I wasn't able to make it over for the opener but I'm definitely hitting lone or pass in the morning. Havent decided which. After the hell of this week some time in the pram is just what I need. I hope those who made the journey east are having a ball!
I fished with Irafly Friday and Saturday. We met up with Zen Leecher briefly on Friday around noon at Quincy. 40 degree water made for little in the way of active bugs. Leeches, dragon nymphs, damsel nymphs, and callibaetis nymphs all had their moments. Friday evening was beautiful, the W gave us a break and we found an nice ledge to fish. Saturday was big W. As we found on Friday evening, structure was the key early in the day. The 3-8' shoals were better mid-day. Gusts that kicked up in the early afternoon put us in the position of not being able to reach the launch when it was time to go. Had to make an emergency landing on a beach full of bait fishers and walk the boat the final 100 yards. Waves were coming over the stern while we were attempting to hold on anchor . . . I think a lesson was learned today
Yellow Lab - Great report! Really enjoyed + nice pics.
Several ways to skin today's cat, yet the lake was not exactly a pushover. Puzzle pieces included surface of 43 (stable for weeks), low to med light, zero wind most of the time, and a boat-load of small midges throughout the day. Overall I found it best to key in on visibility even though food was so plentiful. Today would start out with action at the first hint of light, then continue into mid morning as a low hanging fog and a little surface chop helped the cause. Full sink in open water early on.
Why visibility: All winter these fish have been reacting predictably to the same set of conditions. First and last light, along with any weather occurrence that reduces clarity, have consistently turned activity on. Midges have been appearing, disappearing and reappearing throughout Feb depending on conditions so today's event would not likely cause abandonment of the behavior they've been used to. Besides, this has been the best way to follow fish all winter since food, comfortable water and other luxuries have been scarce (despite March, it's not exactly spring yet).
As the wind went dead and turned the lake surface to glass another form of disturbance came along. And it really got going - if you look closely this shot alone captures a good half-dozen dimples:
For the remainder of the day, whenever the lake turned to glass here they'd come again.
Why not food: Short answer for me was you could catch fish but not exactly fast & furious. Most of the fish reacting to it at surface were the little planters (at least they've dispersed from the boat launch now). I saw a few fins and tails of larger fish but they seemed to recognize fly vs. food for the most part. Finally, with that much food spread throughout the lake it was tough competition on a single fly. Floater and shallow nymph worked ok but again I found chasing the unseen to be more productive in comparison. I think others did fine working the hatch when they stuck with it. Mostly a matter of preference.
A little wind came at midday and really helped along shoals and shallow parts of the bank. Anything counted down with a full sink worked. Afternoon toughened up and the lake emptied out in a hurry. All were gone by early eve. Fortunately dusk was worth sticking around for, as my last 7 came in the final 40 min before dark. Larger rainbows and all of them hung on.
Brownies showed up but were still far outnumbered by rainbows..
As things warm up and these midges cycle in I'm counting on a nice shift in the action. Should be any time. I've seen good fishing on them already but at those times there was far less food in the water, the sun was bright, and fish were active at a little depth instead of up high.
Day's highlight: Smoked oysters & coffee (THANK YOU ROY)
I fished pass and agree with Ford Fender. Lots of midge action on the surface and the fish looked like small planters. My best luck was trolling deep. Overall fishing was slow for me, but I picked up a few good sized rainbows and two browns. Both browns over 20 inches. One brown was a legitimate 24 inches but fought like a dead log. Go figure, smaller rainbows were a better fight.
Water temps were 40 degrees yesterday at Quincy Lake. I ran into Irafly and Troutpocket yesterday at Quincy as I was being chased off the lake by the wind. I fished Thursday with Ira on Burke and got "tutored" on the use of bead-eye mini leech-things. Friday at Quincy I caught every fish on William Servey's Drunken Dragon.
Today is supposed to be windier than yesterday so I opted to sit it out and fish tomorrow.
Had some early morning trouble that changed my plans today. As I grabbed the pram trailer to push it to the truck the right wheel bent out then fell completely off the axle. That sucked. Glad it happened in my driveway at least.
Tried to get the pram into the truck but it was too hard by myself, plus I am not at my strongest right now. Frustrated I threw the toon in the truck and headed to my favorite local lake. Chatted with Mike (wabowman) as I was gearing up and got on the water around eleven thirty I think.
Pretty slow for me. Landed one rainbow and lost a real nice one. Had quite a few short strikes but not much solid. Saw a guy land a 25" rainbow that really put on a show for a good 15 minutes
Got tired of the wind and inability to anchor and pulled out around 4. Was nice to be on the water after the past couple weeks but was frustrating not to get to use my pram. I have come to enjoy fishing out of it so much that it really makes it a pain to use the toon. I know it will fit in my truck just need to figure a way to lift it into the bed. Maybe slide it up a sheet of plywood or something. At least till I can figure out the trailer.
I stand by my logic regarding lenice and Nunnally at 46 degrees, but I have no opinion about other basin lakes.
The freshwater science usually is stated like this* :. Under the ice the water is 39F (4C) throughout the water column except right near the surface. On ice out the surface layers warm up, and once they reach 39F , the water column has the same density throughout. there is no stratification and hence nothing to stop the water from circulating if something gives it a push. We have had plenty of wind to give it a push.
In my view the biological observations are consistent with this turnover having happened. If it had not happened, the water should be crystal clear and no daphnia clouds, contrary to reports from lenice.
This does not mean there will not be more algal blooms as the sun intensifies and the water gets even warmer and dead vegetation rots.
Maybe we are talking about two different things ?
"the water near a lake’s bottom will usually be at 4°C just before the lake's ice cover melts in the spring. Water above that layer will be cooler, approaching 0°C just under the ice. As the weather warms, the ice melts. The surface water heats up and therefore it decreases in density. When the temperature (density) of the surface water equals the bottom water, very little wind energy is needed to mix the lake completely. This is called turnover. After this spring turnover, the surface water continues to absorb heat and warms. As the temperature rises, the water becomes lighter than the water below. For a while winds may still mix the lake from bottom to top, but eventually the upper water becomes too warm and too buoyant to mix completely with the denser deeper water."
Hi Paul-It was great to meet you and share some good times around dinner and the campfire. Both Scott and I had a tough time hooking up, and my total was 6 fish for two days. A couple were in the 18-19" range and definitely footballs. A well fed bunch of fish in there and later in the season, there should be some stellar days! Rick
Nunnally Sunday. The wind was gone, beautiful sun, breeze to wind to calm. Some surface action late. Fish on Hale Bopp, either quick retrieve, or under an indicator. Go figure. Fish were either 8-9", or 16-18". All very solid strong fish. Pumped fish had daphnia and tiny green wigglers. Only one chironomid. Short day stopoff on the way to the tricities.
Water Temp, 38
Air temmp 40's
sunny with sustained wins wsw 8 mph gusting to 20
One strike to black bunny leach
one 20:inch bow to hand. ate a wingless prince nymph, 3 feet under about 4 feet from the bank. my first amber fish
My buddy and I plashed my new drift boat yesterday in Lake Cassidy. I was surprised to see the lake level up to the middle of the road approaching it.
It was windy and I saw no evidence that fish exist there. One other boat on the lake (a bass boat.)
The good stuff: the water stayed on the outside of the boat. Man it was chilly in that wind.
Jay, I think I have to agree with scottflycast about turnover.
If I understand your explanation correctly, water temps need to be at 39º in order for turnover to occur. While the lakes in your area likely all get that cold (or colder), there are lakes on the west side that don't. Yet they still turn over.