I have fished Wapato Lake with my dad, on opening day for several years in a row, and have not experienced the lake in such fine form.
Once again, a 14ft aluminum boat, with two passengers capsized in the frigid waters. I witnessed a young boy jump into the lake off of the public boat ramp dock. He stood by his pole, as the pole was yanked off the dock by a size-able trout. The water was shallow, but the fish pulled the rod further out each time the boy reached for it. Able to clutch the rod and retrieve it, and himself back onto the dock. He was coooold! Screaming for his friend to pull him onto the dock. The hypothermic boy reeled in his prize, while shaking from the full body, 51°cold water submersion.
Fishing? Everywhere I looked, there was a net out or a bent fishing rod waiting for a net. This went on all day long on Saturday. The weather on Saturday was another first. Hard rain, followed by drizzle, pelted by hail and a very heavy dose of windy, and a glimse of short periods of Sun. Hands got numb, clothes never did get wet.
We did catch and release all day, no bait. Using a hand tied fly behind a dodger, or hand tied fly with self made wiggle fin behind a dodger, or F-7 jointed Rapala, or any color of flatfish. Caught one trout on a pink/white crappie jig towed behind a dodger. The crappie skirt being the least productive. Dick night spoons, hot shots, and triple teaser were also productive. I started out shallow, adding weight as the day progressed until eventually fishing 15-18ft down. I was hunting for the lure, water depth, lake location for consistently catching larger fish. It was not until 3pm that the SE corner of the lake produced solid 14" -15" fish. One after another. Dad and I Kept 8 of the hard fighters before throwing in the opening day towel around 7pm.
Fish fit into 3 size catagories.......10"..........12-13".........and beefy 15's". My dad was the triploid junkie, catching 3 of those porky slimmers, each of the trip's had worn down tail tips and a flat spot on there nose where the skin was worn through and cartilage ground down. Those trip's looked tattered......lol! The trout had pink meat, while the war tattered trip's had wonder bread colored flesh to go along with there non existent tails.