Verdant and Full

March 23, 2018  I promised an old friend today that I would take him fishing  on San Luis Reservoir today.  Had I not have made those arrangements ,  I might have canceled the day.  I woke up at 4am to the sound of pounding rain on the roof and rechecked the weather report for the lake which predicted rain till 10am.    I suspected that the full lake would make the fishing tough nearly doubling the area of the lake.  I can’t remember the last time I fished San Luis when the water was all the way to the top. I remember reading not so long ago that it would take years to fill the lake again.   We launched at Dino at 7:30 and were one of three boats.   The rain was falling lightly and the skies were dark.   The ramp was short and where I had never seen it before.

Jon Manibusen really got into fishing since the last time I  talked to him a couple years ago,   He is so into it that he fished for perch every weekend and works at Fisherman’s Warehouse on Sundays for the discount.   It was hard not take him out seeing how excited he was about the idea.     I will teach him to flyfish one of these days and he will be doomed.   My thoughts were that we would hunt for schools of fish with the 360 sonar and with him casting jerkbaits and Flukes,  we could search more water faster.   I wasn’t expecting much action today.   I thought I saw some fish working the surface about 300 feet off the Dino Boat Ramp but by the time I got to them,  they sounded and were gone.   I decided to fish the Dams on the west side around the trees to see if we could find some lone fish.   The strategy worked out and we landed 5 good fish casting from 20 feet out to the bank around the trees and coves on the west side.    The fish are spread out and tough to find and harder to stay on.    We got zero in Lone Oak,  the Windys, Three Trees and Las Piedras.    I didn’t try the east side and I was tempted to fish the Racks but the lake was so high,  it was almost even with the top of the racks and it seemed too risky.     Despite getting only 5 fish,  Jon thought it was pretty fun.   I think when I get back from Australia and Henderson Springs,  I will fish the forebay which should be clear in a couple weeks with less surface area.  The fish might be more concentrated.    It was great seeing the verdant grass and high water in the lake today.   All the wildflowers were blooming and it looked like a completely different lake.

Addendum:

Turns out I did see Vaughn in the Reatta yesterday.  And word to your mother,  Steve Santucci was out and did about the same.  Can’t wait to get out again with great reports like that.  Looks like three weeks from now.

Gentlemen,
I had a text message from Larry on Thursday asking to go fishing this weekend–that’s a first!  My reply was “Let’s go, if the wind and weather cooperate.”  Sunday looked like the better day, so that was the plan–good plan!
I met Larry at the Tractor Supply around 8:30 (I was out late on Saturday night), so we were not on the water at Dinosaur till after 9:00.  Our first stop was the north side of Lone Oak, where we ran into Steve Santucci who was fishing with Bryce Tedford and another fellow.  They had already fished the north shoreline and caught a few, but Steve recommended we give it a try–good idea!
Larry caught the first 3 fish in our first 30 minutes of fishing along the north shoreline of Lone Oak.  He was using a medium sized chartreuse and white clouser; I only got one or two unenthusiastic nibbles on the brown/yellow/white clouser, but I changed to a yellow over white clouser and started hooking a fish every now and then.  We caught a few more in Lone Oak, then went looking.  Big Windy was a bust, as was Honker Bay.  Larry asked how Parking Lot was fishing and I told him not that well for me lately, but, in the interest of science, we ran over there–good idea!  We picked up another hand full of fish, including a couple of 5 pounders for me.  We then headed back around to Mouse Ears and Teener Cove, where we marked nothing and did not make a cast.  We ran back into Lone Oak and caught  a couple more fish, but it was slow the second time through.  Larry asked about Portuguese Creek and I told him that it had not been fishing well for me recently, but, in the interest of science….  We headed down there and eased around on the trolling motor near the submerged trees and Larry once again started catching fish on the chartreuse and white clouser.  I had a couple of unenthusiastic nibbles on the yellow over white, so I dug an old chartreuse and white clouser out of the fly box, gave it a trim, and now I was getting hook ups.  We kept getting bites and hooking one here and one there for about an hour, then it was time to head for the ramp.
We had 23 or 24 for the day, with Larry getting more than a dozen on the fly–nice going, Larry!  He caught one that was easily 5 pounds–his biggest on the fly rod; very cool!  Conditions were all but perfect: cool, cloudy, light wind all day.  The water is clear, with temps in the mid to high fifties.  Nice day.  No trophies, but the medium sized chartreuse and white clouser got eats all day long.  The fish pulled hard, but some of them were kind of skinny.
Thanks, Larry, for checking in and for coming out in the boat yesterday–it was fun watching you do so well with the fly rod!
Vaughn
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