Sunday, February 19, 2012
2/18/12 Lacygne Lake...."Chasing Winter White Bass"
Last week I was talking to some guys from my local fly fishing club ,
Free State Fly Fishers , about fishing at one of our local coal fired power plants. During the winter the warm water discharge into the lake can be a large attraction for many species of fish , especially white bass and wipers. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had plans to head down to Lacygne Lake with Keith and Stan Saturday morning. The plan was to check out the possibility of catching a few white bass or maybe even wipers tossing some shad fly imitations.
None of us had ever been to the lake before so we didn't know what to expect , but it's that thought of the unknown that often makes the trip that much more exciting. Five weights to eight weights , floating lines and sinking lines , and any style of shad imitation you could dream up...we were prepared for anything.
We arrived at the parking lot for the trail to the warm water discharge about 10:00 and got geared up quickly among a slew of other fishermen with the same idea , if not quite the same method. It appeared that this was a popular destination for some of the local bait fishing crowd as well from a first glance around. The sun was out today but a blustery Northeast wind left a definite chill in the air that required an extra layer. After a short hike to the spot where the warm water channel dumps into the main lake we found our destination , if the number of fishermen were a good indicator of numbers of fish we were at the right spot.
There was a little bit of everything happening , from baitfishing on shore to casting crankbaits out of a boat. As usual we were the only group decked out in waders and carrying long poles with fancy colored line , it's always fun to see some of the looks.
After assessing the situation we hit the water and quickly found a hard bottom , shallow flat that allowed us to wade out and give ourselves plenty of backcasting room.
Right off we noticed one boat in particular picking up several small whites off of a point just down lake. We worked our way down the flat and began trying to work the same area with our flies.
Every so often we could see a fish breaking the surface chasing small shad, of course they were always just one cast out of reach it seemed. We gave it an honest effort and ended up with three very small white bass and the fish of the day...a common carp.
Unfortunately the carp ate the fly with his tail, but as you can see from the smile on my face it didn't make the bend in that seven weight any less enjoyable , best tug I've had all year.
In the end we didn't tear it up but we proved that a guy can flyfish from shore and catch a fish or two at this spot. I'm pretty sure it won't be our last trip and next time we have a better idea about where we want to be. I could definitely see some promise in the area , it's just a matter of being there when some larger fish are moving around and they're a little closer to shore.
I got to hang with a couple of great guys and throw some flies for the better part of the day , who's complaining?
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher