Reprinted with permission from Kent L.~
Mike M, Tim C and I fished Beda yesterday. In a word, fishing yesterday was fabulous.
We arrived to find one other car and a 5th wheel trailer in the lot under overcast skies at about 8:45am and were on the water within an hour. As the clouds gradually burned off, I picked up two LDRs right away using a Phesant Tail along the reed line in in the main launch bay. Mike lost another fish there as Tim and I moved through the channels to the main lake. We noticed a half dozen or so dead fish in the weeds on the bottom as we kicked through.
Despite our fears about being awfully cold, the water temp was a balmy 48º a foot below the surface at 10am. When the sun burned through it became apparent we’d worn way too many clothes.
Before we all pulled out for a shore lunch at about 12:30, I’d had two fish to hand and 3 LDRs as did Mike. Tim had 3 fish to hand and 2 LDRs. We met Jim Speaker from WFF who’d driven over the day before. He’d released a half dozen or so although he started fishing at 8am. Of my 5 fish by lunch, 4 had come on the first or second cast to a new pattern I’d just tied on. Continuing to fish that pattern proved fruitless. OTOH, Tim fished the same soft hackle pattern all day.
By lunch, there were numerous other people who’d arrived including 3 guys in a drift boat that was apparently run by a guide. We asked how they got the boat in and the guide said he’d trailered it to the launch (clearly ignoring the no vehicles allowed sign still evident at the gate.) An enforcement officer appeared at the north end of the NE bay later in the day and had quite a conversation with the guide. I couldn’t see if he was cited or not.
Fishing got really slow after lunch, with only two LDRs for me before moving into the NE bay as the wind kicked up a bit. I watched one guy in the middle of the bay pulling in fish after fish on chironomids under an indicator so I switched to that setup and got a huge hit immediately. While Mike and Tim fished around the island along the east side, Jim joined me in the SE corner of the bay where we finally got the depth under the indicator dialed in (6ft) and we proceeded to put on a clinic for the next couple hours. We had perhaps a half dozen double hookups and landed well over 20 fish each just in that corner of the bay, all to a dark red chironomid – mine with a snow cone bead, Jim’s with a glass bead. We literally spent more time playing the fish than in casting to catch the next ones. I never thought I complain about my arm hurting from playing so many big fish.
All were rainbows ranging from about 17″ to about 21″ which I’d heard were planted in November. If so, they seem to have adapted quite well as they were all quite healthy and aggressive. I had several that were so think that I couldn’t get a hand around their bodies. One fish took off immediately, taking nearly all my Cortland 444 with him before I managed to palm him to a stop. My Hardy reels at full scream sound like Formula One racing engines and every time they lit up, I could see heads turn from all over the bay.
In late afternoon, Jim and I kicked over to join Tim and Mike who’d also been having a fish fest south of the islands and in the SE bay. Mike picked up a gorgeous 16″ tiger late in the day and said he’d also landed a smaller RB of about 14″. No brookies or browns from earlier plants were in evidence. We finished up there before kicking back and heading to the car at about 6:30pm.
I have no idea what our final tally of fish was as we all lost count. I quite counting at 30. I’d guess that between the 4 of us we hooked and LRDd or landed well over 120 fish, maybe as many as 150.
So what worked? Chironomids under an indicator were the ticket for Mike, Jim and I although we each picked up fish on a variety of different patterns. My next best pattern was a sparkle leech fished on a clear intermediate with a couple split shot to get it down. Tim stuck with his soft hackle (about Carey Special size but with different materials) all day.
This morning, I’ve got a sore right shoulder and wrist, sunburned cheeks, hands and ears, and a big grin that’s showing no signs of fading.