A day in the Basin

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by atomic dog, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Posts: 488
    Ratings: +319 / 0
    After chasing trout on opening day last Saturday, Chad Lewis and I headed up to the Basin lakes on Sunday to stalk some bluegill. Well, I went to chase panfish, but Chad's real motive was to try and catch a largemouth along with the 'gills.

    We got up there late morning and chad immediately found a spot where the bluegill are bedding. For about an hour it was non stop catching. Wind in the forecast encouraged me to leave the 2wt at home, but we found some big, strong females who were more than happy to put a healthy bend in my little Eagle Claw 4/5 wt.


    We started dropping a McGinty on them and they were quick to snatch them up, several charging the fly every cast. I had two flies tied on and managed a double hookup at one point. Chad tied on a popper just to see what happened and they were loving that, so we both ended up topwater fishing for quite a while with much success.

    This chunky monkey measured 8" by the ruler on the Eagle Claw.

    This pumpkinseed that came out to party in full on disco regalia.

    I started keeping the bigger fish I caught, you can see my floating wire basket in the first photo. When I moved on to try a new spot I had 12 or 15 nice 'gills to take home for a fish fry. At some point while kicking around, the basket was pulled under the pontoon and somehow the spring loaded lid was opened. I pulled up the basket to check on the fish and there was only one left in there. No fish fry for me this weekend.

    We managed to find another cove that brought a bunch of crappie to hand, though none large enough to keep. I also picked up one yellow perch and a few small largemouth. We saw a few nice bass swimming around and Chad went after them with no success. He had some monstrosity of a fly, a giant puffball that I dubbed "The Pomeranian". Maybe next time.

    We spent 5 or 6 hours out there in the sun, one of those days where the fish count is measured in dozens. It was good to remember why this is my favorite spot to fish and bluegill are my favorite species to fish for.
  2. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,391
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +683 / 0
    Great trip, report & photos! thanks for sharing.
  3. Shawn West Active Member

    Posts: 282
    Ratings: +126 / 0
    Those are some beautiful fish.


  4. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 668
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +157 / 1
    Good photos, nice fish too. I agree fishing for large bluegills is as good as it gets with a fly rod. I usually use a 1 wt.

    My biggest challenge is find them large enough and in enough numbers to enjoy the sport. Good you found such a spot!

    I've never eaten them, heard they are pretty good. Are they, and how do you filet and prepare?
  5. atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Posts: 488
    Ratings: +319 / 0
    They are good eating, similar to crappie or perch. Normally we just fillet them (It takes a bunch to make a meal for a family), batter them and have a fish fry.
  6. james.jimenez Active Member

    Posts: 468
    South Korea
    Ratings: +250 / 0

    What is the length of your eagle claw?
  7. atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Posts: 488
    Ratings: +319 / 0
    It's a 6'6" 4/5 wt. Fun rod to play around with. Sportsman's Warehouse sells em for $25 or so.
  8. Ryan Higgins Active Member

    Posts: 303
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Gorgeous little fish, one of my favorite to chase. One of the hardest fighting fish in fresh water.