Daily Archives: April 6, 2011

Dry Falls: sunny, but windy April 5th, 2011

It was a gorgeous morning clear and sunny. We woke up at 6:30 and was out the door by 7:30 with the rig packed, lunches made and off to Dry Falls for a fine weather day of fishing. Originally out plan was to fish Amber lake but decided on changing up after yesterday and out conversation with some local Spokane fisherman that said it was fishing ok but not as good as coffeepot. We figured that the weather wasn’t going to improve in the Spokane and Sprague locations, and wanted a change if scenery so Dry Falls was the next best thing.

The evening before we stopped over at Lenore for a peek and a photo tells a thousand words: cold, windy, and no one fishing. We did rig up and walk down to roll cast for a little bit, but no take downs or Lahontans anywhere!

I haven’t been to Dry Falls for two years since I never made it out all of last season, and I typically like to go over once if not twice each year. I never seems to amaze me with the scenery and how beautiful it was out there until this morning I could appreciate the solitude and the wonderful formation of the lake. Here’s a little tour of the lake for those that haven’t been to the lake, the video doesn’t do the place justice, but give you an idea of your surroundings.

We proceeded to fish along the north side in 8′ of water as I was hoping the the water was a little warmer having more exposure to the sun. There we struck out, so then wanted to try some 25′ water in the middle, again struck out, but it was still early and there wasn’t much going on in terms of hatch so it was to be as expected. I finally decided to head back to a more protected area from the wind also in 25′ of water since I had marked fish previously when rowing out.

I decided this was our best chance and down the anchors went. Not only did the anchors go down so did my indicator, with 13″ rainbow at the end. I sampled it and only Daphnia but no chironomids. It was 10 am but not a real huge hatch coming off but it was our first fish.

I picked off another fish but decided to move into more leader friendly water 17′. I started picking off fish, numerous 13-14″ trout, silvery and strong diving rainbows. All came on my size 18 snow cone bloodworm with black rib on a curved scud hook in 2X

That fly resulted in many fish to hand. even though these 13-14″ they were the hardest fighting trout and the larger ones in the 16-18″ didn’t fight as well as those silver bullets.

After a couple of hours pestering those fish I wanted to get into the deep water and try my for some bigger fish. We would anchor up in 30′ of water and down the lines went, I got the first fish on a 16 chromer while Jeff was keeping busy with his vertical method getting some payback for his slower start.

We ended the day at 3:30 under windy skies and a storm moving in, so it was best to get on the road since our ETA was going to be well after 10 pm.  We did stop off for gas and dinner in Ellensburg, and had a great burger at the Ranch 14 restaurant, one of my favorites in eastern WA. One of the best burgers to try is the 1/3 lb’er with cheese, bacon, and a fried egg.  Good stuff!

I landed 34 fish with many lost and many LDRs. Jeff got into the low 20s but wasn’t keeping count,  but did comeback a little with the deep water bite in the 30′ section. The largest I measured was a 18″ male bow that was colored up for the spawn. I also caught a female at the same location and was 17″, probably a mating pair as there were no other spawning fish caught thereafter. The throat samples revealed lost of Daphnia, Chironomids in size 16-18 and some smaller 20’s, a damsel fly, and a big dragon fly nymph, also Jeff sampled a big leech, which I don’t know how it managed to get sucked up into the stomach pump. By the third day my chapped and finger ripped up hands had enough of water, teeth, flies, and was looking forward to some Cetaphil lotion.

This was my best outing to Dry Falls and glad that I was able to spend the last few days fishing with my buddy Jeff. Sorry for the typos and grammar, as I was writing and posting on my iphone and haven’t gone back to proofread.   Just glad to be home, with a hot shower and glad we made it off the pass, it was getting closed going up I-90 eastbound as the snow was pretty bad and we were sitting at the edge of our seats trying to look out the windshield.

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Dialed on Depth: April 4th, 2011

Even though it was 37 degrees outside both jeff and I got a fairly good night of sleep. We rolled out of the tents around 6:30 and got our gear ready and breakfast made so that we could be fishing ASAP.

I was first to get on the water and decided to fish up close to the launch since Tyler did well in that spot he day before. I got my setup on, black leech under and indicator and drifted it in 8′ of water and gave a little tug and down the indicator went down. A few minutes later a green color wasn’t indicative of a trout but rather it was a largemouth bass. The second fish was also a bass and then I finally caught to plump trout. Jeff even caught a turtle, yes a turtle on the bloodworm.  Its more likely that Mr. Turtle got tangled up in the flurocarbon and the hook set itself in his leg, but we did get a good laugh at that one.

I wanted to fish a bay that was occupied yesterday with the guys from OR and their Willie driftboat. In fact they didn’t move once all day so I figured they were catching fish. I started hooking more fish in that spot and by then Jeff came over and anchored down.

I went through a very good period where I was hooking fish consistently but after an hour it went slow. Jeff was hooking fish but I was having a tough time. He finally asked me how long my leader was and I said 6′ since we were sitting 7′ of water. He suggested I increase a foot and half and try it again. Back to the honey hole and I was catching fish again. What happened? I know now that when it went dead the wind was a factor and when I adjusted I was back to catching fish. A big aha moment when it comes to Chironomid fishing.

I landed 11 fish with mostly 16-17″ and one that pushed a little over 19″. Jeff landed 14 fish and also averaged the same size. While most of you would think that a fish would be small it wasn’t. They were full bodied, big shouldered and full of deep long runs.  I would venture to say that I think Coffeepot has the potential to be the best stillwater lake in the state, with its deep shouldered and large average fish size, great biodiversity of food and the scenery that isn’t as nice as Dry Falls, but is fairly similar in the way the lake was carved out and overlooking many high basalt cliffs.

By 2:30 the wind was at it’s fury and we decided to back to camp for some lunch, perhaps it was my banana eating that caused the weather and fishing to slow. We decide to pack up and call it a day since it was starting to rain and we decided against camping out an instead made the decision to fish Dry Falls instead of Amber. It was off to Soap Lake where we’d check in at the Masters Inn and a got shower and dinner of wild teriyaki marinated duck was in order.

I’m glad we got the room, the benefit of a hot shower and warm room was well worth the $50.

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