Dry Falls report 10-21

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by candr, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Fished Dry Falls on Sunday for a few hours. 6 fish ranging from 16" to over 20". Fished deep (long line chironomid in 23 feet) for a few hours in the morning with only one fish to hand. Moved into about 2-6 feet of water in the afternoon and that is where most of the fish seemed to be. Casting tight to the reeds (foot of water) with a callibaetis nymph (grey, size 16) caught all the fish. Stomach pump showed lots of small (size 18-20 pale green chironomids, a few grey, size 16 callibaetis, and a few immature dragonfly nymphs - size 14 - watery green). A chironomid hatch (adults about a size 16) came off later in the afternoon so chironomids may have payed off if I had of stuck with it. A few other guys on the lake appeared to be catching fish in all sizes (10 inches to over 20 inches) so it's nice to see a few different age classes of trout doing well in this lake.

    I hooked a nice rainbow and was bringing it in and I could see a large shadow following it to the boat. I have caught steelhead that had another steelhead following them as I played them, but this had always appeared to be one following the other as a result of the steelhead "pairing up" for mating. When the trout was over the net, I could see the fish following was a much larger brown trout. It looked like he was trying to figure out a way to get a piece of the struggling 18 inch rainbow. I released the rainbow and a few casts later caught what appeared to be the brown that was originally following. The brown ended up taping out at 23" and was the largest fish of the day.

    On a side note, there was a comment on this board a few weeks back regarding the poor fight that Lahontans put up when hooked. Someone said they would rather catch a rainbow from dry falls than a large lahontan from lenore. I must say that all of the rainbows I caught hardly fought at all. They were large fish (triploids), but they were all in the net (on a 5 weight) in about 3 minutes. In comparison; I did a lake fishing trip in BC a few weeks back and was into the backing on fish under 20 inches many times, (both kamloops and blackwater strain). One fish (that I never saw) had me into the backing in seconds and then broke me off on the first run (I didn't want to touch the reel it was burning so fast). I have had kamloops rainbows jump in the boat when hooked. I have yet to have any fish in WA stocked lakes fight like this and am beginning to wonder about the quality of fish in the WA triploid stocking program. It appears there is a definite tradeoff - larger fish that don't fight, vs smaller fish with more diverse genetics that fight well ( I am familiar with the lack of success with stocking kamloops rainbows in WA lakes). Any other disgruntled triploid catchers?
  2. the lack of fight seems to be a trait for this time of year on a lot of waters. at least from my experience that's the conclusion i've come to
  3. The only triploid trout I have caught were very hard fighters, two from Rufus Woods and one from Beda lake.
    Winter time for Rufus Woods and opener for Beda.
  4. I fished Thrus., Fri. & Sat. I had pretty much the same experience. Caught most of the fish on callibaetis nymph. I caught most of them in the real shallow water out fromt he larges launch in 8-12" of water. I would simply park my butt and cast to rising fish. The smaller fish had some spunk to them. I missed the rain on Thurs., left due to the wind on Fri. and had a beautiful day on Sat.

  5. Thanks for the nice report! Congrats on the 23 inch brown! That's a big one!

    As for why another fish chases a fish you have on the line, my theory is that the hooked fish is regurgitating whatever it had recently eaten during the fight, and the fish that is chasing is just collecting an easy meal.

    As for why the WA trout in general don't fight as well as BC trout, I think there are several reasons. First, the trout are heavily pressured at our "quality" lakes, so a trout from Lenice, Nunnally or Dry Falls has probably been caught several times previously and just doesn't have much fight left in it. Second, almost every lake up in BC has a pair of resident loons that exercise the fish every day, so the BC trout have stronger muscles than our soft WA trout. A BC trout usually feels solid, like a rock, whereas our WA trout are often soft and mushy. Third, the higher elevations and colder water temperatures up in BC must help the trout fight better, as the trout don't have to struggle so much with the hot desert temperatures like our eastern WA trout.

    WA trout are not always sluggards. Large trout that have been recently planted into a WA lake will generally fight hard because they have never been hooked before. Another thing is that I like to quickly strip flies, as my theory is that a fish that will chase down a quickly moving fly is probably a stronger, more active fish and I'll get a better fight as a result. Also, if you can find a lake in WA that has loons or cormorants, I believe that those fish in those lakes will fight harder because they are just exercised more just to survive the birds.

    Assuming a lake doesn't winter kill, and if the lake has a good winter food supply for the trout, then the fish will usually be good fighters in the spring due to not having been caught during the winter, having cold water and lots of food to fatten up. The 1,000 16" triploids planted in Beda in October 2003 is a good example of what I'm talking about (that was a special, unannounced planting). Those fish were planted after most people quit fishing the lake (which is a good idea because the duck hunters don't like the fishermen scaring away their ducks), so these triploids had all winter to fatten up. By spring time they were all about 20 inches and very fat, feeding all winter under the ice on scuds, water boatmen, bloodworms, leeches, dragonfly nymphs or whatever. Those triploids fought as well as most BC trout I've ever caught, that is until the word got out and hordes of fly fishermen descended on Beda. Within a couple of weeks, the triploids had all been caught several times and then they didn't put up much of a fight. This is a good example of how heavy fishing pressure can cause the fish to not fight very well.

    Anyway, that's a long winded commentary on some things you brought up that might be food for thought and discussion...

  6. I don't know about triploids as I have never caught one, nut in my experience on a lake right by my house is that a lot of the large stocked fish don't fight nearly as much as the smaller stocked fish. I've had a 20" trout fight less than a 10" trout. I agree with Starman about the quickly retrieved flies. Short quick strips with a conehead streamer usually get the biggest and most agressive fish in the lake.
  7. I have caught trout of all different sizes that fought well or poorly, even out of the same lake on the same day. Some are athletic and others are more like couch potatoes. Generally though I would say the rainbows seem to fight the best day in and day out. Browns don't seem to fight as well and generally take the fight deep. There was a lake I used to fish as a kid that had mostly brookies in it and early in the season when the water was really cold, it was hard to tell when you had a fish on, but once in a while I would hook a rainbow that would really put a nice bend in the rod.

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