Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Yesterday on Pass Lake

Arrived at Pass Lake around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon. As I prepared to launch my boat I saw tens of dozens of empty midge schucks floating at the water's edge. Then I noticed that there wasn't a drain plug in my boat. Brilliant.
Fortunately I have lots of experience with situations like this. I've even made up a check list.

#1. Don't panick, remain calm.
- Okay I'm calm, ignorance is bliss.

#2. What did I do last time this happened?
- Never done this one before, first time for everything.

#3. Is there a spare?
- Yes but it's at home, sitting on the workbench next to the one it's supposed to be a backup for.

#4. Look around, did anyone see you do this? Is Wife present?
- No one saw - self esteem intact. Wife's not here, no second guessing - confidence intact.

#5. Search rig, find duct tape. If no duct tape call 911 and/or light signal fire.
- Check, duct tape located.

#6. Formulate plan*.
- Check, plan in head...now.

#7 Gather tools and materials, implement plan.
- One roll of duct tape, one tube of chap-stick. Implementing plan.

*formulat plan" is survival checklist speak for "make something up" and stick with it until you...
a) fix problem.
b) help arrives.
c) something worse happens.

Twenty minutes later I row across the lake, chap-stick/duct tape drain hole plug firmly in place. Crisis averted.
The fishing was much less eventful. Leeches and streamers were ignored. Too early for the usual hatches of caddis, mayflies and damsels. No boatmen were observed. I was forced to fish chironomids.
It's called bobber fishing around here. The idea is to tie on one or two chironomid pupae and suspend them near the lake bottom using a strike indicator. When the indicator goes down you set the hook. It's just like fishing for bluegills with a bobber and worms.
It can be effective as live bait too. When stillwater trout are locked onto hatching chironomids this kind of fishing can provide non-stop action for hours. Other times you get vertigo from staring at the indicator for so long.
So I fished chironomids for the last couple hours of the day. I picked up one big 17 inch rainbow and a couple of fiesty 12 inchers. I hooked lots of other fish but they were recently planted stockers that shook off the hook before I could land them. Slow day.
At the boat launch at the end of the day the talk was that the hatch ended at about the 3 o'clock. Apparently everyone was doing real well until then.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Damsel Nymph

Marabou Damsel Nymph

Hook: TMC 2312, #12
Tail & Body: blood quill marabou
Eyes: plastic or x-small bead chain

Good for trout, bass, sunfish, carp and who knows what else.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lakes: They're all we have left!

Stillwater Chironomid Pupa

Looks like the rivers around here are never comin down. That leaves lakes. Fourtunately there are some great early season stillwaters here in Washington and Washington Lakes has the dope on all of 'em. Tie up some chironomids, grab those indicators, pump up the tube and get out there!
Let us know how you do.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sprague Lake To Be Rehabbed

Good new for one of the most fertile lakes in the Eastern Washington.

From the Spokesman Review,
"The plan is to plant rainbow and Lahontan cutthroat trout, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and a few tiger muskies."

Sounds good to me.

Oooh Ooh Ooh! I want one!

Olli over at Opax Fly Fishing got himself a Fly Line of Many Colors. Very cool.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Old Timey Cigar Labels

Hot damn! Moldy Chum's got some old timey goodness on yonder blog.

Maybe Next Week

Monday, March 05, 2007

"On a scale of 1 to 2"

Flytimes Skwala Nymph

hook: TMC 200R, #8-#10
tails: light brown super floss
body: light brown sparkle yarn
legs: light brown super floss
thorax: olive gray Arizona Scud Blend

Ken: On a scale of 1 to 2, 1 being the worst and 2 being the best, how would you rate the fishing today Wally?
Me: 1
That was the rating system that Ken came up with during our Saturday afternoon float. Its a system that accurately reflects the binary mood of the Yakima River in early spring. The fish are either on or off.
In fact, now that I think about it, it's not early spring on the Yak, it's winter. Saturday night was the first night in weeks that the temperature did not dive below the freezing mark on thee olde thermometer. Snow still covered the northern slopes of the surrounding hills and river banks.
Sunday wasn't much better though I did see exactly one adult skwala. Clouds settled in just above the canyon rim. The light was low and gray and a very slight breeze blew downstream. It seemed like baetis weather but there were only a few midges.
Snap was in the boat with me for the afternoon. We took turns rowing, the other casting adult skwalas into all the likely lies. In a normal year (whatever that is) it might have been too early for skwalas, or it might have been exquisite timing, fishing the hatch just when the trouts were turning on to the big bugs. As it was we were way too early. Winter still lives in the Yakima River Canyon.