drano lake

Last go ’round at Drano Lake

What a slow weekend at Drano Lake. I’m not sure if the fish are late, or just not going to make it but the fishing isn’t nearly what it should be this time of year and with all those fish coming up the river. We always troll the main lake first thing in the morning before heading into the toilet bowl and both days seemed awfully slow in the lake. The afternoon bite was decent in the toilet bowl, but still very slow. We lost one adult and got a jack and saw about 20 other fish caught.

Sunday was a little better in the main lake in the morning, but nothing but a jack for us. Still not much of a plug bite with most of the fish caught on herring or prawn. We saw about 4 other jacks that morning. We headed into the toilet bowl and lost another adult and landed one more, but that was it for the weekend. We of course ate well again; I swear I eat better fishing out there than I do at home, and the weather was perfect, but I wished fishing was a little better. I’m glad that we have not taken a skunking out there this year, but we never really had that “Drano lake fishery” kind of day. Just a bunch of onsie twosie’s here and there.

 

We won’t be back again this year and I’m taking next weekend off from fishing to get caught up on homework, but we’ll be down at the Cowlitz until June!

Jeff’s birthday at Drano

Jeff’s birthday weekend was another success! Despite the damn counts, it really wasn’t that great of fishing, but we managed a few ;)

We took a three day weekend this time and let me tell you, Friday way a SLOW start for us! From the top:

Thursday morning before work, Jeff walked out to see gas pouring out of the vent in the back. It was hot and tank was full, okay open the lid and vent it out. Didn’t tell anyone else not to walk around there or wash it off because gas was all over the trailer and strap.

We stayed up late Thursday wrapping plugs in the hotel room and put them in a bait cooler and in the boat that night. Jeff walked out in the morning and saw a cat in the bed of his truck. He shoo’d it away and turned around to see the cooler open and plugs destroyed around the boat. Two thoughts entered our heads: why don’t we have my cute new pink BB gun and how did that stupid cat manage not to get any of those hooks stuck to its stupid face?

We cleaned the top ones and fished the ones that were still at the bottom of the cooler and looked and smelled okay. We watched a few boats hook up around us in the main lake and cooked up some breakfast (mimosa’s, fruit, & egg mcmuffins – yumm!).

We headed to the toilet bowl a little confused as to why we had half the people in the boat, but two fish each day by this time the weekend before and there were so many fish headed upriver. We made some friends and swapped some beers and by 10 AM, we were throwing fruit at David Perez in exchange for more beer and fruit. We somehow ended up with a rotten banana that we watched get swapped with several other boats. We politely threw back a strawberry and chucked the banana in the garbage.

We watched boats hook up right in front and behind us pass after pass. Around noon, we’re still fishless and we’ve seen at least 20 fish hooked. Something isn’t right. We headed out and cleaned everything. I mean everything! Thank goodness for Lemon Joy! An entire bottle, gone and everything was clean. We started over with new bait, new plugs, no garbage (by garbage I mean banana – thanks David!), nothing that could be bad juju.

We headed back into the toilet bowl and fish on! No way! Thank goodness Jeff was smart enough to try the only thing that made sense. Clean everything! We went around again, fish on! Hot damn! Thank goodness!!!! We went 3 for 6 that afternoon and kicked ourselves for missing the entire morning bite but was so proud of Jeff for figuring out that bad juju.

 

The rest of the weekend was great! Not really any morning bites and it progressively got slower and slower as the days passed and the strange thing is, no plug bites! Last weekend, almost all of our fish in the morning were on plugs and we couldn’t buy a plug bite this weekend. Damn cat…..


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff’s birthday was a success with some of his favorite people around. We ate good (ask the other boats that were there), we drank good (ask them that too), and we caught fish! One for the memory books!

Not sure where all the fish are and neither is anyone else, but hopefully next weekend picks up!

Drano trip number 1

One of my favorite fishing places……Drano Lake!

I can’t even begin to tell you how much effort Jeff has put into the Drano Lake fishery. Many trips where he left at midnight right after work when he worked at a restaurant; started with his drift boat then moved to his dad’s Whaler until he got his own boat; thousands of dollars spent on that fishery with a few fish to show for it. I think the most we’ve caught is 3 fish in a trip and we fished at least 2 days with a full boat and had to sit by watch boat after boat with fish on.

So far, this is Jeff’s year. We made our way back down there so we could get dialed back in for Jeff’s birthday weekend next weekend. Our buddies knew the counts weren’t as high as we’d like them and we could very well go home empty handed but the next weekend, if there were fish, we would find them. He’s spent the past year perfecting prawn cures, herring cures, and finding his favorite Maglips. Right after we launched, we heard only 5 fish were caught the day before. Yikes! That doesn’t sound very promising…..

We started in the main lake and got one right off the bat! YES!!!! A few of my close friends know that when we’re trolling, back trolling, pulling, anything with the rods in the holder, YOU DO NOT TOUCH THE ROD until you’re told to. This is serious and I can’t help but get feisty when this rule is broken and fish are lost. Well, a few of my friends also know that I’m known for snatching your fish if you’re not quick enough. If Jeff says get it and you take longer than 1.5 seconds to pick it up, it’s mine. I’ll be damned if we lose the fish because you were too slow. Although I’m working on this part, after elbowing Jeff’s mom and stealing a rod straight out of my mom’s hands, I’m trying to be less greedy. Well, Herb was just too slow! I ran from the back of the boat as soon as I saw that first hit, hopped over a few things, and snatched Herb’s fish. I hollered “you’re too slow Hermie!” and I crank down on the first fish of the day.

Okay, RUDE, I know! I just don’t know what gets into me! It’s like I need to sit on my hands or something! He was a great sport and helped everyone get this fish landed. He even high fived me after and let me do a happy dance. We were all just happy to see a fish this early. If this is all we go home with, at least it’s something! We saw another half dozen and then we got another! It’s 9 AM and we already have 2! This is record breaking for us out here! It quieted down and we headed into the bowl. We saw very few caught, but a few nonetheless. Nothing else for us the rest of the day until our last pass…..the rod with a brand new Shimano Tekota 300LC got whacked hard! Nothing…A second later, another but it was clear the fish still wasn’t on. We watched the rod get chewed up, but nothing promising and then, nothing. We reeled up, re-baited and decided it was not time to go. Back down she goes and as I’m letting just a couple more inches out after it’s down, I find out the drag is lose. Of course. A brand new reel and we didn’t check the drag! NOOOOO!!!!!! It’s one thing to just have a fish miss, but to find out it was our own fault?!

We made a few more rounds and left satisfied with our two fish hoping to hit the sack early.

The next day, we hit the main lake again and got another! So far, Herb, Myself, and Nyef all have fish and Jeff’s so selfless, he just wants to sit back and watch all his hard work pay off. We got one more that day and headed home early each with a fish to each for dinner.

This place is very special to Jeff and thankfully it’s one of my favorites too. It’s so beautiful, the people are beyond friendly, and I’ve never felt more “away” for just a weekend. The drive sucks and it’s expensive, but if it’s only a couple times a year, it’s like a mini vacation and well worth the cleared mind that it creates. Some don’t like the crowds or the monotonous fishing, but we love it and I’m glad! Back at it next weekend with Jeff’s family to celebrate his birthday and we’re all dialed in!

springer’s in the boat


AHHA! Finally got my first springer of the season and had a great weekend! We headed to Drano Lake for the first time this year to redeem ourselves from our TERRIBLE experience last year. My rod went off just after daylight around 7:30 AM and not only was I excited that it as my rod, but it was also our first plug fish out there :)
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