Fishing Magician

There is snow in the forecast again where I live, but it shouldn’t be too much. This has been quite a winter, but it hasn’t keep me house bound. I have been getting out and catching some nice triploids on Rufus Woods, and I hope to stock up on more of them this winter. They are the best eating trout you can catch.

I hope to get up to Rufus Woods this week and try my luck from the shore at the middle net pens. Rufus is the hottest thing going this time of year and I have had some great days in February. A few years ago, I fished with Austin Moser on the Nespelem Bar, across from the upper net pens, to see if we could catch some walleye. We did get a few, but now Austin really has it dialed in and catches lots of walleye on this bar. One of the fun aspects of fishing here is that you often get your limit of triploids while fishing for walleye. He is filling his fish box with a mix of walleye and triploids right now. I do the same thing, but I troll downstream with bottom bouncers below the upper pens. I have bank fished at Brandts Landing a couple of times this winter and some days I have had great luck and others not so much.

I checked in with Jill Phillips at the Colville Hatchery about what they have planned for releases this year. She said that they will release about 10,000 fish weighing between 1.5 and 2 pounds in February. There will be other releases prior to the runoff, and I will keep you posted about those. If the releases are similar this year to those of years past, I expect that the Colville Tribe will put over 40,000 triploids in Rufus Woods this spring.

Fishing can be boom or bust just about anywhere you go. I have had a couple of slow days at Brandts Landing and one really good one. We always catch fish, but some days they aren’t as big. One of my other favorite places to fish from the shore in the winter is at Keller. There is a Federal Park that is just down the lake from the boat ramp. The access road will lead you to a few spots close to the water. I like the last one at the end of the road. It is closest to the water, and I think it has the best drop off to deeper water where the trout are cruising. I do see anglers fishing from the shore right in the boat launch bay, and this shore drops off pretty steeply. I have had some slow days here, too, but it is usually productive for rainbow from 16 to 21 inches. I hope to get up there soon. There are vault toilets nearby and some have picnic tables and garbage cans. Of course, Spring Canyon and Crescent Beach are good options close to town. Nothing complicated about fishing in these areas. Slip sinkers and Power Bait will do the job. This week’s photo was taken at Keller with a nice 19-inch rainbow.

Last Tuesday was a reminder that fishing isn’t always about catching. My good friend Rollie Schmitten couldn’t remember the last time he had been fishing since the sockeye season on Lake Wenatchee. This is very unusual for him. He enjoys fishing in all its forms and we typically fish for all kinds of species year-round. We started fishing together around 2006, after meeting each other at a WDFW presentation on the Upper Columbia River Management Plan. Our mutual interests in fishing, even at the management level, has sustained a wonderful friendship ever since.

Rollie had fished Rufus Woods with me, but never at Brandts Landing. When I told him about the great day we had last Friday, he was eager to get up there. Our day started off promising. He had a 20-inch rainbow on the bank before I even had the second rod cast and set. We had several other bites, but our day was mostly spent in conversation about past fishing trips and future plans. We only took home two fish, but it was one of the best days of fishing we’ve had together for a long time.

Something I forgot to mention about my trip to Brandts Landing with Keith Hiatt is that the big fish I landed had a hook in its jaw that wasn’t mine. The same thing happened on my last trip. When I was reeling this fish in it got hung up. What I did was drop my rod tip and strip off a couple of feet of line. It worked. The fish pulled my weight out of the rocks, and I landed it!

The Washington Sportsman’s Show opens this week and runs through Sunday the 5th. This is the biggest outdoor show in the state and many people plan to be there for two days to take it all in. On Friday February 3rd the largest boat show on the west coast starts in Seattle. I have been busy preparing my Power Point presentation for the show, which will be the first one of many seminars at this year’s Seattle Boat Show. They suggested the topic of “Where to Catch the Biggest Trout in the State”. I have about 40 minutes and it is difficult to keep my presentation within that timeframe. I have five destinations on my list, and I want to give people some tips on how to catch fish at these locations. I could spend 40 minutes talking about each of these locations, so I have to do a couple of Power Points and then edit them down. I have been doing seminars at the Boat Show for several years, so I know I can do it. The Seattle Boat Show runs from Friday February 3rd through Saturday February 11th.

The next outdoor show is the 32nd annual Central Washington Sportsmen’s Show at the Sundome in Yakima, February 24th to the 26th. These shows offer everything that the big ones do, just in a smaller venue. I have attended this show for many years and will be at this one with the folks from Bob Feil Boats and Motors.

If you can’t get out on the water you can at least have fun at these shows!

Past Articles

January 27, 2023
It was a bit more chilly throughout the region this past week. That kept me from grabbing ...MORE...

 

 

January 20, 2023
The warmer weather we’ve had throughout the region has changed from frequent snow storms to rain....MORE...
 

January 11, 2023
Dang, I’m tired of this winter.  It just keeps snowing in Leavenworth, and I mean SNOWING! It has been quite a job just....MORE...
 

January 6, 2023
We welcomed the New Year with a few days without new snow, which was very welcome.  It seemed like about all I was doing....MORE...
 

 

December 30, 2022
It was a great Christmas at our home this year. I traveled to Seattle to bring....MORE...

 

December 23, 2022
I was looking at the forecast for the near future, and it wasn’t pretty.  I am seeing single digits in some areas....MORE...

 

December 16, 2022
We are having quite a winter here in Central Washington. Lot of snow...MORE...


 

December 9, 2022
If there is a blessing to the frequent snow storms that we have...MORE...
 

December 2, 2022
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday and traveled safely...MORE...

November 25, 2022
Like so many boating anglers in the region, it is hard to have access...MORE...

November 18, 2022
Getting outdoors wasn’t very appealing last week. Temperatures were just too cold for even...MORE...

 

 

November 11, 2022
I spent a couple of days fishing for trout and walleye on Rufus Woods last week. I needed to get some fish for the smoker...MORE...

 

November 4, 2022
I had several things to attend to last week, which stalled my outdoor...MORE...

 

October 28, 2022
I had a spectacular three days of fishing last week. I got up to Omak...MORE...

 

 

October 21, 2022
I took full advantage of the terrific fall weather and got out on the water a couple of times last week...MORE...

 

October 14, 2022
I had a couple of days of great fishing last week, getting a few fillets of triploid rainbow trout...MORE...

October 7, 2022
Anglers are enjoying beautiful fall weather throughout the region. I had a great day on...MORE...

 

 

September 30, 2022
This was a great week to be outdoors. I spent Monday at Moses Lake...MORE...

 

September 16, 2022
I am very excited about my plans for this week. I will be heading over...MORE...

September 9, 2022
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend. I know for many...MORE...

 

September 2, 2022
One of the busiest weekends of the year is coming up. Thousands of anglers will...MORE...

August 26, 2022
Hot weather has meant early starts to get on the water before the temperature ...MORE...

 

August 19, 2022
Stormy weather kept me off the water on Lake Wenatchee for several days last week ...MORE...

 

 

 

August 12, 2022
I had another great week of fishing for sockeye on Lake Wenatchee.  There was a lull in the bite when a storm ...MORE...

 

 

August 5, 2022
I was able to fish Lake Wenatchee on the opening day of sockeye fishing ...MORE...

 

 

July 29, 2022
Sockeye salmon have a very large fan base here in Central Washington. ...MORE...

July 22, 2022
The big news on the fishing front here in Central Washington is the huge return of sockeye salmon that has been arriving in...MORE...

 

July 8, 2022
There is a lot to be excited about for the salmon season in our region this year. If you follow the dam counts...MORE...

 

July 1, 2022
We were all complaining about how cold it had been this spring, and all of a sudden we can start complaining...MORE...

 

 

June 24, 2022
I covered a lot of territory last week. I fished a couple of days on Lake Roosevelt at Kettle Falls...MORE...
 

June 17, 2022
Dang, I am tired of rain. I have rescheduled fishing trips, video sessions and other things because of it this spring...MORE...


 

June 10, 2022
I have been encouraged by some warm daytime temperatures—finally—this year, and it has me very excited about the walleye fishing...MORE...

 

 

June 3, 2022
I can’t believe it’s June.  It has been such a cold spring this year that everything on...MORE...

 

 

May 27, 2022
Typically, I have made a few trips to Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and Banks Lake to fish for...MORE...

 

 

May 20, 2022
I had a week of low numbers with big fish, and a trip...MORE...

 

 

May 13, 2022
Along with the warmer days we get in the spring it can be windy throughout the region...MORE...

 

May 6, 2022
I had another terrific week of fishing here in North Central Washington ...MORE...

 

 

April 29, 2022
My wife Eileen and I visited several lakes to see how anglers were doing on the opening ...MORE...

 

April 15, 2022
I had a wonderful week on and off the water. It started....MORE...

 

April 8, 2022
There has been a sharp increase in the number of boats out on the water here in Central Washington....MORE...

March 25, 2022
Spring weather has anglers chomping at the bit...MORE...

 

March 18, 2022
I had a great weekend. The annual Burke Lake Trout Derby took place on Saturday...MORE...

 

March 11, 2022
As many of you know, my wife Eileen and I have hosted several trips...MORE...

 

March 3, 2022
Despite the prospect of finding many of the lakes in the Columbia Basin MORE...

 

February 25, 2022
Winter is being reluctant to release it’s icy grip. We even got a good shot of new snow up here MORE...

 

February 25, 2022
I did some exploring last week. I spent a short time fishing from the shore at Keller on Lake Roosevelt MORE...

February 18, 2022
The sunny skies we have seen throughout the region inspired me MORE...

 

 

February 11, 2022
There are a very good number of anglers enjoying the colder weather we’ve had this winter  MORE...

February 4, 2022
Cold temperatures have been great for fans of ice fishing MORE...

 

January 28, 2022
The ice fishing season is on! Anglers are out on frozen lakes throughout the region MORE...

 

January 21, 2022
I had a great time last week traveling to four different ice fishing lakes up north was really fun MORE...

 

January 14, 2022
Like so many others here in Central Washington, I have been pretty much home bound  MORE...

 

January 7, 2022
The ice fishing season is on! Anglers are out on frozen lakes throughout the region. I have reports of good catches of perch, MORE...

 

December 31, 2021
I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  As we approach New Year’s Day we have extremely cold temperatures forecasted throughout the region.  MORE...

 

 

December 24, 2021
I made a few trips to the middle net pens last week.  We had very good success, limiting on most days.  My last trip was on Sunday and fishing was tough.  I am glad we MORE...

 

 

 

December 17, 2021
I had a really fun week of winter fishing again.  This time I was able to get up to the MORE...

 

 

 

December 10, 2021
I have been trying my luck fishing from shore for rainbow lately MORE...

 

 

 

 

December 3, 2021
I had a terrific Thanksgiving Weekend.  My daughter visited MORE..

 

 

 

November 26, 2021
Winter arrived with a good dump of snow in Leavenworth last week MORE..

November 19, 2021
I didn’t have a lot of success when I got out fishing this past week MORE..

 

November 12, 2021
Anglers are having very good success on the Icicle River for coho MORE..

 

November 5, 2021
I had so much fun fishing this week, it’s hard to believe it’s November. MORE..

 

October 29, 2021
I got out on the Icicle a couple of times this past week. It rained hard last Friday MORE..

 

 

October 22, 2021
I got out several times this week to sample some of our fall fishing opportunities MORE..

 

October 15, 2021
It was a great week of fishing and not catching for me. That’s the way it goes sometimes. MORE..

 

 

October 8, 2021
Anglers are having increased success fishing for salmon on the Hanford Reach for fall kings...MORE..

 

October 1, 2021
I hope you were able to get out on the water this week...MORE..

 

 

 

September 24, 2021
With the fall-like weather comes some really good news for fall fishing...MORE..

 

September 17, 2021
I had a very fun week. Got the chance to fish with my two brothers...MORE..

September 10, 2021
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend
MORE..

 

 

September 3, 2021
Can you believe it’s September already? Where did summer go?! Actually, I am not missing the...
MORE..

 

August 27, 2021
We are in a period of transition right now. Salmon fishing on the upper..
MORE..

 

August 20, 2021
I spent most of my week on Lake Wenatchee fishing for sockeye, and got...
MORE...

 

August 13, 2021
I have had a tremendously fun week of fishing. Lake Wenatchee MORE...

 

 

August 6, 2021
Salmon fishing continues to be the biggest draw for anglers here in the region... MORE...

July 30, 2021
I considered several options about where to fish this past week.  I finally settled on ... MORE...

 

 

 

July 23, 2021
I had a great time this past week, fishing for sturgeon out of Kettle Falls on Lake Roosevelt... MORE...

 

 

July 16, 2021
Although temperatures have cooled a bit throughout the region... MORE...

 

July 9, 2021
The extremely high temperatures we’ve experienced throughout the region didn’t... MORE...

 

July 2, 2021
Man, it is a scorcher out there! I would like to get out fishing more,MORE...

June 25, 2021
I got out on the water a few times this past week.  MORE...

 

June 18, 2021
I had a great time this past week.  I had one of the best days of MORE...

 

June 11, 2021
A family wedding brought my daughter Whitney to the east side of the mountains MORE...

 

June 4, 2021
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Memorial Weekend  MORE...

 

 

 

 

May 28, 2021
I had a terrific time on the water this past week. I was on Moses Lake two days  MORE...

 

 

 

May 21, 2021
I ticked off a couple of commitments this week and had a lot of fun doing it. MORE...

 

 

May 14, 2021
I had a great time last week. I traveled to the town... MORE...

 

 

May 7, 2021
I got out on the water a lot last week MORE...

 

 

 

 

April 30, 2021
Last weekend was the annual opener of the lowland trout lake MORE...

 

April 23, 2021
The weather was almost summer-like last week MORE...

 

 

April 16, 2021
In just a few days one of the most unusual MORE...

 

Dave Graybill
"The Outdoor Insider"
email: fishboynwi.net
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