I can be from my driveway to the parking area of this lake in about 20 minutes, so when the window to fish is small this is where I like to head. I've not been here for some time because of all my trips over the Cascades this year. Today was a nice day to get reacquainted.
I got on the water at about 11am and the lake was fogged in. One other angler was there and he was into a fish as I pushed off the shore. I worked the west bank heading north with a small dry with a yellow hi-vis parachute. Great choice to match the tiny bugs that were in groups here and there and the small 10" fish were eager to take this fly. After slowly working this edge and hearing what sounded to be larger fish rolling around me in the fog I moved toward the shelf on the north. I caught a couple of 13" fish on this same fly but it seemed that most of the feeding was just below the surface. I put on one of my favorite patterns for this lake, a red wine colored caddis with a black head. This fly with just enough floatant worked into it to make it hover has always been one that has worked for me here. Today was no exception. I had three rods, one glass, one grass, one graph...all 4wts. All had floaters, all ended up with this same fly pattern. I would catch a fish with one rod and rotate to the next. I decided that I prefer the Lew C. Parks bamboo and the Redington CT for fishing out of the Water Master Kodiak. The honey glass is just a bit slow for such a low seating postion and I prefer it when upright in skiny flowing water.
I did have two fish violently take my fly, I set the hook and they shook their heads hard and broke off my 6x tippet. Normally I'd not go that small, but when fishing these caddis flies in the slime layer I like to try to use a lighter tippet. One of these two rolled hard as it took the fly about 30' from me and I got a really good view of that one. That fish will haunt me as it would have been the star of the day for me, likely the star of that lake ever for me. It was nice to enjoy the day on the water.
The local fly club that maintains the lake has made a few changes and I like them. Mostly they keep the place neat and tidy and try to post lots of information about the selective gear rules at this small lake. I almost always find myself making calls about poachers here, and today it was nice that the only folks I saw were fly fishermen observing the rules.
The water was a bit stained, but not as much as I remember. The fish were almost all bright, lively and fat...so fat. I did have one pretty dark colored up fish, but that one was the most acrobatic of the day. All in all I caught 15 to 20 fish, half were the 10" variety and the others ranged from 13 to 18" with a fat pair of 15's and a nice pair of 18's being the cream of the crop for me today. Those larger and fat fish were fun on the 4wts.
Clearly marked at the parking area, on the shore and now even on the water in several places...but I hear that bait fishermen still try to play the "I did not know" game.
6+7=13 I took this photo just to show the sore on the mandible of this fish. Otherwise it was very healthy and strong. Maybe you can see the fly I like.
13+5+18, maybe a touch bigger. One of two in this size category.