18" at Merrill

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by KID, May 18, 2009.

  1. KID

    KID n00b

    I fished Merrill for the first time yesterday. I've been going to the lake my whole life but never to fish, mostly to swim, sail, catch crawdads, and to honor the burial place of Rodger Madson, a former ranger and lifelong family friend. But now that I'm into fly fishing I figured I'd try my luck in this beautiful lake.

    Rodger always told me there were some monsters out there. I never knew him to be a liar..

    I got in my float tube, tied an egg-suckin' bugger with a little brown nymph dropper to the end of my 4wt and started kicking. It was about 12:30, the sun was high and bright, and a slight breeze (like always) was running down the lake. Twenty minutes into my adventure, I felt a little tug and started to strip some line in. He hit hard the next time and I hooked him good. The line was zipping out so fast it burnt my hand. I had about three wraps of fly line left on my reel! He made two big runs before finding his way into my net.

    Definantly a wonderful experience. I'm very grateful to have that beauty be my first fish from Merrill. He bit on the nymph, and was hooked very cleanly inside of the mouth. The pic is terrible, and hes not lined up well on the scale, but I was able to let him go quickly and he swam off with tremendous power.

    I can't wait for the mayfly hatch. Maybe a few of you old guys can come show a kid a trick or two!?! :D
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Nice looking fish Kid. You might be the one showing off tricks.
  3. Trout Master

    Trout Master Active Member

    well done at merrill, fished a few years back for the Hex hatch, had a great time. They used to have a problem with parasites in the lake that wreeked havoc on the rainbows , thats why there were alot of cutt's in there plus afew rather large browns.
  4. Trout Fondue

    Trout Fondue New Member

    I fished Merrill yesterday also. Very slow, but did manage to land one just like yours on an olive bugger.

    For the hatch, be sure to nymph it in the early evening before the hatch starts. I've always done better doing that than the actual hex hatch (or hex hoax as some call it)
  5. KID

    KID n00b

    Beautiful day wasn't it?

    Thanks for the tip. So when does the hex hatch start getting thick?
  6. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

    Those are newly planted trips. Last year and this year they dropped in 200-300 of them.
    Not sure what brought this about as the lake was typically not planted in past years.
  7. Woodcanoeguy

    Woodcanoeguy Member

    This lake has a history of different fish species surviving at different times for many reasons. I have fished it for over 45 years. Not sure but I suspect WDFW is thinking that the big browns are eating the smaller rainbows and cutts.......so stockiing the bigger triploids will help them survive both the browns and the otters. I have seen fewer and fewer smaller size fish each year. Also the triploids won't spawn and are big enough they cannot be harvested under the 2 fish under 12" rule. They do fight very well....but will defintely compete for the limited food supply in the lake. The eagle showed up Saturday.....now the fun begins! A local fly fishing club is erecting a much larger sigh that points out the fly fishing only rules.
  8. tonemike

    tonemike fish'n glass

    great report kid. and thanks for the picture. documentation as always nice.
  9. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

    I camp hosted Merrill last July, so was in a position to track the hex hatch as it developed. The start of the hatch will vary, last year, it didn't go gang busters until the second week of the month. My theory is that there is a critical trigger temperature that the water must reach and maintain before the bugs really start to hatch.

    The rub is that as the water warms up, the fish also become lethargic. We caught any number of fish in the 18" bracket, browns and rainbows, (the cutts are smaller) but none were as frisky as you describe. I found that the biggest barrier to catching a lot of fish during the evening hatch was the amount of time required to revive the ones we caught, and I use a 6 wt and horse them in aggressively.
  10. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

    I'm not too happy about the trips being planted in there, but maybe that's just me. We hooked one two weekends ago and I was depressed when my fishing bud pointed out that it was a triploid. I believe it's being done at the behest of the Clark Skamania fly club.
  11. KID

    KID n00b

    Hahaha.. My ol' gramps was out there on a canoe watching me fight the fish and he saw an eagle circling me and swoop down multiple times as close as 20 feet! I didn't see it or hear it, could've had to fight a flying fish!!!:eek:
  12. graywlf

    graywlf Wishin' I was fishin'

    That eagle has been there for many a year, or maybe he has taught some of his eagle buddies the same tricks.
    He sits in a tree and waits until he sees a rod tip go up and stay up and then he leaves his branch and circles around the fisherman until the trout surfaces and he attempts to steal it.
    I have had more than one of my trout snagged and carried off by him.
    Once he and an osprey had a talons out / battle royal about 15 ft. from my tube for the rights to the fish. I was sorry I didn't have a camera that day
  13. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

    My feeling is that there are plenty of lakes to dump trips so whay not allow the resident fish to feed and get bigger? Although they did just put 200-300 trips in and Merrill is a large lake so maybe it wont have as big of an impact on the food supply as I fear.
  14. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

    They have definitely passed on that behavior. I was double teamed by a pair of them one evening. I have some video of it somewhere.