Got on the water with my canoe at 5:40 AM (about an hour before sunrise). The lake was quite still and the brightest stars were still out. I headed out from the Public Boat Launch and drifted southwards with a slight breeze. For over 2 hours, I tried working my 3/8-oz. Chrome-colored Acme Kastmaster slab-jig at all depths, with no fish. I cast, let it fall about 8 seconds, and did a twitching retrieve back to the canoe. I even vertical-fished by dropping my lure to the bottom and jigging it -- nothing. I worked the reedlines and deeper water.
At 8:00 AM, I caught my first Fishtrap Lake rainbow trout in ~22 years (a 6" baby). I then caught a nice 12" Rainbow Trout (see photo), and released it. At 8:30 AM, a yellow kayak came along and was trolling two lures from rod holders mounted on the hull. The kayaker said he had caught a few small ones, but "It is slow".
I kept drifting southwards (at about 1 foot per second) and went through The Narrows halfway down the lake. Just beyond the south end of The Narrows throat, I caught a nice healthy Rainbow and released it. There was a slight blue-green algae bloom on the lake and the water was off-color. When I got to the south end of the lake, I started SLOW TROLLING back to the north and that made all of the difference today.
When I got to the south entrance to The Narrows, I caught three nice 10"-12" Rainbows in about 15 minutes and lost one two-thirds of the way to the canoe. The technique I used was to cast far away from a still canoe, start paddling northwards (into the breeze) so that by the time the line was taught, the Kastmaster was swimming down deep. I would only be going about 1 foot a second (just so that the rod tip barely twitched when the lure was swimming). The Rainbows were down deep in about 20 feet of water I'd say.
Another kayaker went by and remarked that the lake level was higher than it was two weeks ago. There were heavy thunderstorms in nearby Sprague, WA a week ago so maybe the groundwater was recharged. A Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) agent came by in his motorboat to check my fishing license (no problems). He was surprised that there was an algae blooom compared to the last time he was on the lake.
I ended up catching-and-releasing 5 Rainbow Trout and keeping one. I "missed one", so at 6-1/2 fish for 6-1/2 hours of fishing, I'd say this was a decent fishing day. This lake is really nice and scenic in a small boat.
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