Today was the day for another rocket run to Eastern WA. Thao T. and I would be joined by newbie Phil K. who is just getting into fly fishing and was hoping to get more practice with fishing in stillwater environments. We met up at 8 am and left my house at 8:30 for the 2.5 hour drive under cloudy and cool skies. The pass temp would read 31, but no signs of ice, snow and just a little wetness to the roads.
It definitely looks like theres been more snow in the mountains and no signs of spring around Snoqualmie Pass or Kachelus lake, which is still frozen solid. Our original plan was to hike into Dusty and fish the edges since all of us were without float tubes or pontoon boats and decided to Chironomid fish from the shoreline. Although it was peaceful and nice to visit Dusty, the fish were lethargic and mostly the only ones caught were dark and wanna be spawning trout. They were definitely big, but not exactly very sporting. We all started out by the waterfall but Phil and I wanted to explore the north side and hiked around that perimeter of the lake trying a couple of spots before deciding that it was probably a fruitless effort to fish Dusty without some sort of watercraft.
We had the whole lake to ourselves with no other vehicles in the parking area. It was nice to stretch out the legs and get some of that famous E. Washington desert air. After the exploratory Dusty run we walked over to Burke and saw many fish dimpling and rising, but it was rather a shallow location, so I figured they were small fish, Thao threw out his Chironomid and soonafter was rewarded with an 8″ tike which was released. Burke was recently planted with several thousand fish for the recent fishing Derby and probably overrun with these small planters. We wanted to get into some feister and bigger fish so we opted to head over to Quincy.
Upon our arrival, there was a nice hatch coming off and big dimples could be seen along the wind edge banks of all the reeds. I instructed Phil to adjust his indicator and we rigged up and I cast out my set up and was rewarded with a nice 16-17″ silvery Rainbow that fell for the black with red ribbed snowcone. There wasn’t alot of room to backcast, so we moved over to another spot where Thao and I did well a couple weeks ago.
It wasn’t lights out fishing, but we did manage to catch a few in that location. I did however notice that there was alot of activity in a nearby bay and suggested that we move over, which was a good choice. Most of the action occurred between 2:30-4:30, when a nice Chironomid hatch was coming off and every fish in that bay was on the surface plucking the emergers off left and right and right in front of us just 20-30′. I rigged up a 16 red ribbed Chromer and also instructed Phil to as well. We casted out and it was some fantastic fishing for the next two hours.
The range of size of fish would be from 8″ to 15″ all rainbows, all in good condition, and very feisty. Some of the scrappiest fish would just explode in the water and tailwalk and zig zag fighting all the way into the net. Phil was amazed at the power of fly fishing and fishing with Chironomids, he quickly improved his casting, hooking, setting, playing, landing and releasing of fish which was a great experience since hes just getting started with fly fishing.
He landed 11 fish, and probably lost at least that many or possibly more with short strikes, long and short distance releases. We were joking at how whenever you’d take your eyes off the indicator, a fish would sneak away with it. The strikes were not subtle, with some dips that just boldy shot down and disappeared under the surface.
I would land 23 fish, a much better outing then the previous outing due to the massive hatch and the keying of the fish specifically to black and chrome Chironomids.
Thao ended up checking out some other lakes and even met up with an old neighbor that was fishing at Burke. It’d been 25 years since he saw ‘Buzzer’, what a blast from the past for two friends who ended up being avid fisherman.
It was a great outing, just wish we could’ve spent more fishing time on Quincy, as the numbers would have most certainly been more. I suppose that the exploratory side of me wants to find out if the fishing could be better elsewhere compared to the first Quincy outing. Although it was easier to travel without a watercraft, my next trip back east will most definitely be with my pram in tow. There were so many place where it would’ve come in handy and been able to get into where it would be very tough and or impossible to cast from the shoreline. The weather was great, a little wind, but it added to the chop and we got bit very well under those conditions, the sun did come out and we got some nice vitamin D as well. The photo of the trout with the gills exposed was very interesting… I actually hooked that fish twice today! If you look closely, the gill plates are undersized for the size of the fish, which was a very healthy otherwise, but somehow stunted in the hatchery or perhaps a genetic mutation? When I first hooked the fish I thought it was bleeding, but then I noticed both sides of the gills were showing, which was a first for me.
We’re heading Razor clamming this weekend, and the next opportunity for me to fish won’t be until after April 3rd. Hopefully, I’ll make it out to Dry Falls, and Lenore then.
I’ll leave you with this clip, which summed up what happened on many of these fish! Its all good…