Due to our very hard winter the March 1st opening of several lakes in the Columbia Basin is pretty much a non event. The popular Trout Derby sponsored by the Quincy Valley Tourism Association has been postponed until March 25th, to assure ice-free conditions. Up north the good news is that the Omak River Road that so many people use to access Rufus Woods Reservoir is finally reopened. That saves the folks up here a long drive to get to this popular winter trout fishery. Also, fly fishers are already having good success on Omak Lake. This is good time to catch the shore cruising Lahontan cutthroat that inhabit the lake. Some real dandies are caught this time of year. The best way to access Omak Lake is from the Mission Road. The road down to the launch area on Beer Can Beach is questionable. Curlew Lake is getting a lot of attention from anglers up north, too. There are excellent catches of very big perch that are attracting anglers to Curlew. Ice fishing continues on many of the lakes in Okanogan County, but conditions could change with much warmer weather in the forecasts.