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NY Times explores source of behemoth cutthroats

FISHING — After my post on a Spokane Fly Fishers outing to catch large Lahontan cutthroat trout at Omak Lake, I received an email from an angler who was surprised.

"When I lived in Omak in 1965-67, we waterskied there and as I remember the lake was very alkaline and nobody fished it," he said. "Is it possible that the lake I remember is another lake?"

"No, it's the same lake," I responded. "But you hit exactly on the reason it is stocked with Lahontan cutthroat trout, a species originating from the southwest and specially adapted to thriving in alkaline waters.  The Lahontan species also is stocked in Lake Lenore and Grimes Lake."

By coincidence, The New York Times has just published a story recounting the successful effort to revive and preserve the Lahontan cutthroat's genetics originating from Pyramid Lake, Nev.

Note:  Check out the NYT photo of the anglers wading out with ladders to get out to deeper water while gaining a higher profile for longer casting.

Fly fishers score on large cutthroats at Omak Lake

FISHING — The Spokane Fly Fishers' club outing to Omak Lake last weekend was a success, according to the photo (above) and brief report from Mike Berube:

The club's outing to Omak Lk this past weekend was a good time. Everyone caught fish…. Threw streamers for two days and caught a lot of fish. It didn't seem to matter what pattern we used.

Omak Lake is a on the Colville Indian Reservation (tribal fishing license required) about 7 miles southeast of Omak. The 10-mile-long lake is large — 3,244 acres compared to Sprague Lake at 1,840 acres.  But it's also famous for producing trophy-size Lahontan cutthroat trout.  

  • The 18.04-pound Washington state record Lahontan cutt was caught in Omak Lake in 1993.

Public beaches and boat access are at the north end of the lake.