After my last weeks outing, I was itching to get back on the water. I had worked the weekend and and had clients Monday and Tuesday, so I couldn’t get out with Gil C., so today I ventured out with Jeff H. and much to my surprise, Mr. Chironomid himself, Chuck G. Jeff and I decided to rendevous around 7 am, just as I was taking my dog out for her run at 6:30 a.m. my phone rang and Chuck was asking if I was still heading out to fish Beda. I told him that I was locked and loaded and just needed to finish walking my dog and then I’d be on the road. Preparing for a stillwater trip has so many checklist items, making sure you have everything you need and then some for a pleasurable day on the water. I was a little worried about the Pass, but the forecast had changed for the better and to my surprise was looking like it was going to be in the mid 50’s in George and sunny with a 10% chance of precipitation. YEAH! Jeff was excited to get out and fish, especially since he’d just purchased the brand spanking new Koffler 10′ wide back whitewater/still pram from Eugene. When I saw it in person, I just about salivated over myself, boy it was really nice and well thought out and spec’d out with all the ‘right’ stuff. The Pass temp. was 32 degrees and the drive over way quite nice with some wet roads, but no snow or ice. From my doorstep to Ellensburg is exactly 100 miles, which I made in good time, right at 1.5 hours. From there it would be another 45 minutes to the parking lot of Beda lake. Beda can be reached from Dodsen Road, exit #164, past the George rest stop. The iPhone music was playing “Hotel California” by the Eagles just as I drove past Ryegrass pass, I thought I was in Baja Mexico. My recent visit to Cabo and San Jose, BCS. The landscape was just beautiful with the sagebrush, the plains, rolling hills, and rock formations of the Columbia Valley. In my rear view mirror I could see the snow capped Cascades, just a nice way to get out and enjoy God’s country. I timed things right, as I rolled into the parking lot, Jeff was getting his gear ready in preparation to launch. We quickly set up our gear and proceeded in a B-line to where Chuck G. was anchored up.
When I arrived, I asked if he’d hooked any yet, and he said no. Based on Gil’s report from the day prior, he’d done well with Chironomids, landing around 20 fish. Today I wanted to string up both rods, one with my full intermediate line and the other with a floater and Chiron set up. Well, my bobber set up proved to be NIL, I had a micro takedown, briefly had the hook up but the luck fish got away. I enjoyed last weeks slugfest with many caught on the strip, I decided to explore the lake, throwing the same bugs I had done before: leeches in Hot head red, Black, white, purple. I’d noticed one gentleman who was doing well right on the point throwing and stripping. He probably landed a dozen fish between 11 and 1 pm, not a bad take, especially from wade fishing.
We could see swirls from the fish all over the lake, but I couldnt get any to take my Chirons, things were slow for Jeff and Chuck on Chirons as well. I was anchored up between the island and the skinny point on the North end of the lake. Water temp ranged from 45 degree to 46, and there was no ice on the lake, boy what a week does to those Eastern WA lakes! Definiltey more boat activity today, with 6 other fly fisherman that started off. I’d hated to see Beda on a weekend, when its got the full brunt of Westsiders making the trek in hopes of ripping some lips. , See map:
When I saw the gent from the shore doing so well, I put my egg sucking leech on and almost immediately got a hit, but the fish didn’t stick. For the remainder of the day, we explored other areas around Beda, caught more fish, definitely not as good as last week, but not a bad day for us. We all landed somewhere between 17-22 fish a piece and really enjoyed the slice of sunshine and calm wind conditions on Beda lake. This will likely be my last trip to Beda, as I want to hit some other lakes: Lenice, Nunally and prepare for our Dry Falls trip next month when it opens. One thing that I also wanted to get out of this trip was to water test my new pram: Sears 10′ welded aluminum that I retrofitted with Scotty anchor locks to make it into a stillwater cruiser. It performed flawlessly and with a few minor modifications: seat, refinishing the oars, it will be a nice spare guest pram. Its light and can be car topped for those ferry runs over to the islands to fish Lone lake or even possibly Eglon beach. We’ll see about that… I was glad that there were no leaks and it was relatively stable. I still like the working room of my Koffler and it superior stability, but its heavier and has some tradeoffs. I would like to put a seat mount on my Koffler, so I am more comfortable when fishing all day long. Currently it has the rope rowers seats, not the best support. I didn’t have time to install seating on the Sears pram, so I just brought a foam camping sleeping pad and folded it up several times and it worked well. I do like standing when casting and stripping, so I find that more enjoyable. If I am Chiron fishing, then having a comfy seat is key. More things to tweek before Dry Falls, and the BC trips. Until next time… Tight lines!