Lone report: 10/12/13

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Nick Clayton, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,834
    Ratings: +1,101 / 4
    I took a break from the last few months of salmon fishing to spend a day chasing trout on Lone with Ira. We threw Ira's electric motor on the back of my pram, piled in enough gear to start up a fly shop, (A REAL fly shop, unlike that one that doesn't even stock 6 wts for crying out loud!) and headed out. We started the day anchoring up in about 12 feet of water in front of the point to the right of the launch. We set anchors then spent time getting our rods rigged up properly and in the water. The lake was dead calm, and as we looked out toward the middle of the lake we could see fish feeding on the surface. We could see MANY fish feeding on the surface. Huh. We both had two rod endorsements so we immediately went to work setting up 4 indicator rods at varying depths with varying flies, all the while commenting on the rising fish in the center of the lake. After about 45 minutes or so of zero takes, the ridiculousness of the situation finally dawned on us; Here we were stubbornly anchored up where the fish SHOULD be, all the while staring at where the fish actually WERE. We finally laughed at ourselves, pulled anchor, and headed to the middle of the lake.

    We started with both of our least favorite method, trolling, and I quickly picked up the first fish on a soft hackle. After I hooked up, we dropped anchor and proceeded to work the water around us. The fish were going crazy feeding on adult chironomids. Or actually, as Ira's skilled eye quickly figured out, the adult females that were landing on the surface to deposit eggs. For a half hour or so we each picked up a couple fish, me stripping soft hackles and Ira with a pattern I can't recall. Ira started to get takes on his indicator rod, and soon excitedly pointed out that there was no longer just adult females laying eggs, but there was a full blown hatch in progress.

    At that point we went about setting up 4 indicator rods with a combo of micro leeches and chromies fished within a couple feet of the surface. We spent the next couple hours picking up fish fairly consistantly. After a while the wind picked up, and the surface activity died down. The fishing slowed dramatically at this point. After a bit of experimentation we figured out that when the wind kicked up the fish were going deeper, and when it would calm down they would come back to the surface. So with that in mind we spent several hours sitting out there in the middle of the lake picking up fish on a fairly regular basis at varying depths depending on conditions. It was quite chaotic at times, having 4 indicator rods out in a 10' boat, along with several other rods strung up IN the boat. Ira got in many assist points, as I had to perform several off hand hook sets that required me passing off my other rod in a hurry, or better yet when I hooked a fish in my right hand rod, and was trying to maneuver the left hand rod to keep the line away from the fish, so Ira played 3rd hand and stripped in the fish for me. haha Many thanks for that one!

    At some point in the afternoon things slowed to the point that we finally decided to move. We spend the next few hours moving from spot to spot, picking up the random fish here and there, but nothing too consistent. At around 5 pm the wind died down and the lake once again came alive with feeding fish. This time, however, we were completely unable to get them interested in any of our offerings. We quite literally threw the kitchen sink at them, employing a variety of techniques in the process. I tried several different soft hackles, emergers, dries, big streamers, small streamers, white leaches, maroon leaches, pumpkinheads... everything I could think of. Ira was doing the same. I had one hit on a olive softie, and Ira had one slight take on an indicator rod and that was it. We fished up till dark but could never figure them out.

    Finally tally for myself for the day was 17 fish netted, a couple LDRs, and several missed take downs. I know Ira had at least as many fish.... er... I mean, he had 1 less of course. I was not as rusty in the trout game as I had expected. My casting left plenty to be desired, but my line management was up to snuff and my hook sets were spot on. I was wondering if salmon fishing has improved my reflexes... Even on my left handed sets I was doing well. It was a great day on the water with a friend. Few other guys in inflatables were picking up fish here and there trolling, but it didn't appear as though anyone was too dialed in all around. By mid afternoon we had the lake to ourselves. It didn't rain, since we both wore our waders out in the boat, but the wind was pestering us all day. It was nice having Ira run the motor so I could relax and not have to row as I'm accustomed to while in my boat.

    As usual I learned a lot fishing with Ira, and more importantly had a fantastic time. For having 4 rods out most of the time we had few tangles, and no major ones. Ira did have the problem of multiple fish getting hooked and then wrapped into his and my lines... Those fish were pretty mean that way. Speaking of the fish, all fished caught and released were fat, healthy, and STRONG. It's amazing the fight these fish will put up on a 5 wt. They were jumping, diving, running, and just generally behaving as fat, strong, healthy rainbows will. Fish seemed to average 16-18", with the fish of the day going to Ira with a FAT, colorful bow north of 20". (Although I still claim I caught smallest!) I brought my camera with the intention of taking plenty of pics, but it died right after Ira snapped a picture of me fighting the first fish of the day. I've gotta remember to bring fresh batteries.

    This is only the 3rd or 4th time I've fished Lone in October, but its been good each time. Anyone looking to get out and get there trout fix, now is good time. If all else fails, you can always troll a floating line with a black bugger......
  2. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 682
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +258 / 3
    Wow, that sounds awesome, I've got to try Stillwater. I'll admit I'm a bit intimidated.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk now Free
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  3. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,866
    .
    Ratings: +199 / 0
    I throw a small emerger when I see fish like that on the surface. But, I generally have four rods with me.... One always with an emerger.

    Sounds like a great day.

    Thanks for the report.
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  4. PeteM Member

    Posts: 625
    Snohomish, WA, US.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I was out there also from 9-12 (blue outcast float tube). Early on the lake was covered with fish. Watching their dorsals and tails, you knew they had to be feeding on emergers with some taking adults on top. It took a bit to find a chironomid pattern to match. (I actually used a zebra midge pattern that had a white head.) After that, I would get pretty consistent strikes but not as many as I expected. I suspect there were so many naturals that it was just an odds game. Like you, all my fish were 16-18 inches.

    I tried drys with droppers but never did get a take on the dry. Emergers 18" to a couple feet down seemed to be the best for me. I am a reluctant chironomid fisher so after a couple hours of fishing that way, I switched to a full sinking line and tried to hunt for something larger. I caught a couple fish but nothing over 18".

    It was a great day to be out.

    Pete
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  5. Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

    Posts: 1,929
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +259 / 0
    Ahhh fall. Gotta love October out there. Nice report Nick! If able lets try and fish sometime in Oct/Nov..
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  6. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,568
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,017 / 1
    As I recall, all went exactly according to my game plan, nothing out of the ordinary happened at all. Moving to the point was just part of my plan to help give Nick time, while not surrounded by thousands of feeding fish, to gather his materials together for a proper day on the water. One must after all always have 5 rods strung in the boat ready for whatever the day may bring. One could never, for example of course, just have one rod strung with a type V and a back up floating spool and find any success on a body of water throughout the course of day. Yes 5 is the proper amount. You need two rods strung and ready for indicator fishing, one strung ready to fish dries/emergers/all that shallow crap, one with an intermediate line and one with a full sink.

    So after giving myself, I errr mean Nick time to rig up properly, I knew he could then handle catching fish randomly out in the middle.

    I will say that I did throw an ovipositing pattern early on in the count with some success, but alas I was busy preparing/watching other rods so those fish were missed. Once the hatch started I switched up to an emerger pattern again with the exact same luck. The real key as mentioned was fishing shallow under indicators until the fish moved down. One fish every 5 minutes was not enough so we did move to where the fish were suppose to be but this constant hatch has the fish spread out all over the lake right now and I imagine they are just in holding pattern for this until something changes.

    As for that last hour or so when everything was calm. I have run into this situation before where you just couldn't buy a strike and then thought that I'd figured things out with emergers or soft hackles, but once again no go. Nothing that we tried worked on these fish, I'm still thinking about it. And before you post up: "Well did you try .......", the answer is yes.
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  7. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,834
    Ratings: +1,101 / 4
    Absolutely, Tim. We will definitely need to plan to get out on the water soon!

  8. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,171
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +177 / 6
    Great report, glad you guys had a super day. Oct. & Nov. are some of the best Lone Lake months. I'll be out there next week.
  9. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +237 / 0
    Hi Ira and Nick,
    Might the fish have been feeding on clouds of Daphnia in the evening? I've encountered that before and there is no way to match the hatch realistically. Stripping a wooly bugger or big nymph can get a few fish to take their minds of the abundant tiny crustaceans.

    Steve
  10. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,568
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,017 / 1
    No, they were not feeding on daphnia, they were feeding once again on the female midges laying their eggs, (or ovipositing). I find great success with micro leeches hung static right in the middle of daphnia clouds as a great way to take bugs in the middle of a daphnia storm.
  11. chief Active Member

    Posts: 340
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +123 / 1
    You are not alone being stumped by the rise during the calm last hour of fishing. I have fished one particular lake successfully for years, except I still can't figure out the rise at last light. I have tried everything, I mean everything, and have not been able to dial it in. I will try something new, pick up a fish, and think AHAH I got it, and then blank for the next 10 casts, fish literally rising all around my fly...... frustrating but also thought provoking.....
    Irafly likes this.
  12. Cole L Fish Fiend

    Posts: 124
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    Similar story to when I fished it last week. Caught over 15 fish on dries, all over 18" during an hour of no wind on the lake. All feeding on adult midges too.
  13. Gregg Lundgren Now fishing on weekdays too!

    Posts: 513
    N. Edmonds / Mukilteo, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    Wow! How many fish did you catch in total during that hour to bring 15 fish to hand all over 18 inches? Sounds like you discovered a dry that can screen out most of those pesky 14 to 18 inchers.:) Even if all 15 fish were over 18 inches, that is still one fish every four minutes. That's incredible fishing!
  14. PeteM Member

    Posts: 625
    Snohomish, WA, US.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Gregg,

    Comments like that ruin this site. Ease up.

    Pete
  15. Gregg Lundgren Now fishing on weekdays too!

    Posts: 513
    N. Edmonds / Mukilteo, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    My apologies to the board if that is the case. My intent is the exact opposite. I hope that most will interpret it that way.
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  16. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,834
    Ratings: +1,101 / 4
    No worries Gregg, I didn't take it as anything bad at all. Just seems like good natured ribbing to me. Those sometimes sarcasm doesn't come across the internet too well. I for one think you're a positive addition to this community and I enjoy reading your posts.

    Besides who doesn't enjoy some good natured ribbing
    I sure do!


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  17. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,568
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,017 / 1
    Comments like that ruin this site, ease up Pete.
  18. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,531
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +699 / 2
    A fish every 4 minutes, for an hour? C'mon, next you're going to tell us you caught 40+ in some specified time period....


    ;)
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  19. Cole L Fish Fiend

    Posts: 124
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    Caught two others during the other 4 hours I was there, I may have left that part out... :D
  20. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,568
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,017 / 1
    I would buy the two rod stamp, which is what we have to do here in Washington. Other lakes, I have multiple rods strung up ready to go.