Sudden Change in Venue

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by GAT, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. This report was supposed to end up in the warmwater forum. But that was not to be.

    This morning, I headed out to a farm lake for LMB. I was skunked as skunked could be. It was windy so my poppers weren't working. The lake was off color so my subsurface pattens were not working. Not even a strike. Not even anything I could pretend was a strike.

    So I said hell with it. Drove home, removed my bass fly boxes and replaced them with two fly boxes filled with patterns designed for the Oregon coastal lakes. This was a test to see if I could get away with patterns in two boxes instead of loading the pockets of the SuperCat with 10 boxes.

    After an hour of fighting the traffic to the coast, I finally ended up at Olalla Lake. The place was a circus. I don't know what the devil was going on but parking was at a premium and I finally had to sorta make my own parking spot in the trees.

    Normally, I start fishing Olalla hours before I reached circus central but I figured I had a much better chance catching planter than my experience not catching bass... no matter the time of day.

    Well... things started to repeat the morning failure. The patterns that normally worked... didn't.

    The holding areas that always produced trout... didn't.

    I checked with some of the spin guys. They said, of course, the bite was on a few hours earlier and then went dead.

    Damn. This is not good. So I decide to try different areas of the lake. I was fishing subsurface with a bead head variegated black and olive WB with a trailer pattern that I kept changing. Finally, I started getting bites. But they were pecking and not eating. It occurred to me that the two fly system with the rear fly tippet material tied to the hook bend of the WB was working as a "fish guard" ... this is a problem with using the hook bend to secure the tippet to the rear pattern... the trout have a tough time fighting past the trailing tippet material unless they really hit the upper fly.

    So... I cut off the trailing fly and tippet and fished the WB solo. Still, pecks but I finally hooked one trout.

    .... at least I wasn't skunked for the day...

    The trout were concentrated in a specific area so I trolled back and forth over that area. Strike after strike but no solid takes.

    I decided I needed a smaller offering. I replaced the size 6 WB with a size 10 seal bugger of my own design. Black and, of course, olive.

    Once I changed to that pattern, my day improved 10 fold. As long as I didn't move out of the zone, I was catching trout as often as necessary to make me a happy camper. I was fishing solo again so I didn't bother taking any photos of the trout... also, I didn't catch anything larger than 14-inches so I didn't catch any trout worthy of a photo. (and... well... I forgot to bring my net when I switched from LMB to trout and the net is required for the system I use when catching trout and taking a photo).

    It is a very good thing I live where I do. I started out fishing for LMB at a farm lake and was skunked and ended up having a pretty danged good day catching trout a hour away.

    Most likely, this is my last trip over to Olalla for the year. The multi use factor of the lake was overwhelming and it will be that way as long as the weather is nice. Screaming kids, barking dogs, people jumping out of trees into the lake, crazy folk on those stand up and paddle surf boards losing their balance and falling in... that sort of thing. Noisy.

    This is the fly I was using. The dubbing is my own design and a mix of black dyed rabbit fur and chopped up bits of olive colored Diamond Brite (Spirit River). Today it was my savior.

    BTW: I can get away with only two boxes of flies instead of 10.
    Kcahill and wanative like this.
  2. Trout peck at a woolly bugger or leech when they want the leech to go defensive and ball up. Usually these are smaller trout or the leech is big. What one needs to do is throw some slack in the line, give it about a second, and then pick up. Most of the time there is a trout on the line. This is how the zen leecher got his nickname.
    Gary Knowels and jwg like this.
  3. Really? It also works to switch to a small pattern :p I primarily use WB and leech patterns for stillwaters and have found there are a number of tactics you can use when the trout are nipping at the tails.

    The real key was finding the trout. They had moved quite a distance from where we normally found the pods of fish. Once I started getting strikes, I knew there was a solution. There was no solution for the morning failure.
  4. I have it on good source from Captain Ahab that the sperm whale also nips at the giant squid to get it to ball up and be easier to ingest.
    wadin' boot and Tony Abaloney like this.
  5. Okay, fine... do it your way and I'll do it mine :D (seriously, your technique does also work... so does stripping the pattern like mad so the fish must hit it hard). I'm going to tie some of the patterns up in a size 12 just in case size was the issue.
  6. Tie one or two up in a 14 (standard, 1x fine is what I use) sometimes when the fish are picky a really small bugger seems to work for me, I use dubbing for the body and pick at it until it looks buggy.

    edit: the dubbing i use is the ice dub peacock , it looks pretty close to that just not as much green.
  7. You ought to move back to neo, gene. I am so thankful to live here, far from the crowds. I've only been fishing two waters in the past week, the bass pond and pitcher. I ride my bike to the bp and fish from shore with bugs, one or two evenings a week. I have a neighbor who is keeping fish there for the last couple of years so they are bigger now, mostly 8-12 inches. If there is anyone else there I go home.
    Pilcher is a 15 minute drive and while there are usually folks there camped or still fishing by the campground, more than three boats on the lake is a crowd. I walk in on the elk refuge with my tube and have been doing great stripping buggers. I didn't get out for a week until yesterday and the surface temp is up to 70.....almost time to go to the high lakes.
    Your bugger looks a lot like the one I've been using. I get nips too, but they usually take it if I keep stripping. Last night they wanted the hares ear trailer, there were some mayflies around.
  8. NEO is a mythical land. It doesn't exist. :)
  9. Bakerite, when am I going to get a report from Olive? I'm trying to send my other buddy from La Grande up their but he's been working to much. I did some research and found that they planted shiners in there for the big fish over 16" to feed on. I might be over in two weeks with Derek to fish and camp at Olive but "WOULD LOVE A REPORT FIRST" - HA

    They also plant triploids in! hope they are fingerling plants so they learn the hatches before they get big but don't really know the "TRUTH" about the lake yet???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    OOPS SORRY FOR THE HIGH-JACK! send a PM Bakerite!
    bakerite likes this.
  10. GENE, Kids screaming, dogs barking, jumping out of tree's in the lake - sounds like my old crew!!!
    Lots of fun!

    But no, you won't find me on a board.
  11. Going to Olive on Friday with my son and a friend from the slums of Lake Oswego, then I'm off to Wallowa Lake for brass camp. I hiked into Van Patten with my kids today. At 7,000 it had open water, but a lot of snow in the basin and a few iceburgs floating on the windward side! Dan jumped in and I've never seen anyone get out of water so fast. I'm guessing Olive lake at 6000 will be in the 50's or low 60's at the surface, mids and maybe some mayflys should be hatching. Maybe there will some trout big enough to eat the little kokanee in there. We will fish a couple of hike in lakes in that area too.

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