Eastern WA Lake - Spring Fishing Report and Fly Pattern


Active Member
Finally got out!

No major items forgotten on my first spring outing, thats encouraging. I arrived complete with PFD, net, and transom for the portabote, all items I have forgotten at one point or another on first spring outings... OK I did forget my good fish finder, left it with the battery charging at home. No matter, I know this lake.

Met a nice couple of guys fixing a leak in the parking lot. Float tube leak, not a truck tire.

Got one on a bloodworm under an indicator early, nothing much happening on the beaten up black bugger I was casting and stripping on a number 5 sinking Airflo line (blue). Switched it to a green bugger that I had picked up on sale at the Fly Shop in Redding CA last summer while driving north, and stopped because the I-5 highway north was shut down for a wildfire. Nice shop and friendly help and the restaurant they recommended was great. After dinner the highway was open again. But I digress.

Picked up one on the green bugger.

Still, not much happening, switched out the possie bugger and bloodworm under the indicator for a lake size soft hackle and a chironomid with some green in it, a pattern I tied years ago but had not fished much. Lucky guess, started catching fish on it, and the images below will show a good match to the hatch from sampling a fish I caught on that fly.

Moved around a bit.

I also rigged up a smaller chromie under an indicator and hung it less deep. Nothing for a while but by the end of the day, that was the only rod catching.

I forgot to mention the fish that took the chironomid aggressively, and bounced my rod out of the boat. And then pulled the rod away and out of sight. That surprised me. I pulled anchor, paddled around a bit standing up, clear water, and spotted my line. The rod was retrieved, the fish was gone. Good outcome there.

This was one of many lapses in attention. Indicators went down without me being on it, alot! Almost lost a rod out of the boat again later but grabbed it in time.

Boy it was great being out. One of those days you feel happy to be alive!

Also happy to see the repaired float tube was still floating in the afternoon and the person in it was catching fish. He was also happy to still be floating.

The fly and some chironomids in the pictures below. Good match in size and color.
The fly was a white bead, green thread wrap to tie down some gold wire to the hook bend and wrap thread back to the bead, lay a piece of clear green vinyl ribbing on top of the hook shank, secure it with the wire and then wrap wire forward. Finish with a peacock herl thorax and tie off.

I guess I'll call it Jays Clear-Vinyl-Back (CVB) pattern in green. Glad to have a new go to pattern. That white bead and herl thorax has worked well with other abdomen designs, such as the JBC (jays best chironomid, for which I don't have a good green option, yet)

You can see a couple of the pupa start to shed their skin while in my palm, leaving an orange shuck as they do so.
These pupa definitely had white feathery gills.
No color saturation enhancement in these photos, just bright sunlight. Appearance changed somewhat depending on my angle to the sun.

Jay image001.jpg


DSC07213 copy crop.jpg

DSC07218 crop.jpg

DSC07224 crop emerging w hook.jpg


Mike Ediger

WFF Supporter
Nice report including the right kind of detail! Plus, losing a rod, getting it back, then almost losing it again is pretty funny. I have also had days where I stare at the indicator for minutes with no movement but the second I look at my buddies indicator mine goes down. Uncanny!
Sounds like a good day. Thanks for sharing!
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Active Member
Loved the report. Thanks for sharing. I'm only in the shallow end of the chironomid pool, but reports like this give me a little more incentive to take off the water wings.


Active Member
Nice report. Love the detail on the chironomids. I went to one of the smaller desert lakes yesterday and it was the hares ear that saved the day. It was sunny and breezy. I had one hit one a bugger early, no love on my indicator set up, then saw one calibatis dun and replaced the bugger with a hares ear followed by a small peacock Carey. Only one fish took the Carey, so I replaced it and the bottom fly on the indicator rig with another hares ear. I had a couple take the hares ears on the drop and the indicator went from sitting to sinking often enough to put the casting rod away. Beautiful day in the desert! Pray for less heat so the season lasts!


Active Member
nearly two weeks later. beginning of May.
Amazing, the phlox are in full bloom, the balsam root are still going strong, and larkspur, all together.

Same lake, same gear as the original report.

First fish on a chironomid, the Jays green clear vinyl back CVB shown above.
Sampled the fish, only daphnia, so the pattern it took was my best clue. This fly continued to take fish off and on to mid afternoon. A later sample showed smaller dark pupa, but I did not change. another fisherman shared that he was catching on a small green pattern.

the green bugger also took fish casting and stripping on the sinking line.

Lovely day, things got more interesting in the mid to late afternoon when I decided to check out a small cove surrounded by bullrushes with chara on the bottom and shallow clear water. I've been there before.

First I anchored just outside the cove, fishing one line toward deeper waters and the other toward the cove, keeping an eye out. Sure enough, there was an occasional subsurface rise in the cove.

However, two other fisherman were nearby so I waited until they moved on before going in.

Rerigged a rod with a small shiny pupa about a foot and a half under the small indicator. Cast near the rushes where I had seen some rises. Waited.

Sure enough the indicator went down, fish on! Sweet! Another fish was excited by the hooked fish and chased the indicator under water.

Neat fish, all green, no spots that I could find. I think thats a Pennask origin rainbow stock.
Caught one like this a few years ago, it had the same green back, and a few black spots on the head.



Put on a chironomid emerger to sit in the surface film. This fly pattern has a white foam post, a glass bead, a red body, and a champagne shuck. Its an obscure purchase from many years ago, works great.
Anyone know the name or pattern materials, please let me know. Wondering if I should try some red mono fishing line for the body wrap. (Fishing a fiberglass rod for this.)


But its hard to see.
Nevertheless, a fish surfaced out in the direction of the fly line the correct distance from the line tip, and I tightened up. Sure enough, fish on. Super sweet!!

This pattern is hard to use after the first take, as its hard to keep if floating, and since its hard to see, you often don't know if its floating or sinking. Nevertheless, I had a couple of more surface takes, although did not bring them to the net.

Decided to move on to another area with a shallow chara covered bottom.
the fly was dry again, set up,and the sun and background reflections were better for seeing the fly in the surface. Wait. This can be a fool's game. Nevertheless...

Whoa, a third of the the front half of the body above water, moving perpendicular to my fly line, a fish appears and takes the fly. That would have been a nice goPro moment. Set the hook, not too fast, not too slow (yeah!), nice hook up in the corner of the mouth. Triple Sweet!!!

Played it slow and released it.
Its not going to get better than that, and its after 5:30pm.
Packed up the rods into my tubes.
I like my rods in tubes before I row into shore and haul out the boat.
rowed in and then enjoyed the wildflowers and the early evening landscape on the way out.

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