White Rubber Legs Stonefly

 Posted by on June 9, 2012 at 6:34 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jun 092012
 

 

White rubber legs stonefly catches trout

White rubber legs stonefly catches trout

I usually drag a wooly bugger or a leech pattern when I am trolling for trout, but I like to mix it up often to see what happens. The other day, I was fishing for stocker rainbows at a local lake but my trusty leech wasn’t working very well so I replaced it with a stonefly nymph with white rubber legs. Within a few minutes, I started getting more hits with the stonefly. I think the legs are an important attractant for fish.

Stoneflies are usually used for moving water to imitate bugs like the salmon fly nymph. I don’t know a lot of people who fish it in stillwater but I am a big fan of it.

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Trout Love the Rubber Legged Copper John Fly

 Posted by on June 2, 2012 at 7:09 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jun 022012
 
Trout eating a rubber legged Copper John

Trout eating a rubber legged Copper John

One of my “go-to” flies is the rubber legged Copper John. I’ve used this fly very effectively while fishing deep trailing a wooly bugger or when covering the surface layer trailing a large attractor dry fly. In most cases, the fish will hammer the Copper John fly rather than the attractor fly in front of it. The Copper John is a stonefly nymph imitation. One of the reasons why this fly is so effective is that its heavy weight gets it down quickly to where the trout feed. Try it next time you need to get down to where the trout are.

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Trout on a Pink Salmon Fly

 Posted by on May 19, 2012 at 7:22 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
May 192012
 
Bead head pink salmon fly

Bead head pink salmon fly

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been doing some experimenting to test out my theory that the motion of a fly, rather than its color or pattern, matters most to fish. Previously, I successfully caught trout using a bright pink and white clouser minnow fly.

Trout eating a pink salmon fly

Trout eating a pink salmon fly

A few days ago, I tied up a size 8 bead head pink salmon fly that did well for me during the last pink salmon run in Washington. I trolled it using an intermediate line and caught several trout in short order!

I am getting more confident about my theory.

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Trout on a Clouser Minnow Fly

 Posted by on May 16, 2012 at 6:04 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
May 162012
 
Trout on a clouser minnow fly
Trout on a clouser minnow fly

Trout on a clouser minnow fly

I must confess that I have always been a little skeptical that the color and pattern of a fly matters a whole lot when fishing for trout. A few days ago I decided to do some experimenting while I was fishing for trout on a local lake. After successfully catching a bunch of fish using traditional trout flies like wooly buggers and leech patterns, I decided to use some of my bright flies traditionally used for salmon and salt water fish.

I tied up a size 6 pink and white deep clouser minnow and trolled it behind an intermediate line. Bingo! Despite the fact that no creatures in the lake look anything like a pink and white clouser minnow, the trout went for this gaudy fly pattern! This reinforces my belief that the most important characteristic of a fly is its motion in the water rather than its color or pattern. Do others think otherwise?

 

 

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Spring Rainbow Trout at Beaver Lake

 Posted by on April 24, 2012 at 6:46 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Apr 242012
 
Beaver Lake rainbow trout on a fly

Beaver Lake rainbow trout on a fly

One of the highlights of springtime in Western Washington is stillwater fishing for rainbow trout. My brother and I fished Beaver Lake near Issaquah a few days after they stocked it with 6,000+ rainbows in early April. Although Beaver Lake can be fished from a short stretch of public shoreline, it is best fished from a boat. If you are a fly fisherman, a boat or floating device is required since there is no room for a backcast from shore.

It was a calm sunny afternoon in the 50s and, for the first hour, we got to enjoy the weather paddling our canoe since we didn’t get any bites! I finally landed a fish a few minutes later but my brother had no love from the fish. Since he was a rookie, I figured it would be best to start him on a light spinning rod and some Power Bait. Surprisingly that combo did not produce.

Determined to get my brother his first rainbow trout, I switched him to a Mack Wedding Ring trout lure after seeing some fish feeding just below the surface. Within a few minutes, he was catching them like a pro even though he didn’t cast more than 20 feet! At one point, he had another fish on the line before I could get the previous one onto the stringer! I think he got “hooked” on fishing that day.

I had equal success on my fly rod. Using a full sinking line and a size 10 red bead-head nymph, I caught a fish on almost every other cast. Although the rainbows were only small planters between 9 and 12 inches, they were a lot of fun to catch.

We kept some trout for dinner. After a “hard” day of fishing, I like to use my quick and simple fried trout recipe. The delicious trout dinner was a good footnote to the day.

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Apr 202012
 
Fried rainbow trout with lemon mayo
Fried rainbow trout with lemon mayo

Fried rainbow trout with lemon mayo

After a long day of trout fishing, you’re tired and hungry. The last thing you want to do is to spend a lot of time cooking your freshly caught trout. Here’s a quick and easy trout recipe that takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook.

1) First, catch some fresh rainbow trout (as a rule, I only keep stocked hatchery trout, I never keep wild trout).

Fresh rainbow trout, cleaned and gutted

Fresh rainbow trout, cleaned and gutted

2) Clean out the guts (it’s OK to leave the head on), scrap off scales with a knife, rinse and drain in a colander.

3) In a plastic food bag, mix the following ingredients well:

  • about 1 cup flour (adjust according to the size of your fish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Trout being dusted with flour

Trout being dusted with flour

4) Place trout one at a time into the bag, blow in some air, and shake well, coating the fish well.

Flour-coated trout ready to be cooked

Flour-coated trout ready to be cooked

 

5) Heat about 1/4 cup canola oil in a large skillet, add 2 cloves of minced garlic, brown garlic slightly, and add fish. Sear each side of fish for a few minutes under high heat, then reduce heat and cover the skillet for a few more minutes to finish cooking (do not overcook).

Searing each side of fish

Searing each side of fish

 

6) Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over each fish, dash of salt to taste. Serve immediately with lemon mayonnaise sauce (mix equal portions of mayo and fresh lemon juice).

Fried trout, ready to eat

Fried trout, ready to eat

 

 

 

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Trout Fishing on Lake Alice

 Posted by on April 8, 2012 at 9:52 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Apr 082012
 
Alice Lake near Fall City

Alice Lake near Fall City

Not having been fishing for a couple of months, I went to Lake Alice near Fall City, WA twice since they stocked the lake with rainbows in mid-March. The first time, a few days after the fish plant, I fished for half a day and had only one bite to show for it! I did not see any other fishermen catch anything that day. No one had a plausible explanation why the fish were not biting. It’s extremely rare to be skunked within a week of a fish plant!

Fishing in the rain

Fishing in the rain

Not wanting to admit defeat, I went back to Lake Alice several days ago. When I arrived, I was the only fisherman on the lake. And for good reason. During the first hour, it was in the low 40s but calm and pleasant. Then the weather turned dramatically in the next hour–the skies quickly darken and I was pelted with driving rain and winds gusting to about 20 mph. The wind whipped up waves that made my float tube almost impossible to control. However, it was all worth it.

I quickly caught my limit of five trout. Yes, they were all small planter trout but they were fish. Having not fished in a couple of months, I was a little rusty handling the first couple of trout before the rhythm came back. I was trolling a #10 olive wooly bugger and a red bead head nymph on a full sinking line. My 5 weight fly rod was a little heavy for this job.

Rainbow trout on a wooly bugger fly

Rainbow trout on a wooly bugger fly

By the time I got back to shore to pack up, I realized that my hands were almost frozen and  unbuckling my fin flippers was painful. Despite the chilly weather, it was a great fishing outing and my family enjoyed the rainbow trout we invited to dinner that evening. I’ll tell you how I cooked them in a later post.

 

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