HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER Crane-East report with Ira -Troutpocket and a guide for one of the days.

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Drifter, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    I'll agree with Tim-that is a Top 5 fishing report for sure. I envy you guys getting to go together and having 2 or 3 rods trying to figure out the hatches and then sharing the info. I fish alone about 95% of the time and if I can't figure it out then there is nothing happening. I often get lucky but it would sure be nice to be able to double or triple team the fish once in awhile. Sigh.:(

    Ive
     
  2. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    When fishing stillwaters, the guys and I use two-way radios to keep in touch. If someone finds the fish or a pattern that is working, we let everyone in our group know what's what. It's for sure a guy half a mile away is not going to fin all the way over to where you may be located to let you know that they discovered a pattern that is working better than anything else. The two-way radios are well worth the price so everyone can keep in touch.

    Ive, you are always more than welcome to fish with me if you're ever in the area. I'll even loan you one of my radios :)
     
  3. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

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    I was out of batteries for my two way radio otherwise we would have made Mark haul our butts over to the far end of East on that slow morning.

    My pics and update to the report are on the way.
     
  4. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    I was at East on around the 13-14th. The dry fly action was fabulous! Forget those chironomids! Huh? They were taking dries or emergers for several hours... ;)
     
  5. Sagebrush

    Sagebrush Member

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    Great report, sure got my heart racing! I'll be heading for a family vacation at Black Butte this next week and plan on stealing away for at least one day to Crane.
    My absolute favorite lake to fish. Sound like you had great fun! Fished once at East, would like to go back for a couple of days to really hit it.
     
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  6. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

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    Ok, some time to add to this. I left Thursday afternoon from Everett towards Troutdale Oregon with much anticipation for the trip and other than the traffic jam from South Everett to South Olympia the drive wasn't all that bad. After unloading at Marks, we shot the chit for a bit and before we knew it the time to hit the hay fell upon us.

    Mark warned me that pulling his drifter would slow him down over the pass, but he lead footed and we were in Sunriver in no time. The stop at the Stillwater Fly Shop and quick talk to Brett did not instill confidence in my decision to drive 8 hours to fish Crane. Apparently the days of 50 to 100 big hard fighting Cranebows left the lake a few years ago and scratching out a dozen smaller fish was more the norm. GREAT! I'm fairly sure I said F*** a few times once I made it back to my car. Well we had to try it anyway.

    12:30 PM or so on the water at Crane, some maneuvering around and we hit the Cultus channel along with a few other boats. We land our first fish at 2:30 but it wasn't big at all. We struggled and fished till dark and Mark's 23" fish was by far the highlight. We were in the channel and my fishing spidey senses went crazy and after some instruction from me we anchored in just the right spot. Before I can even cast out Mark sets the hook and that pig clears the water. Made my day. Check out the damsel hatch and a few of the fish we caught.

    IMG_0010.jpg
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    Next day can only be described as brutal, 13 1/2 hours on the water and 8 fish landed between the two of us. The real frustrating part was watching fish swim through the channel and not being able to encourage them to take with any authority. We would get these drive by's but no commitment. My brain was on overload trying to figure things out. I figured that most of the fish were likely Kokanee and that the other fish were just plain line shy so I switched up to 6X 3 1/2 lb test and promptly broke off on a fish on my first cast. I went up in test again but no luck. Later I went back down again and once again I broke off promptly. At least I was hooking some. If we hadn't hit that pod of fish up shallow, I'm not sure we would have landed anything. Although I did hit another fish in the Quinn channel later. After hours of nothing, I have a firm take down and hook up and then my other indicator promptly also dives under... Ack frustrating. I handed that rod to Mark but he couldn't hit it in time either. At that point I was extremely convinced that we needed to contact the guide and go to plan B. Luckily they were open 7 days a week and I could just stop at the shop on my way to pick up Rod in Camp Sherman.

    Well apparently the shops message and web page say they are open 7 days a week, but that is not the reality so no chance to change plans, but after picking up Rod and purchasing the groceries needed we headed up to East. We met a guy at the launch who pointed us toward a point but despite how incredibly fishy it looked we only ended up with a couple of short hits. That's when we decided to head out deeper but as we kept heading out into the lake we noticed that the depth never made it past 20' and in fact it started to rise up. We found a hump and as soon as our flies reached the hump trolling I got hit and I ended up landing my first Kokanee on the fly rod. We ended up finding that every time we trolled across the hump in a certain direction we would pick up another Kokanee. Anchoring up on the spot just didn't work the same. The Kokes were fun but from there we decided to head in to find something different. On the way in I ended up snagging a brown that I thought was a monster.


    Once in shallower near the campground we noticed fish targeting the adult Calibaetis. I quickly switched to a dry, which I rarely do in lakes. In fact Rod asked me what I was doing and he was a bit surprised when I told him. Of course it didn't take him long at all to switch after the first fish I hooked took the fly seconds after it hit the water. I think I only ended up landing 3 or 4 fish but I missed a lot more takes. That was fun fishing but the darkness and the drive to Crane forced us off the water.

    Just before the launch there was about a 400 yard stretch of water about 10 yards wide that was just one massive rolling, boiling pile of fish. I could wait to get back the next day.

    Day 4 and the guide met us at 7:30 on Crane I explained that we were interested in plan B and he said we could head to East if we wanted to but we should first give Crane a shot. I'm glad we did. I think Mark did a good job of filling in the details of that trip. I did like though that Brett saw the micro leech on Rod's line and asked if he liked fishing with that, in one of those tones that suggested it was a waste of time. After several fish landed and other lost fish on the fly he was asking if he could have a couple. It was the hot fly that day, but it could more have just been that it was up higher in the water column as the top fly. My big fish at Crane.
    IMG_0033.jpg

    Back out to East for the evening bite again and Rod and I headed back to the launch area where we saw the mass of fish the day before. Of course they were not there but we did manage to land 6 or 7 fish trolling fast on the way over. In fact my best pattern was my dry fly from the day before trolled fast. The fish can sure rip line when your trolling fast like that. No real dry fly bite that night but man was I looking forward to whole day to fish East. Finally some fish and not much of a struggle.

    Day 5 around 11:00 in the morning, and I am just shot. The fishing for Rod and I was tough in the morning and after 3 days of fishing Crane that did not live up to it's reputation struggling on East was the last straw. Ask Rod, I was mess, at one point I missed a take and just threw my rod down in disgust. Not my finest hour. I pulled it together eventually though and ended up with my first Atlantic and Tui Chub on a fly rod. The Chub fought harder.

    Here are a few more shots of East.

    My Atlantic!
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    My first Kokanee on the fly.
    IMG_0024.jpg

    My Tui Chub!
    IMG_0170.JPG

    A nice Bow for Rod
    IMG_0167.JPG
    Rod's Tui Chub
     

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  7. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    A few more pics from the trip=
     
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  8. Sinkline

    Sinkline Active Member

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    Mark, That was you in that blue Lavro! Wish I had known I would have came over and introduced myself. We were in that North River right above you guys in the Quinn channel in the late afternoon. There was two guys, and one girl in a bikini. We were really into them right above you guys there! Small world. :)


    Randy
     
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  9. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I thought they may have gone with Bret as the guide but I don't know if he's still guiding. I do know Royal liked Crane much more than did Bret.
     
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  10. Sinkline

    Sinkline Active Member

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    They were with Brett I am sure. Everything in Mark's report was all what Brett does. Brett is pretty firm in moving after just a few minutes if you don't get bit. We pretty much do the same as you will usually get bit pretty quickly if the fish are there.


    Randy
     
  11. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    Yes it was Brett but he is not guiding much anymore or not at all. I chatted with him in the spring about booking him while on the water.

    sinkline! I try and not stare at boats with girls in bikini's in them for respect! and not looking like a perv - so probably only looked over once and never looked again :p which day are you talking? I was by myself on Sunday, well me and the lab. it was Ira and I on friday and sat. and yes sat. was pretty slow for us!

    PM coming about East lake!
     
  12. Sinkline

    Sinkline Active Member

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    It was Saturday. The day the chop stayed down the majority of the day. Now that I think about it..., when we went past you guys heading up the channel out of the lake we went behind you guys and chatted with you. The typical, "how ya doing, any big ones"?

    Right above you guys there up in the "elbow" I had bobber down about every cast the whole time we were up there! My buddy John caught a few there as well. John had the hot rod earlier in the day and I was suck'n hind tit then. His girl friend was just netting for us there, but she flyfishes with us as well. We had an excellent day that Saturday with not less than 40 take-downs as I recall.


    Randy
     
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  13. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I thought it might be Brett. He and Royal know Crane about the best of anyone I know.

    I designed the logo for their guide biz. Brett still owes me a boat trip to East for the design. One of these days I'll have to cash that one in.

    The article I wrote in regards to East includes Royal. He broke a rod during that trip but I didn't mention that in the article... he didn't break it on a fish. That one was the last article I wrote before I retired from the freelance writing biz and switched to the cartoons.

    For me, fishing Crane is like steelhead fishing. I've never done very well on the lake but the few fish I've caught have been very large. You really need a boat for Crane and I'm limited to a pontoon boat. For that reason, I prefer East.

    Now... from what I've heard lately, Wickiup is the place to go (one lake over from Crane). Another of my fishing buddies who works at Hareline was targeting Wick last year and catching a lot of monster trout. I've never fished the lake! Maybe this year.

    You wandering stillwater guys in Washington might consider Wick if you're fishing the Century Drive lakes.
     
  14. Sinkline

    Sinkline Active Member

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    Gene, I didn't know you designed Brett's logo. that's cool! Yes, Brett & Royal know Crane as well as anyone that flyfishes the res. Though, Brett is all about hanging pupa and doesn't venture away from that method much as it's the best way to get clients into fish. I don't think he himself is guiding as much as he use to as he has turned his attention more toward the business end of the shop. I think Royal is a really great guy and outstanding stillwater angler though I don't have much contact with him or Brett.

    I fish Wic. quite a bit during the year. Hang'n pupa early, then stripping patterns in the Fall once the big fish start moving up out of the res. toward gravel.


    Randy

    Here are a few good Browns from the last couple Falls.
    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    You damned bobber guys:p I know the technique works but it simply get bored too easily using the technique. I didn't like bobber fishing when I was a kid, either :D

    Guess I'll finally need to belly up to the bar and start using the system more often... but I won't enjoy it. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Sinkline

    Sinkline Active Member

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    Oh my friend Gene, what's not to love about "bobber" fishin'? It's the stillwater flyfisher's version of dry fly fishing! :D Just funnin' ya, I know it's not for everyone. It will grow on ya once ya start puttin' the hammer on lots of fish though! :cool:


    Randy
     
  17. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    What??!!! Ira, did I read you used a dry fly????!!!!!! :D
     
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  18. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    Sinkline you need a bigger net! Nice fish and I just may move to East lake this Oct. but I have to forget about chinook fishing! OHHHH THE IRONY
     
  19. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Mark, just wanted to say that was pretty nice of you to take Ira out fishing at those places. Great report guys! I'll be back to both places again. I had a great time when I wandered down there, even tho very short time down there.
     

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