Posted by Phil Lilley on August 9th, 2012
With the exception of a few days, this has been one of the best “catching trout” summers we’ve had in years. Normally we’ll have a week or more in June and/or July and for sure in August when our trout just don’t want to eat. I remember some weeks where people will check in to the resort and fishing will be tough for them all week. But not this year. We’ve had very few complaints.
Generation continues to be the same with a day or two in the week when the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers changes up things. Monday and today (Thursday) officials are running a half to one unit from midnight to midnight. Otherwise it’s no generation all day until about 4 p.m. when one to two units runt until 10 p.m. Check the SPA Website for daily schedule.
We’ve had some big trout caught this week. Kris Nelson, one of our guides, helped his client catch and release a 27-inch brown this week. It was taken on a night crawler between Fall and Short creeks. Their picture is featured as the header image for this article. I was blessed with a very large rainbow a week ago Monday while fishing with a couple of friends. None of us were looking for a lunker trout, especially as big as the one that appeared on the end of my line. She measured 29 inches long with an impressive girth, but we released her without getting a weight. In most cases, trout that size can’t survive out of the lake very long. I certainly didn’t want to hurt her, so she was released relatively quickly to safely swim away. I hooked her mid-channel in the lake about 500 yards above Fall Creek with a 3/32nd-ounce brown/orange marabou jig.
I just named a couple of the best baits used this week — night crawlers and jigs. That brown/orange has been a great color lately, but Ryan, our dock hand, caught “the most trout ever” the other evening, fishing the shallow side of the lake from Trout Hollow to Lilleys’ Landing with a sculpin/orange with an orange head. He caught mostly rainbows with two browns mixed in.
To use night crawlers, inject them with some air and let them fly. Use just enough split shot for weight to get the line out from the boat or dock. Not too much. I set the rod down and watch the tip of the rod. When you get a bite, let the fish take the worm just a bit and then set the hook. To drift with a worm, use the same technique, except for setting the rod down. Not a good idea if you plan to keep your rods and reels in the boat!
Drifting Gulp eggs later in the day from Cooper Creek down through Monkey Island has been good for catching mainly stocker rainbows.
I found a good school of trout up at the “bend” of the lake above Lilleys’ Landing. The bend is where the docks start on the southeast side or bluff side of the lake, opposite the resort. They’ve been closer to the bluff bank than the other side. I caught them on an olive 1/8th-ounce jig in the evenings, but I’m sure they’ll hit bait or another lure such as a Cleo or Rooster Tail. Also in the evenings, I’ve been fishing a jig and float from that bend down to the resort, casting a ginger or pink about six feet deep, mid lake.
That little micro jig has been deadly early in the mornings when the water has been dead still in the trophy area (above Fall Creek). With no wind that glass-like water isn’t the best condition to entice bites, but our trout are liking this little jig, fished under a float four- to five- feet deep on two-pound line. A close second choice is an olive/gold head micro jig, and third is a black micro jig. I’ve been getting away with using 6x fluorocarbon tippet, but when the sun comes out I would suggest using 7x. Fishing is best between the Narrows and Lookout along the bluff bank.
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