I wanted to to get out and fish a couple of ‘new’ lakes to me, but I only had one day to get out and fish and didn’t want to drive 3 hours each way to do it, so I opted to try Lenice again after a few weeks since the opener. The summary of today was lots of wind, and few trout to show for it.
I ended wrangling Jeff H. to join me today, but Jeff’s boat won’t make it into the Lenice, so I brought another 10′ pram for him to use. I only have 1 dolly, so you can imagine what that looked like. We ended up putting the aluminum boat on the dolly, filling it with all our gear, anchors, lunches, and then putting the Spring Creek pram on top. It worked pretty well, and with some effort, we got to the lake.
We left Bellevue at 6:30 under cloudy skies. While going up the pass, the temp read 33 degrees and the roads were wet, but no snow or slush. We packed up the truck with two prams, two anchor systems, nets, coolers and the whole shebang. I am amazed at the utility and good use that my truck provides. Its been a reliable rig and the guys at the auto parts store were raving about the 22RE motor and how it takes so much abuse, but keeps ticking.
When we arrived at the parking lot, it seemed like a sparse comparison from opening week. There were only 4 campers in RV’s, nobody on the sand dunes and maybe two other rigs. Jeff and I proceeded to unload and get the dolly set up for the trek to the waters edge. Everything was looking great, weather…nice, temperature…nice, wind…low but bearable. We got in and started the row to my favorite place, the islands. As we made our way across, the wind started kicking up from the west and it was enough to cause the tracking of the boat to drift towards the far east edge. I did mark fish in the 13 feet water, and around the launch but was not seeing much activity around the islands. After we settled in, the wind continued to howl and the waves were getting bigger and whitecaps could be seen all over the lake. I thought it was better to snug up against the island in the calm and set up my Chironomid rig and continue to fish. Bah humbug, I wasn’t going to be deterred by the wind… I was here to fish.
One by one Jeff and I glanced at the various pontooners, and float tubers getting blown off the water and we chuckled. We were the only ones on the lake! WOW, Lenice on a sunny Friday afternoon with no other fisherman??? It was a poor fishing day, but there was a serious hatch going on, and the swallows were buzzing around like bees with all the Chironomids that were coming off. I thought it’d still be good fishing, but alas, it was farther from it. I picked up the first fish, a very nice 23″ chunky and silvery strong Rainbow that took my 16 red ribbed chromer. in 9′ of water. It was definitely a suicide grab, because I wasn’t paying attention and the wind was giving the set up a nice bob in the water column.
I pumped the fish, and nothing?!?! WHich was hard to believe. At this point, I decided to stretch my legs out and anchor the boat up while I got onto one of the islands and Chironomid fished from the side of the rocks. Cast after cast, nothing… I then set up my full intermediate line, threw on a black leech and wham, strike! Missed that fish, but threw it out and with a few more casts had a nice trout on. Tiger! Woo Hoo! It was bigger than the one I’d caught opening week, around 17″, but strong and beautiful.
Meanwhile, Jeff was anchored up and trying to pick up his first fish. I was going to feel very bad for getting him out there and going home with a big zero. But then I saw him with a bent rod and a fish one. He played it, and then it popped off. Darn!!! He threw it back and after what seemed like 10 or 15 minutes was into his next fish, a nice chunky Rainbow. He pumped the fish and found some big bloodworms, and 16 Chironomomids. My activity went dead after that, and Jeff was able to pick up one more fish, also a Rainbow. We then decided that the wind wasn’t going to get any better, so opted to make the trek back to the launch. I like to keep close to the shoreline ‘upstream’ of the target launch and then row with the wind and diagonally so that not alot of energy is wasted and you can use the side of the boat as a bit of a sail.
It was better than I thought, and it took a few minutes but we made it back safe but not so dry. Jeff had taken a few licks in my 10′ boat when he was paddling upwind and must have taken in about 5 gallons of water by the time we portaged the soggy pram. I’ll have to work on a better seat on that boat, since his 300 lb. body weight had completely bent the frame on my sand chair that I adapted for the pram.
Oh well…. at least we didn’t go home skunked or dead. I did however make a mistake that morning and should have known it was going to be one of those days. As I launched my boat, I thought it was ok sitting in the rather long channel in 3 inches of water. While I was tending to putting the dolly and other items away, as Jeff was catching his breath from the hike in, he said to me: “ugh…you boat…” just then I caught wind of my pram driting out in the the lake by the wind almost cresting the corner of the cattails. It didn’t take much to start adding up the costs. Rods, reels, camera, pram, all gone, but I reacted by jumping in the water and grabbing the corner of the pram to bring it back to safety. In hindsight, guess I could’ve grabbed Jeff’s oar and reached out to snag it, or worse case, get in the other boat and row out for a recovery, but that was my first response, and it got my a bit wet. Soggy shoes, socks and water logged pants below the knees. Well, at least it wasn’t in the seat of my pants, and it wasn’t too cold out. It eventually somewhat dried out, but in the back of my mind was thinking that I hope its not a sign of the day to come.
All in all, a decent trip, some beautiful scenery, lake to ourselves, good music, and conversation. As the saying goes… a bad day fishing is far better then a great day in the office. Im not sure if I agree with that sometimes, but it was good to get out. Im working this weekend and won’t be able to get out until next week, but I got notice that my new prams are ready for pick up, so that will be a good reason to hit Pass lake one more time perhaps.
Chuck G. and Jim T. report good fishing up there and Jeff ended up going today as well. I am getting a bit burnt out with Pass, but perhaps I’ll go since I’ll be up in Samish island anyhow…. or save it for the April opener at Dry Falls. Hopefully it won’t be as nasty as it was on Lenice… or rather Lenasty.