Mar. 7, 2018

Catch Your Dinner: Fishing Lake Chelan

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As we have more and more spring-like days in February and March, we can't help but get excited to start some of our favorite seasonal traditions early-like fishing in Lake Chelan. While fishing is open year-round on the lake, the best days are warm and sunny, trolling the length of the lake in the sunshine with good company. (Don't have a boat? You're in luck: during the summer months we have on-site boat rentals at the The Lookout's waterfront marina.)

With over 50 miles of crystal blue waters surrounded by hills of orchards and vineyards, not only is Lake Chelan one of the most picturesque places to fish, it's also home to some of the best fishing in the Northwest. Chinook Salmon, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Burbot and Kokanee are all abundant in the cool, deep water, with over 800,000 stocked and landlocked in the lake each year. Here, hooking a 20-pound fish isn't unusual. The largest species is Lake Trout (Mackinaw), which holds the state record set in 2014 with a 35-pound, 10-ounce trout.

Photo: Phil Colyar of Wenatchee / photo by Jack Stagge

In the coming weeks, the best chances are for Lake Trout, but big months for Kokanee are right around the corner in late April and May. Check out the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's prospecting calendar for more info.

And while you're in the Chelan area, make sure to try your hand at these nearby lakes and rivers:

Wapato Lake

Where: 10 miles from Chelan in Manson
What: Rainbow Trout, Large Mouth Bass, Bluegill and Crappie

Roses Lake
Where: 10 miles from Chelan in Manson
What: Rainbow Trout, Bass and Catfish

Alta Lake
Where: 20 miles north of Chelan
What: Rainbow Trout, Large Mouth Bass and Bluegill

Stehekin River
Where: The head of Lake Chelan
What: Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout

Columbia River
Where: 3 miles from Chelan
What: Rainbow Trout, Sturgeon, Walleye, Catfish, Kind Salmon and Steelhead

Check with the WDFW for details on licenses and limits.

By: Cara Rettig    Comments: 60

The Lookout

101 Jackrabbit Lane
Chelan, WA 98816
(509) 682-0885
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