First warmwater report of 2015

Shawn West

Active Member
I have only gotten out on the water a couple of times this year. My first time out was a brief outing to a lake in the Gorge. I fished for about 90 minuters. I managed to catch 6 smallmouth bass ranging in size from 14" - 18". All of the fish were caught on a #8 Simiseal Leech. The water temperature was 54 degrees.

I spent Sunday in the Gorge. What a beautiful day. There was little wind and warm weather. The water temperature had increased to 56 degrees. I started out fishing a Simiseal Leech (SSL). I was catching smallies, but they were all in the 6" range.

I switched to a Hoo Fly (baitfish pattern). It was not long before I was into a nice fish. I had to put this fish on the reel. I was surprised when I finally got the fish to the net. It was a 21" walleye. I have fished this particular lake for over 5 years. I had never caught a walleye there.

I eventually went back to a SSL. I was catching small bass, but could not find the larger bass. I got to a place that showed promise. There was a shallow area with lots of pea sized rocks with a steep drop off at its edge. I cast my leech about 5 feet beyond the drop off. I was rewarded with 3 smallmouth in 3 casts over 17".

I took care of some business in town and then headed to a different lake to try my luck with the largemouth bass. I should have gone back to the lake I fished earlier. I managed to land a small smallie and a stocker trout. All in all, it was a great day to be on the water. The water is warming up. The fishing is only going to get better.
Nice reportage! That is fine specimen representing smallies. Very tiger striped.
I'm slightly surprised you've never caught a wally before. I'm assuming the lakes you are talking about are somehow connected to the Columbia. I catch many walleye as bycatch on the Columbia up here while bass fishing.

Edit: I know the ssl is one of your go to flies for smallies. I was wondering if you've ever tried sculpin or crawfish patterns? While I was working down there I fished between Biggs and the Dalles alot for smallies in the Columbia and the ponds along i-90. I think my best smallie day ever was just below John Day dam. I think I was the only person not salmon fishing. I put at least five in the net that day over six pounds with sculpins.
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Shawn West

Active Member
Junkie...This was not my first walleye, but it was the first in this particular body of water. They can put a serious bend in your rod.

Funny you should mention sculpins. I have a Near Nuff Sculpin attached to my fishing hat. I have no idea why I did not give it a shot. I figure it maybe a confidence issue. I have not fished sculpins or crawdads enough to have gained any confidence in those patterns. The next time I head out, I will give both patterns at least an hour to show me what they can produce. I am guessing they will both impress. Thank you for your input.



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