ffpc-rods fly fishing blog


Coldwater Lake below Mt. St. Helens 5/1/14

Posted by Phil Hager on May 1, 2014 at 9:55 PM

     Nice day today except for the east wind whipping down the lake causing whitecaps. Despite that the fishing was pretty good as long as I kept what I used in the 8'-12' depth range. Watched closely but didn't see anything emerging or flying around except for one that may have been a Dragonfly, far enough away to make it hard to tell, and one caddis that landed on my sunglass lens for about 3 seconds. It was a little black one with translucent copper wings if you want to try and tie some up.

     With the wind kicking like it did I cranked on the oars and got out in the backwash zone on the downwind side of the "island" that a few hundred yards straight out from the ramp. Once I got there the action started almost immediately using the reed leech pattern. After 8 or 9 on that I changed over to a medium grey leech pattern but only hit a couple on that. Next up was the skinny, green with hackle wrap, style leech and hit 5 or 6 on that. This all done while traveling back and forth with the winds around the island withh all of the hits taking place in close as the fly came up out of the deeper water towards the shallows.

     The wind died down a little, and I had been cussed at long enough, so I decided to try and make it across to the inlet area in the southwest corner. Had good luck there when we did the club outing so thought I'd see how it did today. (I have been cussed at many times for fishing in an area that some think is their own, but never like this. I think I was called things I had never heard before. Voice bellowing at me. Stomping around on the micro beach on the isalnd. Telling me to get the hell out of there or I would suffer the consequences. Didn't see any nests, but that was one mad goose that threatened my every move for over a half hour. Kept waiting for an actual attack!)

     No action between the island and the south shore but that changed as soon as I started wind drifting along the dropoff line just out from shore. I had changed to the little red nymph with the red hackle type wing and fishing that on the Type 3 right near the bottom. Made several drifts along that line and hit 2 or 3 on each drift from the delta down to the stumps in the inlet area. It was critical on location though. More than 10 feet out from the dropoff and almost nothing happened. Within 5 feet of the dropoff was where most of it happened. Also found several down around the stumps. Again, nothing of real size but several fat 14"-15"ers. The last one I got ahold of in that area was about 15" and broke water at least 8 times. Great jumper and runner. Wind died down about 1 and so did the fishing. Kind of like it got too quiet all of a sudden for the fish and they stopped all action. Worked my way back over to the ramp area and hit a single 5" along the way. Pulled out about 2.

     If you want to see a couple photos of the area take a look in the Photo Gallery at the Coldwater shots. Coldwater 1 is looking up the lake with the island just left of center. Coldwater 2 is St Helens from the island. Coldwater 3 views the walkways and the southwest inlet zone. Coldwater 4 is a shot of 1 of the fish. (Hard to shoot in a pontoon in the wind by yourself!) Coldwater 5 shows the flies that were most productive. (Tried several others but no action.)



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