Having been in the club for less than two years, I don't have a lot of experience to draw upon, but this year's outing to Twin Lakes--my second--has left me with the sense that things are only getting better. Fishing was pretty darn good, with those I spoke with netting well over a dozen fish a day, but it's not all about the fishing. For me it's about revisiting familiar places to see what's new and what remains the same. And it's about sharing an experience with other club members. As a relative newbie in the club, I loved the chance to spend some extended time with folks I'm only just beginning to know. Let me share my experience.
I've always loved traveling, and eastern Washington is one of my favorite places. I marvel at a day's travel that starts in the rich temperate forests of the Puget Sound basin, takes me past ski slopes, across the channeled scablands and agricultural fields of the Columbia Plateau, and on to the pine and fir forests of the Okanogan highlands. We're blessed with an environmentally diverse state. Here are a few photos that capture the trip across the state:
Given my dawdling approach to driving, I rolled into Rainbow Beach Resort on North Twin Lake about 4:00. It took next to no time to check in and get my van set up in the RV area. Even at this time in May there is daylight until pleasantly late, so, rather than hurry onto the lake, I ignored the calling fish and took a walking tour to get a sense of the place. I walked into the forest behind the resort in search of
the nesting cavity I saw some Pileated Woodpeckers building last year. There it was in the pine snag, but I saw no birds. Instead I found small pansy-like flowers in bloom that were quite pleasing to the eye and were unfamiliar to me. Strolling back along the row of cabins I found Dale Tuvey checking in. He and Judy, like me, started and ended our trip a day early to accommodate other obligations. I had been unaware of their plan, so was pleasantly surprised to have their company on a day I'd expected to be without fellow club members.
Back at "camp" I prepared fishing gear for the next morning, took a few casts from one of the docks (no luck) and settled in for dinner and a little reading before bed.
The next morning arrived with a nice mixture of blue sky and attractive clouds, so I spent a little of the morning taking photos while the light was nice. Then it was breakfast and out onto the lake. It took
most of the first morning to get a handle on fish-catching techniques. There are always some nice hold-over fish that tend to hang deep, but I couldn't entice them right away. Trolling faster and nearer the surface did the trick for the newer planted fish. These ran 16" to 18" and were quite lively--often in the air as much as in the water when hooked. By the end of the day I'd settled on anchoring among rising fish to cast and strip a muddler variation with cone head and red/yellow body feathers. Varying retrieval speed and depth kept it interesting for me and yielded a nice number of fish, ranging 17" to 21".
By the time I was ready for an afternoon break, Clayton Wright, with his brother, and Jim and Karen Rohrer had arrived. I found Clayton on the float in front of his cabin trying some dry fly fishing. Throughout the weekend fish were steadily but randomly rising to sip something from the surface, but no one managed to draw one to any their dry fly presentations. It was nice to watch Clayton, who has a pretty cast, and to chat about past experiences on the lake and elsewhere. Jim Rohrer joined us shortly, and the three of us had a gay old time until dinner.
Photos were, again, the first order of the day next morning, but it wasn't long before I found the rest of the club getting gear together and heading out to fish, so I joined them. The weather was warm, bright, and essentially wind-free, making for comfortable fishing. Jim Rohrer, he and Karen being the first on the water, hooked the first fish. After that it seemed to be fairly steady catching for everyone. I like to explore, so during the course of the afternoon I circumnavigated a large portion of the north half of the lake. I found fish about everywhere I went, in scattered and moving concentrations. So, while there is no need to wander far from the resort to catch fish, you can feel comfortable satisfying your wanderlust without worry of missing the fish.
My largest fish came about 5:00 in the afternoon while fishing near the large beaver lodge south southwest of the resort. It was nearly calm, so I was casting and stripping as I slowly drifted, letting my type 6 sink tip get down fairly deep. A solid tug was followed by a nice long run, then a second. There was no doubt from the feel that this was a nice fish. Following several head thrashes and short runs a beautiful 24" football lay in the net. As had happened so many times, the fly popped out in the net, so the release was quick and easy. What a pleasure to see this animal, so well adapted to life in the water, glide into the depths.
With most of us leaving Wednesday morning, we'd all agreed to meet before dinner for hor devours. The chat with Jim, Karen, Judy, Dale, and Clayton over cheese, crackers and wine was the perfect end to the trip. I hope to meet more of you at Twin Lakes (or wherever we go) next year.