Opening Day '04 for my husband JC and I here
in Washington state was the Central Washington
Fish-In held this weekend at Ephrata, WA. Cary
Morlan (Linemender) and Steve Zweber (Z) again
were the hosts of the event - and made sure
everyone knew where to go and what to use.
The semi-official count of folks attending was 33
and included two teenage boys from our Chat Room,
(Johnathan Sherwin - (Foo) and Andy Simon - (winston1m6)) and one younger
boy, (Taz) who with his dad's Jim tutoring managed to
catch more fish than his dad! Cool stuff. Seeing
the youngsters work on their casting and competing
with each other on their fly tying is a great indication
that there are kids who will carry our love of fly
fishing on. Jonathan's dad, Bob and Andy's dad Tom
are just great dads!
We left home on Thursday and met up with some of
the early arrivals at the Oasis Park the same evening.
We stayed at the Rama Inn, about a mile from the Park.
People trickled in on Friday and some even on Saturday
morning. Everyone made at least one trip to Rocky Ford
Creek, which is fly only, catch-and-release fishing for
mostly Rainbow trout. Stan Coffin Lake was the
destination for those wanting to fish for bluegills
and bass - and the lake was very co-operative as well.
The weather was actually a bit too warm during the day
(hit 90 on Friday) and some of the folks who fished the
lake had never targeted bluegills before and one, Steve
Zweber mentioned he was laughing the whole time. He had
a blast! Probably won't be the last time he spends some
time non-trout fishing. Nice to expand ones horizons.
I had the pleasure of baptizing my new silk line,
and actually had a couple nice furled leaders to
try with it. Kathy Scott send a couple along with
some neat information on making them (stay tuned)
along with a CD she and her husband are producing
for those wanting to make furled leaders. Bruce
Harang (halcyon) also had one for me to try - and
it really preformed wonderfully.
Because of various work schedules we didn't have
everyone in one place at the same time, but as
the week goes by we will try and have some photos
of as many of those who came as we can. We did have
Bob Byles (Silverback) come from northern California,
and Jim Anderson (Montana Muddler) drove all the way from
Billings, Montana to make it. Most of the rest were
from Washington, including Dr. Bob who treated everyone
with malted milk balls. The story only works if you
were there, so don't miss the next one.
JC and I both did some actual fishing - as opposed
to running around taking photos of the folks fishing,
and we both caught some very nice trout and had a
I do want to mention something which I hope will be
of interest. The boys did catch fish, and they
changed flies a lot, hoping mostly to find something
which would turn the fish on. And we were told Andy
actually caught a fish on a grasshopper he dragged,
(really) across the surface of one of the small ponds.
The first week in May isn't grasshopper season, but
we'll grant the kids some credit for trying to make
Our approach was exactly the opposite. We missed
most of the actual hatch this morning, but the
blue-wing olives did come off as they usually do
on Rocky. The way the place is allows the larger
fish in particular to cruise the stream looking
for food. They do move about a lot. JC had decided
the fish would still recognize that profile and take
it as though a hatch was still in progress, although
it had quit a bit earlier. I used a really small
gray Wally Wing with great success - it
fit the size and the profile and the 'take' was
absolutely classic. Or as Judge Judy would say, "Perfect!"
I don't expect the boys to understand all of
that yet - but with the experience they are
getting, just imagine what their success rate
will be when they put all the pieces together!
Saturday evenings at Fish-Ins are becoming a bit
of a tradition - at least for the Washington and
Idaho Fish-Ins. It is a pot-luck, bring what you
want, very informal - and always too much good
food! Richard (REW) cranked up two of his Dutch
ovens with barbequed ribs and German sausage,
there was a pot of excellent chili, hot dogs,
Stephie with oysters, both raw and grilled with
garlic butter, salads and dips and even two kinds
I just have to say something about the outstanding
fishery at Rocky Ford Creek. This is Public
Water, managed by the State Fish and Game, with
access in part via the courtesy of the Trout Lodge.
As I mentioned it is fly only, catch-and- release - and
also it is a non-wading, non-boat stream. I'm told
the mud bottom in some places is nearly as bad as
quicksand - we'll have an article in the next couple
of weeks about a mis-adventure there. But the fact
that such a fishery exists - and is not private or
pay to play is just outstanding. A tip of the FAOL
hat on this one!
We are tentatively planning same time, same place
next year, so if you haven't been able to attend
this one before, you might give some thought to
late April/early May next year. But, there are a
couple of regional Fish-In's still happening this
spring. The Deerfield River Regional 'FISH-IN 2004'
is May 15 - 15 in Charlemont, MA, and the Roscoe NY
Fish-In is Monday, May 31st through Sunday, June 6th.
Both are listed on the Fish-In menu with complete
The 'official' FAOL Fish-In is at Lowell, Idaho, Sept.
19 - 25, 2004, and is also listed on the Fish-In menu.
As always, everyone is welcome, there are no fees, auctions,
charges or registration for any FAOL event. We do ask
though if you plan on attending any of these events,
let me know and I'll put your name on the "Going List."
We had a great time with great folks, as we always
do. It is such a treat to put faces on names we
haven't met - and to renew friendships with old
friends. Campfire conversations are wonderful!
Hugs all until the next one. Hope you can join us! ~ The LadyFisher
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