Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Dave Meucci, May 23, 2012.
Never been to cooper river near Lake Cle Elum. Any suggestion on access or flies?
Do a search for prior post on this river. Good info. Could also do the lake.
I've always wondered about this stretch of water also...
My buddy and I fished and explored most of the accessible river below the lake and didn't get a single take or see any signs of fish. It's a nice hike, though, and there's trail access right by the confluence with the Cle Elum River. I'll never bother fishing it again. That said, the stretch above the lake is something I'd like to check out in the Fall some time when the browns start to move up... hth.
I fished it 6-7 years ago and caught 1 small brown (9 inches) some small bows and brookies (7-10 inches) but failed to catch the elusive cutt- I had heard that all four species were in the river (not sure that is true or not). Like Jim, I fished the river below the lake and had to work pretty hard for the fish I did catch. I remember talking to someone at that time who said in a snorkel survey or study they found some large browns on the stretch of river above the lake. If I was to fish it again, that is the stretch I would fish and definitely in the fall.
I have eyed that a few times driving through. Great area to explore
The upper cle elum is better if you fish the copper lake there's a log jam in the middle. That's where the big browns are at!!! There agessive the river isn't worth fishing
Yeah, the lake holds some large browns. For as high up as it is, the lake is pretty fertile and pumps out some hatches in season. I have it on good advice that while there is certainly a run of these browns upstream from the lake, access and fishing is difficult due to thick brush and forest. There is a trail that leads to some high mountain lakes above, the source, but it never actually runs right along the river - so wear your bushwacking clothes and bring your deet if you decide to try the upper river.
I can attest to this. Last October I fished the upper river one day. Didn't really see much of anything, though.I'm sure those browns come through, but I didn't see any. Cool little river and I enjoy exploring, but I think a day on the upper Yak would have suited me better.
I fished here two years ago. I saw many decent sized fish cruising the Lake. If you take the trail along the river to Pete Lake you walk along the river for a bit. In some places the bank is pretty steep but it is mangeable to get down and explore the upper river. It is overgrown with brush but being the river is so small it is navigable. If you enjoy fishing high lakes and have a weekend, I would take the Waptus loop. You can hit a few lakes along the way and hit the Waptus river on the way back. There is no need to go to Escondido Lake. There are fish but they are all stunted EBs, btu still fun if you want to catch a 6-7" inch fish every cast. Also, finding info in the regs between pete lake and cooper lake is difficult as it only addresses the mouth of the cooper river up to the lake. Does that mean this section is closed?
Late summer, dry flies, small rainbows in the section above Salmon la Sac.
I fished from the Cooper lake outlet to about mile downstream. I was very thorough and covered all types of water and didn't catch one fish. The rocks on the bottom were slippery and sized for difficult wading. I've had better luck with other nearby streams.
It takes patience and more than a little luck. Twice I have caught four species in one day ( Brookie, Brown, 'Bow and Cutt) - they were small and scarce. They are in there, but you have to work at it.
I fished down from Cooper lake last year. Fished thoroughly but caught nothing and only got a strike or two. It might be worth it for the four species slam, but there are many more productive streams in a 30 mile radius.
Close to a decade ago, I did a long wade excursion from the lake way upstream in the river (really a small creek). It was late September and I figured the adult browns would be in there pre-spawn. Instead, I only landed one 4" brown that day and lost two or three other tiny fish. There were very few signs of life in the creek, including lack of bugs (even relative to other sterile Cascades streams). I saw a few decent browns in the lake, but none that were of any size in the river the whole day. I think I fished it about 10 hours and probably covered the whole first 2 miles upstream of the lake. It was strangely barren. Not sure why; haven't been back since then.
This was exactly what I thought as well. It seemed almost oddly barren, since there is some good looking water in there and a few of the areas are kind of meadow-y.
I've not fished the Cooper above the lake, but have had several good trips on the river below the lake. Nothing of size, but I've hit Browns, Rainbows, and just one Brook trout, most just about 8". The river below the lake is not at all devoid of insect life.
My most productive rig has been the olive wooly bugger, although I have had takes on both an orange stimulator and a royal wulff. I've heard that those browns from the lake move out into the river to spawn in the fall. That's the day that I'm looking for! Does anyone know when abouts that happens?