As promised, here’s a report from my first-ever trip to Chopaka:
The infamous road to the lake: Not an issue for my 2WD vehicle. I explored some forest service roads this summer that were far, far worse. The road to the lake was a relative breeze.
The free campground: Clean, functional and well laid-out for anglers and their vehicles. I was kind of expecting more of a makeshift scene like Lenice and was pleasantly surprised by the picnic tables, awnings, fire pits and level sites.
The fishing, the fish, and how we caught ‘em: In our group – all first-time Chopaka anglers – we averaged about 15 fish to hand per day, with many others slipping the hook or breaking our 5X tippets. (4X held them well and didn’t seem to deter the trout taking our offerings.) The fish ranged between 13”-16”, with a handful tipping in either direction, including two legit 19-inchers. Aside from a couple of skinny, older fish, the fish were in wonderful condition and very strong fighters. We had luck with chironomids, leeches, buggers and even scuds. We caught fish both trolling and stripping our leeches and buggers, with a fast strip being most effective. We fished the entire lake and had our best results from mid-lake (in front of the campground) to the south end.
Overall, it was a great trip, and I look forward to fishing it again someday.