Monthly Archives: November 2010

Protected: Ten years in the making, 1 fish that made it all worthwhile… November 15th, 2010

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Green with envy? November 12th, 2010

Weather report… check, USGS river flow… check, flyfishing team… check, fishing reports… check.  Fishing, excellent!  Catching… poor.

I was hankerin’ for a float down the Green river and it looked like today was THE day to do it.  Midweek with decent reports coming from the internet boards and the flows had dropped from the 10/11th from Howard Hanson dam.  I like the float the Green when it hits the 750 mark, clear water, not too many hazards encountered and supposedly alot of fish in the river.

The originaly plan was to walk in and wade with my buddy Chuck, but he’d pulled his knee the day before on an outing on the Yak so was out of commission for a day on the Green.  I could do the float with my pontoon and with Jeff H. in town with his Koffler OR we could outfit his Driftboat and do the river together. This didn’t quite come together as planned as his ball hitch wasn’t budging to accomodate the 2″ receiver. 

So I put out a call ad on to see if anyone else might be willing to float.  KlintD and Sourdough responded with a “YES”. We launched from Whitney bridge at 9:30 am under sunny skies and clear water conditions hoping for the best.  One odd thing was the missing presence of Chum in and around Whitney bridge.  There are usually alot of fish around, either dead or on their redds at this spot, but today, nothing could be seen.  Bad sign.

Oh well… we had to proceed on with intentions of finding more fish down lower. The guys met another drifting group who had a stellar day just a few days ago with many fish landed while pulling plugs. We thought we’d be golden… NOT.

Hole after hole, location after location the fish were looking pretty slim and our prospects were becoming more and more bleak.  No problem, as they say in Jamaica.  It was fantastic to meet up with a couple of good guys and enjoy a wonderful fall day with plenty of fresh air and no crowds.

I did land an absolutely beautiful SRC on my pink crystal leech pattern under a strike indicator on the section below Metzler park. At first I thought it was a salmon, but once I saw the flash and determined the size, I knew it was an SRC who greedily engulfed the size 4 fly.  Sourdough (Marc) was able to wrangle a whitefish and we all had some Chum hooked, likely fouled, but never had one ot hand.  Probably a good thing as they were growing some sort of new cheese on their skin.  Frito Lay should name a new snack after these fish: Cheese Puff Chums. 

No regrets here… we all got a healthy dose of vitamin D, met up with a couple of good guys from the board and even picked up a nice SRC.  What more could you ask for?

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Justin Bieber: 11/08/2010

I’d never heard of this kid but someone claimed he is some teen heart throb.  Nothing makes my heart beat faster then the thought of big trout at the end of my fly rod. Its even sillier when the WDFW plans to introduce 2300 of its finest into Issaquah’s Beaver lake.

I usually make the annual trip out to feel the lucid tug of one of these supertrout that were specially raised as display at the Issaquah hatchery.  Some kid was pounding at the glass a week before in its safe and placid aquarium it called home for the past two years. These 17″ fatties look like a scaly football with broad shoulders and voracious appetites. 

I arrived at the lake at 9 am, meeting my friend Todd B. who owns a home on the lake.  I knew the boat launch would be closed as in years prior there were so many people around that it made it tough for the hatchery driver to turn around and backdown to plant those supertrout.  I brought my pontoon boat, but Todd ended up being around and he said it’d be ok to use his Livingston.  I also brought my trolling motor and deep cycle battery just in case.

When we observed the lake there was 1 kayaker trolling around and 14 anglers at the park of Beaver Lake beach waiting for manna from heaven.  Since the fish hadn’t arrived, I went back and Todd and I caught up with friendly conversation.  He had some work to do, so I proceeded to rig up and head out on my own in the Livingston. Once I got on the water, I heard the sound of the WDFW fish truck as it backed to the waters edge.

The crowd at the opposite end were getting anxious and by this time a few more anglers in boats arrived and proceeded to row closer to the trout dump.  Here is a video of that in case you’ve never seen how they are planted in lakes…

My friend Gaelyn also join me later in the morning as she hadn’t caught a fish in 2010 and was anxious to try out her new fly rod that Tom H. built for her, a 9′ 5 wt. 2 piece rod with sink tip, and Okuma reel.

I rigged her up with a Golden Ribbed Hare’s ear nymph and gave her some basic instruction on casting and retrieving.  After several casts and attempts at trolling and stripping she was onto her first trout which gobbled up the ‘trout pellet’ fly.  A nice 4 lb 17″ football. 

I was suprised at the fact that even in the crowded conditions, that nobody got upset, yes lines were crossed, tangles were encountered, but everyone seemed to be having a good time on the water.  At times the sun even came  out and we saw a blue heron along with a couple of seagulls that probably lost their way. 

I am not a fan of trout, period. I think they taste like mud and rarely keep them.  However upon my previous Beaver Lake trip with my dad a couple years ago, we kept a few trout for the smoker.  They ended up being pretty good, so I thought I’d try a couple this time on the grill or baked as I recalled the meat was very orange colored and the flavor was not muddy tasting at all.

So, I kept one fish and butterfly filleted it and proceeded to prepare it for dinner with my wife.  I seasoned it with a little sea salt, butter, lemon and dill… to my pleasant surprise it was THE best tasting trout that I’ve ever had, hands down.  It was even better than the Kamloops trout that we tried in B.C. the meat was tender and oily and didn’t reek of mud like a catfish.  I have a feeling that they grow these trout to these sizes by using a different diet of spawned out hatchery salmon and roe.  I can only attribute it to that and honestly wouldn’t mind keeping a couple more if I do end up going back out to give it another try soon.

I can only take this type of fishing for 2 outings and then its on to something else, but the beauty is that its close, its convenient and its quick.  When the tug is the drug, sometimes a quick fix is what I need when I had to work all weekend and want to get away for a few hours and be back in time to pick up my son and make dinner.

Perhaps the report should’ve been named Just in Time for Beaver!

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Hoodsport: 11/3/2010

I wanted to try fishing Hoodsport from a different angle, so I proceeded to rig up the Bucks Bag Pontoon boat, which is a 6′ Alpine model that I picked up inexpensively a while back but never really used.  The advantage is that I can get away from others, be fishing not dependant on the tides, and being able to chase the fish or re-position to catch fish when they are schooled up in the bay.

The netting schedule for the Skokomish tribe is on Tuesday and Thursdays, so it takes out alot of the darker fish that have been milling around the bay and gives the more aggressive fresher fish a run into the mouth of the creek. We arrived at 10 am and proceeded to get set up after the low tide which was at 9 am.  There were as usual the crowds of regulars and probably some new fisherman hoping for the chance at some fresh Chum. 

I didn’t expect it to be hot, but already there were several boats anchored up and fishing without any signs of nets flying or bent rods. I did meet up with a fellow from the Michael Davidchick who was fishing with a friend from a aluminum jet boat. They were up from the south end, and were camping out and fishing a couple of days.

They’d positioned near the second buoy on the north end and was casting towards the hatchery in the channel where fish were cruising. They proceeded to hook up with a few fish later on in the day around 1 pm when the tide started creeping back up.  The high was at 3 pm and it was a pretty good flood tide at 11’6″.  I find that fishing a couple hours before the incoming and few hours after the high is the best time for incoming salmon.  This was especially the case for the Chums yesterday afternoon.

Once the flood came in there were some massive schools of Chum (Keta) rolling around and swarming in preparation for entry to the creek.  I guess not all of them make it as there was a purse seiner boat anchored up in the bay and ready to fire its engines up at the stroke of midnight in preparation for netting on Thursday.

I think the next time I fish Hoodsport I’ll be equipped with a multitip line with 15′ intermediate tip on a short leader.  The tide and the bottom aren’t that deep and I think I would have had more strikes with either just a floating line or perhaps just an intermediate tip versus the full intermediate line.

Flies were small, size 6 and sparsely tied variants in Chartruese, Fuschia, Black, and white color combos. with the fuschia/Chartruese working especially well.

Don’t know when I’ll be back, all dependent on the tides and schedule, but at least I returned with some salmon to brine for the smoker.  I don’t really care for the taste of Chum nor do I typically keep them, but Thao swears by the smoked Chum and says that they’re a pretty fatty fish and tend to smoke up very nicely.  I opted to give these fish a try and did get one female for the Ikura which my parents especially enjoy.  I’ll let you know how the smoked Keta (chum) comes out… maybe Luca will enjoy some smoke salmon in his rice and oatmeal porridge.

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