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Minnows represent a significant portion of the trout’s diet in Pass Lake near Deception Pass, particularly at times of the year when chironomids and other staple insects are much less abundant such as during the fall, winter and early spring. Sometimes when big rainbows and browns key on minnows in the shallows the action can be fast and furious, oftentimes it can be maddening when fish refuse pattern after pattern and routinely taunt you with the middle fin. The Hall Pass matches the general color and average size of the fathead minnows we find in Pass Lake and can be fished a variety of different ways. Sometimes suspending it under an indicator near a drop off or over a weed bed is the ticket, other times fishing it with short darting retrieves works wonders. In either case, I generally fish it around the lake edges on a floating line and 9-12′ leader. The tungsten bead does the job of getting it down. With the darker olive laser yarn over the top, the fly on the jig hook will flip, so it kind of looks like an upside down swimming minnow in the water, which reeks of vulnerability. This fly was a killer in the late afternoons and evenings last fall and while was initially tied to crack the code at Pass, ought to do well at other lakes, like Ross in the summer where trout forage heavily on minnows.

Hall Pass Recipe:
Hook: Hanak 450BL #10
Bead: Gold Hanak Slotted Tungsten 3.5mm
Thread: 140 Denier White Ultra Thread
Tail: White Blood Quill Marabou
Body: UV Minnow Belly Ice Dub/Callibaetis Ice Dub
Head: Laser Yarn Olive/Laser Yarn
Flash: Peacock Black Krinkle Mirror Flash
Eyes: 1/8″ Super Pearl 3D Holo Eyes
Finish: Loon Thin UV Resin

Confluence Beer Pairing:
Since much of our winter fishing around Bellingham encapsulates sweeping views of the snow-capped Twin Sisters peaks, our February beer pairing is going to be Twin Sisters Brewing Pilsner. It’s crisp and refreshing like an icy winter morning and makes an excellent change up when you get burnt out drinking the darker, richer, chocolaty stouts and porters. Find it in cans at your favorite local beer mart.

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