Columbia Gorge Lake Report

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by aplTyler, May 25, 2013.

  1. aplTyler Inept Steelheader

    Posts: 511
    The Evergreen State
    Ratings: +87 / 9
    Despite my inept attempt at setting an alarm clock (I apparently didn't), I still got out for a bit of lake fishing today. I had initially planned on fishing the Deschutes or chasing Steelhead locally but with rivers out of shape and a decent to-do list keeping the Deschutes off my agenda, I figured I could make the 30 minute drive to North Bonneville in an attempt to fish Kidney Lake.

    Kidney Lake is the most un-picturesque of lakes... I seriously think Klineline Pond gives it a run for it's money but I've had some good fishing there a decade ago on spoons and spinners. After arriving there around 11:30 today, i found that nearly every pullout around the lake had cars and campers stacked in them. I figured that I'd just park up the road and walk my float tube in, but after running into some unique "locals" I decided against it (the one playing with a machete that looked like a cook/chemist made up my mind pretty quickly).

    I've had cars broken into on Canyon Creek back in the day by these types of folks and I sure as heck wasn't going to risk it again... especially not to combat fish on a lake with electric cables buzzing overhead. Note: Folks that camp under transmission wires and play with machetes are likely a bit off.

    I hit the road determined to fish somewhere more peaceful in the area and I settled on Little Ash Lake. Little Ash is bordered by SR 14 on one side and is around 5 acres of extreme underwater vegetation. In between the thick weeds, some nice little pockets of deeper water provide cover and after bushwhacking into the lake with my tube, I hooked up on my third cast on an intermediate line. I lost the fish after a decent fight (it felt pretty solid) and I soon after switched to a chironomid rig working the weed lines and coves. I caught and released several little planters (8"-10") over the next hour and LDR'd at least as many as I landed (5). Not bad for two hours on the water.

    The Canada Goose family (replete with 4 goslings) was a nice thing to watch as were the few bait anglers not catching a thing while I roped em in on the Chironomid rod... I certainly wont be going out of my way to visit this little ditch again due to the small fish, SR 14 nearby, and most importantly the extreme weed growth. It's nice to know that a random backup plan panned out though, and I sure hope to be chasing some bigger trout in the near future!
    triploidjunkie and B.Willis like this.
  2. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,057
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    Ratings: +1,069 / 0
    Have you tried Rowland Lakes? Not the one everyone goes to but the one between the railroad and the road. You might be surprised what you find in there-it is open to the river.

    Ive
  3. aplTyler Inept Steelheader

    Posts: 511
    The Evergreen State
    Ratings: +87 / 9
    Not yet Ive....

    I've thought about it and they look like they'd hold smallies for sure!
  4. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,057
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    Ratings: +1,069 / 0
    In past Mays we have found juvenile chinook in there while fishing for crappies. They were usually about a uniform 16-18'' and very powerful for their size. Quite a rush on a skinny 4wt with 4# tippet and a crappie jig! If you hook something in one of those lakes that abuts the river and find yourself up on the plane in your float tube you become aware that there are sturgeon in there too.
    Normally I found LMB on the campground side, SMB on the railroad side and in some years huge crappie populations. Large bluegill in there as well.

    Further up the Gorge at Crow Butte I have caught my biggest crappie ever at 18". A number of little obscure backwaters up the Gorge have produced foot long crappie over the years and always a few nice smallies thrown in to brighten the stew.
    triploidjunkie and aplTyler like this.
  5. tythetier Fish Slayer

    Posts: 1,535
    WASHOUGAL, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    I always liked Kidney... Other than the high tension wires, it isnt that bad. We hit that just a couple weekends back and did ok.
    Didnt have any run ins with the locals either...
    aplTyler likes this.