Carp Fishing (north of Ephrata)


Active Member
A Day on the lake with Engee (he trolls this website from time to time and I don’t know his site name but it should be “ankle biter” (he’s vertically challenged) or “can’t take a good picture” (didn’t tell me my @Swimmy poster was folded) or “left my camera home” (again).

Engee met me at my house, we loaded his carp stuff into my truck and drove around to the alley and hooked up the mighty 14-footer. It was calm and already warm by 8:00 am in Ephrata, I was hoping for “calm” (no “W”) on the big reservoir 35 miles north. Ironic or funny or frustratingly common; Soap Lake, Lenore, Alkali, Blue and Dry Falls still, calm, mirror like. Banks? White capping.

Decided to drive further up the lake to perhaps launch elsewhere but ended up back at Coulee City. The “W” had laid down a bit. I motored north and we dropped anchors in the lee of an island and got out. Engee quickly drew blood, he hooked himself casting to a tailing fish. We got back in the boat and I poled the boat while we looked for fish.


I was wearing my brand new Simms Guidewear shirt in pale blue with a pink flamingo over the left fly box pocket, shirt courtesy of WFF’s Rookie of the Year! Thanks Swimmy, you da man!

We couldn’t find any carp poling around a series of small basalt pancake shaped islands so I ran the boat to a shoreline where there’s a bit more mud and sand (but where is it not rocky in Grant County)? Pretty quickly Engee hooked a large smallmouth or should I say a very big smallmouth?


Not long after Engee’s smallmouth was released, I saw a fish hanging next to a large, submerged erratic and made a cast. My first ever largemouth bass taken on the large reservoir 35 miles north of Ephrata.



I released the bass and slowly waded up the shoreline. The bottom was gravelly with some larger rock lying randomly on the gravelly bottom making stealth difficult but I was able to sneak up on a carp that was actively feeding. The fish was about 40 feet away from me rooting around in the gravel. I had an olive carp candy looped knotted onto my 10# tippet and was able to put the fly a few feet beyond the fish and drag the fly to it. The carp saw the fly skidding along and moved to it and ate. My first carp of the year, except it doesn’t count because I lost the fish a few seconds later. I really wanted to hear the Tibor Backcountry make that wonderful noise when a fish is running hard (actually, the reel’s noisier on retrieve).

We walked back to my boat, loaded up, pulled in the anchors, I poled out to deeper water and started up the massive 15 Hp 20 year old Evinrude. Moving up lake to Buzz Point (yeah, I know – lacks humility) we dropped the anchors and I let Engee go exploring while I messed around with the boat for a few minutes. I heard him yelp and he was into a carp that was making his Battenkill whiz. But this fish didn’t count either; it came off.

I decided to move my boat to a different beach so I quietly poled away from the Point and moved around to a little bit better sheltered shore and dropped both anchors. I hopped over the side of the boat and quickly realized I’d misjudged the depth. So far I’d only been wading to a few inches above my knees. The water’s still pretty cold and jumping into water bellybutton deep wakes you up rather quickly.

I recovered and moved off west of Engee who really had the stalking posture thing going. He was into it, big time.



As I moved away from Engee, I stumbled on a slippery rock and spooked two carp that I was trying to fool. They left the sheltered bay leaving two wakes and two plumes of mud. Darn size 12’s.

I moved on and got out of the water on another little island and walked to the near corner where there’s a nice little bucket in the basalt. The bucket holds fish sometimes and I could see a bass nervously moving around. Keeping a low profile, I got a little closer and hauled a cast letting the Carp Candy sink. One thing about smallmouth, when they’re in predator mode, they attack. This fish, not a big one, attacked the fly. The fish was under two pounds but put a decent bend in my 8 weight.



That was pretty much it for the catching. I decided to move the boat further up lake so Engee wouldn’t have to wade back to me and I could watch him fish his way towards the boat.

This big reservoir is interesting to navigate in. Glacial Lake Missoula flood events deposited countless granite erratics in the lake and along the shoreline. The reservoir managers had the “tide out” to about a minus 3.5 feet from normal elevation. Launching was no issue at Coulee City but the lowered lake elevation points out a few hazards that are normally just under the surface. Of course, this lowered elevation presents new hazards. My prop’s still intact.

We saw a lot of carp in spawn mode up by Electric City but were really surprised that we found fish near Coulee City that were actively feeding and not spawning. It was odd, though, we didn’t see very many carp so perhaps the majority of them were spawning in a different part of the lake?

The water was about 56°F, pretty cool for wet wading, especially bellybutton deep wet wading, but the air was warm. It was 79°F when we got off the lake and 96°F at my house.

I may hook the boat up again tomorrow and go see if I can fool some walleye (but not on the fly). Next week, SRC on Hood Canal.



Not to be confused with freestoneangler
What great way to beat the heat - and have fun doing it! Thanks for another fantastic report! But, where is this Buzz Point???

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Great report, Pat! While I'm not a big fan of wet wading, "belly-button deep" would have felt good yesterday afternoon. I'm glad you were at least able to see some fish to stalk; I'd view that as a refreshing change where I've been of late.

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