Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lewiston Lake Trinity River Fishing in the Fall

We just got back from a one week trip to Lewiston Lake. The weather was perfect, cool and clear. The fishing was not what was expected. Lewiston Lake is a river.It is the controlled flow of the Trinity River from Trinity Lake to the Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River. There is always a current moving and the water is in the 50's the year round. I have read about this being a fly fishing lake, and a trolling lake, so I brought all the trolling lures and poles. When I got on the lake I knew that trolling is not the answer. There is a constant flow of moss moving in the water. It is almost impossible to troll as the lure catches moss in an instant. So fly fishing was the answer. Unfortunately I did not bring the fly rods. What to do? Water bobber and fly.

We started out Sunday morning at 9:00 am. The tempature was 33degrees outside. Motored out about 300 yards and started seeing fish surfacing all over the lake. Cut the motor and cast out the bobber with a size 12 bead head nymph. The first cast and a big fat rainbow about 3lbs. hits the fly. This is going to be easy! It was for about 30minutes. We caught 4 nice fat trout. The smallest one is in the picture. Then the fish stopped biting. They stopped biting for four days.

During that time we went to the Upper Trinity River which was to low to fish. We hiked up to an Alpine lake, Lake Eleanor and tried for some Brook Trout. They were just as locked jawed as the rainbows.

We tried boats and shore casting all along the banks of the lake.We even went up to the dam outlet and found big fish jumpimg but not feeding. I talked to a local who was fishing from a boat. He said that during October and November the big trout stay up in the dam area and feed on the small Kokanee salmon which are sucked into the lake through the inlet at the dam. He said that two days ago he caught a 23incher anchoring and drifting a J7 rapala.

On the last day we drove to the public launch area one mile down the road. We had fished that area each evening and caught one trout each time. This time the Fish Gods were smiling. We cast out and drifted our bubble and size 16 bead head fly over some rocks . Wham! bam! a hit. Caught one fish than a few casts later another. This was at 3:00pm in the afternoon. That one fly kept getting bite. After 7 fish the fly looked like this................

We ended up with 12 rainbows caught all big fat and full of fight. They looked like natives we have caught in the moutain streams. We were going to eat one of them but they were so beatiful that all were released. In fact we did not see anyone keep a fish, they releasedthem all.

Lewiston Lake is a river and fishes like a river. FLIES RULE. Not much action on lures or trolling because of the moss. The fish seem to stay in the same area. They did not move much during our week stay. We caught all of the fish in the same spots.

If peace and quiet in a beautiful setting then Lewiston Lake is for you in the Fall. Just bring a boat because boats are expensive. The cost of a 4 hours rental is more than the cabin we rented for a night! A fly fishers paradise, as long as the fires are out.

One last thing, no where have I read this. All of the fish have round wounds on their bodies. They looked like the lamprey marks on the fish I use to catch in Lake Michigan. Well, they were lamprey wounds. We caught one rainbow with a 6in. lamprey attached. Proof positive. None of the locals like to talk about it, but they will become a problem just like it was in the Great Lakes. Fish and game do not address this issue. It is a problem. The fishing is not as great as it has been in recent years. There are many big fish in the lake but they are not being caught. Lampreys maybe?

If the weather ever gets cooler I will be out on the local lakes. Trolling, my arm hurts from casting. God Bless Ferne and Michael

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Only Way To Catch Early Season Trout At Quarry Lake

While the water cools off at Los Vaqueros and the algae disappears I want to let you know how to catch early season trout at Quarry Lake in Fremont. There have been many posts saying that Quarry Lake is a hard place to fish. This may be a fact in Spring and Summer but right now is the time to catch 2 t0 3lb. trout. For some reason the trout are near the surface in the warm water. In other lakes like Del Valle where you need a downrigger, Quarry Lake has trout swimming on the surface. People continue to fish for them with the standard power bait rig, or cast big spoons . These rigs catch a few but when you see 50 to 100 big fat trout swimming 10 feet from shore biting nothing and swimming back and forth teasing you people say fish do not bite at Quarry Lake. I have found that with the right lures and presentation along with many repeat casts you can get a 10 to 15 lb. limit of trout.

I caught a limit in four hours yesterday,when only a couple of fish were caught the entire day. This is the third time in a month that I have limited out. I am not trying to brag just trying to get other people to catch some fish.

The first thing is to down size your tackle. You need light lures and light line 1/8 to 1/6oz. lures on four pound line. These fish have been cast to 1000"s of times They will not hit a lure cast right on top of them. Pay attention to the direction that the fish are swimming. Cast your lure past the school and bring the lure back over the fish moving in the same direction as the school. If you cast the lure in the opposite direction ,the fish have no time to react to the lure before it passes over them. Wear a pair of polarized glasses because you need to see the fish mouth the bait. They do not hit the lure, instead they mouth it and spit it out in a half second. You almost never feel the strike. So watch the lure when it disappears,STRIKE. You will not get many fish hooked. I average 1 in10 fish to strikes. Keep casting and casting if no hits change lure colours or lures.

Now the lures; I like to start with panther martins. The small gold or silver usually works. I tie the line directly to the lure or use a small snap. No snap swivel please, the fish see it and do not attack. If that does not work I go to a black purple dressed hook panther martin totally different but it has caught half the fish. If nothing doing I put on other spinners and small spoons until I get a hit . When that fails to get a fish I will put a small crappie jig on below a tiny Thrill Bobber and cast to the fish. I will also attach a tiny #16 fly to the end of the jig,so I have a swimming jig followed 16inches by a fly. This usually does the trick. Just keep casting!

If you see the fish a little further out, you can also use a fly and bubble. You start with a water bobber. Open the bubble up and add some split shot into the bubble this makes it heavier so it will sink faster.Now you thread the line from your fishing reel through the bubble add a colour bead and then tie to a small snap swivel. Now take a 5 or 6 foot piece of flouocarbon leader tie to the other end of the swivel and attach a fly or a small trout rubber worm. I like flies this time of year. Yesterday a#12 beadhead gray and green fly caught the last three fish in fifteen minutes.Before that I tried 7 other kinds from buggers to flashy to plain flies. Try them for 20 casts and if you feel no tugs change. The key to catching these fish if to give them different things to see until one of them decides to hit it. Remember to fill the bobber with water at the lake before casting. It is not called a water bobber for nothing.

Where you fish is the most important part. You must see the fish to catch them. I fish in the same section of the lake. I am not going to tell you where just find the fish and you will catch them if you cast enough times. You might find me casting . I will be the one catching all the fish.

It is worth a try. All the fish come from Mt. Lassen. They are big and fat nothing under a pound. They fight and taste great. No fish and game sardines here. They are not stocked in Quarry Lake.

One last thing these fish frustrate people so much that many people snag the trout with their lures. A 1/2 oz. Cast Master has a large sharp treble hook. Yesterday I saw some one snag a 4lber. It gave a great fight being dragged backwards, having been snagged in the tail. It is not legal and there are some old timers out there that will call the ranger if they see you doing it.
So keep it legal and fun. I will be off to the Trinity next week for some trout and salmon fishing, The rains have arrived. Hope to have pictures of some great fish that Ferne will catch. that's why I bring her.

Until then good fishing and God Bless, Michael @Ferne