Best Trip So Far

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by GAT, May 17, 2014.

  1. Over the years, I've probably driven by this lake a hundred times. I've never seen anyone in a float tube or pontoon boat on the lake nor have I ever seen anyone flyfishing from a boat. Sooooo.... I figured it must not be much of a lake for flyfishing. After all, it is a large and maybe the trout are located near the center:

    foster scenic 2 web size.jpg

    Foster scenic 3 web size.jpg

    However, it is a reservoir that is much closer to my home than are the coastal lakes and was planted this week. Regardless of the 20% chance of rain and a storm coming in on Sunday. I decided to do an exploratory trip. Someone had given me a tip as to where to fish and it wasn't far from the boat launch so it was worth a shot.

    When I first arrived, it was windy and the wave motion was significant.

    on the lake 2 web size.jpg

    I always use my fish/depth finder when fishing lakes for the first time. I was marking trout that appeared deep. So, I used my fast full sinking line and starting trying patterns that have worked for me in the past in the Oregon Cascade lakes. As this reservoir is located at the foot of the Cascades, I figured I may as well try patterns that work on up the highway.

    Well, that didn't work. So I tied on my experimental light olive and black hackle WB and did manage to catch a planter. I kept the fly on the tippet and headed for a point where I was instructed to fish. Nudges but no good hook ups.

    Meanwhile, the spin guys in the boats where catching trout after trout. I finally asked one of the guys in a boat what he was using. A red Rooster Tail was his answer. Hmmmmm.... the boats were trolling at a fast speed and he wasn't using anything other than the lure so perhaps the trout were not holding on the bottom as I had thought.

    I decided to say hell with what the fish finder was marking and switched to my clear intermediate sinking line. I also decided to tie on a second pattern... which I came up with a few weeks ago. I call it a Adams Woolly Bugger.

    Sure enough, I started getting hits but couldn't hook up. So I started stripping line in as fast as I could. That was the key. Wham! A rainbow jumped a couple feet out of the water with my fly secured in its mouth. Once I figured it out, it was trout after trout after trout. I don't normally keep track of how many fish I catch and after 8 or so, I don't pay any attention to numbers.

    I would imagine I ended up catching at least 20-something trout.

    None were huge and in the 10-13 inch range but they more than made up for their size with numbers and aerial acrobatics. It was a blast!

    The best part, for me, was the success of the Adams WB. I did catch a few with the light olive and black hackle WB but the vast majority nailed the Adams WB.

    rainbow web size.jpg

    rainbow with fly web size.jpg

    The wind died down, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. I had to go to shore to take off my jacket.

    For me, this is the thrill of flyfishing. Figuring out the spot, the presentation and the fly makes me a very happy camper. A mystery solved....

    I'm now sold on this pattern... man! it worked great!:


    This experimental came in second:


    Both were experimental patterns but now have proven themselves to work. I love it when that happens.

    It was a good day... and all those years I drove past that reservoir and never fished it. That will no longer be the case! Have lines, have flies, will travel.

    (I was fishing in 70 feet of water and the water temp was registering 59 degrees on the fish/depth finder.)
  2. Good Job!
  3. Oh, I forgot. I also had to keep my damned rod tip in the water when I was retrieving the flies! :)

    I make fun of Denny Rickards telling his clients to keep their damned rod tips in the water when trolling but I honestly do keep my rod tip in the water... same as he does.

    When you fish new water, it is always kind'a daunting. Sometimes you need to actually think about what you're doing! I was relying on the fish finder and because the lake is so deep, I figured I should be using the full fast sinking line. It turns out, I was actually presenting my pattern too deep and below where the trout where holding. That's why I always chat up folks who are catching trout to see what they are doing differently than I. It doesn't matter if they're spin fishing. When the guy told me he was using nothing more than a Rooster Tail while trolling, I realized that the fish were holding much closer to the surface than I thought. A trolled Rooster Tail does not sink to any significant depth.
  4. Win! WTG, Gene!
  5. Gene...Foster??

    If so, brown rooster tails are the "secret" trolling lure there; I would imagine that's why the Adams worked so well.

    Looked like a GREAT Day!!

    btw...smallies up the arms...AND...all ya had to do was ask for the "secrets" of that water. :p
  6. Very nice gene. All of those large reservoirs along the foothills of the cascades both on the willamette and santiam systems can offer very good fly angling for the stockers.Though often less appealing and productive than coastal lakes some great days can be had trolling buggers around in the spring and fall. even caught one or two kokanee on accident in the past few years.

    thanks for the report, i'm stuck indoors with no fishing in sight for at least 5 days, haven't fished in weeks and it's really getting to me.
  7. Shhhhhhh.... It's a secret, obvious lake. Yes, it is Foster... An extremely popular water skiing lake during the summer. After my success on Saturday, I am wondering why the devil fly anglers don't fish the fishery. Even during water skiing season (which is coming up) the area I was fishing is at the edge of the lake and would not be effected by folks water skiing.

    I tried brown patterns that work at the lakes along Century Drive to no avail so I don't think the brown part of the Adams WB was the key. I think it was the combination of colors. What the heck, an Adams dry works so I don't know why I didn't think of an Adams WB long before I did.

    And yes, I know about the smallies... unfortunately, so did some guys in bass boats that went blasting past me at tournament speeds! Evidently, when you own a bass boat you feel obligated to speed around at a 100 miles an hour no matter what :)

    When researching the lake, I found more information in regards to the smallmouth than I did trout. But long ago, while steelhead fishing the Alsea, I was talking to a fellow who told me there were large hold-over trout in Foster and I never acted on his tip... but I kept it in the back of my mind.

    I guess I never fished the lake before because it is large and intimidating. It wasn't until I started asking a few folks where they fished that I learned about the area that wasn't much of a kick from one of the boat launches that I decided to finally fish the lake.

    It takes me about an hour (depending on the coast traffic) just to reach Olalla. I was on the water at Foster within 45 minutes of Corvallis.

    The reservoir is a planted fishery, same as the coastal lakes, so I may as well start taking advantage of a lake that is closer to my home. As Foster is much larger than Olalla, Cleawox, Big Creek and Munsel, I imagine there is a much greater chance of catching some larger hold over trout as it would be impossible for the spin guys to wipe them all out each year as they do the trout in the coastal lakes.

    Brandon, sorry about your situation. But you do have all summer to go fishing. If you have fly fished Foster in the past, you must be one of the few. I'm not sure sure about the appeal factor. When I first started flyfishing East, there were very few other fly anglers on the lake in pontoon boats. When I first started fishing Olalla, there were very few other fly anglers on the lake in pontoon boats. That is hardly the case now.

    I suppose the same may eventually hold true for Foster. It is a large lake but so is East and Crane. Once fly fishers learn they can do quite well at a fishery, they start showing up. That's exactly what happened at East and the coastal lakes.
  8. I hear you about the bass boats. There's a tournament here this weekend, so I avoided weekend fishing even more than this retired guy normally does. I was scouting carp yesterday morning & saw 2 floating corvettes blast past a group of kayakers. It seems that tournament pressure trumps common courtesy & safety. Fools like that ought to be locked-up. I passed both boat registration numbers along to the authorities (felt kind of like a game warden sitting in my Jeep with a crystal clear spotting scope all dialed-in on the asshats.). I hope they both got tickets & better yet, lost their boating licenses. Today my early morning was better-spent removing the lower sagging limbs & branches from the tree in front of my house; tree rats were getting on the roof again, but that thoroughfare has been effectively eliminated now & I got some good exercise waving pole pruners around.
  9. Thanks for the report Gene and good work. I think I spend quite a bit of time fishing below the trout this time of year and now make myself try other lines and flies. It's been mostly great fishing over here so far this year. Almost time to head down to the Snake river for some bass.
  10. I can see throngs of Dry Siders headed west on opening day for cooler water temps and lakes that still hold trout.
  11. Not in your, or my lifetime.
    Jim Ficklin likes this.
  12. Whereas I'd like to try the wet side salt fishery, I'm quite content with the abundant fishing opportunities here, many species included. Chasing Smallies & Largemouth today with no crowds in sight.

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