Fished the Omak area 6/8 through 6/12, with friends I've been fishing with the past 40 years.
On this trip there were 5 of us, two whom are new to fly fishing. I think it's somewhat of a disadvantage
for them in that we will not allow any fly pattern that sinks below the surface. However, after 2 years they have grown accustom to only fishing dry's and seem to have no desire to fish the dark side. loFirst, we took them to a lake called Green, just a few minutes from Omak. The fish are only 12-16 inches, but it's a good lesson for beginners. One must pay attention to the lakes entomology---- changing hatches throughout the day as well as where the fish will be during this period.
We all caught fish and on several patterns, but what was important was finding where the fish were feeding.
What we try and teach is again, pay attention to the birds and what appears to be hatching. Next, find out where the fish are feeding. We tell them to ask themselves, "if I were a fish where would I be looking for food?" It doesn't talke long.
On Tuesday we headed up to a quality lake called Buzzard based on a positive review from the fly shop in Omak. Blue gill are abundant in Buzzard, but were told the fly clubs were doing well for trout. The weather did not cooperate so we left after a couple of hours with no fish and headed back down to fish Green, which fished well.
On Wednesday we headed up to Chopaka and fished the afternoon. All of us caught fish, but should have done better. After a strategy meeting that evening we headed back up the next day and finally got it sorted out.
We armed ourselves with size 16 green and blue damsels. Size 16 callibaetis mayflies. The mayflies in Chopaka are very dark and we determined the blue dun patterns outfished the traditional Adams.
Also size 18 sparkle duns worked as well at times.
The mayflies started coming off starting around 11:00am and seemed to continue throughout the day as well as the damsels------But--it all depended on how you fished them. The hatches were on the bank in the weeds so it took some skill to cast your fly over the weeds against the bank with a light wind. Needless to say we all ended up occasionally snagging a weed.
Once the wind came up we were in heaven and our personal fly the Gray Ugly really kicked butt.
The fish averaged 18" and up. I caught approximately 15 fish up to 21" The high point was getting broke off by fish I estimate to be 22-24 inches. I was using 4X was broken off 4 times due. Keep in mind we are fishing in the weeds where the water depth is 12 inches. These fish fight like no other that I've caught in this state and for that reason will use straight 6 lb test. These fish are not leader shy.
Bottom line is, if you want to catch fish you got to be accurate and shoot your line between weeds and onto the bank. It's all about accuracy!!!!
Our trip Friday was cancelled due to thunderstorms.
The road is brutal, but passable and I can't wait to get back up there.
Great report, Clayton. I'm happy you got out and had such a good time.