BEST DAY FISHING THIS YEAR?

IveofIone

WFF Supporter
So many great days this year that it is hard to pick out just one. It started early with a Feb outing to the Grand Coulee area fishing in exceptionally nice weather with numbers of big fish. After 4 months of winter it was exhilarating to be out in the Casa again. Then in March a trip to Coffeepot yielded my best day there ever with a multitude of fish from 17''-23''. I was fishing alone at a favorite spot with no one else around and just couldn't help but catch fish.

One other trip to a zipper lips lake in the basin produced some huge trout early in the season but is all but impossible to access after the water drops in the spring. Hence the big fish and little pressure. It didn't take much to get the fish dialed in but it is a huge lake and I would hate to be on the wrong end of it when the wind came up.

After the Covid hiatus Freestone came over in late July to celebrate our birthdays together and we had some great fishing together. One night we went down to the Pend Oreille river to fish smallmouth and the river was just on fire! We caught numerous fish and often had doubles, hot fishing right up till dark. On another day we fished a small stream that required a lot of bush busting using ultra light fly rods. The fish were for the most part small but the fun was huge. And some big fish were caught also. Using a 60'' Tenkara rod I think I hooked 8 fish out of one hole!

And then we hiked in to fish Washington's newest trout stream-recently exposed after a dam's removal-and caught some beautiful cuttthroat. It was great to fish a stream that hadn't been seen for many decades.

In Sept I spent a few days at Roper's Glen Raven ranch and the fishing was off the charts. We fished 4 lakes in 4 days and had superb fishing in all of them with some fish that jumped over our heads in our pontoon boats! On one day the Cortland Type 5 with the orange depth markers produced an insane number of Lahontan trout once again demonstrating the efficacy of that line. My all time highest producing line after 69 years of fly fishing.

On the trip home i drove 150 miles out of my way to sample a little lake that was said to be loaded with 11'-13'' fish with an occasional 20 incher. After a long drive I finally launched in the afternoon and kicked across the lake. The first fish was a fiesty 16'' that fought bigger than it was and the second fish was over 18''. The drive was worth it as I continued to catch big numbers of good sized rainbows that were often high jumpers. The 11''-13'' fish had grown up! A week of wrenching on big fish finally caught up with me and I took some Back and Body aspirin for the last 100 miles home. A great trip.

October is the end of the line over here as everything closes after Halloween. Fall fishing was really good with trips to some of the usual haunts that hold big fish. One day on an area lake with Krusty was particularly productive for hard pulling rainbows up to 20''. It was surprising inasmuch as the lake is a general regs lake that gets a lot of pressure but the big fish were there and still in good numbers.

Overall it was a wonderful fishing year with bigger than average fish and lots of them. It was over too soon...
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
The day this happened....

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It was a little wet...
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Here's one of the two that my buddy got....
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I was fooled by two tank pikeminnow...
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but was redeemed for sticking it out with two tigers of my own....this little guy thought he was a carp (look at how fat he is!!!)
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That was a fun day...

The rule of 2. No more, no less.
 
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Big Rob

Active Member
Chopaka in Late June with my son and a close friend.
After the first day we got it dialed in. Then it got downright silly.
 

skyriver

Active Member
Boy, hard to pick just one. I'll cheat and pick 2.
First one-
Last week of May on the big D with my buddies and one of their college aged boys.
Some trips are remembered for the great fishing, some for bad fishing (bad catching I guess) and some for good times with friends, some for bad times. Shitty weather, breakdowns, equipment issues, etc.
Well, this trip had almost all of that. Luckily, no breakdowns. Day 1 was looking pretty tough and was for a couple guys. I got lucky and caught a few. I also caught the biggest whitey for me in 20 years. This thing had me going and ended up being an honest 22-23". And he fought way better than most whiteys. Definitely the most stoke for a whitey ever. Usually no stoke right?
Then, we got just enough cloud cover in the afternoon to bring out some green drakes. I have never hit the drake hatch hot on the Deschutes. I've hit the salmon fly, but never the drake. Well, it was short lived, but it lasted just long enough I picked up the fattest redside I've ever caught. And the eat was the best part. Huge back eddy that is no secret, we just got lucky to hit it when nobody else was there. So slow water, long line, drake rise on the 3 wt. The fish wasn't super long, maybe 17", but was built like a football. After a great fight I netted the fat boy
Pig.jpg
Man that was fun.

I also found a complete 5wt setup that day. After trying to find it's owner for the few weeks, I gave it to my buddy since he needed a serviceable backup. Pretty sure probably a guide's backup outfit.

Day 2 was crazy. The biggest wind & rain storm that central Oregon has had in years hit while we were on the river. Right before it hit, my buddy's driftboat somehow slipped it's anchor rope (not my knot!). Luckily, the wind blew it to shore and the college kid ran to grab it. Literally the minute we got back in the boats from that fiasco the wind hit. We somehow made it to river right and bolted up the hill to seek shelter in a shitter. In fact, had a good lunch at the shitter and watched the river turn to mud in a matter of an hour.
Lunch.jpg

Needless to say, our tents (and bags) were soaked and broken when we got back. We pulled stakes (well, one of them had already pulled itself and was in the neighbors site) and headed for my buddy's cabin on the McKenzie. Crazy trip, but one we'll never forget!

2nd one-
Upper Yak, by myself like I do several times a year. It was a little too early for good October caddis, but between a few of those and the crane flies fish were looking up. As it often does in this section, it was hard going for the first hour or 2. Then fish started feeding. I caught a couple typical 12-13' Yak bows. Then I came into a nice seam where the river comes together. I've always thought I should catch a fatty in this place, but never had. I was persistent and fed a long line down the seam with a Oct caddis and the prettiest cutt lazily (that big fish lazy) slurped it up. It was a great eat and probably the most photogenic cutt I've ever caught. She looks good even in the bad "phone pics in the net" that I take.
Pretty cutt.jpg
Then in a stretch that has delivered before, but was being stubborn, I got lucky. I put my Oct caddis about 6" off a cut bank and a big fish showed his nose, but didn't follow. Damn, but at least it seemed like he didn't spook. I put it 2" off the bank the next cast and one of the most gnarly bows I've ever caught in that section gave me a great fight on the 3wt. Honestly...I should have been using the 5 for dries that day, but I'm a sucker for the 3. He and I pushed the 3 to the limit.
Here's the bad phone pic I'm talking about. :D
GnarlyBow.jpg
Damn that was fun!

Good thread!
 
For those of us living in northern CO it was a particularly tough season with the Cameron Peak Fire shutting down the Cache la Poudre to fishing from mid August til last week. The Mullen Fire in southern WY shut down fishing in the Snowy Range and Laramie Plains lakes, effectively cutting off those options. My best day fishing was last week where I was able to enjoy the Poudre for two days with not a sole in sight. I'm grateful for my home river, for it nourishes my soul when I need it the most. The fishing was pretty stellar as well for not being fished for three months.
 

chief

Active Member
It wasn't my best day (I don't really know how to define that), but a memorable moment. I was fishing Big Twin, and it was fairly crowded with other fishermen. I was having limited success with my sinking line, hooking fish here and there, some big some small, but not lights out. Others were doing about the same or worse, the bite was what I would call mediocre.

At some point I noticed a few splashy rises along the shoreline near me, so I decided to switch to a Chernobyl Ant pattern that had worked for me on another lake in that area earlier in the week. I started working that shoreline, sliding the Chernobyl, and first cast, bam a 20" Rainbow. And for the next hour or so I worked along that shoreline and tore it up. I probably landed 10 fish, and lost several others. Mostly larger fish 17"-21". It was a pretty epic moment until I ran out of real estate.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
I can easily identify my best day of fishing this year. And it wasn't because of a lack of other great fishing adventures, especially with my friend @RD (see "The Garnet Sands River", "Silex Creek", and "Machine Gun Creek"). But the best day of fishing by far was hammering albacore with @SilverFly, @bk paige, and a friend of BKs on @Nick Clayton's boat out of Westport. We just hammered 'em on fly rods that day.
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I caught my first albacore on the fly.
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Collectively, we put 38 on the boat - stuffed it, no more room.

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And we were all entertained when Nick grabbed a rod with a popper, had several fish strike his popper, and finally landed one that way.
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I got into the fun myself and caught one on a popper later in the day.
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Yes, an epic day.
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And the next day and on two days in October, led by @SilverFly the Evangelist, we proved that fly rods are a very fun, very effective way to fish for albacore tuna off the Washington coast. Now, if we can just get that reasonably-sized bluefin for @SilverFly, we'll really have blown open a new, exciting fishery.

Steve
 
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Peach

Peach
2020 was an interesting year, not only for regular life, but for fishing as well. A few of the better trips for me from this year was:

- During the early stages of COVID - hit a rather well known Eastern Oregon river which is normally filled with Non Residents from Idaho. For a few weeks this year Oregon did not allow Non-Residents to come into the state to fish. Fished it during this time and had the river to myself which basically made the trip excellent just for that fact alone, but was blessed with some great streamer fishing including probably the largest Rainbow that I caught this year from a river primarily known for its Brown Trout. A 21 Bow that put up an extremely great fight - didn't get a great pic of it but RESPECT for that dude but have the fight on my Go Pro which I go back often and watch.

- Took a 6 day/5 night guided float trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho with my adult daughter. I wasn't meant to be a fishing trip but of course I did get some fishing in and was introduced to some decent Westslope Cuttie fishing for the first time - nice looking and colorful fish! This was a first for me.

- This Fall fished another Eastern Oregon Reservoir which I basically got skunked on several years back. Decided to give it another shot to Redeem myself and sure enough did almost immediately, caught a fish on my first cast just off of the boat launch and ended up not have the first cast curse - had a great weekend with many feisty 14-16 inch hard fighting Bows. Great Trip.

- But due to COVID I had to cancel a lot of traditional/annual trips that I take with family & friends which was a bummer. I do fish a lot of Indian Reservations and they ended up closing alot of there fisheries due to COVID. That sucked, but makes me think of bigger fish for return trips in 2021 :).

Peach
 

Ian Horning

Powerbait Entomologist
My best day during the winter on a river that resulted in 30 or so hooked fish, 20 or so landed, with only one less than 16" with the big one being 24". None of the hooked or LDR fish were small either. It was quite remarkable.

I had two days more memorable though. First, May 5th, the first day of fishing after the COVID closure. A beautiful day on the beach with cutthroat and char activity, plus the bonuses of close range whale sightings and close views of active lightning storms from three directions.

Second was a successful tussle with a mighty sturgeon from the muddy, snag infested banks of a local estuary. There's just something mystical about hooking a big, powerful fish that you've got no control over for the first few minutes of the fight, and can't see due to the murky water, minus a swirl of the tail and boils on the water's surface.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
And the next day and on two days in October, led by @SilverFly the Evangelist, we proved that fly rods are a very fun, very effective way to fish for albacore tuna off the Washington coast. Now, if we can just get that reasonably-sized bluefin for @SilverFly, we'll really have blown open a new, exciting fishery.

Steve

Well "led" might be stretching things a bit, but I probably do deserve the Evangelist label (that's funny BTW) for my incessant preaching the virtues of tuna. Unfortunately it will likely take some divine intervention for me to connect with (another?) PNW bluefin, and a verifiable miracle to land one.

Cabazon, that might have been the best day of of fishing for the decade, epic is an understatement!

Brian, we're just getting started. You guys really stepped up and knocked it out of the park. Blew my mind, and the minds of the entire tuna fleet. With all the stuff we learned this year, we'll be leaving "2020 epic" in the dust next summer/fall! And not just running charters. I'm (we're) getting invites from "fly-curious" tuna chasers that want to learn the ways of the bugstick on their boats.
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
WFF Supporter
In thinking about it, my best day of the few I was out was up at Lake Tye on a sunny and windy afternoon playing with my new bamboo rod I bought off the board! It cast great with my DT line I had for my Headwaters bamboo. It wasn't long and didn't catch a thing, but had lunch, a cigar and played with a new toy! The first rod that I've added to my quiver in years!!
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
In July I went to visit family in Sprague. I (briefly escaped) and put my float tube in at a nearby special regulation lake. It seemed that the trout were about 20 ft deep and a couple of chironomid guys were doing quite well. I fished it like I fish Pass Lake. Trolling a Type Five sinking line with a weighted gold bead olive wholly bugger. It was almost too easy. The trout were big and the way they jumped was truly impressive. Being the only one on the lake not using an indicator seemed kind of cool, and to experience a lake that may be even more fun than Pass was four hours well spent.
 

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