Question Regarding Lake Washington

Next weekend I get to take my boat up to Lake Washington to particpate in a Boston Whaler Rendezvous. One of the planned events is a Saturday morning Fishing tournament. I've never fished any lakes around here, let alone Lake Washington. I don't have a clue of what patterns to tie for the event. I understand the lake has Largemouth, Smallmouth, Cutthroat and Rainbows as well as a kuka-pile of perch. I figure a #4 Black Wooley Bugger should be good anywhere, lake, stream or salt. Any ideas on what patterns I need to tie for this event? Which species should I target? Any advice on tactics? What sort of baitfish are prevalent in the Lake? I can flat&*% tie, so any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
If you just want to catch lots of fish, I would reccomend going for the perch in the lake. Now is about prime time in the shallows, and I've done well on small (size 8-12) white or yellow woolly buggers, and similar small streamers. Keep it small, or you won't catch a thing. I've never had any luck on trout or Largemouths in Lake Washington, i think the big cutts are troller's game. However, the smallies are a lot of fun. I've never tried flyfishing for them, but I've caught and released smallmouths up to 4 pounds here on small spinners, so sixe 4-8 streamers would probably be good. Hope this helps, and good luck!

Thanks for the quick response. I truly appreciate it.

I'd love to hit the smallies but will be happy with the fish-de-jour; I think the categories are first, largest and most (all C&R...I guess its a Liar's tournament :) ) I'll tie a few #8 & #12 Yellow (Chartreuse actually) Wooley Buggers in the morning based upon your recommendation. I assume weighted? Have you tried Clousers or Deceivers as a streamer pattern there? I've never been on Lake Washington so this will be a new experience for me. You mentioned your success in the shallows...I envision the lake to have many docks and heavy surrounding population. What should I look for in the way of shallows besides near-to-shore and obvious deadfalls for structure? Are there any areas with weed beds, cattails etc. or should I just concentrate on the docks? Don't know what the bottom contour looks like; are drop-offs productive (e.g. rapid drop from something like 5 to 30ft?) Should I pay attention to the depth finder or just stick to the shallows?

Next question: 5, 6, 7 or 8 weight? I'm thinking the 6 wt with a shooting head system; floating, intermediate and fast sinking heads for flexibility. Your thoughts?

Well, regarding habitat, the best place for perch in the early fall and summer are the shallow, submerged weedbeads. I'm not sure what it is, maybe milfoil, but there is a fair amount of it around. One of my favorite shallow perch areas is the large bay just north of the Seward Park peninsula. Later in the fall the fish go a lot deeper, and probably out of reach of a fly rod. The docks, and obviously rokcy areas are where I have had the best success on smallmouhts, but they seem to be adaptable, because I have caught over weeds while fishing for perch and in water deeper than 30 feet. But rocks definitely seem to be the hottest place to try. About the depth-finder, I don't know- I usually fish Lake Washington from shore or from a pram.
I think that for lines, a 5-7 weight would be good for smallies, you need some backbone to throw the heavy flies, and for perch as low as you can go line wise. I like a full sink for smallies in water deeper than about 10 feet, but in the real shallow water a sink-tip works well. For perch, a sink-tip will suffice- they hang around right on the top of the weedbeads, usually 4-10 feet down. If you want to try perch later this fall, you will certainly need a full sink, to ply the depths.

Very useful info and advice; thank you. You'll be honored during a short ceremony aboard my boat upon landing my first fish. :) Will let you know the final results. Thanks again.

First AND largest! 15.75" Smallmouth taken off the submerged forest area off Manitou. Thought I'd start with a baitfish imitation and started throwing a 2.5" White/Olive Deceiver. Nailed it on the 3rd cast. Nada after that...must have been the Villiage Idiot.

#8 Yellow WoolyBugger resulted in 3 Perch for my wife who came in 2nd for most...5 took most. Big kudo for her as she only started flyfishing last year.

Thanks again for your advice and suggestions.
Congratulations on the Smallmouth- that is one heck of a fish! Most smallies I catch are only 6-12 inches in Washington, but I've seen huge ones in there. I'm glad it went well for you. Tight Lines!

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