Lone and yes again

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Tony, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Lynnwood Wa
    I moved off of the peninsula a couple of years ago and now Lone has become what I consider my home lake I really enjoy fishing this lake its not any easier to get to than some of the lakes on the peninsula that I learned to fly fish on and I do miss Cady although I fished it for 20 years and watched it as it declined with bitterness and disappointment till I can no longer fish there but that's another story. Now Lone is the lake that gets my heart beating fast the scenery is gorgeous, the fish healthy and fat with a good biosphere to support them and even though I've been fishing it now for a couple of years there is still much to be learned and experienced when it comes to fishing this lake so here's my thoughts and observations for this week take it for what you will. I arrived fairly early 8 a few others with prams arriving right behind me jockeying for position at the launch as I got set up, I finally broke down and have started bringing 2 rods and am considering a third just to cover my bases, I used to just carry spare spools with the lines I would need switching as or when I thought the situation required it, but let me tell you having another rod strung up for chironomids has become a staple in my arsenal and in a pinch I can cut the tippet back and use it for fishing dries that's where the possible 3rd rod comes in. I had decided that I would mostly fish chironomids today having found a couple of places on the lake that have been productive in the past, different places for me at least, I usually head to a couple other well known areas to fish but today I wanted to change up and try something different. The water temps were hovering around 47 a couple of degrees warmer than last week and there were bugs visibly coming off so my hopes were high as I started out across the lake to my chosen area, I use a fish finder and as I slowly made way working a small leech along I was marking fish but it was sporadic, then I notice a difference in the surface of the lake shit there were fish cruising and feeding not going for adults but subsurface, this changed my whole freaking game plan instantly, fish and fish I could see and cast to, mental drool, broke out the chironomid set up pulled the indicator off and started trying different patterns none with any great success, a fish here a fish there, couldn't get dialed in spent a good couple of hours trying but nothing seemed to be the answer, the indicator was soon replaced on my line and a balance leach brought a couple more to hand but the fish were still laughing at me and my offerings, I hesitate to admit that through all of this I made a couple of glaring mistakes 1. I never took a throat sample 2. I ignored completely the fact that my fish finder was telling me that there were fish cruising and feeding all around me 3 to 4 feet off of the bottom. I wanted those subsurface fish and in my obsession went for the much harder targets, I finally came to my senses and took a sample from a very healthy fat fish set my indicator to the correct depth and started to consistently get into fish, had an excellent rest of my day catching hard fighting fish, moved once to check out another area and promptly took a sample figured out the correct depth and continued to have a blast. Once I had done all of this I made very few fly changes I knew the size and color that the fish were feeding on and even though there were a few different bugs coming off the fish seemed to be keying in on only one of them, the samples I took were incredible the fish were just gorging themselves on a #20 sized dark olive chironomid exclusively and oddly enough never below about 3 feet off the bottom it was crazy. I left about 2:30 after a fine day of fishing with a few obvious lessons learned, not saying I wouldn't do exactly the same thing again its hard for me to resist visible fish but who knows maybe, different day different results. I got home checked the mail and my copy of the new stillwater book had arrived another thing I can't resist a new book on a subject I enjoy and its a pretty good one too.
    tony
     
  2. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,844
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    604
    Location:
    Langley, WA
    Hey Tony
    I was starting to feel anxious reading your report. Glad for both us you got it dialed in!

    Thanks for describing the food source.
    Jeff
     
  3. Dave Boyle

    Dave Boyle Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa
    Nice report Tony,

    Interesting re the 20s. I've fished Lone for about 8 yrs and it seems that the effective fly sizes are getting smaller. Maybe it's just me but with emergers or dries last yr, v.small was the ticket. Before then 12-14 emergers were just fine for me. Unlike you I wasn't smart enough to figure that out and relied on help from a kind fellow angler.

    Don't know about the feed tho', the lake doesn't appear to have that much weed growth overall and some of my fishing buddies lament that the size of fish and quality of fishing has suffered after the weeds were 'removed'. That said, it's a universal lament so who really knows. Thanks for the report, Spring is coming and I need to get out there.

    Dave
     
  4. chiro

    chiro New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    coquitlam bc
    Thanks for the detailed report and learnings - which we constantly do. Might be a dumb question but #20 olive - any chance they were chaoborus? They don't have white gills and wiggle more than chironomids.
     
  5. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Lynnwood Wa
    I think the size has more to do with the time period I found a couple of pupae I collected and preserved from last year that were from later in the season that were true bombers almost an inch long, I haven't had all that much experience with hatches at lone to be able to say much but I'm sure with the decline in vegetation would affect things, and in reply to the other question I really don't remember gills very wiggly with little horns but not like a glass worm at all
     
  6. Irafly

    Irafly Indi "Ira" Jones

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,809
    Media:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2,368
    Location:
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Since the loss of vegetation, I've actually done much better at Lone and the midge hatches seem to be more prolific across the entire lake. I think that fishing has changed for a lot of old timers, because the lake with the Brazilian Elodea tended to be much more predictable with only a few areas of the lake producing consistently. With the elodea gone now the fish can be found throughout the system and you have to search a bit more to find them. Although there are still some locations that tend to concentrate fish for a couple of different reasons at different times of the year. For example I sat in one location for a few hours last year and I landed just over 35 fish and my fishing buddy landed around 30 as well. In contrast though when I fished it in the fall with Nick Clayton, we found fish everywhere around the lake because the fish were spread out gorging on a lake wide midge hatch.

    As for midge sizes, the early hatches in the past have normally been a bit larger say in the 14 to size 12, with smaller sized hatches coming off as the spring continues. Then as the water really heats up in June and July I start to see the real bombers size 10 and 8. Those tend to be the bugs that the fish will steal your rod out of the boat if your not careful.

    A new food source that started to show up in the last few years is scuds and I'm starting to see larger and larger ones show up in throat samples. Well large is relative, I think the largest I've seen is a size 18, but before they were in the 24 and 26 range.

    One thing that has not worked as well in the last few years is streamer patterns to match the baby bass that used to be more prevalent.

    I'm looking forward to making it back out to the lake soon.
     
  7. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    everett, wa.
    i have found in the past that some eastern lakes would get the bigger mids around late april-early may.
    have not seen them on this side of the hump in april or may . maybe i need to keep fishing into june & july over here to see the bigger mids ? ?
     
  8. jordan101

    jordan101 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    I'm heading out to Lone this morning. Thanks for the report.
     
  9. Elephant fly

    Elephant fly ...tastes like chicken....

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    seattle, wa

    Interesting. I fished it Wednesday and scuds were the ticket. I rarely fish them, but a size 16 on an intermediate sink slime line was where the action was for me.
     
    Jeff Dodd and mat1226 like this.
  10. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,844
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    604
    Location:
    Langley, WA
    sweet!
     
  11. jordan101

    jordan101 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    It fished pretty good this morning until the storm blew in. We caught a few. Just the basic chironomids and black leech.

    Rowland
     

    Attached Files:

  12. mat1226

    mat1226 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA.
    Well, I'm going to jump in here on this thread. Fished Lone today for the first time ever. Thanks to Ira and Jeff for some tips on where to get started. Boy is that a long drive from Bellingham or what! Now I see why I always stop at Pass. Just about twice the distance.

    I see why Tony likes this lake and started this thread. I wish it were closer for me. Anyway the wind came up a bit today but I ended up having my best day of the year so far, seven to the net and several other take-downs with no hook up. Tried various items under the indicator but a black ice cream cone worked best. Tried the green meanie but it only gave me the green weenie.

    Kind of hard to move around today but I really enjoyed that little lake. Stayed against the south shore in various places, mostly just trying to hold my anchor, got blown off at 2:45 or so, pretty rough at the take out. Thanks to this board for expanding my horizons, I really mean that.
     
    Irafly, Islander and Jeff Dodd like this.
  13. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,844
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    604
    Location:
    Langley, WA
    Mark,
    Glad you found success today in the wind. It was howling at times but you were smart to stay in the relative protection of the reeds and south shore.

    I agree the Green Meanie is done until next winter.

    Send me a note if you make it back down this way. My apologies for shouting at you today for the on-the-water fish count :D
     
  14. mat1226

    mat1226 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA.

    No problem at all on the shore side hello Jeff. Kind of fun to actually have someone say hello from the beach. I pretty much knew it had to be you. If I make it down again I will definitely let you know.
     
    Jeff Dodd likes this.