Monthly Archives: February 2011

LosT in Cabo: Feb 19th, 2011

What a difference a day makes! When the fishing is slow and money is paid for a guide we’d expect some fish to hand. Since we only had 4 and a half days in Cabo being able to fish two days is a luxury. I blame the poor fishing on the full moon and perhaps trying out the Sea of Cortez side, but from what I’ve heard about the Cortez side is that its supposedly more rich in bio diversity and rich with all sorts of fish life. Ramon Druck, our guide had another client from Seattle that he fished with on the pacific side the day before and ended up fairly successful with 8 Sierra mackerel to hand.  I almost ended up canceling the second day since I was a bit skeptical about fishing around the full moon. Ramon said that it didn’t seem to matter much but who knows… It was another day to be on the water with dad and this time we’d give the pacific side a try. We met Ramon at 6 am to blast out towards Megrinio beach as the spot that the better fishing but was a good 30 to 40 minutes away through pounding surf and wind waves.

In the earlier part of the troll we threw out our flies in hopes if some skipjack that were jumping for bait in the bay. Just as we rounded lands end and divorce beach dads rod started pulsing and our hopes changed to tight lines. After a short battle and some anticipation of a sport fish, it turned out to be nothing more than a small barracuda. Ramon said it was good for bait, so off it went into the hold. At least we didn’t get skunked, but not what we came out for…

After a couple more passes in that general location near the Solmar beach only two more small barracuda were brought to hand, or better yet the bait hold. Having enough of that, we motored out towards Megrinio. Ramon’s boat isn’t the fastest and definitely not as nice as the Glacier Bay double hull catamarans.  Getting passed by the other pangas and guides gave me this knot in my stomach knowing that they might fall upon those schools of fish before we putted out. I wanted the tug that no other drug could provide.

Finally after what seemed to be hours, we dropped the rods and started our troll. It wasn’t until we slowed down that the light switch went on. Dads rod, Sage RPLXi 11 wt started pulsing, after instructed to give another strip. Bam! Fish on! A nice bend to the rod and initial run would suggest a Sierra mackerel. Dad with too much excitement reeled and pop the line went limp. Many times the toothy Sierra slice through the 40 lb tippet like a switchblade on butter.

I don’t generally use wire but was thinking that I should have rigged up a couple bite wires for these guys. The action came on a cerese over white bucktail clouser with stinger hook. I was running a big anchovy pattern with no success with the Scott 8 wt and full intermediate line. I guess I got the idea from seeing Ramon’s rubber legged pink and white jig from the day before. Im not sure if there is much in terms of match the hatch bait that is pink and white, but it seemed to work very well today.

I retied dads fly and made another pass to where we’d hooked the first fish, bam! Fish on! This time I coached him and we finally landed our first keeper, a nice Sierra mackerel of about 9 lbs. At this point I had enough evidence that color mattered and decided to switch up on the intermediate line and perhaps there was something else that would provide some enticement for them to strike., pink over white bucktail fly. Soon after the switch up the 8 wt was flexing and another fish was on. Triggerfish! A species that I’ve not caught before but was amazed to see the relatively small mouthed fish that went for the pink over white.

We trolled some more and covered more beach and then my rod dove and pulsed like no Sierra I’d caught before the sheer weight and pull of this fish was like no other. Deep into the running line and backing the fish charged hard, I tried to keep it under control as my gear was put to the test. Minutes later as the fish neared the panga it was no Sierra but a Rooster! The black and white lines and the distinctive dorsal fins of this prized and sought after fish revealed itself. I could literally feel my heart pounding and the voice in my head said ‘a little more… A little more… Easy… Easy…’ And then with a flick of Ramon’s hand the rooster was on board! Seeking these fish is like looking for a needle in a haystack and to pick one up in February was completely unexpected and a surprise. With miles and miles of beach to find them as they on constantly on the move is somewhat synonymous with searching for steelhead.

After losing a couple of other sierras from my bad handling onto the boat and or unbuttoned hooks we came upon a very strange occurrence. Halfway between us and the beach there were tails and dorsal fins showing everywhere. Ramon yells out Jack Crevalle! My mouth dropped and couldn’t believe the size of the and the numbers into the 200’s. They looked like a rhythmic troop of elephants just circling in the swells. They weren’t feeding or swimming quickly, but just cruising without much worry until we spotted a seal darting below. I headed up to the bow and casted several good presentations but wasn’t able to get one to pull away from the pack to go for my offerings.

Although I wasn’t able to meet Mr Crevalle face to face, it was a sight to behold and just gave me more reason to want to return to Cabo. The sight of that seal was enough for Ramon to fire up the Honda and motor another half a mile down the beach. We came upon another beautiful beach and casted our flies as we tried to tease up some more action. Action we wanted and action we got, with something that put a serious scream to the hookset and went berserk. Pompano! The silvery and yellow tailed fish tire up the pink and whites and put some good fight to the 11 wt and even nicer with the 8 wt.

What a difference a day can make and a change of latitude. 6 species hooked: barracuda, Sierra mackerel, rooster fish, triggerfish, pompano, and even a shark! Dad even had at one point a shark on the line as it sliced through the line and slipped away into the currents. We definitely made up for the previous days outing and had some trophies to show for it in terms of filleted and steak up fish.

We returned to the dock and was greeted by a local who examined out catch and offered to fillet and clean. Apparently alot of these guys hang out and offer their service to the fisherman but found out that the fishing was slow today. He was impressed to see our haul, which included 5 Sierra mackerel ranging from 8 lbs to 11 lbs. We lost two more from sliced leaders. Also had 3 roosters but landed two of them. One was I would guess about 12 lbs and the other was 10 lbs. 4 pompano (6-7 lbs) with one that was lost on the boating. 1 triggerfish (3-4 lbs), I dont know about the edibility if these but guess it didn’t matter since Ramon out it into the fish box without question. Three hooked and landed barracuda and one lost shark (maybe 8′ long?). Not that we would’ve expected to land the shark and even if we could we wouldn’t know what to do except to release it.

The local said that we did well compared to what he’s seen and heard, the last three boats that came in zero’d out. Dad and felt like kings hauling the cooler down the boardwalk back to our hotel. Dad mentioned that he’d like to try the sierra raw as it’s a very popular amongst Koreans and Japanese. I thought it was a great idea and summoned our waiter at Soloman’s Landing to get the prep ready. For $10 they prepared the Sierra and rooster and came with some wasabi and Ginger and ponzu sauce. My mom has a taste for fish and knowing that we were successful on our previous trip brought down some Korean chile paste (kochoojang) with it she prepared some chojang a vinegar based dipping sauce that goes well with raw fish. Only in our family do we not go anywhere without kochoojang!

The buttery and rich taste of the Sierra melted in our mouths. The rooster wasn’t as good as the mackerel but was better suited with the wasabi Ginger. There is nothing like fresh sashimi, especially when you can catch it just hours before you eat it! We also had the kitchen prepare three separate styles: barbecued, Vera Cruz style (tomato based with olives and capers), and cilantro lime sauce. The cost of this is $10 a person and they provide tortillas, veggies, salsa and all the fixings.  What a feast and what an experience to be able to go out with no expectations and come home with a grand slam!

The prices seemed to have gone up from two years ago and the format in which things are done. It used to be that guides could motor out with their clients to buy the license from the officials, but since have gone to some guys selling the licences in front of the flea market towards the end of the marina.  The cost was $13 per person and if that wasn’t bad enough, they now charge a dock maintenance fee of $1 per head. While it might not sound like a whole lot, the whole impression of the hustle is very evident in Los Cabos. I can understand completely, and when you live and work in a tourist destination, your focus is to make money.

I do feel that Ramon still have a great service and he is very knowledgeable about where, when, what and how. Even though he doesn’t have the fastest or nicest boat, his knack for finding fishy holding spots was the difference between success and failure.  His rate for 6 hours of fishing was $180 and that is cheap for two anglers to fish. I highly recommend his service and told him that he needs to get his email working right as its been overrun with viruses and also consider getting a basic website so he can build his clientelle. Despite the feeling of being pulled from every direction it was still worth it and we really had a wonderful time, not just fishing, but also with a dinner cruise on the Cabo Rey, jet skiiing, glass bottom water taxi tour of the arch and lands end, and plenty of fine dining. This trip all the more solidified my thirst for Bluewater fish of Cabo and I will countdown the days until my next return.

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Cabo: Feb. 17, 2011

We decided that we had enough of the Seattle winter and needed to bust out of town in search of some sun and warm weather. It’d been two years since we visited but things have changed for my wife and I with the birth of our son. Vacations would forever be changed now but the draw of Cabo was too much so we booked our flights and set the date to visit. We would also be joined by my parents as they needed a break and never have been to Mexico.

I was able to contact the guide I’d previously used two years ago and he was available. I just hope the fishing was decent.

Dad and I rose to greet the new day with a fantastic Cabo sunrise. We met Ramon Druck at the dock 3 slip 10a to motor out at 7 am. There was a bad sign in the air since February isn’t te greatest time for fishing in Cabo. The water temp has been hovering around 72 degrees, great by our NW standards but bad for bait. When there isn’t bait around there isn’t much in terms if big fish. We were searching for wahoo, mahi, tuna, Sierra mackerel, and anything that might give us a tug but it ended up being a tough day of searching that ended up with trying to jig up some amberjack.

No amberjack but some other reef fish… Tomorrow we’ll try again for another day of fishing. The full moon last night could have been the culprit or us fishing the Cortez side. Hopefully we can get something to hand on the Pacific where we’d be happy with some Sierra to hand.

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Paper Cutt: 2/11/2011

I had a busy schedule ahead of me for the weekend and wanted to give Lake Sammamish one more shot before we go to Mexico next week. I feel lucky to have learned a new fishery and to be able to hit it three times last week and all three times connect with fish.  It was a great experience to get to know my boat, motors, accessories and features.  I do have some adjustments and items that will need to be addressed before I am ready to get out again, but at least its a good time to do so prior to salmon season which is just a few months down the road.

I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it out, but made the last minute decision and called up Phil and James K. to join me for some guy time on the water. I’ve asked Phil to write up a little report, but I’ve posted photos for your review.

Phil K:

” I arrived at the boat launch around 11am and Paul had just called informing me he was 10 minutes behind. As I stepped out of my car and walked towards the launch, the weather was cold with no rain and you could tell the sun was doing all it could to burst through the cloud cover. The wind was blustery at times but like someone once told me, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” I had stopped by a local Teriyaki and picked up some food for the 3 of us. I never thought the smell of hot Teriyaki and fishing could go so well together.

Paul arrived at the launch and we threw our gear into the boat. We were on the water fishing by 1130. I have never fished a downrigger set up ever in my life so it was a great learning experience and I can say I am very comfortable with rigging all the gear now. I have to be or Paul won’t take me out on his boat in the summer…We trolled the lake at some designated points that Paul had some good success in but we came up empty handed. We called Ed G. to see if he was having any luck and he gave us some tips to improve our non-existent catch rate. We slowly trolled back to the launch around 1pm to pick Jim up. We were back out and switched from the wedding rings to some rooster tails.

We were fishing about 10-12 feet deep and Paul was up with the first Cutt, a nice 15 inch Cutt to the boat! Things were looking up as we had another take down. Jim was up this time and after fighting the Cutt for a bit, he does what he does best…a long distance release. It was my turn and after eagle eyeing both downriggers, my chance had come. I fought the Cutt to the boat and right as Paul was going to net it, it becomes unbuttoned and swims backs to the dark depths. After much deliberation, we came to the conclusion that might release was the worst and I was the worst fisherman. We ended the day at around 5pm and ended up with 3 Cutts and 5 takedowns. The largest fish of the day was the last, measuring a nice 18″+

It was a great trip with my fishing brothers. Some of us caught fish…others had a great learning experience. Thanks again for the education on downriggers and various fishing techniques. It was a great day to be on the water. Good Food. Good Fishing. Good Company. Good Times.”

One nice thing that Ed shared with me about his shrimp that he graciously shared with us was that he ‘cures’ them for a 1 minute in the microwave to stiffen them up a little so they don’t break off the hook and allow the juices to entice the cutts to strike.  For the most part the action was slow as Ed was on the water by 8 am, and only had 1 fish to hand and 1 on. At 1 pm when we went to pick up Jim the action picked up and he’d boated two more fish.  Maybe Jim was good luck, OR Phil was bad luck… don’t know and can’t elaborate, but we all had a good time. I’ll still have to see if these guys can handle the gear in search of salmon in the sound come July. I packed up and cleaned the boat and covered her up for the next outing. It’ll be a few months before I’m back at it, until then I have some vitamin D therapy that is way overdue in Cabo and by the time Im back the March 1st basin lake opener will have my focus with the hatching eastern WA Chironomids.

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Cutt Koke: 2/9/2011

Today was just too nice to stay inside.  I’d met up with a new client this morning and had been prepping the last week for the presentation and felt the need to get out for a couple hours.  I learned alot about the Sammamish fishery in talk to Ed G. at the park yesterday.  He shared with me some tips on where, when, what and how, so I quickly enlisted his advice and geared up with some modifications to my tackle and hit the lake again with dad.

We didn’t get our gear into the water until 3 pm, but the wind was blowing from the west a little chop on the water, but the skies were clear and the sun was shining nicely.  We proceeded to motor out to the weather station near the turn of the lake as it heads to the north from the launch. Down went the gear, the Lamiglass Northwest special with Shakespeare baitcaster reel, put on a Green diamond sling blade type dodger and green wedding ring.  The other no name rod with ultralight trout spin reel and 10 lb test went down with a Blue sling blade and a glow hootchie.  They didn’t seem to care much for the hootchie, so after some time passed, I swapped it out for an old yellow rooster tail and that did the trick.  The wedding ring seemed to outfish the rooster tail, but the action was good.  The depths fished were between 10′ and 15′ feet, pretty shallow with 80′-100′ of line that was out and then clipped to a small trout Scotty release.  Ed G. says that the fish are motor shy and the extra distance is needed in order to attract them as motors put the fish down. The fish all averaged between 14-15″, same went for the Kokanee. Im still searching for that 4 lb cuttie, ha!

In the two hours that we fished we hooked 8 fish, and landed 6 of them and of that, four were retained. To much my surprise, we hooked a kokanee salmon, the landlocked version of the sockeye. It completely freaked out when it got close to the boat, just fighting for its life.  There isn’t retention allowed for the Kokes, but just seeing one was very cool and it was beautiful, chrome markings and green back.

I remember catching Kokanee in Colorado, but at that point they were in the rivers and already colored up.  Even though many of you might think this fishing isn’t very challenging or not have merit, its really good practice for me for when it will really count during salmon season.  I am getting the kinks worked out with the boat, trailer and the electronics.

I will have to upgrade the GPS/Sonar as the unit that came with the boat doesn’t seem to be functioning in the sonar and fish finding capabilities. The SD card with the charts doesn’t work and the unit is really clunky and big.  GPS/Sonars aren’t cheap, and the thought of plunking down $700+ for the Lowrance HD-5 stinks, but its something that needs to be done if I am going to fish salmon effectively.

The trailer also needs a little attention as I’d like to reinforce the front winch brace and replace the strap as well. One can never be too safe when it comes to trailering, and towing. I may try to head out again Friday, but it will depend on work.  These sunny days are just hard to come by in Seattle and there is nothing better than being on the boat with little wind and fishing with your dad.

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Lake Sammamish Cutthroat: 2/8/2011

I’ve been reading so many positive reports on the popular Sammamish Cutthroat fishery and decided that it would be a good occassion to fire up the Arima and run out the motors as they’ve been sitting idle for a few months during the winter doldrums. What better than to hit a local lake in my backyard for sea run cutthroat trout? Since I bought a ‘new’ to me boat with some electric downriggers, I wanted to make sure that I was ready to go coming salmon season and to make sure that all my gear works properly come July 1st. Yes, its still 4.5 months away, but one can always be prepared to ensure for trouble free operation versus seeing those guys trying to turn over a gunked up motor while boats trying to launch are getting upset.

Many of the reports I’ve been seeing was from WashingtonLakes.com and the winter cutthroat fishery is appearing to get more popular as the word is out for these beautiful trout.

Dad and I left home at 9 am and the short drive to the boat launch was an easy one. To our surprise there were several other boats that just launched and were aiming to get into some of the cuttie action as well. I didn’t expect too much since this was our first time and I didn’t even have all the right gear that guys were using: Slingblade dodger, and wedding ring. I only have a couple of heavy downrigger rods meant for salmon, and with little time to prepare, I opted to just go for using what was available to me in the ole’ tackle box.

I slapped on a pair of zero dodgers, which I’d picked up a few years back for the L. Washington Sockeye fishery and threw on a rapala lure on one and a black cone head zonker on the other rod. Down both rods went one to 10 feet, the other to 15 feet.  I know that next time I go, I’ll be prepared with a lighter action rod, lighter trout release clips, and the sling blade dodger and white hootchie.

The first fish I barely knew it was on as the rod was pulsing a little differently but upon inspection the rod shook and voila cutthroat ‘on’! The second fish which dad had on, was lost closer to the boat, a nice fish, but just came un-buttoned. The Rapala didn’t see any action, so I strung up the fly rod with full sink type 6 line and a white rabbit fur leech with orange hot head bead, and down she went with about 80′ of line out.

After a few more passes, the fly rod started dancing and the reel was singing and a nice chrome beauty was on! Who said you can’t fish with a fly rod? Its not exactly what I’d call pure fly fishing, but a nice surprise for the last fish of the day. We decided to pack up around 2:30 and head back as I had some things to finish up for work that afternoon.

I ended up buying a Washington State boat launch pass, $70 which allows for launching at all the state parks. At $7 a pop, the pass should more than pay for itself if I decide to fish this lake a few more times, and I will, with the smallmouth season, perch, and the Kings that come in the summer.  I never really put much thought into our local fisheries, but with the price of gas these days and being able to get away for a few hours, this little fishery will be a nice one to enjoy all year around.

One interesting note that upon my dissection of the throat samples, I found many size 10-12 fresh water shrimp or euphasids of sorts. These things were just everywhere! There were also a couple amber Chironomids size 16, so might interesting to fish it from a pram and a floating line.  What I like about the boat is the ability to cover alot of water and being in a covered, sheltered warm cabin with room to stretch out and feel comfortable. I really look forward to spending more time on the Arima when the pinks are in, it will be a great platform to fish for them, but in the meantime, I’ll take the L. Sammamish Cutthroat.

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Some at Munn: 2/2/2011

We’ve had some sun poking out this week with temps soaring into the 50’s as the rest of the country is buried in a blizzard and bitter cold subzero temps.  With the forecast of sunny skies, little wind and warmer temps, it was a good idea to get out for a few hours of fresh air and some stillwater fishing. I had a meeting in South Olympia today, and as I mapped out my clients address, I noticed that Munn Lake wasn’t too far away. I turned business meeting into the best of both worlds, with fishing to be included after my morning meetings.

As I prepped my gear the night before I did a little research on Munn Lake. Recently it moved to catch and release fishing with selective gear, so this is a good thing for us fly fisherman. Its a small 34 acre lake located in Tumwater just south of Olympia. I’d heard of this lake before but didn’t have much excuse to travel unless I was already down in that neck of the woods. Besides, we have some nice lakes closer to home which are catch and release and might offer some good opportunities for fly fishing, among those: Lone, and Rattlesnake.

Since the Eastern Washington basin lakes opener is less than a month away I wanted to get out and polish up some of my Chironomid skills, so that when Im out on the lake I keep my skills sharp and my hooksets tightlined. Jeff H. met up with me and we both arrived on the lake around 11:30 or so. The water was a bit tanic or tea colored and it was glass calm. There are homes that surround the lake, similar to Lone, but its peaceful there apart from the noise of prop planes and a jet that roared in the background. I did see an otter on the north end of the lake which made me wonder if the fish were devoid due to this creature.  As I set up all my gear and launched I notice the graph was reading 46 degrees. Not ideal for trout activity, but I guess better than 36 degrees! There wasn’t much of a hatch going on either and no visible signs of rising fish.  After rowing along the shorelines, it was evident that very few fish were to be found until I rowed towards the west side of the lake in about 9 feet of water. There were some small fish that were marking on the graph, so I proceeded to anchor down and soak some bugs. After an hour or so with no bites but clearing fish showing up on the graph Jeff rowed closer and anchored up in 16′ of water.

Within a few minutes he was onto his first fish, he sampled the throat contents and found size 18 black head, with olive body and red tail and many glass worms in the 16-18 size with black dots on both the anterior and posterior locations.  He picked up his fish on an atomic bloodworm. I kept on with my dual set up: 16 bloodworm with red head and red ribs as the bottom fly and 18 chromie with snowcone head just 2.5′ up from the bloodworm.

I know this combination works well as a searching set-up but for some reason it wasn’t getting any attention on the lake. We decided to row towards the south end of the lake into 16′ of water and then Jeff picked up a few more bites and a couple more fish.  I then had a takedown but lost the fish. It was a bigger fish with some big deep head shakes and putting the 10′ 5 wt. GLX for a run and then within seconds it popped the hook and my line went limp. Darn! Both Jeff and I would have loved to see that fish as the pull on it wasn’t the typical 13-14″ that we’d been seeing pulled out so far.

I recast, and then about 15 minutes later had a takedown and fish was on. Bloodworm! A nice healthy 14″ rainbow that was sampled to reveal size 16 bloodworm, and 18 black Chironomids and a couple of glass worms. By this time there was a good hatch of size 14-16 Chironomids and shucks were around us and adults were popping off the water, but little surface feeding activity was noted.

I had to be back home by 5, so I packed up at 3:40 and proceeded back to the launch for the rush hour drive back home. It wasn’t too bad with most of the speed averaging the limit with some slowdowns by the Tacoma dome to Fife. I was surprised how quickly 405 was moving once I got onto it from the 5.  All in all and great day to get out and try out a new lake and catch a couple of fish on the Chironomid.

What I would have done differently? I don’t think fishing earlier would’ve helped, but if I didn’t have to be back, I would have stayed later to see how the hatch progressed and the fish activity ended. Jeff stayed for what I think was a couple more hours so I’d be curious to see how he did. I might head back to Munn if they stock it, especially with the triploids.  I like the fact that its catch and release with selective gear, but it is a bite of a drive.  Next week, I might give Gibbs lake a try as Rex T. likes to fish that one.

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Rocky Ford: 1/30/2011

The winter doldrums of living in Washington are tough on the mind and soul. Especially when all the rivers are blown out due to all the rain we’ve been receiving and the closure of many rivers due to low wild steelhead return. There is one thing that I look forward to in January or February, is a good road trip out to “The Ford”. I’d ‘met’ Phil from another fishing board and found out that he was a fellow Korean angler. He was interested in meeting up to learn about fly fishing and hopefully get into some fish one day, but our schedule conflicted since he works weekdays and I work weekends. The stars lined up and I would have a day on the weekend to meet up and fish, so I suggested Rocky Ford. We were joined by another fellow Korean angler James, who grew up in Alaska. He’s spent some time on the Kenai penisula chasing big bows, sockeye, Kings and Coho. James moved to Seattle a couple of years ago and was anxious to learn new water and put a name to the watershed he heard about through others.

We decided to blast out at 5 am from my house for the 2.5 hour drive to eastern Washington. The pass was cold, 34 degrees measured at Snoqualmie under foggy and some snow flurried skies. We stopped in Ellensburg for breakfast at the Bar 14 Ranch house restaurant an old standby favorite for trips out east. After fueling up our bodies and the truck we busted out as the sun was rising to our final desination. Along the way we viewed some epic scenery of the Columbia river valley, and even saw some wild horses, something Jim and Phil had never witnessed before.  HAHA!

As we rolled into Ephrata I could tell the adrenaline was pumping and the guys were getting excited even though the temp was still hovering around 35 degrees we came prepared with plenty of cold weather gear. As we drove in the first parking lot I gave the fellas the 411 on the creek and gave them a lesson in spotting the fish which they were amazed to see such large trout swimming near the shoreline.  One of my favorite spots to fish, about halfway between the head and tailout is a section of rocks and riffles, but since we arrived after 9 am there were already two anglers at the spot so we decided to move on further downstream.  We quickly rigged up and proceeded down to a couple of my favorite areas near the spillway at the very last parking lot area.

The ground was still frozen but the sun was shining the clouds were disappating under the cold eastern Washington dessert sky. I pointed to the location that James should try while I rigged Phil’s nymph set up and gave him some detailed instruction on what to look for and casting tips. While we were doing that.  While we were doing that James yelled out and had a fish on just below the spillway in some skinny water. The fish could all be seen in that section just in inches of water, so big bruisers lazily holding their positions in the warm oxygenated water.

Phil and I decided to head down and try the lower section as its alot more visual and easier to explain the nymphing process. Cast after cast, drift after drift we floating the offerings to the fish without much success. They werent in the feeding mood as we could not see their mouths opening to take in the natural offerings, so it would be a tougher day to  be fishing.  Once noon hit and the temp warmed up, there was a hatch that was coming off, of size 20 midges.  Jim picked up a nice fish on the dry just below in some wider flatwater.  I was still determined to get Phil into his first fish on the fly so we kept at it, when I moved to a spot with a nice swift run and drifted my bloodworm through the slot the indicator stopped, I lifted and the fish was on! An average sized rainbow which was pumped to reveal its stomach contents. We found size 18 blacks, a scud in Olive and several scud shells that were digested. After releasing the fish, I put Phil onto that slot and told him to work it like I did while I went down to explore some other runs below. A few minutes later he was onto his first fish, yeah! After a few photos, we admired the chrome trophy and slipped it back into the water. It was a relief that he was able to get into his first fish on the fly and I know that it was all that I needed when learning to fly fish to fuel that angling addiction.

We enjoyed the sun and all caught some more fish and then the wind kicked up so we decided to pack up and head back to the head pool to fish for awhile.  Nothing proved to be biting up there and by that time it was overcast and definitely cooled down a few more degrees so we enjoyed a celebratory beverage and proceeded back to Seattle. We were all glad to make it out and I know those moments would replay in their minds and it wouldn’t surprise me if they decided to make another run out to the Ford for another day on my favorite little winter fishery.

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