Best Washington Fishing?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Woollyworm, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

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    In late spring, Dry Falls has a pretty dependable evening rise to emerging chironomids. The surface activity can be insane. Literally dozens or rainbows can be bulging, finning, and sipping at the surface in one small notch of the shoreline nonstop for the several hours between the sun slipping behind the rim of the coulee and dark. While it is dependable and spectacular, it will more often than not kick you ass. The water is still, the fish are smart and picky, and the emergence is often more complex than it seems, several different midges of varying size and color hatching at once. It has left more than a few good anglers well spanked. Many old hands at Dry Falls have gained the fortitude -- through hard knocks -- to simply ignore the risers and concentrate their efforts subsurface.

    A few years ago, my pals and I cracked it with a little fly of mine I now call “my little darling,” MLD for short. I can only take partial credit, as it is very largely based on Paul Lasha’a raccoon, but it has enough “improvements” that I feel justified in naming it. It’s my little darling because it works so incredibly well, particularly in tough situations, when everybody else is living through a figurative Porky Pig cartoon, the trout practically spitting water in their faces.

    Memorial Day weekend, several years ago, I was fishing the lake by myself, from my driftboat. It’s a little more boat than you need for this sort of thing, but it’s a comfortable platform, rows fast, and anchored from both ends at the mouth of a small cove, it runs pretty effective interference. As the sun approached the coulee rim, I set up and waited. The fish started rising, and soon enough it became clear that I had shown up on an epic evening, even by the standard of this hatch. The cove and the entire shoreline were continually pocked with maybe a hundred or more simultaneous rings. My little darling started working her magic. I was pretty much just along for the ride. With so many risers, there was no way to lead individual fish; I’d just cast and let the fly sit until a speckled snout came over it. I watched one fish tip up and examine the fly for 20, 30 seconds before sipping it in, bulging and breaking the water into froth when I tightened.

    I know it’s a little nasty, but what made the evening so memorable, aside from the fact that 30-fish evenings are rare enough for me, were the other chaps in their float tubes, silent and grim, periodically staring into their fly boxes. After about an hour, my rod bent to the 15th or so fish, they were craning their necks in my direction. Despite the dozens of rising trout in front of them, they inexorably started drifting toward me. We all say we’re searching for solitude, but there is a lot to be said for audience.

    I’ve already gone pretty long, but to inoculate myself from charges of braggadocio, I also want to include the following short vignette. Please bear with me.

    Charlie cold-called me to introduce himself and ask me to take him fishing. He was a friend of my brother, who lives in San Diego. What the hell, I offered to take him steelheading on the Sky. He had an 8-weight and a sinktip, but he’d never been. I set us up on a half-day float that would put us first-up on one of my favorite pools. I ran him through the drill and set him up in the tail-out, while I took the sweet spot at the head of the riffle. Well, what else could happen? He hooked and landed a wild buck on his third or fourth cast. His casting, while apparently adequate, was far from expert, if I must say so myself, and in the time it had taken him to make those casts, I felt I had fairly covered the best part of the riffle. So I sent him up to that “finished” water, while I took the rest of the tail-out, where the fish seemed to be. I’m sure you see where this is going. It took him maybe a few minutes to hook another steelhead in the water I had just fished. Despite his lack of manners, Charlie turned out to be a pretty nice guy, and still tells everybody what a good steelhead guide I am.
     
  2. Woollyworm

    Woollyworm New Member

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    Your Dry Falls story is intriguing. What's the timing on that butt-kicking chiro-fest?

    Thanks,
    ww
     
  3. Woollyworm

    Woollyworm New Member

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    Hey FF Frank,
    Thanks for the fish story. GP Wilderness area sounds amazing. Anyway you (or anyone else peeking in on this thread) could point me towards some productive creeks in this area? Please feel free to e-mail me if you want to keep it on the down-low. I dig backpacking, so if it involves some hiking, all the better.

    Cheers!
     
  4. fishnfella

    fishnfella New Member

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    Fish till ya drop.
    Then suck it up
    and fish the evening hatch.

    Hey Saltchuck: I may have been there with ya the day you hooked that
    epoch Brown in 1996 near the beaverdam. The fish of a lifetime. Do you remember my suggesting that I'd think you hooked one of the beavers except that the damn thing should have come up for air if it were a Beaver.
    Later years another friend landed a smaller one there and we opened
    it up. It's gut waz full of bones. After a long look we decided they were bird bones, either baby swallows or baby ducks.
    Are you spending all your time on the saltchuck yet or are you
    coming over for the spring trouting this year?
    E-mail me. I know another spot for big browns.
    fishnfellaS@netscape.net
    Ron. :LOVEIT
     
  5. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    I have a couple memories i would like to share.


    Last summer i found a small crystal clear creek near elensburg,
    Well lets just say i caught 65 westslope cutthroat from 8 to 14
    inches in length all on dry flies.The other 2 guys i was with that
    were using the same flies and fishing the same pools of the creek
    only managed 10 or so appiece.So eventuly they were getting kind of
    mad because i was fishing in front of them so i let them fish the rest
    of the creek first with me following them and still out fishing them 10 to 1.

    My second experiance was on a small O.P. river in august.My family and i were camping right on the river when my dad woke me up at 9 in
    the morning telling me that there were 2or3 summer run steelhead swimming around in a small crystal clear pool, so i went to the pool to inspect and sure enough there they were with 6 other kids swimming around in the same pool. so i waited until after dinner and started drifting different steelie flies through the pool then these crazy kids started swimming in the pool at 8 at night, so i waited till they got out of the water wich was around 9 let the pool rest until 10 meenwhile tying a special glow in the dark fly that i thought might work since they use glow balls on the cowlitzs river at night.
    so after strapping a flashlight around my neck on a string, i set out for the river and started drifting my fly through the pool an hour later and about 300 casts later my fly stopped at the head of the pool
    so i set the hook and after several jumps and several screaming runs
    i landed the 23"inch buck at 11 at night it was my first fly caught steelhead wich i consider a great accompishment for a 15 year old.cathing that steelie is my fondest fishing memorie so far.
     
  6. Coho

    Coho Member

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    Great story! Where is the creek in Ellensburg?
     
  7. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    I wish i could tell you but a couple people i know would kill me,sorry.
     

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