Trip Report 100 fish day

I’ve been on my annual fishing trip with another musician these past four days. Days one to three involved a little old and a little new. The daily PMD hatch at the “old” was strangely light, I had one hour of great fishing there in two days. The new was a great new to me Stillwater and river system. We caught small fish in the river and the big lake is just a little on the warm side and involved a long kick in a tube to catch some pikeminnow. I’ll be back there this fall to see how the trout are doing.
So yesterday we went for the sure thang. Strawberry Lake. 5470208B-CF7A-4606-97EA-6842A399D922.jpeg
It’s a little piece of paradise in Grant county, Oregon. A mile and a half hike, with only minimal elevation gain. Surprisingly there were a ton of people there, but I usually go midweek. Lots of these too.B1B0F210-0288-4866-BBFE-187986533F62.jpeg
First cast and it was on. The lake was formed by a landslide in a meadow and the whole upper half is less than 8 feet deep with visable weed beds. I started with a balanced leech switched to drys after the first dozen fish in 15 minutes or so. More of these guys. E7957082-7421-42CF-AABF-801097CE8394.jpeg
it was very windy all afternoon with the kind of gusts that make you lose a hat. The fish would not notice a dry just sitting. Made me wish I had a floss line rigged up. I did the best I could with a 10 foot rod and long leader.
Put on a variety of dries and did my best to make them dance and move on the water. The hits were slashing and I would only hook about one in four but it was a kick. In the meantime Marcus was fishing an intermeadiate line with a Carey and spent most of the time with a fish on. AB9153B4-A588-4496-B962-2C3FB50CE658.jpegThe surroundings were great and we were the only people fishing from watercraft. B07B798E-5740-4070-9541-988E7064FE9B.jpeg98BF18D0-98C4-4BA8-A647-6A2C5F38A626.jpegFB1F3737-A8B3-442C-95F9-6F11463358A8.jpegtTook a break to warm up on this very hot day and restrung with a sinking line to try and find the rainbows I know live here. I stared fishing where I could not see bottom and caught more brook trout, then finally a very skinny ten inch bow. By this time shadows were forming and the bite was really on. It was count to five and strip three time pause and fish on every cast, unless they took on the drop. I changed back to a dry and slowed things down a little bit. This really was a hundred fish day for the two of us.
So why am I posting this place? I have fished here for the last twenty years maybe once a year and this is the first time I did not catch a few 14-15 inch brooks. Max fish was probably 12 inches and we only caught two pretty sickly looking bows. About half the brooks were on the skinny side, so this lake needs fishermen. In the last few years the spawn must have gone really well. Please bring your kids and your appetites and thin out the herd!
 

Richard E

Active Member
I’ve been on my annual fishing trip with another musician these past four days. Days one to three involved a little old and a little new. The daily PMD hatch at the “old” was strangely light, I had one hour of great fishing there in two days. The new was a great new to me Stillwater and river system. We caught small fish in the river and the big lake is just a little on the warm side and involved a long kick in a tube to catch some pikeminnow. I’ll be back there this fall to see how the trout are doing.
So yesterday we went for the sure thang. Strawberry Lake. View attachment 246622
It’s a little piece of paradise in Grant county, Oregon. A mile and a half hike, with only minimal elevation gain. Surprisingly there were a ton of people there, but I usually go midweek. Lots of these too.View attachment 246623
First cast and it was on. The lake was formed by a landslide in a meadow and the whole upper half is less than 8 feet deep with visable weed beds. I started with a balanced leech switched to drys after the first dozen fish in 15 minutes or so. More of these guys. View attachment 246624
it was very windy all afternoon with the kind of gusts that make you lose a hat. The fish would not notice a dry just sitting. Made me wish I had a floss line rigged up. I did the best I could with a 10 foot rod and long leader.
Put on a variety of dries and did my best to make them dance and move on the water. The hits were slashing and I would only hook about one in four but it was a kick. In the meantime Marcus was fishing an intermeadiate line with a Carey and spent most of the time with a fish on. View attachment 246628The surroundings were great and we were the only people fishing from watercraft. View attachment 246625View attachment 246626View attachment 246627tTook a break to warm up on this very hot day and restrung with a sinking line to try and find the rainbows I know live here. I stared fishing where I could not see bottom and caught more brook trout, then finally a very skinny ten inch bow. By this time shadows were forming and the bite was really on. It was count to five and strip three time pause and fish on every cast, unless they took on the drop. I changed back to a dry and slowed things down a little bit. This really was a hundred fish day for the two of us.
So why am I posting this place? I have fished here for the last twenty years maybe once a year and this is the first time I did not catch a few 14-15 inch brooks. Max fish was probably 12 inches and we only caught two pretty sickly looking bows. About half the brooks were on the skinny side, so this lake needs fishermen. In the last few years the spawn must have gone really well. Please bring your kids and your appetites and thin out the herd!

Gorgeous setting! Did you keep any brookies to eat? They are mighty tasty!
 

newfydog

Active Member
Just got back. The views were not nearly as good with the smoke. The crowds are still there, though not as bad as some places have been this year. The fish were a bit picky, totally ignored a balanced leech or dry fly, but they were all over a Possie Bugger.

Some of those fish are serious over-population cases. Big heads, skinny bodies. I'd say they look like eels, but that would be an insult to eels. They are still delicious, even to my wife who is not too fond of trout. I agree, the herd needs some thinning, and hopefully some thinning brings some fattening!
 

newfydog

Active Member
Google claims it is 402 miles, and takes 7 hours, 11 minutes from Olympia. Well worth the drive for a mountain lake full of eager fish.
 

bakerite

Active Member
Just got back. The views were not nearly as good with the smoke. The crowds are still there, though not as bad as some places have been this year. The fish were a bit picky, totally ignored a balanced leech or dry fly, but they were all over a Possie Bugger.

Some of those fish are serious over-population cases. Big heads, skinny bodies. I'd say they look like eels, but that would be an insult to eels. They are still delicious, even to my wife who is not too fond of trout. I agree, the herd needs some thinning, and hopefully some thinning brings some fattening!
Thanks for keeping some. It is a long drive from the Puget Sound area, but a beautiful part of Oregon. You will be passing a bunch of good fishing on the way.
 

newfydog

Active Member
Just over the ridge is another lake with an overpopulation of brookies, High Lake. It was great last week, with the skinny fish hitting big foam dry flies, and mt. goats trotting on by. I kept the biomass equivalent of a limit of normal fish.highlk2.JPG
 

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bakerite

Active Member
I’ve never seen goats at Strawberry, but there are a lot of them here in the Elkhorns. Nice pictures.
 

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