The Thief At Olalla Lake


Olalla Lake is a reservoir. Last year, a very large blue heron would sit on the dam structure and wait for someone to catch a trout. I don't know if the bird was too lazy to find his own fish or actually brilliant. When someone in a floating craft would hook a fish, the heron would swoop down and attempt to steal the trout.

This was Rocky's encounter... Rock was concentrating on landing the trout and never saw the heron:



As far as the flying goes, he sat up high enough on the structure that all he really had to do was glide down when he tried to steal a fish. He certainly knew when someone hooked a trout and was about to land it. His timing was pretty good.

I haven't seen the guy this year. Someone may have whacked him with an oar.

Osprey are the birds that scare the hell out of me.

They are very common at the Century Drive lakes. They have no trouble diving right next to my pontoon boat. More than once I thought someone was shooting a canon ball at me when a horrendous explosion hits the water 20 feet behind me.

I'm minding my own business, floating along on a lake, waiting for a strike when all of a sudden there's a kaasplooosh! behind me. Certainly gets the heart pumping!:eek:
Gene, i saw that bird sitting next to people at the dam last year, just hanging out! hoping someone would feed him i assume. i caught 17 fish that day (unfortunately all by trolling or wind driftin) and the bird never came to investigate. i really like fishing an indicator rig close to the left bank by the dam all the way down to the other end where it extends back into a cove.. caught lots on chironomids and small leech patterns underneath the bobber there the past 2 years, its fun when the fish start to get a bit keyed in.


Brandon, it isn't "unfortunately" to use whatever method is working. I start with sinking lines and then go to bobber fishing if the sinking lines don't work... normally, they do.

The depth of the reservoir behind the dam is 50-60 feet (depending on if they let water out or not) so the trout must be holding fairly shallow for the bobber system to work. So far this year, they've been hugging the bottom so bobber fishing hasn't worked all that great. As the water warms (if it ever does) the fish will start holding closer to the surface so fishing with indicators will become more practical.

With the warmer weather, chances are, the trout will start holding closer to the surface.

Most likely, the trout hold closer to the north shore because the water is warmer due to the sunlight. Last week, the majority of trout I marked were along the north side between the dam and the two points. That's where I caught the few trout that I did. (that's also the area where I shot the photos of the heron buzzing Rocky)

Here's a tip for the world to read. The old boat ramp was dirt and is located on the south side just around the two points. The water level isn't nearly as deep near the old ramp. Sometimes, the ODF&W drive up to the old ramp to dump in additional planters. This means, your bobber system may work much better in that section of the lake if it isn't working near the dam.

When I fish Olalla this time of year, I always hold out for the possibility of hooking one of the adult steelhead the ODF&W dumps in the lake but never makes public. That's primarily why I use the sinking line system because all the steelhead I've caught at Olalla have been with sinking line so I don't consider the technique "unfortunate" :)


Maybe the heron now at Big Creek is the same one that was camped out at Olalla... the lakes are not far from each other.

Lazy bird.


Active Member
Over here it was warm with no wind! Went to Unity and caught a 3 at 16 -18. Silver torpedoes. One went airborne at least 3 feet out of the water. Only two other boats on the lake and an Easter Egg hunt going on at the State Park. What does this have to do with birds? On the way home I saw 5 golden eagles together, a first for me. They were chasing each other and grappling talons in midair (trying to make little eagles I think). It was a real wild kingdom moment.
GBHs are generally ungainly fliers. This one seems to be a cut above in that department.
I can't remember if it was last summer or the one before. I was canoeing lake Washington with my wife and witnessed a GBH land on the lake, float like a gull, scoop up a dead floating fish, and then perform a very ungainly open water takeoff. Didn't look right at all. I saw the bird do this three times.


They can fly only barely better than an ostrich. I don't think GBH are really built for flying... or floating for that matter. The one at Olalla made no attempt to land on the water but instead was evidently hoping to steal a fish on the fly -- or glide as it were.

Most of the herons I see around these parts are stocking prey in farmer's fields -- the birds are good at that... but flying? not so much.