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If there is a better dry fly lake in Washington than Chopaka, we've never fished it. In early to mid June, you can start your day here fishing mayfly spinners, switch to mayfly adults at lunch time, go to adult damsels mid afternoon to early evening, then back to mayfly spinners, tiny adult chironomids or a small black caddis adult and end the day at dusk with a size 8 traveling sedge pattern.

Of course that's for dry fly fanatics. Good chronomid, mayfly and damsel hatches make wet flies highly effective. And there are lots of scuds here, so they're a good fallback pattern. In recent years, smallmouth bass illegally stocked in the lake have lessened the trout fishing, but it's still a great lake.

Warning: the very steep logging road that leads to this mountain lake is not for the faint of heart or for vehicles with faulty brakes. Advice: Fish this lake at night by trolling a giant black leech. Key fly: Chopaka may.

On the way to Chopaka, you might want to try Aeneas Lake just out of Tonasket. This lake, used as a water reservoir for a neighboring orchard, is not pretty. But it has a lot of carryover rainbows in the 17-inch class. Also in the area are Sidley and Molson lakes. They can be prone to winter kill, but often have nice carryover trout.




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