Jul 28, 2015

Lost Lahontans

     I normally try to tell stories in my posts, but I don't really have one this time. Just a collection of pictures of a fish that I've had my eye on for years that are too fun to not share. 
     The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout grows larger than any other subpecies of cutthroat, with the largest on record weighing in at well over 40 lbs!  Needless to say, it's been on my hit list for some time now. Pyramid Lake in Nevada is probably the best place to catch one if you want a big one in its native range but I don't often make it to Nevada. They are however stocked in a couple lakes with the right water chemistry in north-central Washington, not far from my house. In a rare display of generosity I'll tell you exactly where one of those lakes is. Omak Lake, located with the Colville Indian Reservation has some pretty awesome fishing in the spring (and the rest of the seasons too, but I've yet to try those). I'm telling you the location because it's awesome fishing, and in my several trips there, I only ever saw a few other fishermen total. Plus the tribe's Department of Fish and Wildlife (also incidentally my employer...) could use the revenue since a tribal license is required to fish there.
     I made several trips there from January to March, and caught fish every time. I did all my fishing near "Cow Pie Beach". Not to be confused with "Beer Can Beach" which is on the other side of the lake and also a good spot as I understand it. No I didn't make those names up...
A cow pie on Cow Pie Beach.
Some wildlife overlooking the lake.
Omak Lake
There are some views to be seen there.
     The fish there are what makes it a unique place though. Casting from shore, I was always able to catch fish, and the only other place I've seen a cutthroat fishery with a similar average size is Henry's Lake in Idaho (see Ol' Hank or Opening Day if you don't know what I'm talking about). They average an honest 18 or 19 inches with several over 20 on any given trip, and the occasional one even larger.

Omak Lake Lahontan Cutthroat

My kids got in on the action too!

Omak Lake Lahontan Cutthroat
We teamed up to catch this beauty on Valentines day. Not a bad way to spend some quality family time!
     Lahontans are also stocked on other lakes in Washington too. Here's another one in full spawning coloration from a lake that shall remain unnamed (it would be un-fishermanly of me to give you all the details!). One of the prettiest fish I've seen!

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