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Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunny Days at the Ranch

One of the many charms of the east side of the state besides the warm weather and open spaces are the mass of desert lakes and creeks.  With trout on the brain and many if not all west side and east side trout streams in the process of spring run off....Lakes were our only option.

Every 2 years....I love making a trip over to Issacs Ranch Lake.  A phone call to old friend and guide buddy Jay Robeson, got a us on the lake on Mothers Day.  For many this can also be called Divorce Day if you abandon your spouse with the kids and go off and fish.  Fortunately for me, Teresa is the most understanding woman I have ever met and my mother lives on another continent.  So after a ramshackle job of packing trout gear and summer clothes that have not seen the light of day in 5 months....Craig and I hit the road at "O" dark thirty leaving the darkness and gloom of the harbor for 80 degree temps and sunny skies of Central Washington.

Jay Robeson in the Guide Shack

We arrived at  the Ranch at 9 am and got the run down of the what's been good on the lake....Jay was the "Dude" with the info and flies.  As the years have went by....Jay has been part of legend and lore of guiding in the Northwest.  Covering water on the Kanektok in Alaska during the golden ages, guiding area rivers for salmon and steel head and now working his 24th year at the ranch. 

Issacs Ranch Lake is one of the premier lakes in the entire Northwest and managed to produce gigantic trout that can be as selective and snooty as any in the world.  With a steady diet of scuds, fresh water shrimp, and tons of other aquatic bio-mass.  These fish grow to super proportions and fight with the passion and ferocity of their steelhead brothers.  

Robbi with first of many

After a few war stories and belly laughs...we hit the lake.  Great Friend and awesome angler Robbi K was also able to sneak away for the day and hooked the first 5 fish of the day, which included a 2 for 1 deal that consisted of two 20 Plus inch fish at the same time...Needless to say I bungled the net job and we lost both fish, but it is not everyday that you see to fish that size on the same line.

Craig with a little fish

later in the morning we headed off to the upper lake and as we figured out the pattern of the what the fish were interested in we had the chance to experience that amazing fishing we all dream of.  Brief hatches of calebaetis and damsels had fish to the surface occasionally and nymphing chrononmids was nearly a slam dunk. 

Jimmy P and Raftapalooza

As the day wore on, we headed down to lower lake, we offered to help out our fellow angler Jimmy P with his shuttle from one lake to the other.  But he opted to go the "drive" blind route instead.  I never did ask how he controlled the accelerator from his spot hanging out the door.

set  the hook

Afternoon and evening fishing on the ranch is some of my favorite....the temps cool down just a bit.  What fish that decided to hunker down in the bright sunlight have decided to come out and play.  We hooked some amazing fish that ran into backing and jumped into the evening sunset. 

I am already looking forward to another day on the Ranch....

till next  year!

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