sammamish cutthroat

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by denisr, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. denisr New Member

    Posts: 22
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I'm thinking of once again trying to troll with flies for cutthroat in Lake Sammamish. I use a 7 foot pontoon boat with a small electric motor, so I put-put slowly and can't cover too much of the lake. Getting from the launch to somewhat north of the weather station is about as far as I can go, and even then I need a pretty calm day and a lot of time.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to where I should go, what flies to use, and how deep to fish? (I use a fast sinking line, so how deep the fly is when I troll is a blind guess.)

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. Dawg New Member

    Posts: 18
    Bellevue. WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0

    I have had some success using a sinking line, and fishing some sort of baitfish pattern for cutts on Lake Sammamish. I have also used wooley buggers, leaches, etc and caught fish. If there is a bit of wind, I prefer to wind drift and strip the fly back instead of trolling. These fish are usually pretty spread out, but from the boat launch I would fish my way out to the mouth of the creek, and then depending on weather, head out and do a loop around the weather station. I usually let out 90-100ft of line, to get the fly away from the boat. At early and late light I can get these fish in the top 10 feet of water, but on sunny days I need to let the fly sink a bit more. You might also check with Vasa Park about launching from there, they used to charge a $7 launch fee and it provides a different access point for a boat without a bigger motor.

    I would also recommend the bass fishing on Lake Sammamish, it is a lot of fun with a fly rod, especially as the water temp in the lake warms up later this spring. Orvis is doing a seminar on bass fishing with a fly rod at their spring seminar (April 26?)
  3. natenez New Member

    Posts: 4
    Duvall, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    FYI If you don't mind carrying the pontoon a little ways you could launch from Idlewood park on the N end. Or even from the state park beach (rather than the launch)

    My experience is similar to Dawg's. Leeches, wooly buggers, and bait fish patterns all work. This time of year they will be near the surface (top 10 feet). As the water heat up they will tend to follow the thermocline down and you'll need to add some weight if trolling to follow them down.

    In May/June when the hatchery releases the salmon smolt the cutts will hit anything that resembles a small baitfish.

    Around near creek mouths and points are good places to focus. I've found caught them right next to shore all the way out to the middle of the lake. Just keep moving till you find them.

    I take a handheld GPS out with me and each time I get a hit, I'll mark the spot. Overtime clusters will develop, showing you places where fish tend to concentrate mode.

    There is an app for Windows 8 and Windows Phone which displays the temp at depth, you can use to determine how deep the thermocline is.

    Win 8

    Windows Phone
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  4. Earthquake Ron

    Posts: 24
    Issaquah, Wa
    Ratings: +14 / 0
  5. denisr New Member

    Posts: 22
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Thanks guys,

    I fished Sammamish yesterday and did essentially what you told me to do. I used a bait-fish pattern I bought at Creekside and trailed a purple leach. I headed for and around the weather station and did best trolling pretty fast between the weather station and the east shore. Landed (pontooned!) and released 2 (12/13 inches) and lost 4 (A couple felt pretty hefty.) The only problem was my battery ran down just as I headed back to the boat launch. I guess running the motor at full speed to get up to the weather station extract a toll on the battery. It was a long row back but at least the wind was behind me.

    Many thanks for you input.

    Dawg, triploidjunkie and Irafly like this.
  6. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,743
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,704 / 0
    What kind of battery are you using. A car battery of a Marine deep cell battery. Car batteries don't last very long when trolling

    I had a 12' Zodiak and I used a deep cell marine battery to push it around and it would last me all day.
  7. denisr New Member

    Posts: 22
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I have a AC Delco Voyager (Marine I guess) battery I bought from the Outdoor Emporium with the motor. It cost almost as much as the motor and weighs a ton like a car battery. I turned the charger off after my last outing once the charging complete light came on.

    I want to go back again to the weather station area but there is no closer lunch than the Sammamish Park one, and I'm Scared of getting caught w/o power and being upwind from the launch.

  8. yellowlab Active Member

    Posts: 2,606
    In a van... down by the river, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 8

    You can also wheel your pontoon boat from the beach at the state park and its a little closer than the boat launch off E. Lake Samm. Also there is a private launch on the west lake side at Vasa Park, but probably about the same distance as from the beach. Other option is to by a small 2 or 3 hp gas outboard. Will have plenty of juice to get you to and from the launch and weigh less than your deep cycle marine battery and trolling motor combined.
  9. denisr New Member

    Posts: 22
    Ratings: +6 / 0
  10. denisr New Member

    Posts: 22
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Yellowlab, Here's what happened today.

    I launched from Vasa Park at 8:30. I cranked up the electric motor to top speed and made it into the vicinity of the weather station in 15 minutes, less than half what it would taken from the State launch, and well worth the extra $3. In fact I caught one nice cutthroat on the way to the weather station trolling at top speed.

    I caught a second cutthroat later, had another close to the boat, and had three or four descent bumps. All the action occurred at a fast troll using a bait fish pattern I got at Creekside. I spent 3 ¼ hours on the water, heading in because I was worried I would run down my battery way out in the lake. In fact the electric power was wearing down fast when I did get back to Vasa. The water was pretty choppy, which probably didn’t improve the fishing.

    But I’m not complaining and ready to go back.

    I figured a gas motor would be too to heavy and powerful for my pontoon boat, a Wilderness 12 I got at Costco. But I hadn't thought about the weight of the battery which is considerable. For n I'm now rationing myself to 3 hours on the water, but i I'd sure like to stay out longer. I took the battery to Batteries Plus and they told me it's in good shape.

  11. yellowlab Active Member

    Posts: 2,606
    In a van... down by the river, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 8

    A group 24 battery weighs in at 50+#, plus your trolling motor, another 10#. A 2 Stroke 3 HP portable kicker motor has a self contained fuel tank and can troll all day with plenty of fuel left to get back to the launch. The weight of my 3 Hp is 38# + <1 gallon or so of 100:1 pre-mix is still well under 42#... just my opinion. The world record mileage is still held by a portable Yamaha F4 outboard, its even heavier than the 2 stroke, and costs more. It went over 10 hours on a gallon of fuel, over 58 nautical miles.

    You can browse Craigslist for a used Yamaha 3HP for around $500. I considered selling mine a while back, but its nice to have for lakes that allow internal combustion, especially if you have to go a ways.

    Good luck.