Fishing Report, Eastern Washington Lakes, April 28th 2022
Well, I have been pretty busy these last few weeks. Through a series of fortunate events, my wife and I had the chance to adopt a bird dog, and so I drove across the country to pick him up. He's been adjusting to his new home and the PNW, and he has enjoyed going out on the raft to catch some trout with us. After living for so many years without a dog, our house really feels more like a home now that we have a fury friend running around (he's also super needy, and as I write this fishing report he keeps placing his head in my lap for more pets).
Anyways, the fishing. Plenty of lakes opened up last weekend so I hope you were able to get out and take advantage of catching some gullible trout. For the most part, the trout lakes have water temps hovering around the low 50s which is enough to keep the trout moving around and looking for food. The cooler weather, however, has slowed bug activity down somewhat. There were some sparse chironomid and mayfly hatches on the lakes that we fished but nothing to get really excited about. Some warmer weather would also be very helpful to progress the hatches along (but then again, cooler weather helps to keep the snowpack around for longer which helps our rivers).
Mid-afternoons into the evenings were working better than early morning outings. We were also able to find some nice trout along shallow and reedy areas. These areas, that are also near deeper water, are great hunting grounds for trout that feed on baitfish.
To fish these reedy areas, try working a single leech or pair of leeches under an indicator. Keep the flies just a few feet under the indicator to avoid getting snagged in the reeds/lily pads too much. A leech paired with a damselfly, caddis pupa, or scud could also be enough to convince a trout to take the smaller offering if they were not swayed to eat the leech.
For help on rigging up a two fly rig check our article on useful knots for fly fishing: 7 Useful Knots to Know for Fly Fishing.
Changing the rate of retrieving your flies can also clue you into what the trout are looking for. On one of the days, we were either dead drifting the flies or slowly hand twist retrieving them back to the boat. It wasn't until we quickly reeled lines in to go hit another spot that a trout hammered the fly. So that day fast retrieves ended up being the ticket to seal the deal on a few trout. Before I go changing flies, or fly pattern colors, I will run through a variety of retrieval speeds and exhaust that option before clipping anything off my line.
When fishing reedy areas, I also use stout tippet (at least 2x) so I can have more leverage on fish. One of the trout we hooked into raced around and tangled into some lily pad stalks. With heavier tippet, we were able to keep tension on the line and angled the rod up and over the vegetation which was enough to free the trout and eventually bring it to net.
This upcoming weekend looks to mimic much of what we have been seeing these past couple weeks. Friday evening could be a decent time to hit the lakes in the evening and to target the shallows. Rain is forecasted on Saturday and it looks to be a bit cooler. Sunday looks really pleasant and warm which should hopefully provide action all day long.
Lastly, the Spokane River Keepers also have a letter to Spokane's City Council asking them to approve a powerful water conservation and drought response plan for 2022. This is an important measure to help sustain flows on the Spokane River. Check it out, read it, and consider signing the letter here.
If you are interested in learning more from our guides while getting some on-the-water experience, check out our guided fly fishing trips on Eastern Washington's lakes, our Instructional Lessons, and our guided Spokane River fly fishing trips. Contact us to set up a trip or instructional lesson for this spring.