Rufus Woods Report

This was my first time to RW. Four people in an 18' North River sharing two fly rods at a time. We tied on leeches of different colors using class III sinking lines on 6 wt and 7 wt fly rods. We fished along the buoy line on day one limiting in about five hours. Black was the best color, with olive and brown tying for second. We had many, many hits with two that broke off feeling just like the big fish that got away. The General was the hot pattern for leaches, we tried many different patterns too.

Day two hit the shore across from the golf course with same rods set up. Brown seemed to be the ticket here, and we limited in 7 hours, again with many hits none of these felt like it was the big one that got away. Our Pass Lake Brown Leach seemed to be the fly of the day, although the General was a big producer too.

Fish were from 14" to 21", and fat! It seemed funny to say yeah, we caught some fish but none that were all that big, our fish were only in the 2 pound range.... WTF? We realize now that we needed to get deeper for the big boys, but that will be next time.

Fresh trout for dinner, and we be smoking soon. Thanks Skewy, you are the man the myth, the legend. :thumb:
Here is another report. There were 3 of us fishing Friday-Sunday morning over there. We were about 5 miles up from the dam. We had pontoon boats, so we were able to get away from the crowds.

Friday picked up well in the afternoon and between the 3 of us, we had around 60-70 fish and quit around 8 pm. Everything was caught and released on barbless hooks...and legal, rubber nets! Most were the 15-18 inch variety that are very fat and are probably 1 to 3 pounds. Each of us got the occasional 5-6 pounder, but that was about as big as they got. We were hoping to get a few monsters, but no complaints. We had the entire stretch of the lake to ourselves.

We went back Saturday morning and the weather had changed a bit. Cloudy and more breeze and they let a lot of water out of the dam. I don't know if all those factors contributed, but the fishing was quite a bit slower. We still managed 40-50 fish between the 3 of us, but we worked hard at it all day.

We came back Sunday morning for a few hours and got a handful. It was beautiful out there and was still worth it just to be out on the water getting some sun.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I am glad we made the choice to hit Rufus all 3 days instead of hitting some of the other lakes. Some interesting observations: Fishing was much better in the afternoon than the morning and was not that great in the evening. Black leaches were the ticket, although I had very good success with an articulated olive green leach with a rainbow sparkle body. We were switching up flies quite a bit and it didn't seem to matter too much what we used. We even got a few on chironomids! Either the bite was on or it was off. On Sunday, we got 20-30 hits between us in about 30 minutes and then it shut off completely. The first 2 days, stripping was the ticket and on Sunday, the good 'ol speed troll seemed to work for some strange reason. The faster, the better. Just encountered that at Rattlesnake tonight as well. Everything was slow for most people and I started trolling around the lake to look at different areas. The faster I went, the more I got hits. I spent 3 hours cruising fast around the lake and must have had over 30 fish to hand. Every time I slowed down to strip or work an area, I never got a hit. Just thought the speed trolling was interesting.

Thanks to everyone for the information to make the trip a success. I value this forum greatly and appreciate all of the information. Hope this can help out.


How deep is the water you're fishing on Rufus? Just curious. Also, is it strictlyt a sled show or do people run regular 20' prop boats out there?
PT, I don't know how much water (depth) the other guys are fishing in, but I have been finding that most of the fish are in close to shore to 40' of water.
Seems like the edge of drop offs or other structure.
Lots of big sleds, etc, but a lot of small craft, toons, inflatables.
Lots of prop boats out there as the water is plenty deep. I would agree with Gary, everyone is fishing within 100' of shore. I was finding as the day warmed up, fish were going more and more shallow.
We saw everything from small two man fishing boats to big 20'+ aluminum prop boats. There were no more than 6-10 boats on the water at any given time. We also only went about 3/4 of a mile upstream to a pump house, and then back. With the size of the area near the launch we did not feel crowded at all. When we were near the shore we tried to stay in water 30' and less. This kept us less than 100' from the shore always. When we were near the buoys we were in 100' of water and found the fish to be very close to the big floats that establishes the barrier keeping people away from the dam. Most if not all of the fish were showing on the fish finder from 25' and up.