My friend and I went fishing at Rufus Woods lake on Saturday and Sunday. Both of us live on the West side (Seattle) area so after a 4 hour drive we finally put in at the Chief Joseph dam at around 11:00am.
I had only been to Rufus Woods once before and really enjoyed the experience.... lots of fish utilizing trolled flies and casting spoons and spinners in the area of the dam and 3 miles up river. I used Joe Heinlen as a guide on that trip. His service is second to none! Joe is a wealth of information and a stand up guy who really is concerned about the fishery and preserving the awesome fishing and wildlife at Rufus Woods. I had never caught so many trout at 18 - 22 inches before.
On this past Saturday though, when I used my own boat, the flows were down and the bite was tougher on the flies. Me and my friend experienced most of our hits on brass spoons and Roostertails. the water clarity was very clear and the lake was very smooth (No wind). the largest fish we caught was 4lbs and smallest was a real dink of about 10 inches. We caught about 15 fish in total for 4 1/2 hours of fishing.
Coming from my original home in NJ and now living in the Seattle area... I cannot emphasize on the readers of this column more.. how lucky Washingtonians are to have the fisheries we have. Especially on Rufus Woods. It is so clear that we take so much for granted in everyday life (Or at least I have) that when you experience the opportunity of 50 fish days on fish averaging 2-4 pounds and a chance at a 20 pounder, you really do have to step back and analyze how incredible a fishery that is for this day and age. I just want everyone to know that it is so important to obey regulations and be careful on releasing these large but fragile fish. When my friend and I fished Sunday with Joe Heinlen, we hooked a fish about 16 inches long that got away but began floating on the surface. It was a reminder to us how fragile these fish can be when they fight too hard.(You have to remember these fish are raised in net Pens to be large and fat, not "In shape")
Naturally we netted that fish and counted it toward our limit that day. That was the strangest thing I've ever seen. we went on and caught fish downstream of the net pens where the bite turned on late in the afternoon! I want to thank Joe again for having us out on Sunday... it was very enjoyable even when the fish weren't biting in the morning.