Have you been fishing? Plus an out of state report

Shawn West

Active Member
I have not seen much activity on here lately. Are you folks getting out? I have to admit, I did not post my last outing in Washington. I went out about three weeks ago for an afternoon fishing trip. I went to Roland Lake South and managed to catch a few small LMB. It was hot and there was little wind. I decided to see if I could do better at Little Spearfish Lake. I did a lot better there. I managed to catch an 18.5" SMB on a Simiseal Leech right off the bat. I switched to a mini Dahlberg Diver. That was when the real fun began. I had smallies coming completely out of the water trying to nail that fly. I landed a few and lost a lot. That was a great hour and a half.

I took the first week of September off so that I could spend some time with my family in Idaho. My honey do list was long, but I did manage to get out on the water twice. A good friend and I went out Sunday to one of my favorite lakes. The fishing was fair at best. We were catching fish, but they were much smaller than fish we had caught there in the past. We moved to a smaller lake not far from our first choice. This lake has a lot of weeds and is shaped like a soup bowl. It is very shallow for about the first 20 yards, but then drops off. The fish were actively taking adult damsels on the surface. Small poppers were on the menu for the resident LMB. We caught a lot of medium sized bass that afternoon. We would have stayed until after dark, but as soon as the sun went behind the hills, the skeeters came out in force. We could not get off the lake fast enough and stow our gear.

I finally got all of the major items on the honey do list completed Thursday morning. I decided to treat myself to some Thai for lunch and then head out for some fishing. Do I head back to where I was on Sunday and get eaten by skeeters, or do I try a different location. I decided to go to a lake that I had fished a few years ago that I passed up on last Sunday.

I arrive at this lake to find that the water level is about 20' below where I last remembered it to be. There was a medium breeze blowing. I started out with a popper and had no takes for the first thirty minutes. I switched to a black Simiseal Leech. I managed to catch some medium sized (8"-12")LMB. I also caught 1 8" bluegill. I switched to a brown and white Polar Fibre Clouser and started catching LMB on just about every cast.

An old timer showed up with his pole and bucket. He told me he caught the biggest gill he ever caught the previous night. He claims it was over 12". I moved on down the lake to give the guy some room and to explore the lake. I spent the next hour kicking around the lake with not much to show for my effort. I fished a shallow flat with hopes of catching some cruising bass. I did manage a 3" baby bass. My fly was almost bigger than it was. I decided to head back towards the dam area. I switched to a type 6 sinking line to fish the drop offs I found while exploring. I only caught one fish, but what a fish. This fish had to have hit my leech on the run. There was no setting the hook, the fish had done that for me. After a great fight, I landed the 14" crappie. I have not seen a crappie that size since my trip to Arizona in 2009.

By the time I made it back to the dam, the sun was just starting to set. The wind stopped. The lake was a sheet of glass; GAME ON! I broke out the 2wt and a popper with a cupped face. Plop plop plop, pause, plop plop BAM! I am into a nice fish. The tip of my 2wt rod is dipping into the water. This fish has some power and is not giving up. I am starting to think I do not have enough rod for this fish. After an epic battle, I landed the 18"LMB. Holy crap, that was AWESOME! If I had hooked that fish at that weedy lake, I would have needed my 8wt to get it out of the weeds. I repeated this scenario at least a dozen more times with all of the fish being in the 17" to 18" size range. I also managed to have my line broken three times. I should have switched to my 5wt at some point, but I did not know how long this would last and I did not want to miss a second of the action. As it got darker, I had to retrieve my fly using a rhythm so the bass to locate my fly. I had a lot of missed strikes at the end, but by then I did not care. This was by far my best bass outing of the year. You have no idea how hard it was for me not to return the next evening. Unfortunately, we had invited guests to visit.

I will be heading back to Vancouver tomorrow. I have plans to stop along the Gorge and wet a line. The weather report shows 4mph winds. It is going to be hot, but I can not pass up a chance to fish the Gorge with little to no wind. Maybe I will see you on the water.


Great report Shawn. After a couple of skunkings on the Yakima I think I need to break out the bug spray and head out to the local ponds for some bass and gills.