Long time listener, first time caller - I'm fairly new to the stillwater game, but with the pandemic upon us I decided to spend some time this winter figuring out the Island's lakes. To that end, over Thanksgiving weekend I took my float tube out to recently stocked Cranberry Lake and ended up having a pretty good day.
Since WDFW has been stocking Cranberry Lake a lot this month (from WDFW website: 11/3 - 500 rainbow trout; 11/4 - 1,000; 11/5 - 500; and 11/22 - 2,000) the odds looked promising for this stillwater novice. Also, since the word was obviously out on the stocking schedule, I definitely wasn't alone on the lake (I didn't count, but I would guess around 15 other PWCs milling about and a lot of folks fishing from the shore), but there was plenty of space for everyone.
I brought along two rods, one strung with a floating line and one with an old full sink line. The floater with a Woolly Bugger along the banks was fruitless (but in all honesty, I didn't expect much since I was there in the middle of the day, however I thought it might be worthwhile for a bit). After 30-min or so of flogging the banks, rootballs, and downed trees, I moved to deeper water and tried my 6wt with a full sink line.
I used a large'ish white beadhead leach pattern and smaller black Woolly Bugger. I had some action on the leach, but both fish came unbuttoned pretty quickly. The smaller Woolly Bugger proved more successful and I ended the day with four nice 12-16 inch fish netted and another two lost (for those keeping score at home: 4 for 8 for the day).
While I was feeling pretty good about myself, I couldn't help but notice an older fly fishing couple in an anchored green john boat that were catching fish left-and-right the entire time I was out there. I didn't see an indicator/bobber on their lines, but based on the way they were casting, I suspect they were practicing some variety of chironomid black magic (long leaders and only a single back cast)...I guess I have some homework to do!?!?
Anyhow, after about three hours I decided to call it a day after I lost all sense for feeling in my feet! All in all, a good day!