Lake Leo crappies

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by IveofIone, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,095
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    My notes show that last year on Mothers Day I went to Lake Leo. I meant to bring home 20 fish-40 fillets-for my sweetie and me. I don't like to fillet more than that at one time. But the fishing was incredibly good and I got mesmerized. I ended up with 32 fish before I came to my senses and got out of there. I mention this in case someone wants to make the trip up and wonders when it would be a good time. I think from ice out on it will be productive.

    If you are bringing children who aren't yet fly rod ready I would suggest bringing some crappie jigs. You won't need bait of any kind, those fish are more than willing to attack anything that comes near them. They will be thin early in the year but by July will have plumped up nicely and be a little larger than last year.

    Come on up and help me rid this lake of it's delicious scourge.

    Ive
  2. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,395
    Grand Coulee, WA
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    I like how they fight. Many a time I thought I had a big bass on, only to discover a medium sized crappie.
  3. Jay C Active Member

    Posts: 152
    Kenmore, Washington
    Ratings: +25 / 0
    If that is the same Lake Leo off of Hwy 20, my brother-in-law has a cabin down the road on Lake Thomas. I've fished Thomas quite a bit in the past, but have never tried Leo. I love crappie, and will have to give Leo a try next time I am out there. Last November we did a whitetail hunt around the trails by Leo, that road to Leo had some major mud puddles getting to the lake - are they a problem for you getting in there?
  4. IveofIone Active Member

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    It sounds like you were on dirt roads on the back side of the lake. There is a paved road off Highway 20 right to the lake. I don't remember any puddles. If you want a real challenge fish the next lake up-Nile Lake. It holds some nice trout but does not give them up easily.

    Ive
  5. Jay C Active Member

    Posts: 152
    Kenmore, Washington
    Ratings: +25 / 0
    Thanks Ive, next time I am up there I'll be sure to contact you. I would like to get over there more often, but it is a 5 1/2 hour drive for me. I always enjoy your reports. What about Frater? Also, I was wondering about the creek that runs along the road to Colville from the lakes. It looks tough to get to, but is has pools and beaver ponds, any idea what's in there?
  6. IveofIone Active Member

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    Cheez, Frater was rehabbed 2 years ago and replanted with bows and cutts. Early in the season last year it was fabulous for 16'' rainbows and some dandy cutts. Then the power bait and plastic bucket guys came in and pretty much cleaned it out. It is so small that it didn't take long to go from perfect to punk. There are still a few fish in there and I will try to land a few come early May.

    I have driven along that creek you mention over 100 times in the past 11 years and have never seen anyone fish it. I am sure there are some decent trout in there that live out their lives in peace and die of old age. About the only thing that can actually approach the creek is a moose and I often see them crashing through the brush down there. I stopped and looked at the creek in a few places last year and wondered if I could get down there with my 2 wt. Maybe 25 years ago I would have been crazy enough to try it but not any more. Those trout are safe.

    Yeah, the 5-6 hour drive does tend to keep our roads empty and lakes uncrowded. Relatively few have any knowledge of this corner of the state and I kinda like it that way.

    Ive
  7. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,702
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,106 / 1
    How far from Spokane? About an hour or so?

    Ira..
  8. IveofIone Active Member

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    <two hours.

    Ive
  9. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,182
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +184 / 6
    Hey Ive, I have a 3wt. that's just itching to get bent by some pan fish. I might be able to find my way over there. It should be during the turkey season as well. Cast & Blast......I'm in!
  10. IveofIone Active Member

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    Steve, When is turkey season? I'm sure I'll be in the area. I'm also sure you could get a turkey from the front porch but then you would have to deal with Miss Susie...........

    Are you going to be traveling with the Flying A? Maybe hang out a few days? I'll show you some good lakes my friend.

    Ive
  11. TB Member

    Posts: 207
    Ma's cow, Idaho area
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Ive,

    I been counting down the days, tying up some flies and dreaming all winter about getting my boy into a mess of crappie. You make Leo sound pretty good. Come to think of it that beer batter recipe you posted on another thread sounded good too, I got it pasted in my "documents" somewhere too.

    Well that didn't do my itch any good...
  12. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,182
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +184 / 6
    Definitely will be bringing the A frame. The regs aren't out yet but it's usually April 15 to the end of May. I wouldn't do anything to upset Miss Susie.....she might not make any more cinnamon rolls. bawling:
  13. Top in my class Member

    Posts: 277
    washington, Spanaway
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    what is the best why to catch crappie right now on a fly rod?? sense its still pretty cold and there way down deep?
  14. TB Member

    Posts: 207
    Ma's cow, Idaho area
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    ice fishing

    :D
  15. sean_k Active Member

    Posts: 457
    Spanaway Wa.
    Ratings: +25 / 0
    Fish shallower lakes! Joking aside, once I locate fish on my fish finder I like to use an indicator. The indicator will not only allow you set your fly at a desired depth but it also allows a much slower presentation. If I'm fishing a deeper lake I will use a type VI line which will allow you to fish straight down.
  16. Brett New Member

    Posts: 33
    Anacortes, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm planning a trip to Leo this spring. What I've read suggests there are also cutthroat in the lake. Any truth to that?
  17. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    I'll plan on heading your way this summer I've. I'm making a fishing trip to the state just east of us and a side trip to Ione sounds like a good plan.
    Crappie fish frys got me thru college when I was a poor college student, crappie fishing got me in trouble with my Profs! A few friends an I would "treat" severe spring fever with a skipped class, marabou crappie jigs, and a sharp Rapala fillet knife. We went a little too far our junior year and a "donation" of boneless fillets helped soothe ruffled feathers!
  18. Top in my class Member

    Posts: 277
    washington, Spanaway
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    ok cool, thanks Sean, but what about a lake thats max depth is 20ft? Is that still to deep? And what type of fly will you use under that indicator?

    Spencer
  19. Jay C Active Member

    Posts: 152
    Kenmore, Washington
    Ratings: +25 / 0
    We should just all meet at the Beaver Lodge during turkey season, and then do a trip to Leo Lake. Then Ive can tell me where he has that big Tom hiding off his porch.
  20. IveofIone Active Member

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    Give some thought to tying up some bead head flies on Mustad Aberdeen 32756 jig hooks or the Gamugatsu equivalent. These are essentially just a fly rod weight crappie jig that can be cast readily and produces well. The color choices are endless but the one combination I have been most successful with over the years is black and chartreuse. Crappie have large mouths so don't use tiny hooks.

    To answer the question about cutthroat, yes, it was a great cutthroat lake about 10 years ago. At the time it also had some brook trout in it that were 2-3#. Then the panfish came and the food for the cutties was just overwhelmed. I never bother to fish for trout there anymore as there are so many good trout lakes nearby. At some point I would think they would kill off all the spiny rays and start over with trout. Until that happens I will make the best of the situation by providing my family with a ready source of free protein.

    Ive