1st Catch at Pass Lake (Deception Pass, WA)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Mike Bartee, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Had been out on Pass Lake 4 or 5 times in the past with my float tube. Never got a bite, but had lots of fun and enjoyed my days. Several years passed before I would be there again.

    My son recently started tying with me and wanted to fly. Mom and I had bought him a pontoon boat in February (of course dad had to have a matching one) and needed a place to scratch the itch. Being that we can fly fish year-round at Pass Lake it seemed like the perfect place...and only 20-min from the house.

    Well...1st day out the kid had an old rod that snapped in half so we spent the morning trading off the one rod we had and dragging leaches and woolly buggers around to no avail. Got out with a smile (pontoon's were great) and met and old-timer on the beach who asked how we did and said, "There's a lot of guys who do well out here fishing chironomids...14-20...down by the bottom...with a strike indicator up top". Then he proceeded to open up his fly box to let me peek inside saying, "Like these". I saw a bunch of larva-looking things some with soft heads, some with bead heads, some with wire ribbing, etc. I had never heard of these before. Shortly after that a 2nd old timer came off the lake and did basically the same thing (minus the open fly box).

    I have to thank these two friendly guys. They started me on a quest to learn what this was all about. I searched and searched trying to find all the materials I needed to build an arsenal, began reading up on entomology and looking up patterns, and I FOUND THIS SITE. One great help in my conquest was this forum. Great tiers, showing off great patterns, and sharing valuable information. Thanks.

    Needless to say, 4th trip later, it happened. After throwing several patterns with no-luck, I looked down on my pontoon. There laid a tan and brown mayfly looking bug that reminded me of a pattern that I had. I had tied it while experimenting and thought it looked pretty good. When I showed a buddy I even said, "I don't know if it will ever catch anything, but it looks good" (pic attatched). Well that question has been answered. In an hour and a half that fly took 20+ strikes, had two fish on, and I landed one...my 1st fish at Pass Lake (14 inch Rainbow).

    Thanks to everyone on this site that contributed. And thanks to two old timers who's names I don't even know. What a rush!!

    PS: My son is still waiting for his 1st fish on a fly rod, but he has determined that it will be on a fly that he has tied himself. He figures that what he saw Dad experience this morning is worth the wait! I'm proud :D
  2. Nice fish! Way to outfish your son and show him how big and strong dad is!
  3. Yeah, it was kind of nice. I did get him a new rod and reel, he's been with me every trip, and he's been tying all of his own flies...so all is fair on the battlefront. I'd better out fish him while I can. Soon enough....well, you know how the story goes!
  4. That's great. When I first started fly fishing I went out to pass lake with my buddy. We were floating around in a hafl inflated yellow Challenger raft. We had no idea what was going on. After a while an older gentleman opened up his fly box and showed us his chiro's and gave me one. I tied it on and threw it out and landed a 14 inch brown. It's cool when the experienced guys help out the beginners.
  5. That's a great story Mike, sounds like you and your son will have many outstanding days ahead. :thumb:

  6. Fun story, thanks for sharing! Having a little help from experienced guys really does get you going doesn't it? I am thoroughly hooked now.

    Fish on!
  7. Yes we will! He tied up a bunch of simple 'Chiro' Patterns in different colors today. We'll be headed to Pass tomorrow. :cool:

    Take care,
  8. Cool! nice fish! It might be a good idea to get that gap on the hook a little wider. Maybe a tad thinner and don't wrap it that far down the hook. It just may get a few more or those 20+ strikes to stick. :cool: Congrats Man!
  9. i think we all start out making our chonies too fat. looking at the shucks gives a false sense of how fat they are as the shuck expands after they come out. go to a scud hook and see if you hook better. a trick i recently picked up in BC is to use a small barrell swivel 7-8 inches above the chronie thus eliminating the need for a bead head and allowing much more realistic and more easily tied flies. i also find chronie fishing the perfect time to use droppers a couple of feet apart. now you can explore pattern wise and depth wise.
  10. Took your advise and tried tying a little further up the shank (used the same hook which tends to have a small gap anyway)...got it a little thinner too...with the same pattern. When my son wasn't seeing any action on his ties (Sat. morning) I let him tie on mine.

    Pay day! This is his 1st catch (13" Bow) on a fly rod. He's hooked!!!

    Thanks for the great advise,
  11. Awesome! :cool:
  12. This first fish on Pass lake looks more like one of the random Atlantics that got tossed in there. So maybe your first was a salmon!
  13. Funny, that's the first thing I thought when I saw that fish... "looks like a salmon". Didn't know there were any in there. Hmmmm??:confused:

    Great catches, no matter what they are!:beer2:
  14. feel like sharing the "recipe" to that fly? looks like a very useful fly for the smaller lakes around here. pm if you'd like.
  15. It's a pretty silvery rainbow, but a rainbow nonetheless.
  16. Same story different guys and old guys.
    I look at my first chrono's and no wonder I didn't catch any fish with those turds.
    I have learned my lessons well and I'll remember the camera next time.
    Good story and great pics.

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