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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was planning on taking my father-in-law (in town from Georgia) to the Deschutes Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but it's blown and I'm not counting on it clearing by then. For Plan B I'm thinking maybe the Seeps lakes (sorta familiar) or the Okanogan (totally unfamiliar). We've got a pontoon boat and one of the WFF watermasters and I've been looking forward to some camping. I'd be happy to go bassin' personally but Washington bass kinda pale in comparison to Georgia bass. If anyone's got a suggestion or two I'd love to hear it.
 
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Coffee Pot Lake. Large mouth 3-7 lbs, seen them with my own eyes. There were a few guys yard'n them out a couple weeks back. Far end of the lake past the middle channel. Right at the launch, there's a place to camp and one of those concrete poopers.
 

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Why would you go all the way down to the Dechutes when you have all those great fisheries up there? Isn't the Sky opening up Saturday? The Hoh, Nooksack and so on. Even the Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis on SW Wa. Lake Merrill is known for it's 18 to 27 inch triploids, they don't have them in Georgia! And they bite all day. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Coffee Pot Lake. Large mouth 3-7 lbs, seen them with my own eyes. There were a few guys yard'n them out a couple weeks back. Far end of the lake past the middle channel. Right at the launch, there's a place to camp and one of those concrete poopers.
Not bad, not bad. But 3 pound bass grow in roadside ditches in GA. Washington's warmwater fishing is fun, but honestly, it doesn't hold a candle to what you find in the Southeast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why would you go all the way down to the Dechutes when you have all those great fisheries up there? Isn't the Sky opening up Saturday? The Hoh, Nooksack and so on. Even the Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis on SW Wa. Lake Merrill is known for it's 18 to 27 inch triploids, they don't have them in Georgia! And they bite all day. Jim
If you ate steak every day wouldn't you want a pork chop every now and then? There's no river in the world like the Deschutes, that's why we go down there. Hoh is mud, Sky is blown, Lewis too, etc. etc. Maybe I need to add one more caveat: we're looking for trout, (or trout-sized fish), because that's what he's got gear for!

Now Merrill lake, that's something I hadn't thought of. Thanks for that one.
 
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Not bad, not bad. But 3 pound bass grow in roadside ditches in GA. Washington's warmwater fishing is fun, but honestly, it doesn't hold a candle to what you find in the Southeast.
Ya, I realize that. Down there they probably use that size for bait. I was just trying to be helpful. I don't know of any places with bass as big as what they have down there. I just know that at Coffee Pot there isn't much pressure for bass.....catch'm all! :thumb:
 

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Matt, it's Scott McCracken. I'll be up at Chopaka next week with my camper. Finally, it looks like the weather up there will be co-operating. A beautiful western setting, I think your father-in-law would enjoy it. A warning, I'm bringing my dog. Not the dog breath Brittany we took to Montana. This is my Golden, she flosses every night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah I asked if he had any interest in bass fishing out here and the answer was a resounding "Not really."

Scott, maybe we'll see you out there. This may be the perfect time to finally make the trek to Chopaka.
 

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Sorry Matt, I thought you were fishing for steelhead. My brother lives in Redman and I agree, there's no other river like the Dechutes but for trout Merrill is a hell of a lot of fun, Clearwater lake is fun also plus he could take a look at St. Helens, for some people that's a once in a life time experience. Coming from Georgia he might appreciate that? Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think you have to come from GA to appreciate Mt St Helens! But we went to Chopaka. It was great. He's been out west lots of times but really enjoyed the drive over and back as well as the lake and its slimy denizens. And I don't mean the Chopaka regulars, although some of them....:rofl: We went up over Stevens and came back over North Cascades which made for a great circuitous route. Will post some pics later if I get a chance.
 

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Okay here's some pics and a report. Thanks to all who gave suggestions.

I consider this a very successful trip. I got to fish new waters, see some new country, and even try some new techniques...with success! My father-in-law also had a great time. I picked up one of the WFF watermasters and let my FIL use my pontoon boat. It wasn't my first time using a watermaster and I was reminded what a sweet little boat that is. I would love to take it down a river with some whitewater some time.

We pulled into the CG around 3:30 on Sunday, just in time for some of the weekenders to pull out and open up some space. My FIL's a social type and he struck up a conversation with one of our neighbors, who happened to be casting a cane rod into the camp water. When I overheard the introductions I went down to say hi to Preston, who generously supplied us with some patterns for the lake. Nice meeting you Preston. We each got a couple fish that evening; FIL used a parachute Adams and I was casting to working fish in the reeds with a damselfly nymph. That was a first for me, and super fun. The fish were large and feisty. On several occasions the line from my rod tip was going into the water in one direction and then the fish and the other end of the line were exiting the water over in the other direction. Until Chopaka I had never encountered such quick and powerful fish in a lake.

That night I broke out the vise after dinner and tied a half dozen callibaetis cripples by the light of my headlamp. They looked surprisingly decent given the night's libations.



The flies worked great the next day. I caught about half on damsels and half on the cripples. FIL used dries all day long and I think he ended up ahead of me by a few fish by the end of the day. I had a great evening fishing to a pod of fish taking midges off the surface of a shallow back bay. I don't know that I've ever tied on 6x and a sz. 22 midge before, but I did that night, and hooked three bruisers on that delicate setup. All three fish took me into the weeds and reeds. The first two threw the tiny hook. Somehow, I landed the third. By all rights I should have lost the fish. I had to dig it out of the veg several times, but eventually got into the net. I can now say I'm in the 20/20 club, although I'm not sure if it really counts in a lake.



Tuesday morning we broke down our tents in order to be ready to fish until the last possible minute. I rowed down to the south end of the lake while my FIL took up his spot across from the CG. I found sporadically rising fish and decided to see what this whole chironomid thing was all about. It's a technique I have only tried once before. Black fly below red fly, bobber about 2 feet above the red fly. It worked. A couple of times I found myself diggin' the birds and scenery or whatever only to look back and see that the dang bobber (just a yellow corkie w/ toothpick) sank again. Lift the rod--hey whaddaya know, there's a fish on here! Ha! Ended up finishing the day with dries though. Muy bueno. It was hard to leave.

 
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