Black Friday on Fourth of July Lake

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by pigburner, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. pigburner

    pigburner Active Member

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    Hit the winter opener on Fourth of July Lake with a friend on Black Friday. It was total dud. Arrived about 8:15 am, there were about 40 or 50 cars in the lot, almost all bank fisherman. I kicked in my tube against the not so gentle breeze from the launch down lake 0.85 miles. Trolled a bugger and a leech, first on floating line over the weeds, then a sinking line as it got deeper. Then under an indicator off the bottom for a while where there was a little structure on the bottom on my friends fish finder. Not a bump in 4 hours. My friend had one nice, fat rainbow on that he fought to his pontoon. We did not see one fish on among the dozens and dozens of shore anglers the whole time we were out. A couple anglers had a fish or two on the string when we went by, but that was it. A boat that went out and came back in the same time we did went further down lake but did not have any action at all on pop gear, spinners, or flies. Don't know where the fish were that were planted this spring.

    We pulled out, then headed to Amber and fished for a couple hours before dark. We both found some willing fish, a few nice, solid 18" rainbows among others, and a stunning sunset to close the day. It's never a total loss when you're out fishing.
    20171124 Black Fishday01.JPG 20171124 Black Fishday17.JPG 20171124 Black Fishday15.JPG
     
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  2. Old406Kid

    Old406Kid Active Member

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    Beautiful sunset!!!
     
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  3. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    I always hit that bigger lake just northwest of Fourth of July Lake... watch the wind floating, however
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  4. tkww

    tkww Member

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    I hit it the next day, as the wind was a little less. Ended up with two fish, a ~11" that was extremely fat, and then a much larger fish that was also tubby. He fought well and jumped a few times. Both and another strike on a leech. Tried an indicator for a while but no luck. Got off the water just at dusk as the rain started. Not exactly fantastic action (but better than a skunking!).

    I marked fish at certain points but it was a extremely sporadic. I'd mark a bunch and then 20 seconds later the screen would be empty for many, many minutes. Assuming they were fish that I was marking they seemed to be pretty schooled up. However my marking didn't coordinate with the three strikes I had, so....

    Talked to someone in a 'toon who had watched a shore guy gut a couple fish. "Full of stoneflies." The closest thing I could come up with was dragonfly nymphs.

    03--4thJuly-112517.jpg
     
  5. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    I agree 100%. I wouldn't even consider fishing Fourth of July with the bigger lake right there.
     
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  6. Coomba

    Coomba Active Member

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    I was the fly fisherman in the boat at the takeout, you're right, it was a total bust. Couldn't believe how crowded it was. That place is a real wind tunnel, we ended the day at Rock Lake, which believe it or not was not as windy. It was my first time at 4th of July and to be fair, I need to give a few more tries. The fish I did see were very nice.
     
  7. tkww

    tkww Member

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    I'll keep that in mind. Never have fished it, but I should probably change that. (Though I am also really averse to road noise.)
     
  8. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    ive had some really great fishing at 4th in years past. but, like i told you before, it was super crowded on opening day. but if you can hit it on a cold weekday before it ices up it can be a very awesome place to fish. it has a natural beauty that sprague just lacks.
     
  9. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    dont worry, the wind is loud enough to drown it out and carry it away.
     
  10. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    or the loud screams of someone being blown away from the launch in a pontoon.. or lifted up into a dustdevil/waterspout!

    the big lake northwest of 4th puts out much stronger, bigger, healthier fish than 4th.
    the bigger, shallow lake has tons of food. 4th is not the biggest food producer-alot of deep water.

    The bigger lake has more variety of fish as well-caught my first Walleye on a fly there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  11. tkww

    tkww Member

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    Funny you mention it, I've had that on a list of things to do for a few years now. I've heard they fight pretty poorly, but I'd still like to catch one just for the heck of it.
     
  12. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    I caught the walleye from a float tube many years ago in the big lake, fully at dark. I was quite surprised and do not recall it fighting a ton-not like a Pike on a fly, which are like hooking a missile at first.

    I flyfished a lot in tubes at night in the lakes in the area. The night fishing picks up when the weather gets warm, and is a bust in a colder season. Gotta be aware of snakes at night when paddling the shorelines, late May on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  13. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    I was at Rock, but must've been around the corner in my pontoon. I rowed like a half-mile into the wind and anchored up. I was then going to wind drift back, but it completely died just before dark and I had to row back, too. I was with the couple that had two little girls. I had the big dark grey Ford.
     
  14. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    While in the fisheries program at EWU, we took a lab boat to sample Rock Lake and saw some big carp, nice Brown Trout and almost ran into some very spooky vertical rock spires the lake is known for, a boaters nightmare that made it difficult to move at much speed on a lot of the parts of the lake. We sampled Sprague Lake, too, but spent most of the time on the Pend Oreille River.

    Rock also contains the very cool, miniature Grass Pickerel. We took one to the lab and it lived in a tank until I left. It ate Goldfish. Amazing that these mini-pikes would reach a maximum size of 12 inches or so, what a neat fish ! I spent a lot of time observing the pickerel and a Bull Trout we had in another tank. I did some drawings for publication while observing them.


    grasspick.jpg
    adult Grass Pickerel
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  15. Irafly

    Irafly Indi "Ira" Jones

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    Bucket list!
     
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