CWA Stillwater and lesson learned (humility?)


Active Member
Like most forum members I looked forward to DFW easing us back to fishing. On opening day I drove to a small seep lake in the Channeled Scablands. Potholes was busy, the ramps crowded but then, it is a big reservoir.
1 on the way.JPG
2 crowded.JPG
Three float tubes - about the limit of this lake. Fortunately my comrades in fly rods pretty much stayed in the back bay leaving me the main body of the lake.
3 solitude.JPG
I had solitude as I kicked away from the back bay and up onto the shoal. The home wrapped 7'-6" 4 weight glass stick was fun.
4 dink.JPG
The little fiberglass rod handled these 13" fish with no problem.
5 midge emerger.JPG
Full Disclosure: Since the opener I have fished this lake four times. I will now rest it until fall. On the third day, I had the lake to myself and decided to explore the back bay that the two siblings had fished so hard on the opener. Turns out there's a real deep bucket, steeply sloped onto a narrow shoal. The shoal is marl bottomed and shallow: 1' - 3' deep. I spotted some fish rising and knotted on several different midge pupae patterns thinking I'd be able to fish the pupae shallow. No love. Is there anything better than trout on a dry fly? I tried to tie on some creation I'd tied up years ago, could not get the mono tippet through the hook eye (even wearing 5X cheaters). Threw the fly away and tied on the emerger pattern shown above. Greased the fly and leader except the last foot of monofiliament.
6 my glove was wet.JPG
I posted a picture of this fish before. This trout was probably too much for a 4 wt fiberglass rod but it was fun. The Battenkill II made a lot of noise and I almost backlashed the reel when the trout made one sudden fast run. And did I have this fishery dialed in!
7 Glacial Lake Missoula.JPG
Floating around eating a sandwich one can look at the surrounding terrain and begin to visualize just how destructive the ice age floods were when the big ice dams in Montana would breach.
8 Iline fly.JPG
The fourth outing: Confident. Sure of myself. Cocky. Arrogant. And then humbled. And humbled some more. Two days before I hardly went five minutes without a take. Today (humbled) an hour out and one tap. The usual "good stuff" didn't work. Changed up. Three rods on board and none of them was doing it. Here I was, all by myself on this prime CWA stillwater and getting a SKUNKING.

I covered a lot of water and finally managed to stick a fish on a dropoff with the above fly. This fly shall remain nameless, it is a secret fly (thanks Chris!!).

A bait guy hiked in and in five minutes had hooked three fish. Powerbait - he says to me "man, the trout are taking it before the sinker hits bottom, I don't have time to get a beer". (bummer, dude!)
9 Blob.JPG
After the bait guy moved on I did manage to have a bit of redemption landing three fish and missing six or seven. The Powerbait guy provided some inspiration, I tied on a blob. Blob magic until I noticed a tick crawling up my sleeve. Time to call it. I hate those things.


Active Member
I bet a tick would survive being knocked off your sleeve and into the lake, being eaten and passed through a trout gut, ending up on the bottom of the lake, only to crawl back out into the brush to wait for you to return. They are nasty little buggers!

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