Pass Lake Report - hot... and not

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by GH2, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. GH2

    GH2 New Member

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    I read several positive posts about Pass Lake so I headed out last Friday and again on Monday. I've only fished it once and previously got nothing in a quick 2 hour trip. Overall, I'd agree it's good now, but it's real hit and miss -- lots of people didn't catch anything while I was there. Don't stick with minnows, even though that's clearly what they're eating. By comparison you're much more likely to catch fish on a regular basis at Lenice, but occasionally the fish seem to go crazy at Pass lake unlike anything I've seen at Lenice. It's also a nice short trip for westsiders.

    I was sold several minnow patterns at Holiday Sports, and a friendly local even gave me one of his own patterns to try out. I had on a clear intermediate line. I didn't see anyone land anything in the first 90 minutes. I was fishing the shallows opposite the roadway and exhausted all the minnow patterns. It was frustrating to see them chasing the minnows but not be able to entice them. Finally about 1PM I tied on a Lenice favorite - damsel nymph. I had a 19 in Brown on my first cast. I put it back and had a 17 in rainbow on the next cast. Then it was quiet again for the next hour until I had to leave. I didn't see anyone else catch anything while I was there and the friendly local said it had been very slow.

    I came back Monday expecting to pick up where I left off but spent a good two hours again trying the nymph, minnows, buggers all to no avail. Plenty of fish were chasing minnows as before. We talked to one guy who hadn't even seen a fish caught all day until my friend caught two on chironomids, but that didn't prove reliable either. We switched back to damsels and started fishing back. Finally at 4PM something clicked and all of the sudden we caught about 6 in a period of maybe 20 minutes, all big including a beautiful 23" brown. Just around the corner I was embarrased to talk to a guy who hadn't caught anything. He had been there several days at sunset when he said the whole lake lit up with minnows jumping but he still hadn't figured out a good way to catch them. We were too cold to stick around and unlikely to beat our feeding frenzy, so we departed.

    I've never seen such a hit / miss scene, but I was glad to be on the lucky side.
     
  2. Paul_

    Paul_ Active Member

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    I was wondering if anybody has tried casting minnow/leach patterns and stripping them back as fast (very fast) as possible just under the surface, at Pass? I fish Merrill Lake in SW WA and this time of year that technique works very well for browns.
     
  3. Matt Smith

    Matt Smith On the river Noyb

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    Yes, using a minnow or black nose dace pattern and fishing it as you described can be effective at Pass Lake. But like all things it's one of those techniques you keep in your bag of tricks and try it when your waitng for the fish to bite.
     
  4. 2 Much Fishin

    2 Much Fishin New Member

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    GH2

    Welcome to the board.

    I fished Pass on Friday for a little bit and had some really good luck once I used an imitative minnow pattern. My standby wasnt working, so I switched to a more realistic one and the fish were taking it frequently.

    The fly pattern is too complicated to explain, but I would suggest catching a minnow that the trout are harassing and buying or tying an imitative pattern.

    I have found that once the sun goes down, the fish are not nearly as picky when it comes to minnow patterns, but until dusk they can be pretty tough.
     
  5. silver

    silver south paw

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    think small on the minnow patterns at pass. those minnows aren't real big and alot of guys are using patterns entirely to large. try a floating line and keep the minnow near the surface. Another thing to do is search along the banks and try to find a large school of minnows and just kind of wait to see if any fish rush the school. Often the rainbows in pass will pod up and travel in circuits along the shore crashing into a bait ball to feed and then move on to the next one. If you can catch a pod rushing a large school of these minnow you can have 30 minutes of pure madness and mayhem. fish the structure for the browns and be patient the minnows will work
     
  6. filson

    filson Steve Wilson

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    Here is a tip for Pass Lake. The fish are there, you just have to find what they want, and how bad they want it. By saying that I mean that you put on a fly, go through a fast strip, a slow strip, an erratic strip, a rhythmic strip, if you get nothing, change the fly. I have found that from day to day different flys and different retrieves will work. The biggest mistake people make is fishing with the same fly all day, not changing retrieve. Also, I have found that if you can see the trout rolling, but not necessarily feeding on the surface, they are feeding on mayfly nymphs. Tie a choronamid on and set an indicator at 6" or less (no longer than that, the fish are feeding on the surface) cast out, and use slow 1" per 2 seconds retrieve.

    Good luck, the fish are there, you just may have to go through your entire flybox to catch em.
     

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