Fly fishing instructor and column writer Jeff Weltz was skunked while fishing in Washington State. In this week’s column he reminisces about the humbling experience.
We are back from vacationing on both sides of the border. The fishing this year was a learning experience. Not that we didn’t catch fish; it’s just that the size and numbers were not what I would have liked to see.
Over the next few columns I have decided to share some of the lessons learned, beginning with Skunked on The Methow.
Getting skunked is humbling for any angler. It is one thing to be put on a river and expected to succeed with methods and presentations that are completely foreign; and another thing again to work water very similar to your home waters, and fail using style and methods you teach. Such was my case when I decided to try my hand at central Washington’s Methow River.
Briefed with everything I needed to know by Greg of the Fly Fishers Pro Shop, in Winthrop, I set out in pursuit of 20-inch trout. I raised many, that came up to inspect my flies but not one solid connection was made. Kim on the other hand did catch, on the one Grasshopper pattern I had with me. Perhaps I should have humbled myself and bought some of the Hoppers Greg recommended; in-spite of my inner voice protesting, “Surely some thing in your briefcase of flies will work.”
Well, as I often preach in fly fishing classes, that some of us learn the first time, but for the rest of us, it takes awhile.
Our Lower Mainland lakes are fishing well. For wet (sinking) fly trout fishing try: Coachman, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Dragonfly Nymph, Damsel Nymph, Sixpack, Doc Spratley, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp. For evening dry (floating) fly trout fishing try: Tom Thumb, Irresistible, Royal Coachman, Renegade, Elk hair Caddis, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, or Lady McConnel. For kokanee try: Red Ibis, Double Trude, Blood Worm,
San Juan Worm, Red Spratley, or Red Carey. For bass try: Zonker, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Foam Frog, Poppers, Chernobyl Ant, or Crayfish. For panfish try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Bucktail, Dolly Whacker, Bloodworm, Chironomid, Poppers, Turks Tarantula, Tom Thumb or Irresistible.
Fishing on our Interior lakes is good. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Halfback, 52 Buick, Pumpkinhead, Big Black, Micro Leach, Coachman, Green Spratley, Damsel nymph, Dragon nymph, Carey Special, Souboo, Sixpack, or Baggy Shrimp. For Dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Black Gnat, Double Hackled Peacock, Griffith Gnat, Black Gnat, Elk Haired Caddis, Irresistible, Sofa Pillow, or Tom Thumb.
The Fraser is fishing well for cutthroat, Dolly Varden, and spring. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Proffesor, Anderson Stone, Zulu, American Coachman, Renegade, Tom Thumb, Black Gnat, Chez Nymph, and Irresistible. For dolly varden try: Zonker, Eggo, Clouser’s Minnow, Big Black, or Dolly Whacker, in sizes 4 and 8. For spring try: lead-heading with size 4 to 2, Eggo, Big Black, Flat Black, Wooly Bugger, Kaufmann Stone, Squamish Poacher, or Red Spratley.
The Stave is fair to good for cutthroat and rainbow. For rainbow try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Black Gnat, Souboo, Royal Coachman, Zulu, Renegade, Tom Thumb, Chernobyl Ant, Joe’s Hopper, or Irresistible.
The Harrison is good for cutthroat.
The Vedder is good for rainbow, and cutthroat.
The Thompson is very good for rainbow and spring.
A fly fishing instructor and outdoor writer,
Jeff has fished the area since the early 1970s.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org