Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Questions about Freshwater Fishing

Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby aka anglinarcher » Sun May 26, 2013 5:23 pm

I was out fishing for some paltry Brown Trout yesterday. We talked some years ago when you were in Spokane about them, but ..... the water was 10+ feet clear, fish were just flipping me the "fin" and swimming off.

I decided to have a little fun and put on your Wopper Plopper 130. OK this brought them up. They would come out of the depths clear the water, then hit it on the way down. THERE ARE NO HOOKS ON TOP. LOL When they stopped that trick I tied on a Wide Glide 120 SS. The would rush up to within inches then back off.

When the water is super clear and the fish are turning at the last second, I usually try going small, then if nothing I go BIG. Going big did get the interest, but while I had the attracting, I missed the triggering.

What do you suggest I could have done?

And yes, I want to hear from you other guys as well. My paltry brown trout do have some size to them. I caught a few 20 inchers but my largest to date is 30" to boat, and a few larger lost at the net. So, a 120 and 130 sized bait is really not that "overboard". :lol:
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby dahlberg » Mon May 27, 2013 5:22 am

hmmm. that's a tough one. I'd say either live bait or lures at night or super early morning.
good to hear from you!
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L
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby aka anglinarcher » Mon May 27, 2013 9:11 am

Thanks Larry, the better ones I did get were before 8:00 am, but I was lazy Saturday and did not get on the water before sunrise like I prefer. Also there was no wind and on that lake and for those fish, wind is mind friend. :lol:

The idea of using live bait is of course what I want to do, but in this state, that is pretty much a criminal offence. The use of any live fish is strictly prohibited. The importation or the purchase of live leaches, waterdogs, crayfish, etc., is also strictly prohibited. If you can catch waterdogs, crayfish, leaches, etc., in the water you are fishing, then you can use them for bait, but ...... that is not going to happen. Also, you are strictly prohibited from removing them from the lake at the end of the day unless the bait is dead.

Soooooo, I guess I am back to lures at night, which is what I do best anyway.

Thanks again, I always appreciate your help.
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby dahlberg » Mon May 27, 2013 11:07 am

Get a good nights sleep, or sleep during the day and go nocturnal!
Always enjoy hearing from you!
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby lilpdriverrat » Mon May 27, 2013 3:14 pm

Try some soft plastic trout swimbaits...like a 6" Huddleston
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby aka anglinarcher » Mon May 27, 2013 5:20 pm

Good idea, I prefer the weedless 6" - No joy. I Also tried my version of the Caustic in 4" - no joy.
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby Watchhiller » Mon May 27, 2013 9:25 pm

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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby Watchhiller » Tue May 28, 2013 7:10 am

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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby aka anglinarcher » Tue May 28, 2013 1:40 pm

Watchhiller wrote:
> hey aka, i'v had really good luck with big browns during the 'golden hour'
> (twilight) on a mini, frog color pattern (yellow belly), zara spook. and
> really small spinner baits as well (reeled just below the surface so the
> blade makes a ripple). even buzz baits. more importantly is where, being in
> the back bays and oxbows and other slow water areas in the river. i think
> they move in looking for a shot at mice, snakes and such. gotta sip a lot
> of flies to match a snake ounce for ounce protein wise....hope this helps..
> catch em up!

Good to hear from you Watchhiller. I agree completely with the golden hour, at least on most bodies of water. For some reason this strange lake fishes much better in the early morning. Perhaps a little geography is needed.

The lake is set in a canyon with Basalt cliffs on all sides. It is about 8 miles long, 2000 acres, but only perhaps 3/4 mile long at the widest. It is not created by erosion but by a giant crack in the bedrock. There is another smaller lake directly above that is the same way, except it has an island in it. The island is clearly the result of molten lava pushing some granite bedrock up with it. Both are natural lakes, no dams.

The cliffs are several hundred feet high. Once you get to the water line, there are often spires that come up out of nowhere. Also, there are a lot of shelves just under the water line. Most of these shelves in high water are between 2 and 6 feet deep, but they are now only inches to a couple of feet below the water. The shelves may extend out 2' or 100' but then they drop straight down just like the cliffs above, often 50 to 500 feet. Officially the lake is only 300+ feet deep, but this is an old map done in the 1940s. My sonar shows one spot that is 425 feet deep, 100 yards long, 20 yards wide. I also found another spot this last trip that was only about 10 yards wide but dropped to 525 feet deep. This is very strange geography and these two lakes are the only two I have ever seen this way.

The edges have dogwoods growing to the edges, often overhanging in many places. In some area it is just chunk rock, sometimes solid rock, and in a few area reeds have taken hold on the shelves. You might say that this is sure not normal "Trout" water. :roll: See links below.
The only current is due to wind, and this lake can sure crank up the wind. Due to the long and narrow nature, I can see the current and water density changes on my sonar when I have the sensitivity turned up and the wind has been blowing for some time.
In short, frogs are as rare as hen’s teeth. I am sure there are some, but I have never seen them. There are mice and birds, especially swallows, along the cliffs, so I know that that is a protein shake in the making. Snakes? you bet, but I doubt the Browns see many rattle snakes they can eat. LOL
I have used the buzz baits and spinner baits before, but as you suggest, it works best in low light conditions. My best Brown came during the middle of the night on a buzz bait, but I did not measure it before releasing it.
I like the spooks, but I prefer a clear one I have or a Chrome Bluegill one. But, like a fool, I forgot to bring my Bass gear on the trout trip. I bet I will not forget them next time. I see these as a twilight bait, not a night bait.
Good information; keep it coming.

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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby aka anglinarcher » Tue May 28, 2013 11:00 pm

Watchhiller wrote:
> hey aka, just as a follow up i figured i'd drop some major mojo on ya.
> found a dead, headless chicken on the side of the road once, and like all
> good fly fisherman, threw it in the back of my truck. got home, skinned it,
> and proceeded to dismantle it for materials. came up with what i call
> either the rhode island red, or the strawberry blond. its a wooly bugger
> tied on a 10 or 12 longshank. i use bunny for the body, the stawberry blond
> maribu from the chickens haunches, and copper colored jungle cock for the
> hackle. my secret weapon....devistating on browns. found a fox like that
> too once during work. threw it on the back of the bosses truck and when he
> asked what i was going to do with that, i responded with ' why, i'm gonna
> cut its face off.' never quite looked at me the same way again....catch em
> up!

You crack me up. :lol: :lol: :lol: I bet the boss never did understand. I know my wife never really got use to all of the dead animals I have in my fly desk.

Because of the nature of the lake these big fish are in, you have to cover a lot of water. Fly fishing is not a great way of covering water, but it is a great way of concentrating on a spot. Also, because of the nature of the structure, the fish tend to be quite spooky, requiring long cast. This is not normally great fly water.

Nevertheless, I do occasionally toss flies, but I go big. I often use the Kelly Gallop style articulated flies using a #2 wide gap for the front and a #4 for the back. I also use several Saltwater style and size flies. If I could ever get the Dahlberg Diver to work right, I would use it to. :oops: The idea of using a 10 or 12 hook just seems small trout to me. The fish in this lake feed mostly on other fish, sculpens, crayfish, sucker minnows, carp minnows, young bass minnows, and of course the 5 to 8 inch young trout they plant in the lake. As you can see, my fish want meet, not snacks. :P

When I do fly fish this lake, it normally is done with either an 8 weight shooting taper or an 8 weight Switch Rod with a Lee Wulff Ambush line. With these outfits, an 80 or 90 foot cast is pretty normal and the large flies are not so bad. Still, I have a 5" deer hair crayfish, weighted to sink tail first, craws up, articulated, that weighs a ton but catches like crazy. Having said that, it is a real head knocker and I do have scars in my scalp from yanking the barbs out of my head. :shock: :!:
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby Watchhiller » Wed May 29, 2013 7:00 am

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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby aka anglinarcher » Wed May 29, 2013 9:24 pm

You are sooo right about the skinny water. During high water most of what I fish is the skinny water on the shelves. Some of my best results have come from bouncing lures off the rocks and just as it clears the ledge they come up from underneath. Of course, during high water the water clarity is normally 3 to 5 feet so they are less spooky. Also, I find that a 10 mph wind is perfect - fish the points and the windward side of shores. Again, I believe the waves help break up the surface and make them less spooky. Of course, as you suggested, the wind causes current and gives the fish a staging area.

I have noticed a couple of other things. One, there are some days where there are fish everywhere, but most of the time you will fish for a hundred or more yards without a hit then hit two or three on 5 straight casts. Two, some structure is better then others on a given day, but it changes from year to year. Three, most of the time when I fish, if I hit fish in an area I can rest it and come back later that day and catch more. NOT on this lake, it is a one pass and you are done for at least a full day. What this tells me is that the big browns are traveling in loose wolf packs, but they seem to take up ambush points rather then cruise the water. It also tells me that I strain the water pretty well on each pass. I suspect that with less clear water this might no be true.

Trolling, I HATE TROLLING! I know, you have to let the fish tell you what to do, but ...... did I mention I HATE TROLLING. I troll only when I take the grandkids out, or when I structure troll Walleye. The structure trolling for Walleye almost doesn't count as trolling because it is a lot more active. I have done some trolling on this lake but at least during the day the big fish do not seem to leave the hard structure. I suspect that there are big fish in open water, but I just cannot force myself to troll long enough to learn them. :lol:

Deep jigging does work, at times. Again, working the cliff edges and subtle points is best. Still, jigging is a precession method, not a cover method. This is the exception to the one pass and your done rule. I often will come back to a place where I spotted followers and then do a little swim jigging at depth. Vertical jigging just does not work for me, but if it is called out and the fish just don't give me a chance, I drop shot them. Drop shotting this lake is crazy because I often am trying to set the weight on little tiny ledges. Sometimes it takes several cast to find one, but then that soft plastic dancing in one place drives them crazy. Drop shotting like this does not work during a wind, but it gives me options on calm days.

I have fished a lot of the micro stuff on this lake, up to the huge stuff, and using the small stuff will hammer the little Rainbows and small Browns, but that is not my game. Sure, at times it is fun, but it is just not for me.

Last, you are correct, there are a lot of fish larger then 20". I let my son take home a 26" last fall and when he cleaned it out it had 6, yes that is correct, Six 8" fish in its gut and throat. If the fish had not been bleeding, we might never have known how aggressive they were, and how well they ate. My biggest kept was a 30" that took my swim bait so deep that it was bleeding bad. I have released many as large. I have lost two at the net that were twice the width of my net, which is 19" diameter. That means the fish were about 38". Now for a freshwater Brown, that is not to shabby. I have one spot that seems to hold one special fish. It is really exceptional and it always beats me. It will probably die of old age, but that fish is the reason I keep coming back. It does not always show, but often enough that I won't fish the spot with anyone with me -- it is my fish, all mine, alllllll mine. :oops:

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby Watchhiller » Thu May 30, 2013 6:30 am

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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby aka anglinarcher » Thu May 30, 2013 6:32 pm

While I don't violate state fishing rules, I do tend to butt heads with them often enough. I don't think I will give them any ammunition by using a poor dead planter. :lol: :lol:

Once in a while I will post some browns, just for fun. I won't post too much of my lakes for fear a local will figure out "my spots". :mrgreen: :twisted:

Thanks for the idea though. :P
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Re: Larry, help??? your lures are driving me crazy!

Postby MuskieTom » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:48 am

I've caught some nice brown's using sinking sebile magic swimers. I had to be really eratic in my retrieve to trigger bites. Also have done well drifting stealhead jigs on slipfloats tipped with plastic worms or real ones. Dunno if that helps.
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