2nd trip to the Gorge

Shawn West

Active Member
#1
The weatherman was predicting a mild morning in the Gorge with winds picking up out of the east to 9mph in the afternoon. I figured I would try to get up early and fish for a couple of hours. Earlier in the week, I decided to take the advise of Triploidjunkie. I tied up some crawdad patterns to use on this trip. I just happened upon a 2013 Northwest Fly Fishing magazine article on crawdads. One of the patterns that caught my eye was Ehlers Crazy Craw. There just happened to be a YouTube video by Mr. Ehler on how to tie this pattern. You may want to check it out. It is an east pattern to tie, and it worked well for me.

I was at one of my favorite lakes by 8:30. That is very early for me. The water temperature was 58 degrees.I started off with my new crawdad pattern. It was not long before I had my first smallmouth of the day. My next two fish were small perch. I managed to catch a handful of smallies, but none were picture worthy. I talked with two different fishermen while at this lake. Both had mentioned another body of water that was known to hold big smallmouth bass. After taking a lunch break, I decided to explore some new water.

The water temperature at this new lake was 61 degrees. I decided to start out with my trusty SSL. My first fish was an 18" pike minnow. I caught a couple of fish, but they were small. I switched back over to the Crazy Craw. I was not having a lot of luck. I spotted a carp tailing in some shallow water. I had never targeted carp before. I was about to learn a couple of lessons real quick. From reading posts on here, I knew I needed to make my cast in front of the carp. As luck would happen, My cast landed about 18" in front of the fish. After 2 short twitches, I felt a strike and set the hook. My first lesson was that when you set the hook on a carp, it somehow sets off a rocket booster of sorts. Before I could even react, my line was well into the backing. My second lesson was to keep my hand away from the reel handle. It took a few times before that lesson got through my thick skull. This carp was obviously proud of its environment. Why else would it give me a personal tour of the lake?This fish took me to the backing 3 times. My third lesson was that it might be a good idea to get a rod with a fighting butt if I am going to play with the carp. Needless to say, the carp won this battle. I could not wipe the smile off my face. THAT WAS AWESOME!!!! I am going to want to do that again. Now I know why you carp guys are so into the sport. There was no more activity after the episode with the carp.

I moved on to yet another body of water. It appears the weatherman may have been wrong about the afternoon winds. This time I fished the Columbia River. I caught bass on just about every fly I threw. They were mainly small 8" - 10" bass. The largest was just over 14". That one had inhaled a Crazy Craw. The winds did appear around 6:30. I figured it was time to call it a day.

The only way this could have been a better day is if I could have found the larger bass. My guess is I was fishing too shallow. I was using a type 6 sinking line, but letting my line sink for upwards of a minute is my Achilles heal. Patience, I need to learn to be more patient.

Regards

Shawn
 
#2
The weatherman was predicting a mild morning in the Gorge with winds picking up out of the east to 9mph in the afternoon. I figured I would try to get up early and fish for a couple of hours. Earlier in the week, I decided to take the advise of Triploidjunkie. I tied up some crawdad patterns to use on this trip. I just happened upon a 2013 Northwest Fly Fishing magazine article on crawdads. One of the patterns that caught my eye was Ehlers Crazy Craw. There just happened to be a YouTube video by Mr. Ehler on how to tie this pattern. You may want to check it out. It is an east pattern to tie, and it worked well for me.

I was at one of my favorite lakes by 8:30. That is very early for me. The water temperature was 58 degrees.I started off with my new crawdad pattern. It was not long before I had my first smallmouth of the day. My next two fish were small perch. I managed to catch a handful of smallies, but none were picture worthy. I talked with two different fishermen while at this lake. Both had mentioned another body of water that was known to hold big smallmouth bass. After taking a lunch break, I decided to explore some new water.

The water temperature at this new lake was 61 degrees. I decided to start out with my trusty SSL. My first fish was an 18" pike minnow. I caught a couple of fish, but they were small. I switched back over to the Crazy Craw. I was not having a lot of luck. I spotted a carp tailing in some shallow water. I had never targeted carp before. I was about to learn a couple of lessons real quick. From reading posts on here, I knew I needed to make my cast in front of the carp. As luck would happen, My cast landed about 18" in front of the fish. After 2 short twitches, I felt a strike and set the hook. My first lesson was that when you set the hook on a carp, it somehow sets off a rocket booster of sorts. Before I could even react, my line was well into the backing. My second lesson was to keep my hand away from the reel handle. It took a few times before that lesson got through my thick skull. This carp was obviously proud of its environment. Why else would it give me a personal tour of the lake?This fish took me to the backing 3 times. My third lesson was that it might be a good idea to get a rod with a fighting butt if I am going to play with the carp. Needless to say, the carp won this battle. I could not wipe the smile off my face. THAT WAS AWESOME!!!! I am going to want to do that again. Now I know why you carp guys are so into the sport. There was no more activity after the episode with the carp.

I moved on to yet another body of water. It appears the weatherman may have been wrong about the afternoon winds. This time I fished the Columbia River. I caught bass on just about every fly I threw. They were mainly small 8" - 10" bass. The largest was just over 14". That one had inhaled a Crazy Craw. The winds did appear around 6:30. I figured it was time to call it a day.

The only way this could have been a better day is if I could have found the larger bass. My guess is I was fishing too shallow. I was using a type 6 sinking line, but letting my line sink for upwards of a minute is my Achilles heal. Patience, I need to learn to be more patient.

Regards

Shawn
Nice. Careful, though. Carp are addictive.
 
#3
Nice report. I have been having trouble finding bigger bass the last few years. Lots of fish but smaller. Definatley gonna look up the crazy craw.
 
#8
I spent almost a year down that way. If the wind died down in that area long enough to launch a pontoon on the Columbia near dalles dam, you had a rare, lucky day indeed. It never stops blowing. And the god awful sand. Always in my ears because of the wind.
 
#10
Thank you for your input Walter. I was hoping to make a trip to the Potholes area, but it looks like I get to move instead. Man do I hate moving.

Regards

Shawn
 

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