Lenice/df Opener

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Wayne Kohan, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

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    Rodney and I decided to have a fishing weekend. The original plan was to fish Lenice on Sat, camp out somewhere, then hit Dry Falls for the opener on Sunday. As the weekend drew closer, and the weather reports became more entrenched went from a big camping trip with all the fixings to small tents and eating out for breakfast so we wouldn't have to cook. After a long day on Lenice, fighting the wind, we got a hotel room in Ephrata. But I digress. I will start back at the beginning of this travesty filled weekend.

    The weekend began on Friday afternoon, my new boat had not arrived yet, so I set out to a friend's house to borrow his Assault for the weekend. Just as I was leaving for there, my wife calls me that UPS just arrived with my new boat. I hurried home to open it up and put it together. In what seems SOP for NFO, I got the boat without the upgrades I was supposed to get, and without the carbon fiber oars I ordered. Too late to call Dave, but I will get that straightened out this week I am sure. Also I did not get the anchor mount that I ordered, which would become a key issue this weekend.

    We met at Rodney's house at 6 am. I was 5 minutes late, Mitch who was fishing with us on Sat only was about 20 minutes later. I got my gear into Rod's truck and we headed out. Of course, it was still dark as I was moving things over and I have a tonneau cover on my truck, so it wasn't until we were halfway to Lenice that I realized I forgot the foot bar for my boat in the back of my truck. 30 minutes each way wasted and all that gas. We did get to the parking lot in time to meet DP and Cabezon. They both ended up getting into a lot more fish than us and were very helpful with their tips. Thank you.

    Fishing at Lenice was interesting. I got on the water about 10 am and headed across to the islands. There were fish rising in the shallows and lots of midges coming off the water. I hooked up on a bloodworm quickly and landed a small fish. A couple of casts later I hooked a pig but my tippet snapped after about 10 seconds. No problem I thought, I am into the fishes. I did not touch another fish for about 3 hours. Meanwhile it windier and windier. Except when it died and then it rained. And then the wind blew. I have been in worse winds (and would be the following day) but it was pretty relentless. Did I mention the anchor issue? Fished continue to rise most of the day, and continued to ignore everything anyone threw at them. We finished up about 6 pm or so, both of us hitting some fish on the way in. After a day in the wind and rain, camping sounded less fun so we headed to the Best Western in Ephrata. Ate dinner at AJ's sports bar, watching my alma mater Ohio State lose to Kansas and then having to listen to C&W karaoke.

    Sunday morning came and we hit the breakfast at the hotel and headed on up to Dry Falls. Neither of have fished there before. The wind had not arrived yet. I met up with Scott Salzer at the launch and he gave me some ideas of where to go. He then joined me out on the water and managed to show me how to catch some fish. I managed nary a hit. Rodney had a couple of hits, no lands. Then the wind got stronger, then stronger. Did I mention the anchor issue? Then the wind really hit. Rod and I decided to head in, tired of fighting the wind the day before. At times it was all we could do move against the wind. So about 60-90 minutes of fishing but no fish. Water temp was about 44.

    Drive home was uneventful. Did see some brave souls fishing Lenice just above the south launch from shore. Stopped to show Rod Rocky Ford since he had never seen it, and saw several people braving the wind. It was miserable to be out in it.

    All in all a good trip, wish my catching was better. I am hoping for the anchor mount before my next trip.

    Wayne
     
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  2. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

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    Thanks for the report. Even though it sounds like it wasn't great, I'm still bummed I was not able to make it over. Hope your next trip more than makes up for it.
     
  3. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Thanks for the report. Hopefully our weather will turn around soon.
    Bummer about your NFO order not being correct. Not getting the orders correct seems to be a pretty consistent issue with them. Hopefully their customer service department takes care of you promptly.
     
  4. dp

    dp ~El Pescador

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    here is my report for Lenice on Saturday. I am glad I went on Saturday and avoided the winds on Sunday. It was a mixed day for weather and the size of trout caught. There were not many people on the lake which was a bit surprising. I also think the water temps are on the cooler side, but I did notice more weed growth which is encouraging. It was fun to put a face to a few names from the Forum (Wayne, Rod and Steve). It was fun to talk with them on the lake as well to see what was or was not working as I was fishing by myself.
    While I caught a few fish, most of them were small - recent plants that ranged from 9-12 inches. I got a couple that were last years plants that are now a solid 14 inches and managed a few nice size bows and a tiger that went every bit of 20 inches and was a head shaker - like a smallie. I also had 3 break offs from either a late, strong run right by the boat or a big head shake that you knew immediately your fly had broken off - those were exciting.
    A lot of people were chironomid fishing and it did not seem too productive. My efforts chiro fishing produced nothing for me. Steve's method was working for him and he said he got a nice brown and I saw his rod bent over a few times. this was his third day of fishing and he had it dialed in pretty good.
    It seemed the fish were in the shallower water between the islands or right off the reed line. Trolling a grey callebaetis pattern (Rickards) and stripping on an intermediate line got me all my fish. I tried olive patterns, hares ear, a few other things, but everything was on the grey for me. The little guys were agressive and taking the fly before the big boys. But when the big boys hit, whoa!! you knew it
    I am off on a trip to Maui for a week but will be fishing again on the weekend of April 14.

    Go fishing

    dp
     
  5. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Nice, detailed report.

    I'm not sure what is worse; go fishing when the weatherman is predicting high winds but you go anyway and curse the weather the whole time or not going when he predicts high winds and so you stay home and it is flat calm all day.
     
  6. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

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    Called NFO today. Turns out I got my upgraded seat. I did not realize it. My oars were back ordered and my anchor mount will be sent out quickly.

    I forgot to mention that when I was on Lenice I changed out my spool from fast sink to intermediate sink. After I strung the rod I pulled on the line and snapped the tip section just past the ferrule. I just finished building this rod a week ago, a hook and Hackle Xi 5 weight. I hope I can buy a replacement.

    Wayne
     
  7. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    Got Back from DF today. Wayne kind of recapped our quick meeting on the west shore. After that the wind came up, most bolted for safer places. Fortunately, I headed to the south end of the bay before the wind really kicked up. I hunkered down in the shallower area with one other. Fished under a bobber and did very well, with a total of 30-35 fish for the day. The other person did better than I. I won't describe my fly as "number 1, number 2" (why not share a bit?). I hit mine on a bigger black sno-cone, 14. The fly was very tattered and they continues to hit it and I continued to fish it. The water was rather murky and I don't think the fish were all that particular. Good mix of sizes for me, mostly bigger fish. Headed back to the launch for a toddy at camp.

    Monday was a little tougher. I didn't fish that long, up til about 1200. Managed a few in the north bay on smaller chronies, "number 6", than the day before. A nice midge hatch came off and that would have been fun - if I brought the third rod.

    Lake was not too busy with 15-18 rigs on Sat. and about the same on Monday.

    Watch for the falcons which have started their nuptual display, and seemed pretty happy. Watch for them and the sandhills which should show up shortly.

    I had H2O temps of about 44-45 degrees F.

    We need a week of decent weather to bring the lake temps up a bit.

    Good to see some friends you again.

    Safe travels to you.

    MB.
     
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  8. Islander

    Islander Steve

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    Great reports guys. You all are tougher men than I.
     
  9. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    It was nice to meet Wayne, Rod, and DP on Saturday morning. This was the last day of a spring break escape for me before heading back to the wet side (but I experienced a surprising amount of eastside rain).
    Wednesday - Bob Dopiriak (a lurker) and I fished Lake Lenore for several hours without success as we bobbed up and down in our pontoons in a gale. As the water at the north end turned into chocolate milk, Bob suggested plan B at Rocky Ford as the winds are dropping. I hadn't fished Rocky Ford in probably 20 years, basically when I was just starting out as a flyfisher (and I still had some of the scars of monster rainbows laughing at my fledgling efforts). Maybe I have learned a trick or two in two decades. I hooked 6 and landed 4 nice rainbows in about 2 hours on a BWO Quigley Cripple or a BWO biot parachute. Fish must have mistaken the fly for a midge.
    Thursday - I fished Lenice on a halfway-decent day weatherwise, light rain and light winds. I caught a few rainbows on chironomids (size 18 black chironomid with a green flashabou rib) under a bobber, but then I switched to dry flies (size 16 Lasha's raccoon and a size 18 biot-bodied BWO parachute) when I saw swirls and the occasional rise in the shallow. I really enjoyed stalking the active feeders and ended up with 6 nice rainbows on dry fly.
    Friday - Still at Lenice. Bad weather day with gusty winds and cold rain. No real success on chironomids under a bobber, but I switched to a size 18 minimalist fly: dun tail, thread body, dun hackle, no wing, and targeted rising fish cruising along the shelf along the cattails. Under tough conditions, I managed to catch a nice 18+" brown and two fat rainbows before the weather drove me off the lake.
    Saturday - Last day at Lenice, actually a half day as I wanted to cross the pass before dark. Halfway decent day (at least for that week) until the wind turns to an unfavorable direction for surface fishing. I abandoned bobber fishing after a few minutes as I saw more rising activity. I used the same dry fly style as Friday. I caught another brown (Thursday's smaller brother) and eight rainbows; at one point, I had three grabs in four casts and couldn't stop chuckling to myself. Some fish grabbed the fly as it sat on the surface. Others took it as I stripped it back to recast.
    Overall, the weather was crappy, but the fish cooperated and I enjoyed several days of focusing on something other than work.

    Steve
    WedRockyFordRainbow.jpg ThursdayRainbow2a.jpg
     

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  10. Mark Yoshida

    Mark Yoshida Active Member

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    Excellent report Steve. Great photos and healthy fish.
     
  11. dp

    dp ~El Pescador

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    nice brown Steve!!!
    nice to meet you
    I got my bigger fish and the tiger in the area you had worked over earlier in the day.
     
  12. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    Do you need a discover pass to park at dry falls?
     
  13. Islander

    Islander Steve

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    I would think so, as it is a State Park.
     
  14. Islander

    Islander Steve

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    Great looking fish Steve.
     
  15. Steve Kokita

    Steve Kokita FISHON206

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    Nice job Steve, we're heading over next week. See you at Munn!
     
  16. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    Memories are still memories, Wayne. Thanks for sharing. It could have been worse . . . Rod DIDN"T get up & sing . . .
     
  17. gmole

    gmole Member

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    Just got back from dry falls.. Had fantastic fishing... We hit the fish in 8 feet in the shallow bay.. Windy Sunday but it settled down at 3 and the fishing was very good. Monday was absolutely incredible.. Bit started early and was still going At 7 when we left. I think I saw u Scott.. I agree with u on the number 1 and number 2 bug code...we got them on cromer14 with black rub.. Pumped fish were full of them ... Great trip over all
     
  18. Richard Torres

    Richard Torres Active Member

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    Fantastic post's guys!

    And thanks for the fly details and sharing your pics with us Steve.
     
  19. Shawn Seeger

    Shawn Seeger (aka. wabowhunter)

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    Well, I didn't exchange names, but I know I talked to Steve (cabezon) on the trail from the lake, one evening. And I think I might have talked to you Wayne (is your new boat blue)?

    I was one of the chironomid fishermen (I know I was anchored up, sorry), I did ok (and most fish were fat and healthy) even with the W..., sometimes the extra height of the boat helps me to pick up the strike. The W... was pretty brutal a couple of times through out the weekend (I got there Thursday night and thought my travel trailer was actually going to tip over a couple time).

    When the W... wasn't blowing hard the fishing was a bit slower than I expected but I was able to pick up some fish. I am glad that I didn't pick any of the dinks, maybe it was that I was just to slow (sleepy) to set the hook fast enough.

    We have been trying to figure out if the "great" spring weather or the gas/diesel prices are keeping people at home or maybe the slower than expected fishing. But the parking lot has been more empty this year than in many years (since the last time gas was over $4.oo).

    Anyway, time to move to the next lake (no I am not lucky enough to be retired and on the circuit yet).

    Cheers and tight lines to all...!
     

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  20. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Hi Shawn,
    Shawn, were you in one of the prams?
    As I was tenting it, I was pretty envious of the hard-sided shelters, including that Taj Mahal motor home parked next to you.... Camping in the rain I can handle. Even significant wind I can handle (been in some very windy nights camped at the state park at Dry Falls), but the gusts at Lenice were threatening to push the tent inside out. After fishing on Thursday, I came back to find that my tent pegs had pulled out from the soft sand and the whole tent had been pushed back several inches and rotated about 15 degrees.....

    I'm looking forward to a trip to Dry Falls. It is such a spectacular location that even if the fishing is slow, the scenery, including the bird life, can keep me entertained. I love the call of the canyon wrens echoing in that bowl. And, based on GMole's generous report, there may be some nice fish to boot.

    Steve
     

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