Was feeling like I was getting a bug and stayed home instead of making the planned trip to Pass Lake. It would have been a long day from Ellensburg and I wasn't sure it was a good idea. It was such a nice day here though I couldn't sit at home. A little hoarse but otherwise ok I figured it was pretty warm out and life is short. So around noon I headed up hi-way 10. Been months since I was up that way.
Had one of those previously productive "prime lies" in my head and couldn't shake it. This one requires some effort. Down a big hill, up and across the river, upstream from there...to fish it right. I first fished the active railroad side with only a ratta tat tat on my streamer. Grabbed my 2nd rod and headed to my croosing zone. About 3/4 of the way across I saw something that convinced me to run something thru a slot nymphing style, float, split just above the fly. It was fast water but I picked up a 10 incher for my troubles. Surely more fish there but getting a drag free drift was too difficult. Maybe a 10' rod as opposed to the 8'6" and more agressive wading would have gotten the job done :/
On to the main event. Head upriver a noticed salmon carcasses and redd markers. Saw no live salmon though. Seems like that peaked a couple weeks back. Have to wonder where that last bunch of kings reported down in Richland went. That was just a week ago and they haven't shown up here as best I can tell? Seems late for a fresh group up here? You never know though. So I stop just below the "zone" to rig up the streamer outfit. I broke my 7 weight a couple weeks back so out of laziness took my old Sage Discovery #5 with med full sink line as opposed to the nice rod my friend lent me with mini-tip which would be the preferred approach. This has line so old that the coating is off in spots as much as 4" a stretch
The reel makes the loudest most annoying sound that a guy would be ashamed to use within' a quarter mile of another human. Not the right setup but way better than floating line. So I start high in some real rapids and work down into the "zone". Nothing in the hard water and no surprise, lost a fly. That left me in the ideal spot with a fresh fly. I dipped and the fly and got it soak to help it sink along with 2 bb shots and a sinking line. Want to slow this fly down and keep it deep. It worked! 21.5 " of Titan rainbow. Damn good fight and broke water several times. Once after a run that had me wondering just what was on the other end. I had no ideal what pound tippet was on this thing. It was cut back to less than 6' and did the job.
Have to say this may have been the best all around rainbow I've seen out of this river. Color, spots, body shape shoulders and all. The condition and fight were excellent.
But I had to wonder.....is this the same fish I caught here last winter? Lenght was identical, but that was late winterand the fish looked like it was post spawn? Of course it would look better now than post spawn. Guess we'll never know since it didn't have a license plate. I would say this fish was caught within 25' of last winters of same size.....and in the winter he would be back down the seam a little I think. Low water temps in the winter and slower motabolism would mean they need little easier holding water is my bet?
This story could lead a guy to question the value of my $1,300 dollar outfit when I got the job done for $150.
Saw as many guys out as I ever have upriver. Many favorite haunts were being exploited. Only a couple boats with that upper launch closed
Did see a fish take a bug here and there with no regularity. Talked to one other guy and he was working on getting skunked. The dry fly thing is not easy this time of year up there. The only minor glitch was my camera lens would not come out and the motor just buzzed...
Less than 4 hrs and 2 fish....maaaaybe 2 other bites? Quality not quantity was the name of the game.
Report from Pass Lake was very good.
Last weekend(friday) we did well again way up river on an adventure similar to the one Great White Hunters took us on two weeks ago. Then sunday we went for SRC(snoqualamie) and I got whooped! Partner got at least 10 and many additional strikes. Same fly and we "seemed to be doing the same thing" but I have to wonder. I did have a couple strikes and one tiny fish briefly
before he jumped and disconnected.