Dry Falls Lake

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by fishwhipped, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. fishwhipped New Member

    Posts: 30
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    I'm heading over for a long weekend camping trip with my family and would appreciate any tips on fishing Dry Falls. We plan to camp at Sun Lake State Park, and are bringing our canoe. How is Dry Falls fishing? Are there other nearby lakes worth a shot? Thanks for your help.
  2. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,309
    Ratings: +181 / 0
    It should be pretty good now that fall is here and water temps have been dropping. Dry Falls is a great place to fish. I wouldn't waste my time on the other put and take lakes around there, just hit Dry Falls. I would bring a very well stocked fly box because the fish can be quite finicky and you may have to try a lot of things. Chironomids in various sizes and colors, midge emergers and adults in various sizes and colors, maybe some mayflies (don't know, haven't ever been there when a mayfly hatch is on), woolly buggers, carey specials and the like for dredging the deep end of the lake, and if worse comes to worse, San Juan worms. Might even be some damsel fly action, though not sure this time of year. This is a sweet spot. If you can figure out what the fish are biting on, it is one great stillwater setting.
  3. SuperDave New Member

    Posts: 341
    .Spanaway, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Recomend that you stay at Sun Lakes Resort rather than the state park. The resort is located on the same road as the park and offers lower rates and a MUCH MORE FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL personnel. I'll never stay at Sun Lakes State Park again but that's another story.

    Before fishing Dry Falls, I recommend driving up to the vista at the head of the coulee. The overlook is spectactular AND you can see how the lake is shaped as well as the deep and shallow parts. Just head toward Coulee City on the highway and you'll see the vista.

    Fishing Dry Falls is best in the morning up till about 10 and evenings often several hours after dark. Chironomids are excellent at anytime as are big bugger patterns in the late evening. Overcast skies and a riffle on the water are real advantages. Remember these is are hammered all season by some of the best flyfishers in the West. Don't expect to score big at Dry Falls until you've fished it for several years.
  4. Fly For Fun New Member

    Posts: 61
    Issaquah, Washington, US.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Definitely check out the over look of Dry Falls, worth the short trip.

    On the topic of fishing it, don't be too intimidated, i fished it for the first time a few weeks ago and did rather well for my first time. All it takes is to catch a few of these fish to make the trip more than worth it. Stock up on the above mentioned flies. When its slow going try chironomids or buggers deep. While i was there the money flies were along the lines of emergers, the lake was absolutley boiling, but they were certainly picky, having run out of emergers, damn, i resorted to a small (#18-20) adams fly and picked up a few on this.

    Also, take the time to drag some bigger buggers or what not at night, as the chance for a decent brown is there. My fishing buddy picked up beauty towing a large damsel nymph REAL slow right after dark.

    Good luck man, i look forward to my return trip, beautiful area and great fishing. Take time to talk with other guys fishing the lake, you can learn SO much and the atmosphere is great :THUMBSUP . Look forward to your report upon your return.

    Fly For Fun
  5. steeli Member

    Posts: 372
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Dry Falls is always a good shot for bows and occassional Brown. If the crowds are too thick at the Falls, you might try the south end of Lenore can be very good this time of year if you can find the fish. They're Lahontan Cutt's in there which tend to school and stay pretty close together. Don't be intimidated by Lenore's size, there are big fish here.

    My experiences with Fall fishing is mid day is the best time to fish, 10-4. Late spring to early fall are best mornings and late evenings.
  6. Steelie L Member

    Posts: 215
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    A couple of you recommended fishing Dry Falls after dark. The one and only time I was there, I remember a sign at the lake saying something to the effect that the lake closed at dusk. Is this rule not enforced?

  7. fishnfella New Member

    Posts: 148
    Grand Coulee, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Fish till ya drop.
    Then suck it up
    and fish the evening hatch.

    A warning to all who wanna fish Dry Falls, the fishing sucks lately. Even the Dry Falls experts are getting 1-2 fish days. The lake is blooming slightly, but no one knows for sure if that's why it's not producing. The hatches of chironomids and mayflies were very sparse this fall.
    It should change before long,but as of this week has remained poor.
    Lenora is producing a few fish for fly fishermen and even more for trollers, but is also blooming worse than Dry Falls.
    Gonna take several nights of freezing to kill off the bloom and perk the bite in my opinion.
  8. BIG JOE New Member

    Posts: 4
    bellingham, wa, us.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i have fished this lake a few times and have had a great time. i will say the state camp ground has gone down hill but the fishing is great we hammered the browns on a leech paterndown deep ,then floating at nite hold on to your pole the fish hit like frieght trains its a load of fun tight lines to all BIG JOE :THUMBSUP
  9. SuperDave New Member

    Posts: 341
    .Spanaway, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My "beef" the the state park has to do with their reservation system and the absolutely NON-FRIENDLY attitude of the park's personnel. In thier mind, it is THIER and YOU, the citizen, are an inconvenience. More specific details request. Sun Lakes Resort offers more for less money!
  10. fishinmusician New Member

    Posts: 23
    Haines, Oregon.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I used to fish Castle lake in that area. The one you walk to and climb down the ladder to. It was great dry fly fishing in the Spring and had some nice fish. I don't know how it is now. It used to have a problem with goldfish someone had introduced but is like a little Dry Falls and had much faster fishing in my experience for decent fish.
  11. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Margaret and I canoe fished Dry Falls a few weeks ago, and it was satisfying. Though we had 1-3 fish days, there was one guy who chironomid fished 13 fish by the time we left the lake on that Saturday. As far as canoe fishing that lake, be sure to bring 2 (that is TWO!) mushroom anchors between five to ten pounds each. When the wind gets up, you will need something heavy to keep you from fishtailing about. I suggest the mushroom anchors, as they will not damage your canoe by rolling around with sharp edges. Additionally, they tend not to retrieve with as much "stuff" hanging all over them. Avoiding the fishtailing movement is important when fishing chironomid patterns 6 inches from the bottom. It's nice to know that you are actually there, instead of having your pattern swiftly ascend at the first breeze.

    You also might try the "nibble" retrieve with your pupae patterns. That's no more than finger-tip pinching up your line from the bottom. You maybe take up 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch with each pinch. It's less boring than forcing yourself to make those very, very, slow hand twists that is commonly recommended. The nibble return creates the flicking motion of the rising pupa and allows you to cover all the depths where the trout may be holding, instead of just waiting on a guess. :pROFESSOR
  12. bugbitten New Member

    Posts: 33
    Gig Harbor, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I stopped there on the way home from a western montana road trip mid september on a whim having read about it for a couple of years and figured what the heck. had no real lake experience but did have a float tube in the truck in the event i stumbled upon a lake. had no sinking line but was able to squeeze some pointers out of 3 tubers on the lake who said to go deep. great. how deep, i asked. 15 feet. so i tied up about 20 feet of tippet and put on a hares ear at the recommendation of a guy who just landed a fish, plus a couple small split shot. caught 8 bows and 1 brown in about 2-3 hours and they were average 18". they hit hard but battled little. had a ball and can't wait to go back. guess i got lucky as i didn't have the right gear to start but improvised.
  13. fishwhipped New Member

    Posts: 30
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks to all who responded with tips on fishing Dry Falls. I landed 1 fish slow-trolling a bugger from my canoe. Fishing seemed to be slow overall, although the good chironomid fishers were catching fish. And it was crowded - a club gathering that weekend. A beautiful but overused spot. What this state needs is more C&R lakes!

    I'm curious about how the fishing at Lenice/Nunally compares to Dry Falls. :THUMBSUP
  14. toadthedry Member

    Posts: 215
    Western Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have fished dry falls two days and lenice five. in my limited experience, i have found dry falls to be less techinical and has more fish though slightly smaller. i find lenice to be more techinical and more off or on but the fish are slightly larger. both are fun.