Last outing of the season


Active Member
Today is the last day to fish for us on the far east side. The weather has been dreadful lately and it didn't look like there was going to be another opportunity to get out. But a few hours between storms provided a chance to get up to my nearest lake today and test drive my new Redington 9' 4WT CT and check the lake for fishing prospects next year.

My nearest lake is Big Meadow-about 8 miles up the hill from here. The drive up was mostly in fog or clouds and pretty darn gloomy. But the lake was just spectacular. It is surrounded by mostly larch and they are at their peak color saturation right now. Gold, orange, yellow chartreuse and green formed a halo around the lake that just glowed in the weak sunshine. Regrettably I left my camera at home. Water temp was 41 degrees and most of what has been a bumper crop of weeds remain near the surface. The lake was treated for weeds a few years ago but they have come back stronger than ever.

Kicking out into the lake was problematic with all the growth but once into the channel between the islands I stripped out about 30' of intermediate line on the new CT and made a cast. Three strips later I had a fish on! A good start. The upper shallow end of the lake is only about 4' deep right now and just about completely weed choked. It is usually my favorite area to fish but today it was just too difficult. I headed for some deeper water. I tied on a tungsten bead head simi seal leech in purple and was immediately in business. For the next hour I hooked or caught fish every 3 or 4 minutes until a large fish took the leech to the weeds and I wasn't able to extract it. Other leech patterns didn't fare as well and I only had one in purple.

I caught fish up to a true 16'', some 12'' fish and some 10'' dinks but there was lots of action. It bodes well for early next spring when the upper end is 6' deep and fish will be all over chironomids. I think the heavy weed growth has kept the trollers from harvesting all the big trout and the lake should fish well early next season. I'm encouraged. Judging from some of the fish I didn't land today there are fish in there bigger than 16''.

On the way up to the lake there is a sign that says: Caution-Air Force Survival Training in progress. During my stay there several jets were screaming over the lake and making a helluva lot of noise. Once over the lake they seemed to pull up sharply on afterburner and disappear into the cloud cover. There was not another sound up there so it was really,really loud. It was quiet enough that I could hear the train whistle from down in the valley eight miles away.

The new CT feels a little tip heavy compared to my other rods and although it is a 4 wt it checks in at 2.85 oz on a precision scale-exactly the same as my 5 wt. I noticed that the joints loosened a little while I was fishing and I didn't care for that. But it was the first time out and those joints might bed in as it gets more use. I am not a big fan of 4 pc rods but it's what's out there nowadays with 2 pc rods having gone the way of drum brakes. It does cast smoothly and I am anxious to try a few dry lines on it and see which one moves to the head of the class. It was too windy and too cold today to test lines.

That's a wrap on this season, I hope to be back in action next March.

Great report. So you can't or don't fish ALL winter? Talk about SAD(Seasonal Affected Disorder). Used to get it real bad tell I took up winter steelheading. Now I kind of look forward to it.


Idiot Savant
Ive, a fitting end to the season, so glad you got out and had some fun. Now to hunker down and get to tying those C'mid's...;)


Active Member
Nice report, what are you going to do for cabin fever? I fished all winter last year at a high lake but I think this winter is going to have a lot more snow (pretty mild last winter) last year braking trail in 6 inches of snow was fun.

I bought my daughter the 8'6" 3 wt. ct last winter and thought the tip was a little soft, good feel but kinda lacked strength in longer casts. still the best buy in rods, I only paid $110 for it and the deals people got lately was even better beautiful rods for the money. I also agree about the 4 piece in smaller weights, would much rather have a 2 pc. in a much lighter rod. I have 2 - 5 wts. both weighing 2 5/8 ounce in 2 pc. I was able to get a 2 1/2 ounce orvis 2 pc 8' 6" 3 wt. hls rod from the early 90's that is the bomb in smooth casting and "feel" but now I need a 4 wt. in the 2 1/2 ounce range. I think the lighter weights are better in the 8'6" length even for lakes, I figure my 5's are already 9 so for something different I plan on a 8' 6" in a 4 wt. I also will not buy less expensive 4 pc rods because of joints coming apart. my daughter got the ct because she doesn't fish half as much as I do and wont put the pressure on her rod like I do. sounds like you had a great time!


Active Member
Good to hear about this trip Ive, I had my last outing to my home lake last weekend, it closes today for the winter. There is a lot of year round water around here if I'm willing to drive for an hour instead of 20 if the weather is good maybe a few more tugs this year and then steel in the Spring on the Wallowa or two hours down to the Owyhee for browns.
I had a camping trip a few years ago where, twenty miles up a gravel road we were camped at t lake where they were pulling out water to fight a fire.....So every twenty minutes in would come a helicopter. Not really a wilderness experience....and what about the trout in the lake that get scooped up in a bucket, then dropped on a fire.


Active Member
Took my last outing today on a small creek, and caught a few Brookies up to about 16" on a BWO.

Got a 7'6" 3wt CT a week or so ago, but didn't have a enough time to get it up and running. It's been in the 60's for the last few days, so I had to brave some squalls to get the fly on the water.


Active Member
Nice report. Winters here in central WA get plenty cold but don't last like they do where you live. And if I get the shack nasties too bad, I head west over the pass and fish some of the quality waters around Pugetropolis.


Active Member
Normal winters aren't too bad but for the past few years 'normal winters' have become a moving target. This year it seems like bad weather prevailed right up to June and by then I was so far behind projects around the ranch that I didn't get to fish consistantly until Sept. Fortunately I don't have the tendency to get depressed in winter, we are both from Michigan originally and have that midwestern resolve to soldier through the winter without whimpering. And living with Susie for 45 years is about the most fun I could have legally so being confined to the house with her for 4 months is more of a treat than trauma.

My problem with winter fishing is that I have to drive 100 miles south to I-90 before I can turn west and head over to the milder climate of the central Washington lakes. Then it is another 100-150 miles to decent water and when I get there the days are still so short that there is only 2 or 3 hours of productive fishing in the day. It hardly seems worth it. I'll save my money over the winter and hopefully find someone who has the time to make a grand tour of Montana streams with me next summer. For now I'm content to tie flies, bake bread, grill, sit in the spa, sleep(lots) and watch TV. Once it snows I'll be on the snowplow a lot and will be able to walk or snowshoe everyday. Compared to all those years we lived in Vancouver where winter meant cold, damp conditions with about 6 months of rain, showers, mist, sprinkles or whatever other euphemism they used for wet, soggy conditions this is a piece of cake. Yeah, we have big storms that dump lots of snow but then the sun comes out and it is cold, dry and sunny. I'll take that over perpetual gloom anyday. It ain't so bad.

And I have a list of local lakes that are going to fish real well come spring so I have a lot to look forward to. Chilled but thrilled to be here!



Not to be confused with freestoneangler
And living with Susie for 45 years is about the most fun I could have legally so being confined to the house with her for 4 months is more of a treat than trauma. Ive
Ive, that's about the coolest thing I've ever read on WFF! We should all be so fortunate!
Any moose at Big Meadow this year?
Ive, I am genuinely sorry we didn't connect this year. For the last couple of years, it seems I am all talk and no fish.
I had every intention of getting up your way, but just didn't happen. Heck, I don't even fish with my friends down here much.
I always enjoy reading your reports, and glad you often seem to find the fish.
I won't make any promises for next year that I may break, but hopefully I can find my way up your direction again next summer.
I love your little slice of heaven up there.


Active Member
The eastern Washington mountain lakes can be incredible in the fall. No one on the lake and catching fish after fish (why is it that I always end up down to having just two of the pattern that the big ones can't resist). Had that same experience with the last two Olive Willy's...lost in the weeds with big fish...on my final trip this year).

Unfortunately the good weather ended short of the general season finish this year.

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