We’ve been fortunate experience a nice long string of warm days the last several weeks. Having lived a lifetime in western Washington, it’s easy to forget how essential a little vitamin D is to the psyche every now and then. It certainly adds a whole other layer of enjoyment to being out on the water. The days are long, lowland lakes are open, the yard is mowed for the time being and there’s plenty of time to steal a few hours fishing after the rigors of your day to day. What’s not to like?
Speaking of sunny days, we certainly had a beautiful one for our 5th anniversary BBQ back on May 5th. While we didn’t do a traditional Cinco de Mayo theme on the food, the pork and slaw lovingly cooked to perfection by Frank Koterba with a helping hand from Lin Nelson were simply out of this world. In addition to eating too much, we relished the chance to cast some new Sage and Redington rods on the shop lawn and Brandon and I both concluded that the Redington Minnow is more fun than an adult should possibly have with a kid’s fly rod. Thanks to all who showed up and to those who couldn’t, there’s always next year. Lot’s of great fly fishing opportunities happening before our very eyes from freshwater to salt and most rivers slated to open in just a few weeks. We’re also starting our Spey Wednesdays back up for the summer at the end of May, so mark your calendars to come learn to spey cast, refine your spey casting or just show up, hang out and have some fun.
Lots of good stuff going on in the way of stillwater opportunities. For trout, local lowland lakes like Padden, Silver, Cain and Toad are producing planted rainbow trout. Attractors like Carey Specials, Doc Spratleys, Olive Willies and Olive Flashabuggers are working well. When the fish are up near the surface feeding on emerging chironomids, small Soft Hackles have been working as well. The Chuckanut lakes have also been fishing pretty good if you’re up for a walk. CDC Midge Emergers, Lady McConnell’s, Parachute Adams and Adult Hatching Chironomids are great patterns for the evening rise when the water is calm and the lake is alive trout dimpling the surface. Squalicum has been productive in the morning and evening, fishing chironomids, Woolly Buggers, Olive Hare’s Ears and Damsel Patterns. Damsels should become more active toward the end of the month and into June on most lakes. The rest of May and early June see good hatches of callibaetis mayflies on a lot of eastern Washington lakes and to a much lesser extent on our local waters. We are getting reports of good fishing in the BC interior, with most mid-elevation waters ice free. We’ve also heard of a number of lakes that may have experienced a winter kill this past season, including Big Twin in the Winthrop area, so it warrants checking before you plan a trip.
Area warm water lakes are literally heating up, with both bass and panfish on the prowl. Whatcom has been fishing well for smallmouth with yellow Beldar Buggers, Zonkers, Zoo Cougars and Jawbreakers catching some nice bass. They’ve definitely moved into the shallows. Terrell and Fazon are on as well, with the best fishing around late afternoon and evening. The bluegill are taking Bream Poppers, Marabou Micro Leeches, Marabou Damsel Nymphs, Pheasant Tails and Black Ice Cream Cones. Bass will take a variety of surface poppers and larger wormy patterns like the Gully Worm and Bass Turd. If you’ve yet to enjoy the youthful glee of catching bream on a 2 weight fly rod, you’re missing out. Let us convince you!
Most of our rivers are closed for the remainder of the month. No worries, the majority are running bank full and dirty with the snow melt triggered by our lovely warm weather. The Vedder in BC below the Vedder Crossing is fly fishing only through the end of May, but as you may have guessed, it’s pretty punched too at the moment.
Sea run cutthroat fishing has been quite good around the Sound. Most fish are out of the rivers locally and on the feed in the salt. Fry patterns, Marabou Clousers, Snot Darts and Sea Run Buggers have been working. Larger patterns like Stinger Clousers and Deceivers are picking up a few bigger sea run bull trout as well. With these bright days abounding, try to time your tides with morning or evening as the fish will often hold a little further off the beach when the sun is high overhead. If you’re up for some adventure and need an excuse to flex your 10 weight, ling cod season is open this month as well. Whether you’re already really into our saltwater fisheries or would like to be, don’t miss Justin Waters of All-Waters Fly Fishing at the Confluence Fly Shop on May 24th. He’ll be doing a casting demo and fly tying session at the Confluence in the afternoon and later that evening a full presentation for the Fourth Corner Fly Fishers. Check out the full details in our Events section. It’s going to be a blast! A special thanks to Eric for a memorable day on the Sound chasing lingcod with a fly rod. Epic is the only word that comes to mind!