Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by alki, Aug 28, 2012.
Anyone have a report on Chopaka?
interested as well. Will be there Sept 7-10.
Checked a lake temp on other (cooler) side of the valley at 1,000 ft higher than Chopaka where surface temp was 64. This would make me think Chopaka is still close to 70 degrees.
FYI: A friend of a friend (take that however you may and I'm always skeptical of info like this) was just there. Apparently an experienced fly fisher and Chopaka fisher. In 4 days of fishing caught only 2 18" fish and about a doz or more 12" fish. Also said lake level was very low. Can anyone corroborate the lake level? Does anyone know the most recent stocking (date? size?)? Thanks! The 12" size is suprising.
I believe that Chopaka was NOT stocked this year in an attempt to raise the average fish size.
I think it is a big mistake to be fishing trout in any lake when surface temperatures are still in the high 60's or low 70's. Yeah they are eating but that's because they have to eat. After feeding forays they find cooler water zones to hang out in. Eastern Washington lakes are not cooling off as fast as some would think they are.
The 12" fish are spring 2011 fry plant, and the mistake of not stocking fry this spring is an entire year class missing in the future.
If you take a look at the stocking record for Chopaka, the oldest fish in there right now is 4 years on a stock that lives for 5 or so years. Anything older than fry planted in the lake after it was rehabbed are dead or will be by next spring. Those fish are only going to grow as big as their genetics allow.
If you can look at stocking records for Chopaka prior to 1995 when the bass population started to have an effect, there was a lot more fish in the lake and nobody complained about the size.
I fished Chopaka last Sunday with my girlfriend.
When we arrived at 09:30 it was blowing with wind streaks on the water. After taking the dogs for a walk and BSing with a few people a miricle happened, the wind stoped. We fished for around 5 hrs with 9 fish to hand for the both of us. Two of those fish were in the 17-18 in range the others in the 12-15 in range. Some fought very well and some not so much. We brought them in as fast as we could and made sure to revive them all before releasing them.
There were about ten camps of people fishing. If it were not for my girlfriend having a four day weekend, I would have not fished at all. We blanked at blue lake in the lime belt but part of that was we were fishing the worng time of day.
It never got real hot and the nights got down in the 40*. I would think that by the end of sept or a little eariler the fishing should be great.
heading there tomorrow
plan to post a report when I return
How'd it go? How is the water level?
wow - can't believe it is the end of the week already. I really paid for taking those few days off.
Report: Chopaka is in excellent condition. I did not take any water temperatures - sorry.
At this time last week, I was on the water and catching fish - on dries tight up against the reeds. Taking a mayfly pattern with a blue/grey body, hackle neck and white on top so I could see it. Probably caught 10 fish on friday this way. Even a few in front of the campspots and even in the boat launch opening after dinner casting from shore - that was fun
Saturday we were on the water longer and we caught more fish - like 2 dozen. Saturday night a big wind storm came thru and the fishing was a bit off on Sunday
Lets see. Tons of fish were jumping for the damsels and dragons. Completely out of the air - somersaults and all. it was fun to watch and after a while you tuned it out because there is no way you are going to catch those fish. But all day you would hear splashes everywhere.
Spent most of the time with an intermediate line is the open water just off the weed line. 6 pack, D.R.'s stillwater nymph, hares ear and my purple haze pattern was working. Up against the reeds with a dry line the mayfly was working as well as a dark hares ear. if you weren't going in every once in awhile to retrieve your fly from reed, you were not throwing in far enough.
Most campsites were full, but maybe 15 people on the water at any time. we spent most of our time at the south end.
Highlights: bull moose and adult cow bathing on the south end one morning - huge! seeing a couple of mountain goats when I first started climbing. great food and great drinking. the scenary.
lowlights: nothing that I can think about.
Don't have many pictures, but I"ll see what I can find. Most fish were 15 -16 inches, a few larger, a few smalller. Hard fighters
Thanks for the report! Sounds like a fun time. Is it usually pretty busy up there? I haven't gone to Chopaka yet but hope to some day.
DP - Mountian goats for sheep?
That's what I figured. Nice on the moose. We watched a black bear rolling logs looking for grubs up on the hillside across the lake from the campground on one of our trip.
Glad you had a good trip.