Dry Falls, No Indicator Love :(

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Irafly, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,614
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,043 / 1
    As most of you know I do love to watch the indicator but more than that I love to catch fish. Luckily for me indicator watching usually produces more fish than anything else, but that was not the case yesterday at the Falls.

    I launched around 8:00 AM or so and as soon as I hit the depth change I cast out my full sink with a Denny Rickards stillwater bug. I punched my trolling motor up intending to head around the corner to the bay beneath the observation station, but within seconds I had my first fish on of the day. Thinking it was possibly just a fluke, I cast back out and preceded to repeat the same process 3 more times. Ok maybe I'll stay right here anchor up and cast out the indicator, never leave fish to find fish right? I sat for awhile and ran into Scott from the forum but I only picked up one fish with the indicator but as so I threw out the Aqualux and, it was fish on again.

    I decided not to ignore the signs anymore and I started moving around trolling and things stayed consistent. I trolled, and I trolled and I trolled and I caught the freakin mess out of fish. I decided at one point that I would land 30 and anchor again with all the folks in the back bay, but 30 soon turned into 35 and then 40 before I finally anchored up. I cast out an indicator and I told myself that I would land at least 2 before I moved back out to catching fish. I watched the other 10 or so guys anchored up fishing indicators as well thinking maybe someone would put something together, but other than a few fish here and there, it was slow. I fished my Aqualux again at the same time I was fishing the indicator (I have the dual rod endorsement) and again it was out fishing all the indicator guys, unfortunately including me. I ended up finally landing one with the indicator and I knew that I'd need to put the sinker away if I was going to hit that second fish. As soon as I did I pulled anchor and hit the troll again. It never slowed down and the fish just seemed to be everywhere, although I will say that most were out in the middle up in the water column (I was trolling fairly fast).

    Eventually I ran into Bob Rankin and set up anchor next to him and I did manage to pick up two more fish on the indicator and they also ended up being two of the bigger fish I caught that day at 14" each. Which brings me to size. I landed one fish that hit just over 17", 5 that were around 14", one that was an honest measured 7" but all the rest of the fish were 8" to 10" footballs. Very small for that lake.

    In the end I landed 4 fish using an indicator and well over 100 trolling (I'm writing this on the 2nd so folks wouldn't think that number was an April Fools Day prank). I used the same two stillwater bugs tied by troutpocket (well tied flies, from his "reject" pile) on my sinking lines all day.

    I guess the good thing about the small size is that the guys who like to come in and just catch their 18" to take home will be avoiding Dry Falls this year.
    GAT, Starman77, golfman44 and 8 others like this.
  2. jwg Active Member

    Posts: 537
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    Thanks for sharing.
    the size issue is interesting.

    How was the water clarity.
    did you sample any of these catches?
    Were they on Daphnia perhaps?

    Jay
  3. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,177
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +182 / 6
    Excellent report Ira. Glad you were able to do well with an "alternative style".
    Gregg Lundgren likes this.
  4. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,614
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,043 / 1

    Water clarity was good, and yes they were on daphnia.
  5. steeli Member

    Posts: 372
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Maybe just the early season openingt-I'll-bite-anything-that-moves-fish-factor....
    Think they'll wise up to midges later.
    As I bought my new fish license on line yesterday I scanned the regs and was wondering if anyone would hit the Dry Falls opener on a Tuesday.
    Last year I thought the fish were smaller than some years there.
    Thanks for the report!
    Ron McNeal likes this.
  6. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,878
    .
    Ratings: +202 / 0
    I can attest that Ira was a fishing machine. He often had two fish on at once. He covered a lot of water.

    I sat with a bobber right across from the put in to start out. Picked up a couple fish and missed a few. Kicked over to the bay on the north end of the lake. Picked up a few fish on the type VI and missed many other. Got to the bay and back to the bobber. Ira was trolling aorund and catrching fish after fish. No love on the bober in a usual productive spot. Heade to the west shore, which has been good in the past. I picked up a few more and, again, missed a few. Ira was stioll trolling around and hooking up.
    I was finally able to make it to another spot I like. Was into fish right away and had my best bobber fishing of the day. Was joined by another guy, Steve, and he hit fish in the same area.

    As for size, I didn't hit any of the smaller fish that Ira did, 7". I did hit my share os 11-13, a few 15-16 but did manage 1/2 dozen of the 17" - one darke male that spewed all over the stripping apron. I did talk to Cahd with DFW and he was kind of surprised by the size of the fish, he expected them to be a bit bigger. He was going to go take a look at when they actually planted the fry. He expect those fish to get bigger and it may be better for larger fish in May.

    We certainly weren't alone. It looked like everyone had some success. BTW - The park ranger was writing tickets for no Discover Pass.

    MB
  7. Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Posts: 1,021
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +97 / 0
    Doesn't the WDFW parking pass that comes with the license work there?

    Wayne
  8. Peyton00 Active Member

    Posts: 710
    Puyallup, Wa.
    Ratings: +290 / 0
    One would think the vehicle pass you receive ( with your fishing license)would work at fishing sites, BUT.... a way for the govt to make MORE money is to sell us a specific pass( discovery pass), or get a $101 ticket. Scammed by the govt.... say it isn't so!
  9. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +237 / 0
    No, you access Dry Falls Lake via the state park. The state park receives no funds from your WDFW license. And as the legislature has decided to largely stop any funding of the state park system from the general fund, user fees like the Discovery Pass provide the lion's share of the state park revenues to fund their activities. Of course, if you camp at Dry Falls, your access to the lake is included with your camping fee.

    Steve
    Irafly likes this.
  10. Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Posts: 1,021
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +97 / 0
    My little brain swells with all these passes. Don't forget I need a Northwest Forest Service Pass for fishing Leech Lake.

    Wayne
    constructeur likes this.
  11. Shawn Seeger (aka. wabowhunter)

    Posts: 313
    Burien, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    The other way to get by without a Discover Pass, is to have a camping slip in the window or hanging from your mirror.

    Although you better take a picture of it hanging in the window when you park. A couple years ago an "height restricted" park ranger (with a tude) left me a ticket, WITH my camping slip in the windshield. A fellow fisher was there when the ticket was written, and told me she (the ranger) was very snippy about it. I drove back into the campground and saw that the ranger was in the office, so I approached and asked if she had written it, Yes was the reply, I said "Did you not see the camping pass", No was the reply. I said I a photo and two witnesses that can attest to the fact that pass has been in the windshield for the last 3 days. She actually asked "Are you sure it was there?" YES I replied, she said it must not have been visible. With GREAT restraint (So as to Not say "If you were taller than my standard truck hood height you could have seen it hanging off the mirror), I said "So, are you going to cancel this, or will I see you at the hearing, with my photo's and witnesses?" , She replied, "Fine give me the ticket, but make sure your pass is visible."

    I will be taping my camping pass to the side window from now on.

    Thanks for the report!

    Did anybody take the water temp?
  12. Peyton00 Active Member

    Posts: 710
    Puyallup, Wa.
    Ratings: +290 / 0
    Canyon pass for lower Yakima.

    Kitchen pass for the married guys.

    The list of passes and permits grows.
    bennysbuddy and Kevin J. Burnham like this.
  13. aimacart Member

    Posts: 34
    Blaine, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    My story was similar to Ira's, opening day my son and I rowed to under the observation deck and set up for indicator fishing. With the wind making casting for my son hard and lack of fish we picked up and started trolling with black leaches. Fish on right away, trolled for a short time catching fish then went back to indicator fishing and nothing. Tried trolling again and fish on. Ran into Ira but did not recognize him from the presentation he gave to our fly club. Great presentation until the skagit bridge collapsed and he had to take off. When he gave me his report and mentioned that he really likes to indicator fish I knew who it was. I figured if Ira could not catch them under an indicator then I was not going to so we stayed trolling the rest of the day. We caught allot of fish just not as much as Ira. The next day we did not fool around with indicators and spent the whole day trolling. We caught more fish the second day, not because fishing was better but mainly because we spent more time trolling. We caught a total of about 6 or 7 fish in the 16 to 17 inch bracket and the rest small footballs. The small footballs did have allot of fight in them. Water temp was 47 to 50 degrees.
  14. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,996
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,570 / 0
    WHAT! I think I'm having a heart attack!!! My world is now upside down! Everything is spinning. I can't breath. The post. The post. I can't believe what I read. You actually did better with a sinking line than an indicator?

    I think the earth shifted in orbit.

    :)
    Irafly, Scott Salzer and aimacart like this.
  15. Duane J Member

    Posts: 78
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    I have been stuck doing some yard work in order to qualify for one of those "kitchen passes." Bust this post along with the replies have made my day. Heading to fish Yak Tuesday then on to Ephrata WED. and Thursday, passes posted properly!
  16. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +716 / 2
    On my tally sheet, that would be a 6 fish day. 8-10"ers aren't counted. :)
  17. Bob Rankin Active Member

    Posts: 439
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +167 / 1


    Every fish counts. You should have seen the show Ira put on while landing and measuring a 7 incher! It was funny as hell:) and I do fell bad that the bobber fishing wasn't that great Ira,it looked catching all those fish trolling sucked:)
    constructeur and Irafly like this.
  18. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,996
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,570 / 0
    This thread reminds me of what one of my fishing buddies once said. He was a bit competitive when it came to anything... he was an x-bicycle racer. He too was very good with using an indicator. However, I believe in using whatever is working and I will start with a sinking line but will resort to bobber fishing if I must to catch fish -- even 8-10 inchers (which at this stage of my fishing life are fine with me!)

    Anyway, we were fishing a private lake and I had the hot hand. I was using one of my experimental patterns and I couldn't keep the trout off the thing. He wasn't doing nearly as well. After I caught one particularly large trout (over 10-inches) he told me I should try a different pattern to see if that would work.

    I had to laugh at him over that one. I asked him why in the hell would I switch patterns when the one I was using was working as well as any pattern could work.

    Switch patterns when the one you're using is working???? Obviously he wanted me to stop catching trout at the rate I was catching them.

    I'm in this game to catch fish with fly gear. I will use a pattern or technique that works. I prefer some techniques over others but I'm certainly not married to any of them.

    I'll start with some manner of sinking line and troll around until I find the best spots. If a midge hatch comes off, I'll switch to a dry line and an indicator. I adapt to the situation to catch fish. I kind'a thought that was the point.

    I know that there are steelhead fly anglers who are dead-set in how they present the fly and never use any other technique. I didn't know there were hardcore presentation -dedicated stillwater fly anglers out there ... but evidently, there are :D

    BTW: if your technique and pattern are working... try using something else :):)
    Irafly and Bob Rankin like this.
  19. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,614
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,043 / 1

    If I have to resort to full sinks or intermediates to catch fish I will. I'm also not married to a technique, but I do love watching an indicator. Normally that pays off in more fish than anyone else fishing (competitive? Maybe a little :)) but I just couldn't really stop catching fish in order to try a less effective method for any period of time. For me as well GAT I'm out there to catch fish, everything else is secondary (well sometimes drinking beer comes in a close second).
    GAT and triploidjunkie like this.
  20. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,614
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,043 / 1

    As I said, that 7" fish did gain me some respect in the right circle, 6" would be better, but I doubt I will ever beat my 2 1/2" bow caught on the lake in May on a chironomid years ago. I still proudly look at that picture.

    At one point I Quintupled up. It started with an almost simultaneous double hook up and with enough leg throw over one rod to keep it from flying out of the boat I landed the fish on the other rod, quickly cast back out and started bringing in the other fish. Seconds after starting to land the second fish I again needed to throw my leg over the rod I had just cast back out. Rinse and repeat, until I had landed 5 in a row. There was one guy close to me at the time and I'm fairly sure he was laughing at me in a not so kind way.

    In hind sight I should have wind drifted with the indicator rod while also working the full sink or intermediate. I think I could have played around more with my depth on the indicator rod out in the deeper water. While trolling, I always struggle to really understand the depth zone I'm fishing in.

    A day to remember for sure.
    Bob Rankin likes this.