The better brown of the two that hit right at the same time on both rods was this nice colorful hen.
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As I set here writing up this report, it has been raining steadily for the past hour. Not too hard but fairly steady and the first major rain we have had in awhile. The fall is one of my favorite times of the year and I am ready for it after this summer. I am usually ready for the cool down and especially this year as it seemed like we had one of the hotter summers I can remember. A lot of days in the high 80ís and even up into the 90ís....more than I like! I guess all those years in my plumbing contracting days of working in the hot summer sun of the San Joaquin Valley have literally burnt me out. When I was younger I was able to handle the 100-109 temps that we often saw from June-Sept. These days I crave the 60-70ís for the most part.
I decided to get back to Wickiup this past week for a couple of reasons. For one, I could still get my boat in and for another, I had a good run where I have been banging some quality browns for weeks now. It isnít being fished by any others when I have been there....got to love that! I was the first one at the Gull Pt. ramp when I pulled in that morning. It was getting sunny as I got ready to launch. I wasnít out as early as I had planned but I knew from what I had been doing, the later mornings were good bites the last few outings so I relaxed and just enjoyed the moment....no big hurry like I often feel when I first get out on a lake. No one was even on the lake so I drank in the beauty and serenity of Wickiup in the Fall!
I headed right over to a run that has been ďmagicĒ for most of the last several weeks I have fished it. It is a break line that comes to a long point and then drops off to a deep cove on the back of the point. It is actually where the old river channel comes alongside the back of a point. What I know for sure is that sometime each morning I can usually get 4-5 browns or bows to hit if I hang with it. Today was no exception as it turned out. After sticking a little guy right away, I finished my cup of coffee and swung back through at another angle to line up again. As I came along on one side of the point, I hear the downrigger rodís drag in a jerky tune as a brown was swimming off after popping the release. Right at the same time the rod in my hand loads up on the strike and I hookup on what felt like a decent fish. I put that rod down first while maintaining boat speed (something I believe in with two fish on while trolling) to check the other rod to evaluate the size of that fish. It wasnít a toad so I put the rod back in the holder and went back to the rod I was holding. This fish was heavier for sure.
I worked the fish in as quickly as I could and put the gripper on the 6 LB. hen and then dropped her over the side to chill. I sometimes keep my gripper tied to a boat rope that is tied to my downrigger ball. The rope being about 20 feet long allows the brown to drop back into cooler water and calm down. I then got back on the downrigger rod and worked the 4-5 Lb. hen to the top and netted her. I have a system where I can balance the net in the water which allows the fish to rest while I get my camera ready for a self timer shot. After a couple of quick photos, I release her and then pull up the larger brown for the same photo drill. I get photos of both and they both swim away! Everybody wins!
A little later a nice feisty rainbow hits and is instantly jumping all over the surface. The trout puts up a rigorous fight before I take a quick photo of her at the back of the boat and then pop the hooks with my needle nose pliers. Right after that, Allan Cole calls and we decide to meet at Paulina that afternoon before he takes off for home the next day. It was blowing a little more than we liked so I didn't have the boat control to work the area I had planned. We decided to troll a couple of other productive runs and were rewarded with a small brown each. We got off right before dark and bid farewell as I headed back to Bend and he to Lapine where he was staying.
I will continue to hit several of our Central Oregon lakes the next few weeks before a trip to California to see Colin, the oldest grandson. He will be home on leave from Afghanistan for a couple of weeks in Oct. After that Dinkster and I will be venturing back to Kootenay for another shot at the giant gerrard rainbows. I am hoping you wonít want to miss the write up of that trip. If it is anything like the last two years, we should be banging bows from 10-20 LB. Looking like our buddy and fellow Brownbagger, John Krmpotich, might be joining us for part of the trip and that will be fun. Stay tuned......