West Side Story

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Donato, May 4, 2011.

  1. Donato

    Donato Member

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    I had truck problems and got my rig back on Fri afternoon. My girlfriend couldn't fish with me on Sat and I wanted to drive my truck a bit before I took it on a long trip, so I fished the west side lakes. I was desperate as I had only fished two times before and both were west side lakes. My friend at work told me of these magical lakes where 3-6 lb fish abound or so he led me to believe. I had fished these lakes a few times with nothing more to show but a few planters and one or two 1.5 lb trips. I decided to give them one more try as the alternative was to fish the CF lakes around Lynnhood, Brothel and Everett, not a pleasant thought. I loaded my truck with some camping gear, my pontoon boat and some cheap tequila I brought back from a recent trip to Mexico. I took the tequila to help ease the pain if no big fish were caught and some home made reindeer apple sausage to nourish my body from a long day on the lake. I got on the road at 4:30 am and headed south to these secret lakes and arrived at the first one by 7:30. I was surprised to see very few people on the lake even though this lake has a campground on it. Then it dawned on me, this lake is Y/R and had all ready been planted with some big fish back in March. Could it be all the big fish were caught or was it just the 35 degree morning air temp that was keeping the hordes away. I hurriedly put my pontoon together, geared up and put in. A group of three old guy, ( locals ), were pitching power bait near the launch site. I asked how they were doing. They said it was slow but the had caught a few of the 8-10 inch planters so far. I asked about the big fish but they had not seen one caught since the March planting and it had been fished hard ever since. Was I 'F' again or was there really a few big guys left. The first 45 min or so produced little but a few brave souls were catching fish with bait and small spinners. I had been skunked before on west side lakes but I was determined to not let it happen this time. I tried a small size10 leach pattern my friend had tied me in two different colors but they didn't produce. I kept changing fly's until I hit pay dirt with a cheap chartreuse damsel nymph. I couldn't keep the fish off this fly, the only thing was, they were all small 8-10'' planters. I scoured the lake with both type 4 and intermediate line to no avail, but at least I was catching fish. I kept this up until 12:30 or so and took a break. While eating a sandwich I talked to a local that had been to the other secret lake I wanted to fish and he said many big fish were being caught. He also said the kids derby was over and many people had left the lake for the day. I loaded my PT boat and rods and headed out. I got to the lake around 2 pm. There were maybe 12 boats on the water and a bunch of bait heads fishing off the docks., not too bad for opening day at this lake. I had to run the gauntlet of bait guys on the dock pitching gear half way across the lake. One dick got mad at me because I was in his way as he fished power bait in the boat launch area. Where the fuck did he want me to launch my boat.
    I fished down the east side of the lake and ran into a fly fisher from Lynnhood in his toon. He said he had caught 5 fish in the 4-5 lb range and many smaller ones with buggers and a BH hares ear trailer. I was excited to say the least. Maybe it was my turn to catch the big one. He also said it had slowed down a bit and the wind was picking up. Ya, it gets windy in western WA too. I fished my type 4 line first but kept snagging the bottom. I switched to the intermediate line and a small non beaded black and purple bugger and started to catch fish. The wind started to make it hard to fish and keep a tight line. After a half doz small fish, I caught a feisty 2 pounder. things were looking up. The wind stated blowing harder and I was getting tired so I decided to take a break. I don't have a rod holder on my toon so I put my rod in a pocket and zipped it shut. I hadn't rowed 50yd when the line started screaming out of my reel. I dropped my oars and got the rod out as fast as I could. When I set the hook I saw a big fish jump out in front of me. I had a big one on at last. I fought this fish for over 10 min on my 5wt before I was able to net him. My prize was a 5 lb plus fish. I did it. I caught a few more small fish and call it a day. I decided to fish here again in the morning as the lake I was camping on did not produce earlier in the day.
    I got up and headed to the lake at 7am, it was cold with frost on the ground. I decided to sit in my truck and finish my 7-11 coffee before I braved the icy waters of the lake. I was glad I fixed the leak in my 3mil waders for this trip. I finally got on the water by 8:15am. There were about 10 boats on the water and about 20 bait guys on the docks, not too bad for the opener. I asked a few of the boat guys how they were doing and they said it was slow and they were only catching the small planters. It was slow for me also but I figured it would get better as the day warmed up. I fished the fly's I did well on the day before to no avail. Had I lost my MOJO? I was hoping to catch one more of the big ones before I had to leave for home. After an hour or so of fishing, I caught a small planter, thing were looking up. I decided to fish the shore line where I caught my BIG ONE one more time before I went to secret lake #3. Good decision on my part. I could not fish close to the shore as a Vietnamese family of 10 or so were doing their best to hit me with their gear. I guess it was their way of staking out their fishing turf, RUDE bastards. I gave them a wide berth and low and behold I had another good one on right in front of them. At first he felt like one of the 2lb trips but as I striped in line, he started to really fight. I could not budge this guy with my 5wt. Every time I got him near the surface he would dive deep. I got him on the reel and he made a few big runs and was determined to stay deep, what a fish. After 10mins of battling with him, I got to see him. Holy shit, I didn't think he was going to fit in my net. He dove a few more times but I was winning the battle. I finally got him on his side and brought him to the net but he slipped out. I did this a few more times before I gave in an let some young guys in a boat that were watching me, net him. He was Hugh. One of the young guys has caught many of these fish in the past and said my fish would go 6lb. We talked a bit and I gained some info on another secret lake I need to try. I called it a morning and headed in. I kept this fish and his 5lb buddy from the day before. I figured I could get 6 or 8 meals from them and only have to clean two fish. A guy on the shore had a digital scale and weighted my fish at 6.5lbs. What a morning.
    I gave secret lake #3 a try for 2hrs or so but I arrived at the hot part of the day and nothing was happening.
    I hope the killing of these two fish does not invoke the east side fishing gods to get mad at me.
    I may have to try secret lake #4 and 5 soon.
     
  2. Rocket Red

    Rocket Red Vegetarian Cannibal

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    That is one long paragraph, but a pretty good report of some nice fish.

    I can probably guess these lakes pretty easily. The first lake still has some of the big ones, I have caught and released quite a few of them as recently as last week. They have gotten a little smarter since March, but the structure and shoal that they relate to hasn't changed at all.
     
  3. Donato

    Donato Member

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    Red, Do you think they can be caught with dries in a few weeks? I didn't see many fish on the surface when I was fishing.
    I was just trying to be funny, there are no secret lakes on the west side. :thumb:
     
  4. Rocket Red

    Rocket Red Vegetarian Cannibal

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    They rarely look up. Best action for me has been when terrestrials have been blown into the water.
     

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