Tough morning, splendid evening!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by IveofIone, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,087
    Ratings: +1,106 / 0
    I got up at 4:30 this morning and drove to a nearby lake in search of some cutthroat. In the past the lake has been a good producer and usually provides some good dry fly action. Not any more, it was like the Dead Sea up there. I kicked completely around the lake in 2 1/2 hours and hooked 6 fish and landed 3 of them. All 3 end to end would not have reached 15''. I gave up early and came home for a nap. After lunch another nap seemed like a good idea so I doubled up.

    I have been making trips down to the river to check out the level over the past week and today it looked like it was time to get down there and check out the smallmouth. The river-the Pend Oreille-is finally down to around 16,000cfs and the points and current seams are starting to show now. Thinking I would primarily fish smallmouth with a full sink line I took my decades old IMX 6wt that I built to nymph fish on the Deschutes with. It works well with big rubber legged weighted bugs but is not so nice as a dry fly rod. Nevertheless I took a dry line along just in case. I started off with the sinking line and hooked nice fiesty smallmouth on the first 2 casts. Those river smallies are hell for stout and even on a 6 wt they felt a lot bigger than they actually were. While working the water nearby for smallies I kept noticing big powerful takes on the surface of one of the current tongues. The fish was just at the outer limits of my casting range but I couldn't stand it any more and changed over to the dry line. I could see caddis everywhere and assumed that was what all the splashy rises were about but I had left my box of caddis patterns at home. Searching through the stuff I had with me I found a caddis emerger in size 14, it was my only hope. I tied it on and waded as far out as I dared. With a double haul I could just reach the fish but micro currents were really screwing with my presentation. On the third cast a huge swirl engulphed my fly and I was into a good fish. At first I didn't think it was very big as I stripped it in. But then it realized it was hooked and all hell broke loose. It went airborne several times and made 3 powerful line stripping runs out into the heavy current.

    After a lengthy fight I was able to bring it to my feet where I noticed the fly was dead center in it's upper jaw. It was an old growth native red band trout that was twice the length of my boot-about 24", very deep and very wide and many pounds. It was a thrill to take such a decent fish on a dry fly in heavy water. Tomorrow I'll go back with a sweet casting 5 weight and an entire box of caddis patterns. It was obvious that a lot of trout were up on top taking drys and from the looks of the huge boils a lot of them are real big fish.

    The river is only 10 minutes away and should keep me entertained for awhile now that the lakes are too hot to fish.

  2. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,522
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,497 / 9
    Glad you doubled up on outings and naps!
    constructeur likes this.
  3. Jim Speaker Active Member

    Posts: 2,215
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +518 / 0
    Wow. NICE. Where's the photo man? Love redbands... and, a big old river redband like that must have been one helluva hoot. Nice work out there... I love it when "the right fly box" is at home but ya got something rootin' around in one of the pockets or maybe on the hat that comes to the rescue - usually some chewed up thing that's just happy to be fished again.
  4. Steve Call Active Member

    Posts: 1,567
    Wetside, WA
    Ratings: +188 / 0
    Great Ive! You are lucky the river is so close. Keep us posted on your outings after the big ones.

    (Naps are good for the soul.....)
  5. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 2,042
    Wallingford, WA
    Ratings: +1,612 / 0
    Two thumbs up on a two boot redband!
    constructeur likes this.
  6. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,494
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 0
    Nice work, Ive.

    I have a cousin who lives down near Newport, who has been complaining about the state's effort to reduce the pike population in the Pend Oreille, but if it means more fish like yours, it will be an effort well made.

  7. Greg Price Love da little fishies

    Posts: 531
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +70 / 0
    Lake....River full of smallies and pigglet trout rising to caddis......Lake...River........ RIVER - GO TO THE RIVER TO CATCH FISH.

    Glad for you to live close to river. Have fun. Keep us posted with pics if possible.
  8. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,411
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +692 / 0
    Great day! I had to settle for a nap . . .