Omak Lake

Got out to Omak Lake(9-7-12) to check out several things but mainly to see if I could get a little weight on my rod. So far my biggest fish on was a smallmouth bass in the ~1.5 pound range. I was really hoping to see what weight would feel like on my 5wt.

After gear fishing Omak Lake in the early months I felt I got dialed in on the lake so I thought I knew some areas and depths I could get the fish at with a fly. Well I wasn't that great. I was dropped off on the south end to assemble my pontoon and proceeded to row around. We hit the water around 8am which was probably a couple hours late, the surface temp was 66 degrees. I thought the bite might be great from it being a little cooler. Last time we were out it was 72-74 depending where we were. Well it ended up getting that hot by the late afternoon, 72 by the time we left.

So I rowed all around the south end. Constantly swapping flies and trying new things. I fish around the large submerged rock. Found the baitfish, figured a big one might be lurking by. Nothing. I decide to row across to Baines Beach I believe it is. I let out an absurd amount of line to where I can see my backing just starting to peak through. I'm away from the rock maybe 100 yards probably around 125 feet of water (hope I get a fishing buddy some day so I can be sure on a lot of these rough guesses), then suddenly WHAM... First words out of my mouth were a mixture of profanity swearing at the fish to stay on the line. I was really hoping this was going to be the fish to teach me what 5-6 pounds felt like. Oh I had a hot head damsel on :)

Well this fish was just like a bunch of others I've reeled in from this lake. Dead weight. About every 15 minutes it'd give a head shake and act like a much smaller fish. At first I thought I hooked on an eager 12", but as it got closer it got a lot bigger. Finally I've got it reeled in to a rods length and it's still got that tug going on, just a constant pull but not running. I've got tension on it waiting for it to come in then poof. Fly comes right out. I was fishing barbless, I prefer it that way when I'm going to be releasing. So no biggie, another lost fish. It was the biggest I'd had on the fly rod. I estimate it between 2-3 pounds and 20". Was a little hard to gauge it from that distance and with it being just under the surface of the water. A nice brightly colored male. Beautiful fish.

After that I swung a circle to see if there was a school there, no other takers. Proceeded to row across to the beaches, nothing, swapped flies, nothing. I tried woolly buggers in several different colors, to different leeches, to damselfly patterns. Only thing I didn't try was chironomids and things of that sort but I'm not experience in fishing those without an indicator, honestly I'm not sure you do that for stillwater, but I'd love to know how to if someone has suggestions. I've heard of deepwater nymphing or something but I have no idea how to do it.

So yea, after no bites around the beach I loaded up the pontoon in a boat and we shot up about midway. I row probably another mile on the east side, going in and out of the shallows, around the islands. A few times I had some bumps but I'm pretty sure it was rocks. I seemed to hit them a lot more often then I thought I would. Guess my line gets a lot deeper a lot quicker then I anticipated.

Beautiful day out, nice and sunny, near glass at times.


Then sometime around noon the wind picked up just enough to cool you off.

Was still very easy to row around. The weather was higher then forecast by a ways I believe.

I'll get back out there later this month when the weather is in the low 70's instead of 89 and see how the bite is. I'd really like to fish this place when it's hot fishing with a fly. Since transitioning from gear fishing I've only been to Omak Lake this one time. I've heard some great stories about fishing it with a fly. In the middle of summer I saw people in pontoons out there in the middle of the south end as well as a couple float tubers near the south beaches. I'd figure someone was catching fish. I think I might invest in a low budget high ips line that'll get down quicker then my 4.7 for this lake.
Hmmmm.. water temps just a little high yet to get me drooling. It's getting close though. A few more of these cool nights and the baetis will be popping off. You'll want to be there for that. Big fish gulping mayflies off the surface. It's seems like those surface feeders are the harder fighting fish in the lake.
Haha quad! Didn't know you were on these forums too. Yea I've been doing a lot of fly fishing recently. Got the bug.

Triploid: I'd love to see them hitting the surface more. When I was out there this last time there were a couple, and one very very large splash, couldn't tell where it came from but it wasn't a bird.