Tom’s Pass Lake Report: 2/04/2010

Printed with permission from Tom H. who fished it last week. I am hoping to make it out next week to test out the new Spring Creek Pram and my new trout cassette reels. I’ll be posting my report as well. Thanks Tom!

MAIDEN VOYAGE OF MY NEW PONTOON BOAT:
A PASS LAKE REPORT
02/04/2010

I recently purchased a new pontoon boat at, of all places, Walmart (on-line) for a reasonable price of $248. With free site to store shipping it was a real bargain. All my fishing buddies have pontoon boats or prams with me stuck in a round float tube. I still love float tubing because you are more intimate with the lake and the fish. Also it allows me to exercise my ailing knees with some low impact exercise. But when it comes to warmth, comfort, speed and a higher casting platform, a pontoon boat is just the ticket, much better for bigger lakes. I spent several days setting up the boat with rod holders, fish finder bracket and cargo area. I thought Pass Lake would be a perfect place to take its maiden voyage. It is a fairly close lake with a great boat launch, large fish and shelter from the wind.

Ching accompanied me on this trip and as well as the trip two weeks ago. We left around 5:45 from Ching’s house with the intentions of having breakfast at the Farmhouse Restaurant at 7:00. A former student, who lives in Anacortes, was to meet us there. We shared a great breakfast and great conversation. I’ve been very impressed with Angela’s adventurous spirit. She enlightened us with the story of a recent elk hunting trip. She has been hunting with her dad since she was very young. She also told us one time she was charged by an elk, coming to about 20 feet of her position. Her next adventure will be a trip to Alaska, taking the Alaska ferries through the inside passage.

We arrive at Pass Lake around 8:30 and started assembling my pontoon boat and Ching pumping up his raft. This is so unlike float tubing. With a float tube I would just pull it out of the back of my car and I’m ready to go. It took a while because it once the first time putting it together in the field. I made a few mental notes that should hasten its assembly next time. It took about 20 minutes to finally get out onto the lake. It is amazing how easily the boat glides along with the oars and even with the fins.

Weather-wise, it was a beautiful day, calm winds with clear skies, and temperatures in the fifties. I fished my usual favorite places with no luck. I rowed across to the north side of the lake, an area of the lake where I never fished before because of the distance. The previous trip I notice a guy in a boat who spent the whole day fish the north shore near the park ranger residence. There must have been a reason. I had to find out. I rowed over in about ten minute. In a float tube it would have taken me 20-30 minutes. I found a nice shoal on that side. I also spotted fish on the side finder view of my fish finder. The water temperature was a degree warmer (43-44) than on the rest of the lake. I soon as I got there I started casting and stripping in a muddler minnow. Within five minutes I had my first fish on, a good sized brown trout about 15 inches. A few minutes later I landed another fish on, my largest of the trip. A 17 inch brown. It was about lunch time so I switched to chironomid fishing so I could fish hands free. I put on a bloodworm with a snow cone dropper 11 feet under a strike indicator, in about 12 feet of water. Of course, as I am eating my sandwich I get a takedown and miss it. But it shows that the fish were feeding on this side of the lake. I soon had another takedown and played a medium size rainbow. That was the first of many on the bloodworm. Ching came by and began fishing a bloodworm. He did land one at this location. After a shore break there was a small chironomid hatch and the bite was on. I proceeded to land several more rainbows and one brown mostly on bloodworms and 2 on the snow cone. Final tally: 14 trout, 3 browns the rest rainbows ranging from 10 to 17 inches. All in all this was a very good trip, with extras: good friends, good chironomid fishing and a great day in God’s natural world. (And I was able to avoid the new equipment jinx.)

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