Third trip of the year to the Gorge

Shawn West

Active Member
My buddy and I decided to take a chance on the Gorge today. The wind forecast was a little higher than I had hoped (13 MPH), but opportunities have been few and far between. We arrived around 11 AM. The water level was about 2 vertical feet lower than the last time I was there. The water temperature was 66 degrees.

My buddy swears that there are no fish in the particular lake. He has fished it a few times and has never landed a fish. I was on the water in no time. My buddy dawdled around at the launch while I was catching fish. I had 4 bass to hand before he even launched his pontoon. I was using an artic fox Clouser to start off my adventure. My first fish was 15.5" smallmouth. I caught 2 smaller SMB as well as a 10" LMB. I did not expect to see any LMB in this lake. What a nice surprise. By this time, my buddy was finally on the water. The fish stopped biting right around that time. I managed to catch 4 more young SMB over the next 2 hours.

I was heading towards the launch when it happened. The fish I had been looking for all year finally inhaled my fly. I was fishing along a weed line using an Arizona Simiseal Leech (what a surprise). It was not long before she came flying out of the water. After that, she headed for deeper water. My rod tip was submerged. After a few minutes, my buddy managed to net the fish. This fish really made the trip worth while. She was 18.5" long and weighed 3.5 pounds. I managed to catch one more fish before calling it a day. My buddy never did land a fish today. He did have 1 LDR. To be honest with you, I would have preferred my partner to have caught that big female. That lake does seem to have his number. I can not really explain why that is the case.

Don't feel too bad for my buddy. We will be heading to Idaho next week for a week of large bluegill, SMB, and LMB fishing. I predict sore forearms before that week of fishing is over. I will be sure to post a report about that trip when we return. It will be a good trip. Four of the six guys in our group have never fly fished for warmwater species. There may be a few converts before this trip is over.

I love the coloring on this bass.




Active Member
That's a great bass! I never understood warm water until I took a 14 month job in Iowa and had no choice. Turns out it is a blast!


John or "LC"
Hey Shawn, what a beauty! Agree with the coloring; I've never seen any verticals that pronounced on smallies before. Great fish--hope Idaho is treating you well. I'm just back from Florida and we did OK but have had better fishing there. It's all good.

You're right--it's not any more cool to out fish someone than be out fished. One weekend I went with a guy who taught me a lot about fly fishing years ago, and in two days I brought 103 trout to hand--he landed three. We could never explain it as we were in the same boat, using the same rods, same lines, same flies. It happens, and about the time we get cocky about it the tables turn and we become the skunkee :eek:

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