Dave Graybill - 10/10/2012
This great weather continues to dominate the forecasts this fall. I hope that we get an announcement on our steelhead seasons soon, but it just doesn’t seem right to be fishing for steelhead in shirtsleeves! I had some fun this week, trying the fall fishing for rainbow at Fish Lake, near Lake Wenatchee. I also had a frustrating day trying to catch a big triploid at Rufus Woods Reservoir.
My wife Eileen’s birthday wish was to go fishing at Fish Lake. It was a perfect fall day, with little or no wind, and we have had some great times up here catching rainbow, trolling flies. This day was to be a good one for it. We started at the bottom end and after searching around for fish and changing flies began catching trout at a good clip. I had two rods out. One was a three-weight with a sink tip. The other was a five weight with an intermediate sinking line. I had the five-weight set up with the hope of attracting a strike from a triploid. On the end of the leader was a large black fly with a lot of blue flashabou mixed in the pattern. I also had a Wiggle Fin Action Disk on the head of the fly. On the other rod I began with a black, bead-head leech, which has been a good one at Fish Lake. Not this time, though. I dug out a fly box and switched to a small sculpin pattern, with a bullet head and bright red eye. This one they liked. I immediately began getting hits. I also started picking up fish on the other rod, too. We found most of the fish in 15 to 18 feet of water off the lily pads, and kept my Minn Kota speed at 1.5.
Now that I had some good flies out there we decided to run up to the top of the lake. We always do well here. I would troll from one side of the lake to the other, keeping the boat in a depth of 18 to 25 feet of water. At first the west side of the lake was more productive, but as the sun moved further west, so did the fish. I don’t know how many fish we caught and released. We just lost count there were so many. We had a few doubles and had a lot of fun. I find that holding the rod doesn’t work. Trying to set the hook on the strike is futile. I just leave it in the holder and don’t get excited until the rod is bent over and there is line coming off the reel. The trout we caught ranged in size from 8 to 12 inches. They are really fat, fun to catch, and they will be dandies next spring. If you want to have an afternoon of fast action catching rainbow, this is the place.
Eileen extended her birthday celebration to two days, and she wanted to try Rufus Woods Reservoir. We have some great memories of catching triploids here, too. I had heard some good reports so we headed north. I chose to launch at Seatons Grove, and run down river. I figured the best action would be at the upper net pens.
On my way down I was looking for a riffle line that I like to fish and noticed that it wasn’t there. There wasn’t enough current. I passed my favorite bay as there was a boat in it. No matter, I was planning to drift jigs on the Nespelem Bar anyway. However, when I got set up I found that there was so little current that the slight wind was pushing me up stream! I put up with this for a while, but not for long. We got no bites and when you are the only boat in sight on Rufus Woods, it usually means that you’re not in the right spot. I only saw two other boats, and they had run up from below and anchored in behind the net pens. I did run down to the next set of pens and tried it for a short time here, but packed it in fairly soon. Again, I was the only boat here.
Rather than run even further down stream I chose to check out my favorite bay. I figured that the boat we saw there earlier had left, and I was right. We had it to ourselves and I set up to troll flies. On one rod I had a small dodger and the same fly I had used at Fish Lake, with the Wiggle Fin. On the other I also put on a dodger and a different fly. This one is black, with some flashabou, and an orange bead on the head. I can’t even remember where I got it, but it has always worked for me at Rufus. It did again. I finally found some fish. They weren’t big, though. In fact they were dinks, and I didn’t keep any of them. I think we released about a half-dozen when we decided to call it quits. I know if conditions would have been different I would have done better. We all know the rule; no current, no luck.
Look for an announcement on the steelhead season this week. I am getting all my gear organized. Don’t forget about the seminar coming up on Wednesday, October 17th at Town Ford. Shane Magnuson will make sure you know how to set up for bobber and jig fishing. Town Ford is across from Costco in East Wenatchee and the seminar will begin at 6 p.m.
I can’t wait to get out on the river and get after some steelhead. I had so much fun last year, I want to have that kind of fun again!
By Dave Graybill