We had wonderful weather for our April 23rd Fish A Long at Schmadeke Pond and it was very well attended. However, the fishing was a little slow and this was forshadowed by a report from Vickie Loftus, who guided CFF member Peter Lymm to his first stillwater trout the day before. Vickie reported the recent rains and cold fronts have chilled the water to 51 degrees and put the fish down for a while. Bites were slow in coming and when they did happen, short takes were common. This was our experience too.
On the good side, most of the trout were pretty big, everyone had some action plus not everyone struggled to catch fish. So the silver lining on this slow bite day was we learned some valuable new stuff as Mike Shiiki & son Nathaniel tube-trolled a small black leech on intermediate line and consistently hooked fish all day long. Mike says this is a really good technique on Timothy Lake as well.
Their hot fly was Egan’s Half-Wit Leech. Click the link for tying instructions.
I tried to imitate Mike & Nathaniel’s tube-trolling approach after lunch but couldn’t quite pull it off as I got a cramp in my leg. But I did find something that worked OK, slow trolling a white leech 10 feet under an indicator (much of Schmadeke Pond is 12 feet deep). I have seen this technique in the past and decided to give it a try today & started getting bites with some consistency. FYI, it’s also supposed to be a good tactic for bass when they are not very active; it’s called the “float n fly” technique.
It was a little strange that leeches were the only fly that was working well as I stomach pumped a couple trout and the only thing in their stomaches were Chironomids. Mysteries are part of fly fishing!
Around 3:30 fish started rising pretty good in the shaded area along the far side of the lake and I was able to get a nice one on top with a Shipman Buzzer. While different looking, it’s easy to tie and very effective, imitating a hatching chironomid. Plus it floats very well, making it an excellent dry fly for suspending a pupa pattern on a dropper.
Thanks to everyone for coming and making this Fish A Long a success. Next months Fish A Long will be at Clear Lake on Mt Hood. Hope to see you there!