Dave Graybill - 5/19/2012
My road trip down to the lower Columbia River was great. I had the best weather ever for my visit to fish for spring salmon. I got to fish both at Drano Lake and off the mouth of the Wind River this time. The springer run is arriving very late this year, but there were enough fish around for fair to good fishing for the hundreds of anglers that turn out to try for this first salmon run of the year.
I fished Drano Lake with Herb Good and his long-time friend Ed Iman. Traffic was the lowest I had ever seen on Drano, due to the poor fish counts. We saw only five fish netted that day, and then Herb showed his salmon fishing skill by producing a great strike that didn’t get the hook and one more that I was able to hook and land. There were over a hundred boats on Drano at the time, so Mr. Good was great that day. I met Herb at his home in Hood River, Oregon later in the week, and we taped a segment for my Cooking TV Show. He does cooking demonstrations at all the big sports shows, so it turned out great. We even had lunch with the finished recipe. Fresh spring salmon is hard to beat for table fare.
I then fished the Wind River with Shane Magnuson and his clients Frank and Lewis Desimone from Seattle. We had a tough morning, landing only one of three fish hooked. We took a break for breakfast and a short nap and then went back out for the afternoon bite. It was much better. At one point we had three fish on. We landed two of them and released a wild fish. We got another to limit his clients and then Shane landed a small jack. Not a bad afternoon. We fished again the next morning and missed one strike. I had to hit the road so they dropped me off, pulled the boat out of the water and made arrangements to hit the water again in the afternoon. That afternoon was slow, but Magnuson limited his clients the next two days. With the springer run coming late there is still plenty of time to get down there and bring home some of the best eating salmon that you’ll ever have.
Traveling north I made it back to Bridgeport in time for the kick off of the Trippin’ with the Triploids Derby. There was a welcoming get together and Anton Jones gave a talk on techniques for catching them. The next day was very warm and calm and just after noon people starting showing up at the weigh station with catches to be weighed. The momentum built through the afternoon and by 3 there was a line of anglers getting their fish checked. Fishing had been pretty good, with a good number of limits taken. The Colville Tribe had released some fish just prior to the derby and many people had caught these 1- to 2-pound fish. There were two tagged fish caught, and the sealed envelopes weren’t opened until all the other prizes had been handed out. First place was won by Gary Erickson with an 8-pound, 6-ounce triploid. In the youth division the top fish award was given to Conner Jenkins for a 5-pound, 6-ounce fish. When they opened the sealed envelopes, it was learned that neither of the tags were winners. There was a lot of excitement though, as my Jetcraft boat could have been won with the right tag number. Everyone had a great time at the derby and there will certainly be a second annual due to the success of the first effort. Nancine and Dave Lorz and their committee did a super job on the derby.
Don’t forget that the second annual Pike Minnow Derby put on by the Quincy Valley Tourism Associate is taking place this weekend. There is still time to sign up and get a chance to win one of two boats and other cash and prizes totally over $9,000.00 at this one. Just go to my Home Page and click on Something Fishing at Quincy logo to get all the details.
This looks like it could be one of the best kokanee fishing seasons in a few years at Lake Chelan. There are very large schools of fish being graphed deep in the Narrows down to above the Yacht Club, but fishing in the lower basin is still very, very slow. There are rumors over some very large fish taken fishing very deep up lake. In anticipation of good kokanee fishing here and at other lakes in the region, I am offering a seminar on kokanee fishing techniques at Bob Feil Boats and Motors on Saturday, May 19th, starting at 2 p.m. I will be opening my tackle box and showing everyone the kind of gear I use to catch kokanee at Lake Chelan, Palmer Lake, Buffalo and other lakes in the region. I will have my favorite rods and reels and will speak in detail on how to fish the different lures and baits. This will be a great way to make sure that you start the kokanee season off on the right foot. There will be door prizes and refreshments available, too. I hope to see you there!
There are some kids fishing days coming up soon. I just learned of a free fishing derby at Conconully on Saturday, May 19th. You can call Tim Patrick at 509-422-4401 for the details. Also, click on the Pepsi logo on my Home Page for other fishing events.
I am way behind on fishing here locally. The bass fishing is great at Moses Lake and Banks. I am way overdue for a trip to both of these waters, and I will be going soon. I have quick trip to Loreto first, and immediately after I am headed to Banks and will let you know how I do!
By Dave Graybill