July 4th fishing report

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by Shawn West, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Shawn West

    Shawn West Active Member

    My buddy and I decided to go a little further east up the Gorge on July 4th in search of bass. We arrived at our destination around noon with sunny skies and light winds. The weather was perfect, but the fish were not in any mood to cooperate. My guess is that the full moon the previous evening had something to do with that. We fished the late pretty for about four hours. I managed to land 9 smallies and three perch. The largest fish was 15". I caught all of my fish on a black bugger or a white/charcoal Polar Fibre baitfish. Steve used a handfull of different patterns to catch his fish. We decided to get a cool drink and look for some new water.

    With the added cost of a Discovery Pass as well as a $5 launch fee, I prefer to not fish Horsetheif Lake. I already had the pass, so I bit the bullet and payed the launch fee. We took our pontoons out towards the railroad tracks to try our luck. Steve was throwing and auger tailed fly of his creation and getting strikes left and right. I, on the other hand, could not but a strike. I was getting desperate. This called for a desperate measure. I broke out a pattern I was hoping not to use this season. I tied on a crawdad colored Arizona Simiseal Leech. I told Steve the gloves were coming off and that it would just not be fair to the fish. He looked at me and rolled his eyes. I am sure he was thinking " there goes Shawn talking smack....again". My first cast was not a good one. I managed to snag the fly on the rocks on shore. My third cast was much better. FISH ON!. After a nice fight, I landed a 16" smallie. I got my strike. I removed the fly and tied on a barbless black bead headed bugger. By then the wind was kicking up quite a bit. I decided to start working my way back towards the ramp.

    Two years ago, I had set a goal for myself to land a smallmouth 20" or larger. I had come close a few times, but I just could not streach the fish hard enough to cross over that 20" line. Today was the day. I got a strike and I set the hook. About three seconds into the fight, this head comes flying out of the water towards me. Based on its size, I thought for an instant that it was a carp. Once I saw its body, I realized I had a contender for breaking 20 inches. The fish made a couple of short runs before I got it into the net. The 16 incher I caught earlier fought much harder and longer, bit this was the fish I had been hoping for for so long. Steve took a couple of pictures, and I let the fish go. I was obviously not thinking straight, because I never even bothered to weigh the fish. It is not the end of the world, but it would have been nice to have that information. I never did get another strike that day. I still do not like to have to pay the extra money to fish Horsetheif Lake, but the lake is starting to grow on me.

    I am grateful that I could share this experience with Steve. I usually do all of my fishing alone (not by choice). He was kind enough to stop fishing long enough to take a couple of pictures to capture the moment on film. Thanks Bud!!!



    Chad Lewis and atomic dog like this.
  2. atomic dog

    atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Love those smallies! So what did the length end up being on the big girl? I've caught smallmouth that size before, but never on the fly rod.

    Is the rest of the lake decent for fishing too, or is it mainly concentrated along the riprap by the tracks?
  3. Shawn West

    Shawn West Active Member

    Atomic...She was 20 1/4". I really do not have a lot of experience on this lake. I have only been there twice, and each time I hit the riprap pretty hard. Maybe someone else will chime in with more info regarding the lake.