was.....?



    Wild Species biz is likely about Bull Trout.


    "The walk-in campground's nice, but it's closed as of mid Sep."

    Probably to keep campers from getting eaten by bears. Bears are around the upper end of the lake year 'round... and they get thick as thieves by end of summer. We were up there taking pictures a month ago and a camper who has been camping there for 30 years said they day before you could "smell the bears".
  19. Northern It's all good.

    Posts: 82
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Ah - got it. Your original post made it sound like you thought the whole lake was protected under the Wild Species designation.

    Perhaps if we're lucky the hordes of bears will begin to recognize which local boats come in with gunwale-to-gunwale trout, and take care of the problem themselves.:)

    Camped there the last weekend that it was open, explored the upper Cooper River a bit. Didn't see or smell any bears, but did see tracks in the shallows up at the swampy end.