Four days in the Basin


Active Member
The stars aligned and I was able to fish March 1-4. Spent a couple days at walk in spots and a couple days in my pram. During parts of the trip I fished solo but I was joined by @Irafly @bakerite @b_illymac and @VanAllen on other days.
***Breaking news: Ira packed in a tube and left the boat behind for a day! He sure whined beforehand but he survived and, I think, may even be open to doing it again.***

Anybody that had to drive west over Snoqualmie had a rough go on Sunday as the pass was closed most of the day. I know Ira and VanAllen were impacted.

On to the good stuff:

The walk-in spots had little to no traffic and fished well. Water temps were still in the low 40’s and some rotten ice remained in the shady spots. We all required mandatory breaks to regain feeling in frozen feet. There was little bug activity; just a few chironomids popping at the warmest part of the day. I fished chironomids in a few instances but only found success with a couple nice rainbows on a black buzzer pattern in the last ½ hour of fishing on Sunday afternoon. I think these lakes are primed for good chironomid fishing over the next several weeks. Leeches were the flavor of the day just about everywhere we fished. Depending on the lake and time of day, we found fish everywhere from up against the shore in 3 feet, out to 25-30’ deep. Most of the time the fish preferred an active retrieve over an indicator presentation. Billy’s hot head leeches caught a lot of fish and Ira debuted a new leech that was hot all weekend. He can describe it in full because it’s the BEST Leech and it caught some YUGE Fish ;)

The weather was fine 3 out of 4 days. Thursday was cold and overcast but calm. Friday started out the same, but man it was a lot of work once the W started blasting out of the southwest in late morning. Keeping control of the boat was about as difficult as keeping warm! Eventually I turned over the controls to Ira and we found fish in the windward shallows over the rocks. We had a couple hours of really fast fishing stripping leeches, which made up for a slow morning. Friday evening Billy hosted Ira and me at his house. It was great to meet his family and eat a warm, home-cooked meal. Saturday we headed to a walk in spot and enjoyed the warmest day of the trip with just occasional periods of breeze to scuff the surface. Billy cooked up a batch of venison chili lakeside that made for an amazing shore lunch. Sunday started as a copy of Saturday but a fresh weather system moved in later in the day and temps dropped as we loaded out in a light rain.

The red wing black birds were making a racket in the cattails. Spring is close!


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Nice report! Had a great day with you and @Irafly!

That deer chili was awesome lakeside if I don't say so myself!
Theres a fish. Cast there. No there. Oh it swam by. There is another. I'm going to get my rod. Climbs back up. Nothing swims by...:D
I had only an Aqualux and set the rod in my lap as I cast the indicator to give it time to sink. Wouldn't you know it the rod almost flew out of my lap:eek: Then the indicator went under. That was fun! :D
Later in afternoon I snuck back into a side pond and hit a nice chironomid hatch. Caught about 5 like this
Went back to find the guys and the whole lake had died for anyone not named Ira...

Great Day!


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I need to get out more often. Didn't get to fish trout once last year because of eye issues. I didn't recognize any of your lakes.
I am pretty sure I kicked by that same rock formation the day after F-Troop beat up all the trout and ate venison chili lakeside. It was a tough day for me, two missed fish trying out "the Blob" under my indicator and that was it. I invited @Engee to fish with me at another lake in the channeled scablands. He missed the turn so was late in arriving (very unusual for him).
I drank hot coffee while Engee got his gear ready. Drinking coffee before going out in a float tube: not the wisest thing to do.

There was hardly a riffle on the lake but there was a skiff of ice (new ice) next to shore. The water was 44F, the air a bit cooler. I had my intermediate line rigged with a water boatman and my floating line with an iracator and purple balanced leech. Neither fly or line did the trick. I changed flies multiple times and went to my Airflo SixthSense type-7 and began dredging the depths with jigs, leeches and a deer hair dragonfly nymph. No love. Pee time, frozen feet. Time for a sandwich and hike to get warmed up.
After lunch, I decided to rerig the floater. I knotted on a "summer duck" midge and dropped a chromie below it. There was an intermittent chironomid chop and some small midges hatching. I really love to see an indicator indicate. The trout seemed to like the chromie (size 14, black bead) better than the summer duck (covert nymph hook, size 13) but both flies provided action. Funny how I forgot cold feet when the fishing got a bit busy.

This is a put and take lake so except for a few fly fishermen releasing their catch, most caught fish are caught once and put on a stringer.

All things considered, a sunny day in the Basin with trout looking for a meal.

I joined @Irafly and @troutpocket on Sunday. Left Mountlake Terrace at 4:30am, got to the lake at 7:30. I gave it a solid 8 hours in my float tube, kicking a total of 2.4 miles. At 44 degrees, I would say my feet were uncomfortable, but the fish were biting so it wasn't on my mind. (with the exception of an almost poorly timed bathroom break when I discovered how numb my feet were...stumbling around a rock pile wearing flippers, while trying to navigate past my hip pack, waders, and 3 layers of pants in a panic, with cold fingers.) You know the fishing is good when Nature is calling and leaving voicemails, but you have it on "do not disturb" with notifications blocked for 6 hours straight. Well worth it. Out of about 21 fish, 6 of them were 15"-18". I was stripping a leach at high speeds on type 5 sink. Really fun time.
Great stuff guys!! Only mildly jealous as I was stuck in a classroom all the last week. I too miss the 3/1 openers! Maybe I'll have to sneak away from the salt for a day or two next year


Well-Known Member
Great reports and congrats guys. When I was reading about all this interest in the 3/1 opener, I thought about the last time I traveled east to fish on 3/1 and froze my butt off. Never been the same since. Maybe better in my WM which keeps my butt out of the water, unlike the old doughnut tube. Or even better, in my pram which keeps all of me out of the water. Yeah, that sounds mo' betta'.

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