uafish

Drano Lake 2015

We head down to Drano Lake every year for Jeff’s birthday and spend at least 1 full week preparing for the trip. We go with his family and our friend Herb and count down the days to this trip. This year, unfortunately, we were less than impressed. More surprised than anything!

The damn counts were great and there were definitely fish in the lake! But they weren’t biting the regular prawn spinner/herring behind a flasher. This year, it’s some strange salt water show all the way up in the Columbia River Gorge. We normally bring some of that gear, but never get anything on it so this year, it was left at home. Just our luck! ;)

Friday morning was a super great first light bite but there was a little more traffic at the launch than expected and didn’t quite make it into the water before the bite shut down. We had a slow morning but picked up a few in the afternoon.

Jeff’s mom got this hog on a herring! Weighed in at 22lbs!!

We headed back out Saturday morning expecting another first light bite, but were sorely mistaken. The winds picked up greatly and a few boats got a few fish, but it was nothing like Friday morning. We headed into the Toilet Bowl around 9 AM and had 3 bites all day, but lost all 3. We went back to the launch feeling defeated and decided to head into a few towns to find some tackle that might work.

Feeling hopeful on Sunday morning, we tried something new, and were again, sadly disappointed. We picked up around 9 and went to what we know……The Toilet Bowl. We had one take all morning and called it quits around 11 AM. Feeling defeated and spent, we basically spent the 3 hours car ride home in silence and bid Drano Lake farewell this year.

Still a better weekend than most weekends, but we’ll head back to the Cowlitz next weekend and maybe finally move into our new house :)

First springer trip!!

We finally made the official first springer trip and were quite successful! We ventured down to the Columbia for the last scheduled weekend that it was open in hopes to bring home some quality dinner. We started out on anchor with sardine wrapped plugs while the tide moved out.

We saw a couple fish on first thing in the morning but didn’t get our first fish until about 11 AM. It was biting for a few seconds and the rod was loaded, but in our boat, you don’t touch it until the reel is peeling line. It wasn’t peeling line but man it sure looked like it was on there good so we picked it up and….NOTHING! We didn’t get anything else on plugs that morning, but when the tide came back in and slacked out, we decided to pick up and troll herring behind flashers. We go one within 15 seconds of the rods being out and it was my step dad’s rod! He did great fighting it and it was extremely exciting to see him land his first springer!

We ran back up and got hit again! This time it was my co-worker and it was his first time out with us. He had a hot little fish that took several runs and dipped and tucked under the boat weaving from one side to the other! He thankfully landed it and we were feeling great with 2 upper river brights in the box!

 

I was glad that the two people that don’t get out with us were the ones to get the fish, but I really wanted one. It’s just always so much pressure to get the first one and then it’s all fun for the rest of the season.

So the next day we headed back down to the Columbia for some Easter morning fishing! We didn’t have any plugs wrapped to start the day so after we got 4 rods out, I spent the morning wrapping 20 more plugs to switch out. I wasn’t thrilled about that because I knew that if I was looking down with my hands full, I wasn’t going to be the one to see a rod get hit which meant I wasn’t going to be the one to get a fish. I watched 3 rods get hit while I was busy keeping them baited up. We got one hatchery and 2 wild fish and I was obviously irritated.

Jeff thankfully announced that the next fish is mine since everyone else already had their turn. Again, at high slack tide we pulled anchor and began to troll. Again, I was dealing with the plugs and was cutting off all of those beautiful wraps because we wouldn’t be using them again for at least a week. Sure enough, a rod goes off and my hands are full! We unfortunately lost that one which only added to my discouragement because I know (I say that) if I was fighting that one, I wouldn’t have lost it. We ran back and made another pass and sure enough, the same rod goes off but this time, we announced it was my turn!

I was kind of happy to have gotten this one, although it was smaller than all the others we got this weekend, it was definitely the best fighting. Stripped me out 130 feet upriver all on the surface. It was pretty awesome to watch it run on top of the water like that, but even more nerve wracking. Once we finally landed it I was happy to finally have the first one of the season out of the way!

Next weekend is my birthday weekend and the Columbia is still set to close so maybe a little drift boat action or back to the good ‘ol Cowlitz!