Chopaka and Stevens county

dbk

Active Member
With thee Churches closed and the lakes opening up had some time to fish Chopaka and explore a bit of the fishing in Steven's County. Chopaka fished really well though every throat sample was like this
20200511_174813.jpg

Fishing pressure both days I fished was moderate.. a dozen boats or so with all concentrated across the launch to the far south end. Water clarity waa exceptional and as usual there are tons of fish in the lake. Didn't see any callubeatis but overheard one guy say he saw some on the far south end where he was able to catch some on dries. Never really spent much time targeting rising fish though there were some mostly near the cattails and bulrushes near shore. Expect though the dry/emerger opportunities to increase in the weeks to come. Most of my efforts were focused on water 8-10 ft deep though I took fish in water as shallow as 2 ft right along shore. Fish seemed to be pretty much everywhere in water 10ft or less. With the primary food source being tiny midge pupae in prolific numbers (and given I did not have that box of 'sz.18-22 pupae with me) I mostly fished blobs which the fish readily ate with reckless abandon. Did catch some fish along the shorelines on blood worms and micro olive balanced leeches but an apricot or apricot/pink blob was the best pattern for me. The takes though were frustrating and often hard to get hooked up on but the trout were eating them throughout the day.. Fishing was pretty simple.. a blob suspended a foot off the bottom under an indicator in 8-10' of water was really it.. only adjustment was to move within a general area if the bite slowed and fish 360 degrees around the boat before moving on.. if you want to catch a lot of fish Chopaka remains a good place for that.. fish were mostly 14-16" with a few at 17-18" and some smaller than 14"..

After two days of that though I was ready for some bigger fish so on my way back to Spokane hit a lake in Stevens County. Not sure what to expect I was pleased by the size and quality of the fish. Fortunately there was a good hatch of chironomids and the pupae were mostly sz. 10-12 rather than the tiny bugs emerging at Chopaka. Again 8-10" of water was the area of focus as the mids' were popping there throughout the day. While some other guys on the lake had success fishing balanced leeches I fished chironomids almost exclusively.. with this pattern being the fliy of the day:
20200512_235108.jpg

The pupae showing up in the samples were sz. 10-12 but the colors varied from "chromies" to black with red butts.. with some olive and olive red butt pupae in the mix as well. A few friends of mine did well on the staple back with red wire rib most have in their box. Suspended a foit off the bottom under an indicator produced throughout the day good numbers of fish like this:
20200505_113118.jpg 20200512_144928.jpg 20200512_174727.jpg 20200512_190350.jpg

All in all a good way to social distance.. hope everyone is getting out to fish some in these surreal times..
 

Tim Lockhart

Active Member
David - Great to see you getting out! I was supposed to be there as we speak, before the bomb went off. But I'll keep in touch with you regarding fall. So much about Chopaka above rings true, gotta love that so much food and fish creates some unique challenges about standing out and hooking up...has a bit of the Ford syndrome at times :eek:

Thanks so much for the report and shots - makes my day. Hope to see you in October Sir..

TL
 

dbk

Active Member
David - Great to see you getting out! I was supposed to be there as we speak, before the bomb went off. But I'll keep in touch with you regarding fall. So much about Chopaka above rings true, gotta love that so much food and fish creates some unique challenges about standing out and hooking up...has a bit of the Ford syndrome at times :eek:

Thanks so much for the report and shots - makes my day. Hope to see you in October Sir..

TL
Hey Tim.. hope you can make it out in October.. as you know that is a great time to fish the Okanagan County lakes.. and yes Chopaka does have a bit of the Ford syndrome at times for sure.. a few guys near me were struggling to get bit fishing chironomids.. one came over to ask me what I was doing so I showed him the ultimate "stand out from the crowd" pattern in the blob and gave him a few.. trying to match that hatch got a few fish for him but the blob definitely changed the rest of his day there.. let me know if you are able to get here in October.. im moving to Cheney in July hence if you have time Amber offers some great water boatman fishing in Octobet.. hope to see you..
 

girlfisher

Active Member
Normally, I stay clear of the Chopaka circus. Gave it a shot today and was pleasantly surprised with only about another 6 boats on the lake including a local friend that has all but given up on this lake as well. I was not impressed with people blatantly camping and even worse "BUILDING A FIRE" in a county with a fire ban! Our county has already had 2 dozen wildfires. Also heard an NPR report that we are have more than doubled the number of wildfires for the state at this point of the year. There is so much clearly, publicized, info on phase one and wildfires! Please don't burn down my home and needlessly ignore phase one rules that would put those most vulnerable at a very high risk!!!
 

dp

~El Pescador
right on - thanks.
love Chopaka, but not as alluring for just a day trip. I would want to camp!
 

Buzzy

Active Member
Normally, I stay clear of the Chopaka circus. Gave it a shot today and was pleasantly surprised with only about another 6 boats on the lake including a local friend that has all but given up on this lake as well. I was not impressed with people blatantly camping and even worse "BUILDING A FIRE" in a county with a fire ban! Our county has already had 2 dozen wildfires. Also heard an NPR report that we are have more than doubled the number of wildfires for the state at this point of the year. There is so much clearly, publicized, info on phase one and wildfires! Please don't burn down my home and needlessly ignore phase one rules that would put those most vulnerable at a very high risk!!!
Please excuse my ignorance about "blatant camping" - is camping specifically prohibited (closed) at Chopaka much the same as Sun Lakes State Park? Sun Lakes Resort is open for camping as are other "private" campgrounds in the area. No sarcasm intended, curious.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
Now that I think about this it's kind of like theft. Although it is against the law, a half dozen or so thefts won't bankrupt all of us. After all, if its OK not to wear a mask in Church than God must have approved it!
These following takes effect Tuesday, May 5:

  • DNR is open for day use only.
  • Overnight camping remains closed until further notice.
Also, I don't think any of the privies are unlocked as mentioned in earlier threads.
 
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Buzzy

Active Member
Now that I think about this it's kind of like theft. Although it is against the law, a half dozen or so thefts won't bankrupt all of us. After all, if its OK not to wear a mask in Church than God must have approved it!
These following takes effect Tuesday, May 5:

  • DNR is open for day use only.
  • Overnight camping remains closed until further notice.
Also, I don't think any of the privies are unlocked as mentioned in earlier threads.
Thank you for clarifying this for my obvious obtuseness. You see, I didn't know under whose jurisdiction Chopaka is under.
 

Big Tuna

Member
Now that I think about this it's kind of like theft. Although it is against the law, a half dozen or so thefts won't bankrupt all of us. After all, if its OK not to wear a mask in Church than God must have approved it!
These following takes effect Tuesday, May 5:

  • DNR is open for day use only.
  • Overnight camping remains closed until further notice.
Also, I don't think any of the privies are unlocked as mentioned in earlier threads.

You need to take a chill pill. A half a dozen campers spread over 8-10 acres is not like theft. It's a ridiculous over reaction to say that these "law breakers" are somehow putting others at risk. Your reaction to camp fires is similar. First, there hasn't been a fire ban up there at this time of year in the last 20 years, so if people have a fire it's not an act of civil disobedience. I was up there and saw no sign indicating there was a fire ban, so others may have had similar experiences. There are fire pits with metal walls that extend about 16 inches and are located in gravel patches that are a long way from anything flammable. In addition, those fire pits are located in a huge frickin green meadow. It's highly unlikely that anyone will burn the area down. Take a deep breath.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Premium
Thank you for clarifying this for my obvious obtuseness. You see, I didn't know under whose jurisdiction Chopaka is under.
Hi Buzzy,
Jurisdiction at Chopaka is a bit complex. Part of the lake (and more southerly camping area) is on state DNR land. This section has the more developed campsites. Access requires a Discovery Pass. The more northerly part of the lake (and more northerly camping area) is on federal BLM land. This section has more primitive campsites. Access requires a federal pass, such as the America the Beautiful pass.
Steve
 

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