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Name: wafisherman20 Date: March 11, 2017 Rating:
 
Time: All Day Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
Color: Login to view! Species: Rainbow Trout  Method: Login to view!
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SHORT REPORT:
Hit Rufus in search of some big trout, and we found them. Started the day at 7:30, after 30 mins of fishing, we found the fish and had nonstop action. Fished all day pulling rapala’s and rippin minnows. Biggest trout was pushing 9lbs, smallest was just under 4lbs. Tons of trout, a bonus walleye and a bonus whitefish.

EXCESSIVELY LONG REPORT:
Well NWFR, I have to say it’s great to be posting, because that means I was back from college in smoggy/congested/overpopulated Los Angeles and hitting the water! This report encompasses some of the story and journey of the trip as well as the fishing, with some commentary mixed in and some discussion after, so thank you for reading, its certainly very long and is a lot to read. I should start this report by saying, if you want to just read about fishing, skip the first two paragraphs….A few months ago, I got a message from Keith Jensen (simply one of the greatest guides ever) saying there was a really great fishery I should try, and he had some spots open in early March. If Keith said it was worth it, I knew it was going to be great. So, I scheduled a trip for the end of my college break to go slay some trout on Rufus woods.

Friday Morning, I wake up to the delicious smell of homemade coffee cake baking in the oven (thanks mom I love you). There is nothing like a warm slice of coffee cake, some fruit, and a couple eggs for breakfast. After such a delicious meal, my dad finished some errands while I packed the truck and we set off for Rufus, stopping at Grandma and Grandpa’s for some lunch along the way. We rolled into Coulee City around 6 and got a room at the Ala Cozy motel, then headed for Grand Coulee, Electric City, and Coulee dam to see some sights and grab dinner. After that episode, we headed back and hit the sack early.

5:00AM the alarm goes off and we, got out of bed, put our gear on, and met Keith at Big Wally’s (the Shell gas station and shop in Coulee City on the shores of Banks Lake). We followed Keith up to the launch, and were on the water just after 7. Our first run was 3 minutes from the launch downstream, where we began our troll hugging the north shoreline (the lake decline is incredibly steep, so we were 10 ft from the shoreline in many places) in about 8-20 FOW. We trolled against the current (which is shockingly strong in Rufus) going about 2mph.
Gear talk:
Rods lamiglass tournament kokanee 7’6”/8’ with 8# p-line (keith’s)/10# trilene (mine)
Rod 1: diving Rapala perch color plug set 100’ back
Rod 2: Cultiva Rippin’ minnow brown/gold set 120’ back
about 30 minutes into the troll, rod 1 gets hammered! after a great fight, a 4lb trout is on the deck. At this point, I’m ecstatic. A 21” rainbow gets you excited I don’t care who you are! Oh man I was pumped. We threw that beauty in the box, circled around, and went through the same area again. Just like magic, another huge takedown at the same spot, and a 4.5 lb trout in the box. Circle again, another one! And another one! So in 20 minutes, we had 4 fish all 3.5-6 lbs in the box, released one that was about 3lbs, had lost 3 (one dandy at the boat who is now swimming around with a crankbait in his mouth), and missed 2 smacks on the lure. It was nuts. After pulling in 4 fish, I noticed a surprising pattern: almost all of them were missing fins. All of the big fish we were catching were hatchery, so they were all adipose clipped, but many of them were missing pectoral and pelvic fins. I asked Keith what this was, thinking maybe they were being attacked by some super aggressive walleye fighting for food or something. Keith said it actually happens in the net pens before they were released, catching them on the pens due to being packed with other fish, and some aggressiveness by the fish. I was surprised, but it did make sense…. It was very interesting.

With one more pass through that same area, we picked up another 4 lb trout and released a few smaller ones. When we arrived at the net pens, we saw lots of walleye angers jigging in hopes of some gold, but we didn’t see too many hookups. We ran one pass through the center of the lake and caught a few smaller fish, then headed back to restart the troll. Keith switched the perch Rapala for a brown/gold one and within 5 minutes, I notice a tick on that rod, so I wait a second and it loads up, interesting bite, but fish on! I passed the pole to dad, who was taking a lunch break, and I get the net ready. My dad is not a fisherman. We have a pact together that goes as follows: I catch, clean, and cook the fish, and he eats them. (can you imagine a better deal!). while he is reeling in this fish, he says “it just feels like I am reeling in deadweight. I look about 35 feet behind the boat and say, “that’s a walleye, and a darn good one!” upon hearing this news, Keith jumped up and says “no way”, then he saw the color. WE STRUCK RUFUS WOODS GOLD”. My dad brings in a walleye pushing 20” and we throw the beauty in the box. Keith was shocked we caught a walleye pulling plugs in heavy current, with a water temp of 36. It was super awesome to see Keith so excited… by far one of the best highlights of the trip. We put the line back out and 30 second later, WHAM!!!! An absolute monster hits. I grab the rod, and the fish screams 40 feet of line off the spool. THIS WAS IT! THIS WAS THE FISH! After a fantastic run, I try to gain line back, and I simply can't. I tried to pump the rod, but every time I lifted the rod after I had reeled down, I lost all the line I gained, and I couldn’t tighten the drag because we were using 8lb test! 5 minutes into the fight, my dad says “how long is this fight going to be?”. By that point I had 80 feet of line out on the counter. Finally, the fish tired out and worked him into the net. IT WAS A PIG. He tipped the scales at 8.53 pounds. MISSION ACOMPLISHED. That was my biggest trout ever. What a fish.

After that fish, we made a couple more passes and caught some smaller fish, then decided to head to a little current break and bottom bounce for some walleye. We spent about 45 minutes doing this, caught a nice whitefish, then called it a day. it couldn’t have been better.

We went back to the launch, loaded the fish, got our fish checked by the tribal fish and wildlife officer (for their data purposes) then went to work fileting these beauties. The trout had a beautiful pink flesh, and let me tell you they were delicious. There was a dad and two kids fishing with powerbait at the launch, and they were practicing catch and release, which is against the rules. Someone saw and called the warden, who came down to find, he had no licence, no tribal permit (needed to fish the tribal shore of the river), and him and his sons had all kept 3 fish already. Things got ugly for a while, and that is always sad to see. The man’s fish and gear were confiscated and I heard there was a $1600 fine. Glad someone reported a poacher and that man paid the price for breaking the law. While the wardens were there, they checked everyone’s licenses, another reminder to always have your license with you!


All in all one of the best days on the water ever. Keith is one heck of a guide and a great person too.

If you want to contact Keith, Contact Big Wally’s Guide Service at 509-770-8318
Or Keith.jensen81@yahoo.com. I recommend you do, and tell him Paul says hello! He is also a guide on the site, his tag is bigwallysgs I think.

Thank you for reading and tight lines to all.

POSTSCRIPT:
Trips like this and people like Keith remind me of how lucky I am to get to fish. There is truly nothing more thrilling, calming, adrenaline-inducing, and relaxing (yes, that is absolutely an oxymoronic sentence, but it’s true!). This trip was another reminder of my passion for this sport and my want to make a career out of it. I am hoping to find an internship or job in the industry for a month or two this summer, so I can really get a feel for what this industry is all about. From guiding or deck handing, to marketing lures, to retail, to repair shops, there is almost no end to the potential in this industry! Thanks again for reading and tight lines!

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Name: bob Date: August 09, 2016 Rating:
 
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We stayed at Bridgeport state park Monday and Tuesday nights. Fished the lower lake Monday evening. Got nothing. Went up to the upper pens Tuesday morning and fishing was slow. Managed to get our two limits of 2.5 to 3 pound fish but it took most of the day. Was using various power baits on the bottom and casting different flies and lures. Caught all our fish on the green gulp eggs. Running back down the lake we came across this one in the pics but could not get him to bite and he got away.

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Name: bedawes Date: January 12, 2016 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Went out and tried my luck shore fishing at Bridgeport State Park on Rufus Woods. It was my first time out there. I knew I would likely have little to no action from the shore, but I needed to get out of the house and try anyways.

From reading other reports, it seems like an awesome fishery! With the promising triploid rainbow trout others have caught, I decided to leave my ultralight Shimano rod/reel combo w/ 6# test in the car and I brought my new Christmas gift from my parents.

Parents got me a Lamiglas Redline Med/Heavy Fast Action 9'6" rod and Pfleuger President LE Spinning Reel. I'm hoping to use it as my entry level steelhead/salmon rod. Needless to say, it was fun to break it in and let it fly with some weight.

I fished for about 2-2.5 hours with no bites. I'm running 20lb Trilene braid with 6lb flurorcarbon leader. I tried spinning spoons, and even threw on a Rapala shad rap for fun. No luck. Switched to baitcasting off the bottom as far out from shore as I could get (it drops off pretty quickly around the swim area). I tried shrimp flavored salmon eggs and then standard green powerbait, no hits.

Weather was lightly snowing, wind picked up around noon and it got cold.

Would love any and all advice/tips/recommendations on other good winter fisheries around the Brewster/Wenatchee/Omak/Okanagon areas as I live in Brewster.

If anyone is planning a trip and has experience, I'd love to tag along should you have an open seat in the boat. I'm relatively new but have most everything I need and gas $$$ of course.

Thanks!

Brad

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Name: Steelheadin360 Date: December 31, 2015 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Received a report of some decent Kokanee fishing on Rufus and decided to check it out. Decent was an understatement. Not knowing how to fish this lake I started out doing the basic Kokanee thing. 25 feet down and 80 feet back, instant hook up with a 17 inch koke. Almost instantly we had a triple with two more big fish in the boat. Then limits within 15 minutes. All 17+" fish. Most insane fishing I have every had in the winter.

Being limited out we decided wit work some drop offs and current breaks to see if we could catch some walleye. But we coukdnt keep the dang Kokanee off! Called it a day after a 20 inch monster crushed a rapala and we realized that. Walleye want gonna happen with these little beasts around.

I will be back to this lake very soon.

NorthwestSportfishing

"I specialize in Kokanee and Lake Trout all over Washington State. Utilizing the latest and greatest techniques to insure you have a great day on the water. The 20' Customweld Cobra is covered to keep you cool in the Summer and Warm in the Winter! Coast Guard and Washington Fish & Game Certified."

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Name: Goldrigger1 Date: November 03, 2015 Rating:
 
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I live in Snohomish but, I went to Rufus Woods because they've closed our rivers. Thought I would try fall walleye and triploids. It was a good choice. Caught my limit of football shaped triploids for 2 days. Walleye had moved or moved to some place I don't know of for fall feeding time.

I tried drifting over bars in order to fish the drop offs. The trout were there. They are full of crawdads. Nothing over 3lbs. It was fun to catch fish easily. I tried shallower water near sand bars, but it was slow. The triploids seemed to be real active. It was fun to fish and they actually want to eat. Sure makes it easier.

I also went to Lake Pateros for Steel. I'll put that in another post.

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Name: DonTalbotFishing Date: November 02, 2015 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Rufus Woods is my play area as a guide! You need to have a Core of Engineers license to guide these waters. That being said, "the Colville fish checker at the Seeton Grove launch is rather lonely these days. I asked her if she wanted more customers since only two boats were fishing all day from that launch? The answer was yes!!!! Her job is justified by the number of fishing customers she checks on a daily basis. This may be the only report I do this year for this water since it is my play water during my off time as a guide! So enjoy the adventure if you go!

Here is the hint!! If the location has bar behind it, then you are in the right location to catch fish. Watch out for the bar obstacles on all sides. There is a reason why they call it a bar. We were casting 1/4 to 1/2 oz Panther Martin and Rooster Tail Spinners. The trout Scott Fletcher caught was a very nice native rainbow doing this technique. We quickly changed over to dragging Shaker Wings and a Slow Death Hook downstream with the current in about 30 feet of water to catch the majority of the fish. I converted my 9'6" TICA Salmon/Steelhead bait casting rods into a very sensitive walleye combo that kept the lines apart for this type of boon dogging trolling. The water temp was 55 degrees and will stay warm enough to do this type of trolling until the water goes under 45 degrees.

Oh yes I make my own custom spinner tails for casting.. You can check out the January issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine to get the R & D update on custom spinner tail making. If you want a walleye guide trip from me then we will be headed to Potholes Reservoir not Rufus Woods for that adventure until I invest in my Core of Engineers License on Rufus Woods Reservoir.

Don Talbot Fishing - call 509-679-8641
Don Talbot's Fishing Guide Service

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Name: atroutfisherman Date: October 12, 2015 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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This will be a two day report. Monday was a day to remember! We limited in a little over two hours, with three Kokanee and one triploid. My wife caught the fish of the day, an 18 inch Kokanee. I used a DR set at 21 feet, she used leaded line out 200+. Lures were squid with smile blades, a luminator in pink and flashers similar to sling blades.

Wednesday was completely different except for the gear used! My wife caught her two fish limit, triploids of 2pounds + and I got nothing. She also lost one at the boat! Nothing, nada!

I am signing up new fishing partners. Only one rule you have to follow. Do not, that is do not, outfish the Master(Teacher)!. Put your application here.

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Name: blufin loui Date: September 30, 2015 Rating:
 
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Cindy and I was curious about the fishing in the lower end of Rufus Woods Lake, so this Morning we hooked up the boat and headed north. Put in at the Corps launch above Chief Joseph dam around 0900 and motored up to the Pump #1 area. The lake level was down and a slight current was running. We tossed jigs (marabou, hair, plastic) in a variety of colors and weights, spinners, and spoons (crocodile, Kast master, & Thomas among a few others) toward shore and out to about 15-20 feet of water depth. Along a quarter mile stretch we had no follows and didn't see any surface activities. We then motored another 1/- 3/4 miles up stream to an area that had produces in years past. Same results. No action. A short run up a small cove across the river from Pump #3, cast a multitude of selections in there , and was able to get one hit and catch a 12-14 inch RB. After covering the cove , we moved across to Pump #3. Fished the area from shallow to 20 feet of water depth. Cindy got no hits, just a few grass tugs. I was tossing a 1/8 oz Black jig into 4-6 feet of water and working it back to the boat when I felt a snag (grass I thought). The line went tight and started up river then around the boat. Hmmm. No head shakes just start and stop movements. Heavy and solid. Got to remember I was using 4# line on an ultra lite rod so no real backbone here. Fought the fish around for a couple of minutes AND during this time we noticed several carp moving out of the shallows. Just when we decided it was acting "carpish", the line went slack. Broke the line at the hook. Oh well. No more action, so we motored up river several miles to the Cabin hole and drifted with the current down along where the water dropped off from shallow to deeper. We got a couple hits and I was able to hook a couple with the largest around 16". All fish were full finned and from the shape may have been native trout. They were in good shape and full of energy. A Very slow catching day on the lower end, but a great day on the water and now our curiosity is satisfied. Only saw one other fishing boat, and they were working the Can line. Surface water temp 62. Everyone stay safe out there and enjoy the fall weather.

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Name: atroutfisherman Date: June 16, 2015 Rating:
 
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I have always wanted to get a record fish and yesterday I think I did! I caught a triploid of 15 inches and I am positive that is a record for the smallest triploid ever caught! I also caught a Kokanee 13 3/4. My wife caught the first fish, a rainbow of 15 inches. She had several slash and dashers but could not put one more in the boat. One made quite a leap before spitting out the hook. My wife used leaded line and a K-fly. I caught my triploid on a Flat fish proceeded by two flashers. The Kokanee hit an Apex behind one flasher. Great day until noon when it began to get hot!

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Name: Ganno Date: March 10, 2015 Rating:
 
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Must have been behind the hatchery truck for fishing was incredible. Fishing black 1/16 oz marabou barbless jig produced fish after fish. Fish were one and one-half pounds to two and a half pounds, no really big fish that the river is noted for. But a day to remember after two hours of catching we decided to try for some Walleyes with no luck and we were soon back to catching rainbows. Weather was great and only one other boat that we seen. camera was left at the cabin so no pictures but all fish were released, since we had Kokanee from Palmer to eat. The area we were fishing was behind the upper pens, and many fish had green tags. I lost count after thirty fish but many more were caught and released unharmed.

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