Merrill Lake update


New Member
Seeing as I had nothing better to (atleast in my book) I made the trip to Merrill on Saturday.
After stopping at the shop in Woodland to purchase some "micro leeches" and strike indicators... more to follow on that.
Water levels were down approximately 10' lower than they were in mid July.
Temps on the surface were at 68.
Weather was great... too great since it seemed like every yahoo that could read a map (or not) decided to head up there and take a swim. I was subjected to a drunken rendition of George Thorogoods "I drink alone!" for about 15 minutes straight.
lots of smaller fish feeding on the surface along the western shoreline, I spent the majority of my time attempting to entice fish with the fabled "micro leech under an indicator" technique with absolutely no luck. I varied colors (black, black and red, brown, olive, red) and depths (5-20'). Once the sun was off the water (6 PM-ish) more and suggestively larger fish started feeding (North and West of the Islands).
Although the hex hatch is petering out that was the only thing that I caught fish on (2 x rainbows 1 12"-er, 1 14"-er) between 7 and 8 PM.
Lots of Flying termites in the air and on the water, I can assume that the fish were taking those also but since I had nothing to replicate them in any of my boxes I can't say that was the days "answer".
Dispelled a mythical "huge fish jumped by the island" story from 2 hikers... turned out to be Mr. Annoyed Beaver slapping his tail.
I called it quits at 8 and retired to my tent set-up on the North shore with headlamp and book.
After spending the evening listening to a Bull Elk and his prospective mate discuss thier plans for pro-creation that evening, I was unfortunate enough to be subjected to what I can only assume was some passionate Elk Love Makin North of the lake... hard to describe but just imagine what 1500 or so pounds of on the hoof, Animal lovin sounds like! Disturbing!!
Awoke at 2:30 AM to the what sounded like some decent sized fish working the shallows, decided to get up and work the Northern shoreline for about an hour, one strike from a smaller fish that was pretending to big.
I got up early packed it in and headed for the launch, ran across the "Otter gang" who was 5strong doing otter stuff in the middle of the lake, I passed close enough to evoke some hissing and dirty looks from them but not close enough to warrant a law-suit.
Based on a discussion I had with the gentleman working the counter at the "Anglers Workshop" and two guys that had spent the morning on the Kalama I stopped there on my way home. First trip there, I parked below the first boat launching spot off of Kalama River Rd. and fished for about 2 hours with no luck (used all 3 patterns that the guys at the store recommended egg sucking leeches, and an egg pattern). Lots of fish seen (from the roadside) but no hits!
On my way out I spotted my missed landmark and turn that I should have taken as per the directions I received from the guys at the shop.
Went home and prepped all of my 8 weight stuff and salmon/steelhead flies.
I'll be heading back to the Kalama this week.