Two years ago I fished Beaver Lake after WDFW stocked it with, if my memory serves me right, 3000 brood stock rainbow trout and landed one big one. This past Tuesday, Veterans Day, I fished Beaver again. WDFW had stocked it over the last week with 3-5 lb trout and I was on them all morning. It was cold and windy on the lake and twice my anchor was pulled by the wind and I found myself drifting steadily along, anchor swinging or dragging below me. I steadily caught fish from 8am to 1pm and had to keep my limit as I was using bait. These are true football trout and they fought well, peeling line off on multiple runs at times. A couple of the larger ones, with one of my keepers in particular, being responsible for the longest fights I’ve ever had while fishing for trout. I was using 4 lb test mainline strung on an ultralight St. Croix 2-piece and my bottom fishing trout rig. I was fishing from my pontoon and the wind would have been trouble without the anchor system and Minn Kota trolling motor.
I spend the bulk of my summers up in British Columbia at my family’s home in Bliss Landing. Bliss is on the inside passage of Vancouver Island, about one mile south of the entrance to Desolation Sound at Sarah Point. We can harvest clams, oysters, trap crab and prawns, and fish for multiple species of rockfish and salmon. During my last trip, from August 1st through the 10th I was loaned a 14 foot tinboat which was outfitted with a downrigger for trolling. When I have others in the boat we normally simply jig for salmon with Pt. Wilson Darts and Buzz Bombs, but when I am alone I troll for salmon. I caught the 13 lb Chinook salmon above with a green flasher and black & white Luhr Jensen “Cop Car” or “Cookies & Cream” spoon. There is an oyster farm in a small bay about one mile north from Bliss that is home to what I have called “Fred’s Hump”. The name comes from the owner of the farm who was once the caretaker at Bliss Landing. The “Hump” comes from an underwater rock formation that juts up from the sea floor on the southern side of the bay. It gets relatively shallow in the bay, ranging from 100 ft to 35 ft, and I have hooked salmon jigging there on multiple occasions. Last Friday I spent some time at the Hump throwing buzz bombs to gauge if there were any salmon lingering in the area. After an hour of casting and catching shaker salmon I hooked into something big which immediately spit the hook out as I was re-calibrating my drag (I was using my Temple Fork steelhead casting rod which only had 10lb test line on it). At about sunset, say maybe 8:30, I dropped the trolling gear in the water to 85 ft and almost immediately had a strike. I played the fish delicately on a new Islander mooching reel and landed the lunker after the second swipe of the net. It wasn’t the only salmon I landed this summer, but it was the first out of a tin boat by myself.
Photographs from two floats down the Yakima River in July of 2012 and 2013. 2012’s trip saw thunder and lightning in the mix while the most recent trip last weekend was perfect weather and great fishing. I caught 6-7 Westslope Cutthroat trout on a red bladed Mepps spinner with a brass body and back. I casted mainly from shore, although took to nearly free drifting the spinner behind me which also produced bites. I lost the big fish of the day at the side of my kayak which was a nice Rainbow trout in the 20-22″ range. They were all great fighters and I managed to use the same rig all day without ever having to tie a knot.