Bassin' ain't over yet...


Active Member
I finally succumbed to the fishing Gods and left the house at 1 pm. Late start and the weather was not desirable as a cool low front moved in over night.... but when the Gods call.. who am I to deny them. As I expected, there was a posse of Salmon/Steelhead gear guys out given the Priest Pool was open for Steelhead for the first time in years and the Kings were in the hood per usual for this time of year.

Full on clouds made sight fishing impossible so I was slinging blindly. Pretty quick I was wondering if I should be listening to the Gods after all and then just when I was going to change flies I saw a decent smallmouth.. 3.5 lbs at least. While that was encouraging this fish behaved like he had seen the devil himself and it was gone before I could get a cast in. Drifted down river tossing flies where I though the fish should be to no avail. Then I tucked into my old favorite spot. This is a place I fished on foot for years and doing that on the Columbia with results makes it a very special spot indeed. Well there was absolutely no current... where at times it roars. In fact the breeze blew me slowly right into a perfect position in a manner that had never happened before. I was fishing a suspending fly and I had slipped into la-la land watching numerous fish rise to who knows what? I stopped the strip-stop pattern for longer than I ever would have if I hadn't been day dreaming. That was the ticket all right and ka-pow!, fish on, and it was a toad by any standard. It went right to the air game and try to toss the fly on repeated jumps without success. Bulldogged deep, then charge off followed a quick reverse( I always tell myself he's trying to get slack on me) and another jump. It didn't work out for the fish a I got him in the net. Being alone is never easy for a photo. I figured I would do it anyway even though this fish was old and a bit rough looking as it was an old warrior and deserved some press for it's fight. I have a way to wedge the net so the fish remains in the water but unlikely to flip out of the net while I dig into my two-hand required zippered waterproof backpack. After removing the hook I decided to dunk the fish in the water.... then put it in the net. Wrong order on that proceedure. Not sure what I was thinking as I should have loosened the drag, left the hook in and put the fish in the net. You guessed it, when it hit the water it lit up and was free..... the thing was about 6.5 lbs and my thumb ain't what it used to be :beathead: Can't remember losing a bass when applying the thumb but the weight and power of the fish beat me today. It wasn't the prettiest fish by any stretch. Very dark to black with a tail that resembled and old flag that should have been retired some time ago. Hell of a fight and it makes me wonder if I need to go back just one more time given the nice weather report for the coming week... or, I could end the season on a high note.........:hmmm:


6.5 lb smallie is a monster by ANY standard - I agree! Damn nice report....


Just waiting on warmer weather, .......
Been told about a 6.5 lb smallie that I caught beneath the dam @ Monticello, In. The guy @ the baitshop said it takes about 12 years for smallies to get to that size.
Kudos extended, great report.
This kind of mimics my post in the Muskie thread, but.......................

We are planning on relocating and Washington State is in the top two right now. Being a warm water person myself, I love chasing Bass and Pike and Muskie with the fly. I know of the monster Columbia, but other than that, how is the Bass fishing in Washington? No specifics are needed, but I'd love to know if there are smaller, wadable streams that hold decent Smallmouth and are there any ponds that hold decent Largemouth. Your replys are much appreciated!
Badass on the bad bass. 6.5! I've landed a couple of 4-5 lb fish when I was fishing the Texas Hill Country. Since I've moved up here and live near the Sound I've concentrated on SRC's/salmon. Your report made me nostalgic. I'm having fond memories of the Blanco River at dawn and deer hair poppers going down in a typhoon from a nice smallie. Once the topwater bite slowed it was the same as you mentioned. Cast and try to forget your fishing for a minute...then...a little strip...oh wait there's a fish on my line. Solid!


Active Member
The Yakima River from Prosser to the Columbia in the Tri-Cities or the Grande Ronde are medium sized waters you can wade in places depending on flows. Plenty of lakes of all sizes in the state hold bass. Probably be handy to have a float tube/pontoon or boat for the still waters in most cases. Do a search on this site for bass on those rivers. Might check out the WDFW site for warm water suggestions also. John Day River in Oregon has plenty of bass too. There really is no end to the possibilities. The WA state records are roughly 8lb 12oz for smallmouth and 11.57lbs for largemouth to give you some perspective on size. Okanogan River and the Walla Walla River can both fish well for bass also.

I had/have my heart set on returning to the Midwest and possibly going to Northern Wisconsin. That being said, I thought Idaho would be fun but Oregon took the lead from Idaho. Now with the insight of some on these boards, it is a tie between Washington and Oregon.

Those two states (Oregon and Washington) offer what I am after in regards to fishing, with Washington having a slight edge due to Pike and Muskie waters, along with some Saltwater opportunities that I have been clued into. I know a bit more about Central Oregon and I may have a possible lead to a job in Oregon, but Washington is making the decision tough. Thank goodness for a road trip in 2011 to sample some of the fisheries! The only thing that Wisconsin offers above Washington and Oregon, is the amount of Loons (the bird), mixed with the quantity of lakes and rivers in close proximity to one another.


Active Member
Your right, it's never over.

Bass don't hibernate they just slow down, go deep, but still eat. Some lakes are not all that deep... either. Knowing where a spring is in a lake can change the whole game. Wally boys catch 'em year around on the Columbia.

Latest posts