Sunday August 19, 2018 -Its been a month since I’ve fished the Big lake having been blown off the water basically the whole month of July. The last time I fished the lake was with Steve and we caught a bunch at the racks fishing deep. I was hoping for a repeat. It turned out that they were even deeper today -20 to 40 feet. I left the house at 6AM and drove through some incredibly thick fog in Gilroy heading over the pass. Even though the Solonar was only one star with a peak around 9AM, I noticed the cattle feeding and saw a bunch of active animals on my drive to the lake. I saw a huge Boar walking a trail on the hill , a coyote, and a large heard of Tule Elk feeding. When I see lots of animals before launching, I have had some great days. Passing the Forebay, there were a dozen flyfishermen parked in all the good locations and for a second I thought I might be fishing in the wrong spot today but I didn’t feel like fishing for dinks at the powerstation and had planned on looking for some bigger fish in the lake. The Basalt ramp was in great shape and there were only 4 boats out on a Sunday which is pretty empty. I noticed some Kayak fishermen camped out at “Guardrail” where I planned to look for some big fish. The lake was 30 feet lower than the last time I fished it and relatively calm. I could see five boats trolling in front of the Trash Racks so I headed over there since it looked like they were all close into the racks. When the cats away…..
I got to the racks around 7:30 and there was a good breeze coming from the east. There was a boat around one of the towers jigging with white flukes and they were picking up a couple on the bottom. The trollers were working the front of the racks with downriggers hooking lots of dinks. I got close to the towers and noticed a large school on my 360 sonar hugging up close to the racks about 30-40 feet down and I was optimistic that I would get some hits from them. I started around the racks counting to 30 and only picked up one dink. I went around the racks a couple time on a 30 count and was disappointed. Around 9:00 I got a phone call from my son and talked to him for a couple minutes while I let my fly sink for about 2 minutes, On the first strip, I was on to a ten pounder. I just had to let the fly get down to the fish and it was non stop for two hours. It takes a full minute to get the fly down 40 feet if you can keep the boat from drifting. It only takes about 15 seconds to strip the fly in. The first couple good sinks, I farmed the hits by being late of letting line slip. When you invest so much time for that 15 second chance at a fish, I forced myself to prepare. I found myself setting up for the strip for the full minute, getting the boat lined up, and keeping a little slack on the line to allow the flies to sink faster. With the fly that deep , it was tough to set up on the light hits between the strips. It took a couple fish to get the timing right but what worked best today for me was the upward snap of the rod to jump the fly followed by fast stripping and pauses. Its almost as if the fish were watching it sink and would only rush the fly at depth when it moved a certain velocity. I once saw albacore do that in the Sea of Cortez-the fly would have to move a certain speed to trigger the reaction. I ended the day with 27 fish and left the lake at noon. All but a couple were over 18 inches with a dozen or more fish over 22 inches. It was the best day of the year for size with lots of 8-10 pounders.
I fished the dam for awhile today with not much luck and mainly small fish. The water temp was 67 on the surface and I think the fish are more comfortable in the cooler water of the depths. Im glad I went deep today