Weekender Report: 4 Lakes in 3 Days


Active Member
Friday May 9th, 2008: We left Bellevue at 6:30 after trying to figure out how to clamshell two prams, camping and fishing gear into my truck for the long drive out to Eastern Washington. Our plan was to fish Blue Lake, Ell Lake, and Rufus Woods, however our plans changed while we were on the road. Snoqualmie Pass temp was 28 degrees and still alot of snow on the ski area. Lake Kachelus is almost ice free, very dramatic over a week ago and should be ice free within a few more days of nice weather. The plan was to fish Blue today however I'd mistakenly noted the directions and we proceeded to Oroville instead of Tonasket. After driving a distance towards Wanacut Lake we saw that there were three "Blue" Lakes in the nearby vacinity and the one that we were looking for was actually closer to Tonasket. It wasn't too far a detour and we found our way to the real Blue Lake. When we arrived there were a few other fly fisherman on the water and a big military type tent set up with a built in stove. I was thinking that these guys are serious anglers to have set up such an elaborate shop. But after thinking about this, I think that turkey season in swing and its probably a base camp for all the hunters that were in the area for those gobblers. Gil and I proceeded to launch and found our way to the north end of the lake in the deepest part of the main lake at 25 feet, water temp was 54-59 degrees according to the fishing buddy. We set up chironomid shop and started hooking Bows, and Browns ranging from 10" - 16" and both hooked ~20 fish a piece. It was nice to hook up regularly but they were mostly smaller fish. We camped out at Blue and then had the idea to fish Ell lake on the east side of Tonasket the next day.

Saturday May 10th, 2008: Since we didnt have a recent report of Ell we decided to visit Spring Creek Prams, the builder of my boat who at that time was HQ'd in Bremerton. They'd moved to Tonasket and I wanted to drop by and say hello as well as get the skinny on the fishing report for these lakes. Nobody was home and answered the phone but it was close to Ell, so we decided to survey from above. There were no fisherman on Ell but we noted that Round Lake was nearby and there were more folks fishing and it looked alot fishier. We met a fly guy at the launch and he said that the WDFW stocked it and it fishes well, but mostly small fish. We made out way to the lake me into 35 feet of water, Gil anchored up at 20-25' water temp was 50-54 degrees. Most fish were caught hovering at 12-15' all on chironomids. After a couple hours of fishing we decided that we wanted some bigger fish and packed up decided to head out to Omak Lake. We landed several smaller fish a piece as well: 10-14"

We arrived at Omak after some journeying to find the right launch. Surprising to find that we were the only two anglers to be seen anywhere! For a Saturday in May for find a whole beach to ourselves was fantastic! However the wind started howling and our anchors we're constantly being pulled by the loose gravelly sand bottom. After a couple of hours and no fish with the chironomids I decided to pull out the RIO outbound 300 tip and threw big Dragon Fly nymphs since it was a bust to try and fight the wind. I sidedrifted the pram, thank God I brought my trolling motor, in 10-15 feet of water with water temp at 50 degrees, and started getting numerous hits, the largest Lahontan I estimated was 23-24". They are spectacular fish but not the best fighting for their size. I landed 7 in the couple of hours that we'd spent pulling buggers, leeches, and stripping various patterns. Gil finally got tired for trying to row, anchor and cast blindly. He decided to land the boat and sight fish for Lahontans. He saw a few in the shallows and ended up with some nice fish both 15-17" colored up in spawning regalia. It reminded me of beach fishing for Pinks at Brown's Point but the best part was there were no others to be seen for miles!

There is a new Best Western in Omak, we decided to set up 'camp' there as were in need of a good night sleep, hot shower and 'free' continental breakfast. I would highly recommend this place, nice ammenities of a 2 star hotel and even better than some 4 star hotels that I've stayed at in the past. Omak is a booming little town with a newer Wall Mart Supercenter, Home Depot and nice Safeway. Its a good pit stop for anglers heading up to Osoyos or Sawmill in B.C. Thats another trip that we're going to plan in the future!

After a nice Mexican dinner, a shower and some well needed sleep, we woke up to either fish Rufus Woods on Sunday or Dry Falls.

Sunday May 11th, 2008: Since my battery was toast from the trolling at Omak and not knowing Rufus we opted to make the trek out to Dry Falls as both Gil and I really enjoy deep water chironomid fishing from the prams. From Omak its about an hour and half drive out to Dry Falls, spectacular scenery and we knew that fish were to be taken at Dry Falls having both fished it recently. Upon our entry to the parking lot there weren't many fisherman, probably due to it being Mother's Day. We shared the water with 3 other fly fisherman, a much better scenario versus last week when the gear pullers were out in force. Making our way to our favorite spots we set up shop. It was a slooooow day at Dry Falls with Gil landing 7 and I landed 3 all day! All fish were on size 18 chironomids of various colors. Guess we should've explored Rufus Woods, after reading on the way home some good reports of regular 1-2 lb fish and some occassional 5-6 lbers that were being caught.

All in all it was a successful trip and great to get away and explore some new lakes. With the price of gas so high I don't know if I'd make that trek out there again for fish in the Okanogan, the next trip we're planning is in the B.C. Interior for the BIG fish!!!


New Member
I am always amazed at the energy and drive of 206er's. Wow...all that in just three days!!!

I also think I know why gas is now pushing $4.00 gallon.

Good report. I think I would have fished Ell...though Round has been known to have large fish in the past.
Nice report! Planning to try Omak here in a couple or three weeks!
Can't wait to strip some big streamers there. Hopefully the water wont warm too much by then.
The tent camp you saw at Blue Lake was probably 'Captain Larry'.
He spends a month at Lenice and a month at Blue Lake every spring.
The tent you saw WAS 'Captain Larry'. I was camped right next to him. Great guy, be sure to introduce yourself next time, he really knows his stuff. Great report. I enjoyed reading it even though I was there.

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