First Columbia Basin stillwater trout experience

It’s that time of the year again, a time when spring can’t make up its mind between winter and summer.  Mud season is in full swing, Ice out is happening in some areas, and the ever present ear wigs come out in my backyard trying to sneak inside.  Here in Central Washington the wind is blowing, sun shining, and lakes are fishing quite well and only getting better.  I’m not going to mislead you, I only started fishing lakes because I could only play so much Call of Duty in a 24 hr period and my local river was unfishable.  I had to get my fish on somewhere.  So a few weeks ago a friend suggested I check out a desert lake about two hours drive from home.  I always tend to follow the rule that you should spend more time fishing then driving.  So I waited for the weekend and packed up the camping gear and headed out.  I showed up at sunrise, assembled my gear including float tube and kicked my way in reverse. I looked around and realized that I had the whole lake to myself.  I took this as a good sign.   I hadn’t done a lot of Stillwater fishing up to this point so I was just going off of suggestions from friends and research that I did online.  I was told to troll a leech pattern on an intermediate line on my way to the opposite end of the lake.    During my 10 min leg workout I could feel some hits but kept missing them and never hooked up for more than a second.  I took that as another positive sign. Upon arriving at the spot I was told to start deep nymphing some chronomids I stowed the streamer rod and broke out nymphing rig.   Within two minutes my indicator went under and I was fighting a frisky 15 inch rainbow that refused to stay in the water.  After releasing the bird in a fish’s body, I kept at it and soon landed two more.  At about 20 minutes into it I started noticing a flotilla of float tubes, pontoon boats, and small boats with trolling motors making their way toward me.  It felt like I was watching the Allied invasion from the wrong end.  As it turned out I didn’t see the sign that said fishing is allowed starting at 0630, not the 30 minute prior to sunrise thing like I’m used to.  As it also turned out, the day I decided to fish was the opener for a lot of surrounding lakes. This would play a role in finding a campsite later that day.  I kept fishing my 18ft nymph rig with slip indicator and chronomid imitations and only landed two more.  As soon as someone would notice that I was hooked up, they would not so subtlety make their way over to the area I was working.  I guess personal fishing space is lost on these guys and no one was having any luck. So what the heck, they must be over where that guy is.  This wasn’t a very large lake and there were clearly over 25 various craft on the water.  The fish must have thought a new species of large birds had landed and took up residence.   I switched back to the leech rig and kicked to an area that had the least amount of “ass hat” to water ratio.  The wind started to kick up and within the couple of hours I was there, the wind went from glassy to choppy with small waves breaking over the sides of my tube.  I was already satisfied that I had a successful trip by lunch time and decided to go look for a campsite, fully intending to return at dusk for round two.   I kicked back through gale force winds only to find my truck almost trapped by other vehicles.  I threw the gear into the truck and made my seventeen point turn to go back the way I had come. Driving down the road there were many more people headed to the put-in with their float tubes and fly rods.  Unbeknown to me the day I decided to go was the opener for other nearby lakes.   It was then I realized that I wouldn’t be camping legally anywhere near this lake.  Every campsite I visited they pretty much laughed when I asked if they had any campsites available.  I was at a crossroads.  Do I stay or call it a day.  I was pretty tired already; I hadn’t slept the night before in anticipation of fishing a new area, tying flies, and possibly some Call of Duty.  I decided the best course of action was to return another time so as to not deal with the “rubber hatch.”   Whenever I hear the term rubber hatch I think of condoms emerging from the water and flying away.  Just me? Never mind then.  I chalked it up to a life lesson and made the drive home, almost breaking the fishing time to driving time ratio.  So that was my first time on a desert lake and it wouldn’t be my last.  Since then I’ve  fished several others and have had decent success on both subsurface and dries.  I’ll save that one for the next time with instructional tips and pictures. Till next time “Honey Badger don’t give a S%$#”
    Is it weird that I select a smaller numeral for font size thinking it‘ll be bigger like hook sizes?

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