The week that was


Active Member
Last week I got out a few times to do my annual check of area lakes. Some years lakes are unexpectantly good while other years they are inexplicably bad. I found some of each. On Monday I visited an area fly fishing only lake that I shared with 5 other fishermen-a real rarity for me. I met a guy there from Olympia of all places that really had the lake dialed in. He caught fish all day on a very slender olive bunny leech with a sink tip line. He was a helluva nice guy in addition to being a real good fisherman and we shared our experiences on the lake over many years. His biggest fish of the day was 22'' and mine was 21'' with the average fish being around 16'' with enough 17-18'' fish to keep it interesting. We were the only ones that caught a significant number of fish during the day but then we were old guys-what do those young guys know anyway?

On Wed I visited a general regs lake that is just a bitch kitty to get to. Normally the road is just god awful but this year it was worse. I bottomed out my 4WD several times-something that had never happened before. Those that complain about the Chopaka road should see this, many of the rigs that go to Chopaka couldn't or wouldn't attempt this road. There is no happy ending to this tale however as the lake fished like the Dead Sea. I had one brief hookup during my stay, hardly worth the agony of driving up there. In past years fall fishing has been very good for brilliantly colored rainbows but this time it was no sale.

I next visited an extremely zipper lipped lake that I hadn't been to for a couple of years. It was bad the last time I was there and I wan't expecting too much on this day. Tying on my favorite Halfback searching pattern I kicked out about 60 yards and promptly hooked a gorgeous thick, deep, hard fighting rainbow of 17''. I had no idea there were fish that nice in the lake. Two more quick hookups convinced me it was no fluke so I settled in to fish for the day. I had the lake to myself and from the looks of things it hasn't been hit very hard this year. It was a good opportunity to try various flys and see just what worked the best. The lake was so clear that you could read a newspaper in 8' of water and 15' water felt like I was still in the shallows. A number of flies worked well but it was my first serious outing with a Level Leech that encouraged me the most. Using a black leech with a single strand of red holographic flashabou in the tail was just dynamite. I lost track of the number of fish that I caught but did note that they were mostly cookie cutter size at around 15-16". The smallest I landed was 14'' and the biggest 3 were 17''. By May I am expecting some 18'' fish and the chironomid fishing should just be insane. I hope to get up there early and have my way with them before the locals catch on to what is in there. This is why I go back to lakes year after year even though they have disappointed in the past. You just never know.

This week I'll hit some more fly fishing only water and test out my new SimiSeal leeches, my skinny bunny leeches and some level leeches under an indicator. With the fresh rain in the lakes it should be a good time. I'll report later.