Idaho trip #2

Shawn West

Active Member
Every year for the past four years, I take a trip to a very special place in early June. What makes this place so special is that it is home to some very nice bluegill. This year my good friend Steve came along to see what all the fuss was about. We drove from Vancouver to Boise on the 8th. We were hoping to stop in the Gorge and chase some SMB, but the wind had different ideas. We ended up spending some money in the local fly shops instead.

Because check-in was not until 3pm, we drove to the lake my father and I went to ten days prior. My buddy Ed was going to meet us there. He was already on the water when we arrived. The water conditions were very different from that first trip. The water temperature had gone from 64 degrees to 72 degrees. That would mean two things to me.
1) The crappie would probably be gone.
2) The bass should be much more active.
The wind was also light compared to my last trip. I tied on a Dahlberg Diver to start off the show. I was not disappointed. I could not keep the smallies off my fly. It took me a while, but I finally caughy up to Ed. He had caught a dozen bass and bluegills using damsel fly nymph. He switched to a popper when I told him they were hitting topwater. Steve also switched to a popper when he caught up to me. It was game on! Steve and I fished from 10AM to 4PM. During that time, he and I easily caught 150 SMB. None of these fish were very large, but they were a hoot to catch. My largest fish was 14". Most were in the 8' - 12" range. During all of that time, I only managed one picture.

Once we checked int our cabin, we went down to the bluegill lake for some fun. I managed to catch a few LMB and gills right off the bat, but I was struggling to figure out wha the fish wanted. Steve and Ed did not have that problem at all. They were slaying the LMB and gills. I decided to get off the lake just as it was starting to get dark. As I was putting my gear away, Steve called me over to take a picture of his fish. It turned out he caught a pretty bass on a Parachute Adams.

What a nice way to end a great day on the water. Ed was the last one on the water. He was having too much fun to leave. I need to give you a little background info on Ed. Ed and I were layed off at the same time in 2009. Ed quickly found a new job, but it demanded a lot of travel away from his young family. That being said, Ed had gone almost that entire time without fishing. This was his first real trip in a very long time. The look on his face told the story. I was looking at a very happy man. Unfortunately, Ed had to go home that evening. I sure wish he could have stayed with us for day 2.

Steve and I got a late start on day 2. I started off exactly as I did the day before. I would catch a few fish, but I was having a hard time patterning them. Here is what I did manage to catch.

Steve, on the other hand, was knocking them dead with his Parachute Adams. I decided to try the other side of the lake. I put on a Simiseal Leech. That got the attention of the fish. I was getting strike every three to five casts. I changed flies as I started to make my way back to the launch. It was popper time. The bass wanted the popper to sit still. The bluegill wanted a popping fly.

We took a siesta while the wind howled. The wind was still blowing, but we wanted to give the evening bite another try. I fished with a popper while Steve used his trusty Adams. My goal was to land a bluegill 11" or larger. That did not happen this trip, but you will not hear me complain. I was blessed with a bunch of 10" gills. My largest LMB was 18". It was the second to last fish I caught.

As you can see, I am not very good with the camera. This was a GREAT trip. I hope to make it out there again next year.