This is my favorite time of year at lake Roosevelt. I love seeing all the green hillsides framed by the black basalt cliffs. The baby geese are hatching and their parents are trying their best to keep them away from the eagles. The water is starting to warm up and the fish are getting feisty and really putting up a fight once again. I rate the fishing experience here a solid 5, but the overall catching I rate more like a 3. I give it a 3 because the fish have been difficult to locate(unlike last year). I've had to cover a lot of ground in order to find any quantity of fish. Fortunately when we do locate fish it seems to be a mixture of Kokanee and Rainbows, and they seem to be willing to cooperate. The highlight of the day was the 20 pound fish we "hooked". Actually somebody else broke it off on a bottom walker and spinner (see photos), and we just happened to snag the bottom walker. This fish was a monster, but I will get back to that later.
I usually start my trolls with a mixture of apex, hoochies, and spoons or spinners. Half of these are orange and the other half pink. Most of the time I find the fish will prefer one color over the other. Monday the Kokanee wanted pink, and the bows wanted orange. Our first 7 fish all came on the apex. My last post I included a photo of this exact set up. If you know apex, zoom in and see if you spot my modification. With 6 Kokanee (largest measured 20") on ice we started searching for more rainbows. All my koke rigs were replaced with flies and spoons tipped with worm. After a few miles we found a batch of bows. The wild to hatchery ratio was about 50/50. Because wild bows are required to be released I will not fish with treble hooks at Roosevelt. Some of these bows we cleaned were full of crawdads and tiny clams. All our fish were caught between 5-11' trolling near the shore.
So back to the 20 ponder. This fish fought like a freight train and we were completely underpowered with a Kokanee rod. For ten minutes I continued to troll circles around this fish working it closer to the boat with each pass. Finally my guest got the fish near the boat and that is when we discovered our fly had hooked somebody else's set up that they snapped off on this behemoth. I was bummed because I was sure we had a state record walleye that we now know was foul hooked. Any way we finally winched this fish near the surface where I started to see shades of gold, and then the gold turned to orange and I realized it was a carp bigger than many salmon I have caught about 36" in length. This fish continued to tow us around for another 5 minutes until the hook broke off on the walleye rig. I included a picture of the rig. If you have a buddy that claims he just broke off a state record walleye at Roosevelt, ask him if it was while fishing a bottom walker with a chartreuse spinner blade and worm harness. If he answers yes I give you permission to exaggerate the size and species and ask him if he would like his bottom walker back.
Well I hope I didn't bore you. My guests had a great time and fortunately we were able to locate a few more world class Kokanee. I hope some more of you get the chance to join me. I always enjoy meeting new NWFR members.
- take a kid fishing. The sport depends on it.
Captain Dave's Guide Service, Booking Now! Columbia River salmon - including Summer & Fall Chinook and Sockeye, and Lake Roosevelt Kokanee and Trout.
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