I needed a fix and the only thing that could solve it was a quick get away to a local lake. After my Dad’s birthday outing on Monday I was ready to catch one for real… I was hoping that we’d find a few fish around, but it was very bleak, with not much showing up on the radar but the ones that did beep were sitting in 30,40′ of water. Definitely not enough fish to warrant setting up the long leader and going for broke.
I had some work to finish up this morning, but then decided that the weather wasn’t dampening my spirits and decided to wet a line. What was I going to do, since I’d spent the last couple of days Spar Varnishing my Smith boat, and also refinishing my oak gunnel on the Spring Creek Pram. The ole’ trusty 10′ aluminum comes in handy, I really don’t take care of her, but she takes the lickin’ and keeps floating and stays dry.
I grabbed my anchors, oars, net, flies, and was out the door. I suspected that Beaver was going to be stocked soon, and I guess the WDFW made it out the following day: 4/6 and filled the lake with 4000 micro trout, 6-8″ nothing different than the fish we were catching on Quincy lake, but a heck of alot closer. Yeah, the scenery isn’t as nice as Eastern WA, but its a gas and time saver. I don’t mind the drive, but these days, time is a commodity and I have to make the best use of it.
When I arrived at the lake, I only saw two vehicles parked, one truck and a Suzuki samurai. The samurai was owned by a grandfather and he was out banking it with his grandson, they had a decent sized trout to hand,all of 9 or 10″ of what I could see. We made small talk and then I proceeded to launch and try my hand at some fishing. First mistake, while running out the door, I failed to grab the Hummingbird fishin’ buddy mount, so I had to improvise, by wrapping some of the anchor line around the 110, and keeping it close to the gunnel of the boat. Today, I wouldn’t troll but rather focus on Chironomids. I started marking fish in about 13-15′ of water and so I anchored down and set up my rig: chromie bottom with my light grey orange ribbed Chiron up top.
I did see a fish near a dock splash for an emerger, so it helped with the confidence since the last two times out to Beaver, I’d been skunked. After a few cast and retrieves,… nothing. On my third or fourth cast, I don’t know if it was my mind that was playing tricks on me or what, but I could’ve sworn that my indicator bounced, but when I raised the rod, there was nothing on the other end. Next cast, retrieve, nothing… until I slowly lifted the line and then tension. fish on! The little guy didn’t even have the weight or strength to pop my indicator, but it was a fish of all 8″. I released it and then the skies released its fury on me. First it was rain, then it turned to sleet, pelting me and filling up my boat with granules of ice and snow mixture.
I wasn’t cold, so I continued to fish for another few minutes. Then it let up, and the sun came out and a hatch came off. One thing that I did notice when I first arrived was the presence of alot of swallows, working the surface for adult Chirons. They were small, but hatching everywhere. That was a good sign.
I picked up a few more hits, but like the Quincy fish, these little devils are quick and then nip and short strike at the flies, if you’re not quick enough, the fish is off. I’ve found this to be the case with alot of the small fish throughout the state. I ended up with 11 hits, and 5 fish to hand. Even though I don’t care for the taste of trout, I decided to keep two to give to my parents, who always appreciates fresh fish. They were smaller pan sized fryers, and would be a nice little treat for their lunch tomorrow. Beaver was just what I needed to gain confidence that these local trout also like Chironomids and a throat sample from one revealed many Daphnia. Even though it was cold and the weather didn’t cooperate, the fish were there and I managed to hook a few. Air temp. was probably in the mid 40’s and the water temp was 51 degrees.