Trout Streams

I fished Lewisville Park for several hours this Saturday. Exploring the East Fork of the Lewis River as it winds through the fir trees and swimming spots, I ran into the usual mix of fish, plus one new personal best for myself. Lewisville is just north of the city of Battleground, Washington, and is probably one of the most peaceful city parks in Clark County. Report and more photos after the jump:

^Too many falls on the rocks.
The day started miserably cold, for July. I spent the better part of the morning walking upriver, ending at the main swimming hole. A few picnickers had showed up, but most people were staying out of the frigid water.  Totally overcast day but the water was super clear..

There were dead crayfish everywhere I stopped. I don’t know if this is a sign of decreasing water quality, or if they just happened to run into some hungry raccoons. More annoying than this was the abundance of trash day campers had left around the river. Dirty diapers, mustard and ketchup packets, plastic shopping bags-c’mon, idiots, clean up after yourself. The park isn’t your private dumping ground.
I used a Berkely Nymph on a jig and caught this beast (sculpin, ha!) under the rocks. Had a bunch of fish nip at it, but refused to take it. I usually float live bait on the East Fork, or at least tip my jigs with something tasty, as the fish don’t really attack my other offerings well.

Switched up to a Berkely Trout Worm, still on a jig head. I was fishing it by the big rocks, and this guy simply demolished it, sucking it in completely. Thanks, PureFishing! I have never heard of people catching sunfish (I think this is a pumpkinseed sunfish, notice the sweet colors and smallmouth) in the Lewis, especially this far upstream. Probably not a good sign for the coldwater fish population. See the teeth on this guy?
After a quick sandwhich lunch, I was back on the water. The sun finally broke through, really bringing the colors out. Started wading a bit, and grabbed a few caddisflies (larva) to tip my jigs with. This always works on the East Fork. I caught four trout, some pushing a foot in length. Fun, really acrobatic in their fight. Quickly release them, keeping them in the water, since they don’t quite have the stamina that largemouth boast.

I love wading, fishing, and just exploring the river. So much to see and do. The water is so insanely clear, it’s like wavy glass. I could even see the fish pop out from rocks and holes to attack my lures.
Unfortunately, the swimmers, rafters, and float tube kids went by a few times, splashing through some of the better fishing spots. Had to watch out for them, since they didn’t have the presence of mind to notice if anyone was fishing or not.
I ended the day by stopping at a deep hole with a lot of fast water moving into it. There was several dozen children in the area, trying to (a) throw all of their Styrofoam drinking cups into the water, (b) skip stones at each others, and (c) catch crayfish in a trap they brough. I found one spot a little ways past them, made a cast and then was surrounded by kids asking if I had caught anything. At the same time, my line twitches, I set the hook, and something starts burning my drag like a freight train. Crap, I forgot to set the drag properly before coming to this spot. I’m panicking, fumbling the drag, and the fish is still pulling hard, testing the limits of my micro spinning rod and 4lb test line. I’m trying the pull the fish upstream, so I’m fighting the current at the same time, bad idea. By now, there are kids all over the shore, pointing and shouting, watching the fight. I wrestle the fish closer, and spot him-it’s some type of sucker, no it’s a northern pikeminnow! I’ve hooked them before in the East Fork, but never brought them to shore on my light gear (except for the little dink-sized ones). Wish I had gotten a better picture of it, colors are much more vivid than the ones caught in Lake River or the Columbia. For most people, pikeminnow aren’t anything special, but this was something awesome for me. For one, it is my biggest pikeminnow yet and, secondly, it actually put up a heck of a fight. I have eaten them before, but (at least the small ones) are ridiculously bony. A bounty is paid on them if they are caught in the Columbia River and are over 9 inches long, due to their predation on salmon and steelhead young.
All in all, I had a blast fishing the East Fork. Trout and other coldwater species are a little less interesting to me than bass fishing, but I still enjoy chasing these fish, especially when the Pacific Northwest has such beautiful streams to fish for them in.

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Be nice.