Okanogan Spring Fling...pic heavy


Idiot Savant
Over the years I've hosted a Spring Fling at my property in Oroville. This year I spend nearly a week in the area looking for turkeys and scouting lakes and fishing. The turkey thing was a total bust as far as the birds go but I did get into the hills and see some pretty sights.

Here's a view from the highlands

The service berry is in full bloom

IveofIone was my first guest to arrive. Ive is a senior member of many previous flings and a treasured friend. He's also a damned fine craftsman. Here's his sharp homemade trailer that came in very handy for hauling boats during the week. The fiberglass lid is nothing short of amazing.

Our first lake visit was to Aeneas on Monday. The temps were warm already but the lake still hovered around 58 degrees. We got into fish right away and stayed there most of the day. We both probably landed 30 fish each. Most were well fed and full of fight which added to the great numbers. Several pushed 17 and 18 inches. Sinking lines and half backs and mohair leeches in olive were the favorite patterns.

Aeneas north shoreline

Ive with a rainbow

Turtles sunning on a log

Our next visit was to Lost Lake north of Bonaparte Lake. It's my favorite lake in the area because it holds Brook Trout. I love the color of Brookies and how they explode when you try to net them. We found them to be numerous and well fed. A few were a bit skinny but that's expected this early in the season after wintering over. We did well again in numbers and quality of the catch.

Ready for the water

One in the net

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of fishing with Ive, he is a great and innovative cook. He never ceases to amaze me with the shoreline treats he can provide. This day it was ginger stir fried beef in oyster sauce. He brought all the fixings, beef, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, celery, and all. It was absolutely fabulous and I wolfed it down with a cold brew.

Chef Kletka at work

The great results

By mid-week the temp has risen significantly and I think impacted the catch results. Ive and I hit Beth, Beaver, and Bonaparte with miserable results. Ive did better than me, but that's not saying much. I could hardly buy a fish. An evening drive to Sidley to scope out the lake provide a midge invasion that would rival the plagues of Egypt. We hopped back in the truck and I snapped this photo of a long abandoned house in the hillside.

The next few days new arrivals showed up and we headed back to Aeneas to see if we could repeat our good fortune. The temps were high and the lake was like glass. Tim seemed to have the high numbers but we all had a few large fish on board pushing 17 and 18 inches. Ive managed a nice brown that hit 18 inches if I recall correctly. Photo ops were the ticket for me that afternoon.

Mr. Salzer

Mr. Todd

Steaks and brews topped the meal ticket that day and afforded us plenty of chatter time.

The next morning I found this homeless guy sleeping at my front door....just kidding, it's Scott.

Lost Lake was our final destination as a group and the lake was good to all of us again. The joke of the day is that every time we turned around Tim was nailing another fish. Here he is between retrieves.

Here's Scott playing with a brookie

Rick and Tim took off for Winthrop and the Wet Side and Scott and I headed home. Here's a sight along the way. The weathered wood would look great in my downstairs room at the house as a background paneling.

Scott and I headed to town and the Past Time Bar and Grill for dinner and a cold one. But on the way we spotted a bull snake and during the photo op Scott got it a bit pissed off. They played cat and mouse while I clicked away.

Dinner was great and the service was stellar. Nice folks and atmosphere at the Grill. Stop by if you're in town and say Hi to Vicky the owner.

All good things come to an end and on Saturday I mowed the lawn....again...and Scott and I headed back to the west side. It was great to see old friends again and get to know the new ones better. I missed some of our regulars, but the season is early and lakes aplenty. I hope to see them on the water soon.

A sad final note, on the way home a wild fire was claiming a house and barn south of Azwell Dam just off Hwy 97. It's ominous to see this so early in the spring. I hope it doesn't continue as summer bakes the landscape.


Bob Rankin

Chasing fur and fish every second I get :)

Great pics and a great report! I miss that area, the wife and I used to have a cabin up by Ell lake.


In search of Trout
Roper, Ive, Microbrew, Tim and Rick

Wow, what an honor to fish with some of the great! I really enjoyed meeting you all at Aeneas and wish that I had come out earlier and had more time to fish with you all. Rick, I really enjoyed our discussion, we need to do this again! Tim, I'll pick up your book and really enjoyed our brief connection. Roper, Ive and Microbrew, I regret that we didn't have more time to get to talk, but I guess that is how it goes with fishing and I hope to run into you all again. I am kicking myself for not inviting you all up for a brew. Please feel free to come by and say Hi anytime. I do hope that I get another chance to fish with all of you. What a great supprise!. Thank you all, Ken

Rick Todd

Active Member
As always Roper, great pictures and narrative! Thanks for including me. What a great group of guys to spend a couple days with. Sure took my mind off my Dad's recent passing! Ken-It was nice to talk to you on the lake. You live in an absolutely beautiful setting and it was fun to learn all the people we know in common! I will for sure stop by when I'm in the area, and if you are passing through Winthrop and want a brew and a break (or maybe wet a line on Big Twin,) you are welcome at my place any time! Rick

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
BTW - I am homeless, after the past few weekends. I was not expected for Mother's Day, so I had a seat in the carport - more than I deserved. Yes, I did piss off that snake but didn't dispatch the spider that bit me. It wasn't happy in the cup until I knew I'd be okay.

We had a great weekend, it was a pleasure to meet you Ken. I'll take you up on the brew next time - perhaps we will trade a few. I will see you again. Nice place you have, enjoy life over there.

Roper takes some damn nice pictures

Thanks to all for making it a great trip. Oh yeah, fishing was good, the company better.

Great report and photos Roper. Looks like a great time was had by all. Bummed I missed it, especially after seeing some of Ive's grub. I'll get over that way soon I hope.
Rick thanks again for such a fun time with great company, and for capturing all that in your report (love all the pics)! Hanging out with you guys has been the highlight of my year so far when it comes to fishing. Hope to see you again soon..