Monthly Archives: March 2012

Quincy: 3/22/2012

Since I had a successful outing 2 weeks ago at Quincy, I wanted to get back on the water to see if I could duplicate the same conditions. Conditions was the word for the day as the weather was full of oddities for the 2nd day into Spring. I woke to a couple of inches of snow on my truck. I met up with Jeff H. at 5 am for a push off around 5:30 from Eastgate.

The snow flurries started to hit around Snoqualmie parkway and was coming down pretty heavily from North Bend all the way until Cle Elum. The pass had compact snow and ice, but WSDOT did a great job clearing and our average speed was 60 mph. The pass temp was 32 degrees and once we eased by Lake Easton the roads became smooth sailing and we pit stopped in Ellensburg for breakfast sandwiches and sailor jacks, which are Jeff’s favorite 1-2 combo from the Super 1 Foods off the main drag.

Steve Y. was finished up with breakfast and saw us passing by and we’d┬ácaravan to Quincy. The Wind wasn’t howling but it was chilly with air temps around 29 degrees. Amazingly just an hour and half into the day the sun made its appearance and it warmed up to the low 50s which was a warm welcome versus the dreary rain and snow we escaped in Seattle.

I started on the cove near the north bay and proceeded to hook a few fish on a micro leech under an indicator. Since there was no visible hatch going I like using this setup to search for hungry fish. I throat sampled 4 fish and found size 14 and 16 damsels, 18 green worms, daphnia, and these round insects as I would call tumblers.

Most of the fish were small apart from an 18″ that was a nice surprise.

A nice surprise was to fish with Chuck G. and Jim T. As they made the drive down from the Bellingham area early as well. Both of these guys are great Chironomid fishermen and I consider to be amongst the very best. Jim shared with me some of his new ties with impressive wing cases and coloration.

I wanted to check out the north bay for depth and fish activity but didn’t get a chance to wet a line. I did talk to Steve and he had a few fish but were in the 12″ range. Since the clouds cleared and the temps warmed we wanted to get back to the east wall, so decided it was time to make a row.

Noticeably the water temps seem I have improved over the weeks as I was registering 48 degrees. With the warmer temps I would hope for a nice Chironomid hatch but it was weak and short-lived. It was good for about an hour and half and by 12:30 it slowed to a crawl. Jeff was able to pick off “over 10 and under 20 fish in the bowl and I ended up with 9 more with three of those fish being over 16″, with the largest at 19”.

It would seem like all the sizable catches are being harvested by the bank fishermen, which is a shame as we think this lake has the ability to grow big fish with the good insect populations and hatches. Too bad! We paddled back to the launch around 2:30 as things slowed, Jeff would pick up 4 more fish in the north cove but I wasn’t able to connect with three small hits. All in all a great day with decent fishing and time catching up with some fishing friends. I ended up with 19 fish to hand, and many more which we’re on briefly but not connected. Jeff landed 24, all rainbows with a few nice holdover trout.

Here is Jeff’s nice fish shot with the Go Pro HERO courtesy of Phil K.

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Quincy Lake: 3/9/12

If history repeats itself it’s about the second or third week into March that I Iike to fish Quincy lake. Since I first went three years ago, I really became impressed with the numbers of fish and the scenery comparing it to a mini Dry Falls. Quincy is located north of the George exit #149 and west of the small farming community of Quincy. There are three lakes near each other that are traditional lakes with limited restrictions on gear, bait and gas powered motors. These are Stan Coffin, Quincy, and Burke. The first lake that you come to Stan Coffin looked pretty weedy and we found only one car parked at the lot. When we arrived at Quincy a lot of folks were already on the water and several RVs positioned along the south shore of the lake.

The drive along I-90 was smooth as it takes about 2 hours 20 minutes from Bellevue to reach the lake. The pass temperature read 32 degrees but there was some wet roads but pretty much smooth driving with no closures or ice, snow. Today I would be fishing with Rob D. And Phil K. as they were able to get a day off and take advantage of the nice eastern WA weather. Forecast was partly sunny with temps into the low 60’s, very welcome indeed for some soggy west siders. Once we unloaded the boats, I quickly assembled my gear and was off to a cove which proved to be productive. I was in 12′ of water and was marking a lot of fish below and on the side finder of my fishin buddy. The temp read 48 degrees, which was a big improvement from last weeks reports of 40 degree water. I was hopeful for some chironomids hatching with the warmer water and sunshine that would help transform the pupaes to adults. The fish were definitely waiting for warmer water and started to convert from chasing gear and power bait to feeding on the naturals.

With my first cast and retrieve, the indicator was down in a matter of less than 4 minutes. Things were looking positive as a nice 12″ silvery rainbow came to hand. The second fish would be similar size, but the third fish was worth mentioning, a 17″ bow which took my bloodworm imitation as it suspended just a foot above the bottom of the bowl. I would pick up 3 more fish in a row after consecutive releases and casts. I was having fun, but decided that the sounds of the bait fisherman on the south shore was a bit annoying that I sought out quieter pastures. I had gotten notice that Jeff H. was on the water and fishing on the far east end of the lake. I pulled anchor and decided to join him along with Rob and Phil who were nearby. I found a spot of 11-12′ of water along a weed bed drop off and was marking a lot of fish, so I promptly anchored down and cast out my set up. Within minutes, bobber down and fish on! A few 15″, a couple of 17″, and the surprise my largest of the day, a 21″ broad shouldered bow that reminded me of the fish we caught in BC or further east last year. Both Jeff and I remarked how impressed we were with the size and fight of these fish, the cookie cutters were about 11-13″, but a fair number of 16-17″ fish also put a nice spin on the takedowns.

The hatch slowed down and activity did as week, so I decided to pull anchor and went back to my first position around 2:00 pm. Which ended up also being a good decision as many fish were feeding hungrily on the emergers as well as on my bloodworm.

The final tally was 34 hooked and 28 landed, all rainbows with some nice hold over triploids that had some wonderful coloring and spots. A few hook jawed males were dark and were spewing milt but most of the fish were rotund, silvery, and very aggressive with a few good jumpers as well. We called it quits around 4:30 as I had to get back, a shortened day, but very good action which I think will be good for a few more weeks. I just hope that the larger fish don’t all get plucked out with the gear and bait crew so that these fish can grow a little more and offer that surprise factor.

Here is link to my videos and first ever fly fishing movie, all shot and edited on my iPhone using the free APP; SPICE. Hope you enjoy!

These two clips were filmed by Phil K. with his Go Pro HERO. I do like the 170 degree view, but it distorts the horizon in order to similarly capture what the human sees.  There still is no lens as good as the human eye, I think for fishing, landscape and interior shots, the wide angle lens down to 10-12 mm will be a nice one to own to document these expansive images.

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Nunnally/Lenice: March 2nd, 2012

What a difference a day makes! We slowly crawled out of out sleeping bags to the balmy 40 degree desert temps under slightly windy and cloudy skies. This wasn’t what we wanted, it the cloud cover provided a little more warmth then the previous day. My initial plan was the head I’ve to Nunnally to give it a try since its not too far from Lenice and the chance at getting a big a Tiger trout got my blood pumping!

I arrived and got on the water by 9 am and immediately started marking fish from the west bay in 11-12′ of water. Water temp was reading 46 degrees and the lake was fairly clear down to about 7′ where it turned to that greenish blue color. Since there was no visible hatch going on, no bird activity or shucks on the surface I decided to go to the darkside as Rex T. puts it. He isn’t much into chironimids and I’m not a big cast and strip Stillwater guy, so we each refer to the ‘other’ non preferred technique as the darkside… stripping bugs.

I had my Sage VXP 10′ 5 wt rod rigged with the Rio Deep 7 full sink on the Feathercraft SLA C3 reel. I started off with a conehead rabbit fur leech and within a few paddles the line bounced and a nice 17″ feisty bow came to hand. I was thinking that. It was going to be a stellar day, but that was the only time my net would get to touch scales at Nunnally. Waited for a hatch to come off, even marked numerous smaller fish in 9′ of water and feeding on Daphnia clouds at 5-6′ which was very visible from the graph. The first fish I landed, I pumped and found just loads of Daphnia and a couple damsel fly nymphs. Perhaps the lakes haven’t turned over yet as the majority of the bloodworms weren’t red in color but green as seen in my sample photo from Lenice. My theory is that the fish are a still sluggish due to the sporadic hatch and it’s evidenced with the pale green color of the worms.

I tried several of my favorite spots where I’ve taken some nice Tigers. It to no avail… I tried several different flies, retrieves, and techniques without success. I know my flies were in the zone, but perhaps the incoming weather turned the fish fickle. I decide to cut my losses and packed up and went back to Lenice to try and return to the scene of yesterday’s crime.

This for the most part was consistent with the results at Nunnally. Weak to no chironimid hatch, cooler, cloudy weather, and slight to often times moderate wind. There were definitely more fishermen today as I counted 24 at one point but that was likely low since there were more boats behind the islands out of sight. The parking lot was filled from the entrance to the east end with the entourage of RVs and roof topped pontoon boats, float tubes and prams.

Once I got to the water around 11:30, I surveyed a spot that I like to fish, the islands, and saw there were already several people anchored up and Chironomid fishing. Something was definitely off as I was using the same patterns as I did the day before and very little to show. I had 4 take downs, but I couldn’t stick any of those fish. I finally ended up at the far south east bay in 11-12′ of water where I took a nice 17″ rainbow and a smaller 11′ but feisty bow. All in all, 8 fish hooked, 4 lost, 1 broken off and three landed between Nunnally and Lenice. I packed up around 3:30 and left the parking area at 4:45. The road back was wet and spots of snow on the pass. My truck was reading a 34 degree outside temp at the summit. Even though it was a tough day, I still had fun and looking forward to getting back out to the high mountain eastern WA deserts.

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Lenice Report: March 1st, 2012

They say a photo says a thousand words, and yes they do. I could hardly wait to get out of town as I had some work to finish up I was getting a later out the door start to my mini getaway to Lenice for the annual season opener. I was able to leave home at 10:40 am under mostly cloudy skies. The pass roads were wet and cool with 32 degree temp at the summit. I rolled into Lenice around 12:30 and quickly assembled my gear after a brief introduction to Scott S. to maximize my fishing time. Scott had arrived the night before and had camp set up on the east end of the parking lot and was just frustrated with the wind and took to reading a magazine for the rest of the day. The wind was howling and whitecaps cold be seen all over the lake as the gusty 20-25 mph winds pushed wind waves of 1-2′ and some taking of water into the pram. All the pontoon boats were dry on the banks as it was just too much for an angler to paddle let alone kick to get anywhere.

I was heading out and a guy in a toon said to be careful, but I’d been in much worse conditions with this boat and never did I feel unsafe. I always wear a PFD, and once I was anchored, I usually stand and cast with no issues. I pressed on towards my favorite slot in 8-9′ of water, the islands. When I arrived there were two guys in beached Outcasts on the rocks Chironomid fishing. I gave them plenty off room and anchored up to the outcropping island just to the south. I quickly scanned the lake and besides us, there was one other guy in a pram working the far south east bank. I’d fished my bloodworm and chromie setup with good success. By 1:50 I could see alot of chironomid adults zipping by in the wind, this was also very evident in the throat sampled fish. Just packed with size 16 chromers and size 18 browns, ambers and blacks. Also noted was numerous olive colored worms and some daphnia. The water temp according to my sonar was at 46 degrees and clarity was about 6′.

I was optimistic that tomorrow would bring even better fishing despite bringing bananas and eating them aboard, I fished until 5:30, and hooked 24, out of those landed 18. The smallest was 11′ and the largest measured 18″, all rainbow trout. I met up with Scott S. and Rick T. From the forum and we shared some laughs over dinner in Ricks camper. It was a pleasure to meet these gentlemen and spend some time sharing in fish stories. Note to self, next time bring a pillow and don’t settle for a cheap sleeping bag.

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