Hello everyone in the WL fishing world
Went up river from Chief Joe on Thur 10/23/08 with fishing buddy (wife Cindy) to the third net pen. (Thanks Chris for the detailed info on the area). We didn't arrive at the pens till 0730ish, got a slow boat, but no one around but the wildlife. We utilized the electric trolling motor to move about, enjoyed a glorious sunrise, beautiful scenery, and calm, clear waters. We had the area to ourselves until the hatchery employees came up to feed the net fish. The workers were friendly and informative--sharing info on the best places to catch large fish, and area info. We fished the "Pellet Fly" (my rendition anyway) in three shades of brown from the surface down to about 10 feet or so. Zero fish! Talk about being in the right place at the wrong time, We didn't see any fish nor receive a bite. We then switched back and forth between "our" fav and the pellet flies with no luck. No one else fishing at this time still. We fished on both sides, below, even above the pens, and out to the hump in the middle of the river. I've never fished water that looked so good. Again, thanks Chris for the detailed info, for the hump could sneak up on the unsuspecting boater. The conditions were such that you could see the food pellets floating down at various depths, but still no visible fish. We fished the area around the pens til about 11:00 then headed down river. Fished a couple points on left side of river while going down to the middle pen with success. Fish up to 4 lbs. but no keepers yet.
The middle, 2nd, pen was more active (mid day by now) with fish visible and several boats of "bait" fishermen (who were catching a few). Caught some fish on the Pellet fly in dark color, and more on our fav lures. Still nothing very weighty. From there we went down to the lower, 1st, pen. Started fishing above the pen and drifted, electric troll motored down and around pens. Picked up more fish on the above offerings. Saw a 10 lb plus fish here, but not at the end of the line. Still a very slow RW day. From there we motored down to "Cabin Hole" catching a few, and the wind was producing considerable chop. Then on down toward "Pump #3" where again we picked up several more smallish fish. Chris, I caught Yellow Perch on the pellet fly along the weeds in this area. Ended up filleting out 14 of the lil buggers. They seemed to prefer the darker brown over the rest. Fished left side of river on way down to "Brants landing" area, then changed over to the "Pump #1 area", catching fish at all locations. We finally got back to the launch (right above Chief Joseph) after sundown, Got off the water safely and headed home.
Another full day of fabulous Rufus Woods fishing.
Oh yeah, we like to use soft plastics, crocodiles, and cast masters. I prefer a nymph/crawdad shape 1 1/2 inch in length in dark grey, smoke/orange, toad, or chartreuse colors. In the cast masters, 1/8-1/4 oz in "Fire tiger", and silver/blue colors. I fish 6 lb Magna-Thin line and a 10 ft Ultra-lite rod. I'll rig the plastics on a 1/16 - 1/8 oz jig head depending on water depth, current, etc.. My wife prefers small minnow imitation plastics in the "Perch" color, and Crocodiles (1/4 oz) in a Fire tiger/ perch finish. She uses Berkly 4lb line and an Eagle Claw "Feather-Lite" 7 ft fiberglass rod which she has used for over 30years. Yes, I said over 30 Years.
She has caught loads of fish on this lil rod, from Rainbow in the famed White river (Arkansas) to Walleye in the "North Fork" River (Missouri) toTriploid and Walleye on Rufus Woods. It's her LUCKY rod. Last fall she pulled a 9 lb walleye from the "Pump 3#" area using this set up, and has boated hundreds of the triploids up to 9 3/4 lb.
Back to the present: We ended up catching 50-100 fish on this outing (largest 5 1/4lb), which is very satisfactory for us, and plan to hit the waters of Rufus Woods in the near future. We kept the 5 lb er and one 2lb fish, which was hooked deep enough to be marginal. We utilize "long forceps and remove the hooks while the fish is still in the water. Have had no troubles releasing healthy, strong fish this way. Can't wait til the water temps drop into the mid 40s. (Water temps in the low 60s on Thur.). Once again, Thanks to all the contributors that make this forum what it is. And I look forward to the continuing flow of fishing information.