Friday, January 12, 2007

Boyd Aigner's Chopaka May

Chopaka May

Hook: #14 Dry Fly
Tail: moose body
Abdomen: Olive Grey Superfine dubbing
Wing: single clump of deer hair, tied upright
Hackle: Dun, clipped across the bottom

This classic Northwest stillwater pattern was created by Boyd Aigner. Clipping the bottom of the hackle even with the hook point allows the fly to land upright on a calm lake surface. According to the 1986 edition of Flies of the Northwest the Chopaka May "provides a very natural silhouette. The take is slow and unhurried."
Flytimes has fished Chopaka Lake at least once a year but is going to skip this North Central Washington lake this year. Chopaka suffered a severe winter kill last year and encroachment from illegally stocked smallmouth bass has also taken its toll on the quality of this fishery. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled the lake for rotenone treatment this coming fall. Flytimes is an advocate of the plan to rehabilitate Chopaka Lake but would like to see it executed sooner rather than later.
Flytimes Logic: The fishing was bad last season and will be bad again this season. Ergo, WDFW might as well treat the lake this spring, giving the newly planted trout a full summer to grow, providing a quality fishery no later than springtime in '08.

Edit: This just in from Bob Jateff, District Six Fish Biologist, WDFW.
"Our plans are to do the rehab in the fall of 2007, but I do agree with you that spring would be better. Unfortunately, it takes approximately one year from the time that you decide to do a rehab until the time you actually complete the treatment. This is due to the Department of Ecology's regulations that we must follow very closely. That still doesn't mean that I can't try to move it up a bit, it's just that I doubt if it would be much before September before we get the okay."