Pass Lake

Ah, Pass Lake. I love this lake and feel so fortunate to have such a great trout fishery so close to where we live. Yes, I know… the road along the south side of the lake is noisy, but I guess that doesn’t bother me too much (except for the occasional dumbass that feels compelled to yell some incomprehensible garble while driving by in a ’84 Pontiac Fiero with a fabulous primer gray and Bondo paint scheme). Okay, other than that, I love this lake.

So I rolled into the parking lot at about 10:30 a.m. and was in the water within a few minutes. The water temperature was a chilly 42-degrees but would warm up to a surface temperature of 45 by the end of the day. The weather actually felt like spring with some REAL sun, only slight winds, and it didn’t even rain! It was an awesome day to be on the lake and the number of cars in the parking lot definitely was a sign that I wasn’t the only one that was thinking that way.

Most of the other guys on the lake were fishing chironomids and they were working fairly well for periods around the middle of the day. There were two sizes of chironomids that appeared to make up the bulk of the hatch. The most abundant one was around the size of a size 14 scud hook. The other chironomid hatching was one of the big bombers and a black/silver chironomid pupa pattern on a size 10 2X-Long hook was spot-on. The fish were eating it well while the hatch lasted… but it didn’t.

Most of the day I fished a type IV full sink line and a brown mohair leech. That fly is simply hard to beat on Pass most of the time, and this day was the same. I had a difficult time hooking and landing fish, but still managed to put 23 rainbows and two browns into the net for a quick release. The biggest fish of the day was one of the browns and was 19-inches in length. The rest of the fish were probably 50/50 between nice sized 16-18-inch fish and then smallish 12-13 inchers.

One thing for sure, the fish were holding in water that was 15-feet deep or deeper. Depths of 15 to 20 feet deep was where I concentrated my efforts of getting the leech down right off the bottom. I installed a fishfinder on my pontoon boat a few years ago. It is very useful and totally addicting. I can’t stand not having it on any lake anymore.

Just as the warm sunshine disappeared with the sun dropping below the trees, the fishing shut-off. I worked hard in my last hour before leaving and only coaxed one last fish… but it was definitely a hard stop on the feeding activity once the sun was setting. Although, there were a surprising number of fish rising on the surface to chironomids in the evening for this time of year. In the summer, I’ve seen Pass Lake erupt with fish in the evening when the chironomids were on the water. The bats can be even more numerous.

So overall, a great day on the lake. It should get even better as those water temperatures get up closer to 50-55. Stop by the shop if we can help you get ready for a trip to Pass.


Pacific Fly Fishers

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