Rufus Woods Reservoir

  • Rufus Woods Lake

Boaters can travel 51 miles from above Chief Joseph Dam to Grand Coulee Dam on Rufus Woods Reservoir.  It passes through the high desert of Eastern Washington with views of some farms and orchards, but mostly open country.  The main attraction on the reservoir is triploid rainbow trout, rainbow trout, kokanee and walleye.  The daily limit for all rainbow is two fish per day, and includes kokanee in this bag limit.  Trout in Rufus Woods can be taken from boats by trolling small dodgers with lures like the Apex or spinners like Kokabow spinners or large Wooly Bugger style flies.  Plugs like the Mag Lip 3.5 Flatfish and Rapala are also effective.  Shore anglers cast dough baits or marshmallow and shrimp baits on slip sinker rigs.  There is good shore access near the Corps of Engineers boat launch above Chief Joseph Dam. There are also several Designated Fishing Areas on the upper end of the reservoir on the Colville Indian Reservation.   Anglers will also find an excellent launch at the State Park on the Okanogan side of the reservoir just above Chief Joseph Dam.  There is a federal park about six miles above the dam on the Douglas County side called Brandts Landing.  Here there are RV pads, picnic tables and toilets, and fishing from shore can be very good.  Either a Washington State Fishing license or a Colville Tribal Fishing Permit is allowed in these specific areas.  Some of the most popular shore fishing sites on the upper reservoir are near the upper most net pens.  Fishing for rainbow, both triploid and “wild” rainbow is very good on the upper reservoir, and it is known for good fly fishing.  In addition to the rainbow and kokanee the walleye fishing is very good on the upper reservoir.  Most are caught on jigs or with spinners, like those from Dutch Fork Lures, on a bottom bouncer and baited with a nightcrawler.  At the top end of the reservoir there is a boat ramp at Seatons Grove.  This puts boaters about eight miles from the upper most net pens, and there is excellent trout and walleye water in this area of the reservoir.  At times anglers can find good schools of yellow perch, too. 

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