Dave Graybill - 6/16/2012
We’ve had some wild weather in our region and that has made it tough on anglers trying to take advantage of the many fishing opportunities. I have been lucky, dodging most of the rain and wind storms, and have put more of those big Lake Chelan kokanee in my Jetcraft.
I got out twice for kokanee last week, and last Friday with my dentist and fishing buddy Brian and his brother-in-law Dave was a bust. I limped home with just one fish in the cooler. One fish! I seriously doubted my ability as an angler. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself, and I was tempted to sell all my gear and just quit fishing altogether. I couldn’t though. I had a trip planned for Sunday with the crew from Town Ford in East Wenatchee. I couldn’t find a good enough excuse to cancel, so I put on my game face and hit the water with general manager Pat Armstrong, general sales manager Dave Blue and service manager Vic Rasmussen. I didn’t tell them about my pitiful performance on Friday, and just acted like I knew what I was doing.
Fortunately the fishing gods chose to smile on me again and we had a great day. We started just up lake from Lakeside Park, out in the middle. We started catching fish right away. We had three or four in the boat when the bite slowed enough for me to convince my crew that I knew a spot that was even better. We motored up to the blue roofs and when we got into 120 feet of water the screen lit up. We got two doubles on our first two passes through this area. The bite was off and on as it can be with kokanee fishing, but by 12:30 we had a dozen on ice. Pat was buying lunch, so we headed for Chelan and a pizza parlor where we met another boat load of Ford folks. They had fifteen in their cooler, and we all had a great time talking about our day on the water. It was a blast and we all agreed that we needed to plan another Town Ford Fishing Adventure—as long as Pat continues to feed us!
If you haven’t had a chance to get in on the kokanee fishing at Chelan I would highly recommend it. It hasn’t ever been this good for big fish. We are catching lots of 15 and 16 inch kokanee. They are still deep which tells me that it is far from over. They aren’t in the shallows around Lakeside Park yet, so we should have a few more weeks of super fishing.
My brother Rick and I agreed that this is where we should take our Dad for Fathers Day, since we have celebrated Fathers Day on the water for years. We’ve fished for walleye on Moses Lake; for perch at Long Lake, Caliche Lake, Stan Coffin Lake, and Rufus Woods for triploids. It’s a tradition that we’ve kept in spite of being scolded for being late to the family get together. It never fails. Just when we hit the absolute deadline for heading home the bite gets good!
Another great tradition for many families on Fathers Day weekend is the Annual East Wenatchee Rotary Club Pike Minnow Derby. This has been going on for 20 years and it lives up to its mission, which is to provide a good family fishing event, and to award a ton of cash and prizes to those who participate. There is over $10,000.00 to be handed out this year. There is still time to get your tickets. You can get the details about the derby by clicking on the derby space on the Home Page of my web site. Tickets and brochures can be found at Bob Feil Boats and Motors and Bi-Mart in East Wenatchee and at Hooked on Toys in Wenatchee.
I am really looking forward to the coming week. I will be traveling north to fish Banks Lake. I will be fishing with Keith Jensen, who helps out at Big Wally’s in Coulee City. We’ll be after smallmouth and largemouth bass. He says that my timing should be perfect for excellent fishing. I will be shooting video on his tactics and techniques for my TV Show, and it should make for a very informative and fun show. The following day I will be fishing with Lou from Coulee Playland and Oulin Smith with the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Once again I will be taking the video camera along and they have agreed to share at least a few of their secrets for catching walleye on Banks Lake. Of course, I will be sharing what I learn about the bass and walleye fishing with you in next week’s column. You’ll have to wait for the video. I will let you know when it will air.
The cool weather we’ve had has benefited some fisheries and hampered others. Smallmouth bass are just starting to bed on Banks Lake and some of the other lakes in the region. They haven’t even started on Lake Chelan. Fishing for Icicle River spring salmon has been a roller coaster ride. The river will blow out after a rain storm then drop and become gin clear. Fish are being caught but it’s difficult to anticipate the conditions you will find on the river when you launch at o’ dark thirty.
I hope you’re having as much fun as I am on the water this season. I can’t believe the opportunities out there right now. There’s terrific fishing for just about everything right now. I plan to try as much of it as I can!
By Dave Graybill