The Kiosk employee informed me while he was de-banding my boat that the temperature had dropped into the 30s this morning. Just a week ago, I distinctly recall sweltering in 90-degree afternoons. The gentle, cool breeze throughout the day signaled the arrival of autumn, and the sight of the full moon last night had already set a low bar for the day. I decided to make my way over to Loan Oak, hoping to replicate the success Dan and I had fishing the mudlines just two days ago. Unfortunately, the mudlines in Portugese Bay were devoid of fish today, and it appeared that the ten other boats in the area were having no luck in the deeper waters either.
Meeting up with Steph at the launch, we decided to split up our efforts. He set off to explore the Cottonwood Rock Wall, while I ventured to the downwind side of Portugese Cove in search of bait and mudlines.
Early in the morning as I navigated into the bay, I noticed a group of birds actively feeding at the back end of one of the coves. I headed straight for the diving birds. I chased the school around for a couple hours and only managed 7 fish before they disappeared into the depths.
The wind shifted to the east, prompting me to head over to Mouse Ears and Lone Oak. I methodically patrolled the shoreline, using livescope to scan for any signs of bait or fish in the mudlines. As I was leaving Lone Oak, I stumbled upon a small school of fish about 30 feet down. Employing a measured count, I managed to catch a couple more from that school. Unlike two days ago, the strikes were subtle, and the fish seemed less interested in an aggressively moving fly.
Steph sent me a text reporting five catches from the Cottonwood wall, despite glowing reviews from the renowned troller Meng Xyong the day before. I’ve always told Steph that positive reports from trollers don’t necessarily translate to success for fly fishermen. Around 1:30, I headed over to the Bay of Pigs to catch the 49ers game on my phone, as the cellular internet signal was strongest on that side of the lake. Approaching the rocks on the dam, I noticed a significant mudline on the west side of the Bay of Pigs. I began working the shoreline in the murky water and landed two of the best fish of the day. There weren’t many fish actively searching for bait in the mud, likely due to the absence of large schools of bait in the vicinity. The fish I hooked in the mud also seemed to prefer slow-moving flies.
The action on the dam was notably slower compared to the past few weeks, with schools of fish seemingly located further out in deeper waters. It might be time to consider fishing the forebay, where the waters are shallower. I have a hunch that the lake’s fishing conditions will become more challenging in the coming months. I ended the day hooking 20 fish and landing 15. It was difficult to find feeding fish today.