Washington's Coulee Lakes
Bass Buggin' Rods

Entry Level Steelhead Class
PHD Steelhead Class

All pictures are "mouse-over".

Saturday July 20, 9:00am - 4:00pm  Jon Covich  Representing: 
R.L.Winston Rod Co.  makers of fine fly rods
Cast a Winston Rod for a chance to win an Outcast Fat Cat 66 Float Tube.
FREE CASTING LESSONS !!!  FREE BARBEQUE (noon-on) !!!  FREE PRIZES (every hour) !!!

Dry Falls the plunge pool an ancient falls...

Washington's Coulee Lakes
15,000 years ago a finger of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet crept south and blocked the flow of the Clark Fork River near the Montana/Idaho border.  Over the next 50 years an impoundment  filled with water to the depth of over 2000 feet.  The surface of this lake was over 4000 feet higher than the Pacific Ocean 400 miles to the  
west.  Geologists have named this huge body of water, Lake Missoula.  At its zenith it may have held over 500 cubic miles of water.  Suddenly the ice dam broke with such force that the lake was emptied in 48 hours.  The resulting flood, equaled 10 times the flow of all the rivers on Earth (60 times the flow of the Amazon).  Much like a fire hose in a sand box, it cut across Central Washington at 40-65 miles an hour.  Within hours 1600 square miles of grass covered prairie was scoured to the bed rock.  In places over 200 feet of top soil was removed and washed to the sea. During the next 2000 years, 40 more of these floods rearranged the landscape.  Natural faults and folds in the basalt plateau concentrated the fast flowing water to excavate the basalt bedrock by the cubic mile.  When the ancient lake ran dry, the giant river shriveled leaving behind a dry canyon  called a coulee.  The largest and most 

dramatic of these ancient river beds is Grand Coulee in North Central Washington.  Here successive floods carved a steep sided canyon into the bedrock 900 feet deep, up to 8 miles wide and over fifty miles long.  Each vista inside the coulee is a geological masterpiece, a sculpture of water carved stone.  One of the most striking features of the ancient river that 

the GIANT ice-age river that created the falls pictured in the Washing State Interpretive Center overlooking the dry flls...

Patty Barnes holding a rainbow trout in front of the island left of center in the picture above...

carved this canyon was a 15 mile long set of rapids that culminated with the 200 foot deep water plunging over a 400 foot tall, 3 1/2 mile wide falls. Inside the arid 12,000 year old plunge pool of this giant falls are 9 lakes.  Several are of special interest to the fly fisher.  Each Lake is unique. Some lakes are always clear, others may be turbid at times. The personality of each lake continually changes 
with the climate cycles.  Some wet years the lakes are full and during dry cycles the lakes diminish.  One year a particular lake will be favored and fish populations will flourish, the next year may favor another lake.    Some lakes are very alkaline.  

At least one lake in the chain, Soap Lake is lethal to trout.  Lake Lenore is so alkaline that the only salmonid specie that can survive there are Lahontan Cutthroats.  Lenore is big and open and wind blown.   But some years cutthroats there can reach 15 pounds.  The average is 3 to 6 pounds.  Some Lakes, have 

Lake Lenore in the coulee....

Mark Bachmann examining the Coulee Lakes trout population....

populations of bass and bluegills.  Blue Lake, Park Lake, Vic Meyer Lake, Perch Lake and Deep Lake are annually stocked with catchable rainbow trout.  Vic Meyer Lake has Eastern Brook Trout. The jewel of the bunch is Dry Falls Lake.  It is managed as  a trophy fly fishing lake.  It has a very good population of both rainbow and brown trout that average 14" to 24".  These fish can be very picky.  During a very recent episode most of the rainbows rose repeatedly between and around two dozen skilled anglers 
in float tubes & pontoon boats for a whole day.... few had fear of be impaled with a hook.  I know because Patty and I were two of the anglers.  We stuck around the next morning after everyone else had left and got even with these PHD trout with tiny midge pupae in the surface film.  Boy it was fun.........................................................!!!    

Traveling from The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon go northeast  about 350 miles  through the Columbia River Gorge , across the stunning landscape of the Yakima Indian 

9 different lakes
Reservation and up the Yakima River Valley.    Don't miss Toppenish, "City of Murals". You enter the downstream end of the Grand Coulee at the town of Soap Lake.  A great base station for all of the Coulee Lakes is Sun Lakes Park.  It is run by the State of Washington.  It offers well manicured fee camping. 
  Sun Lakes Park Resort is where Patty and I stayed.  They have a store & cabins and other amenities.  It is a pleasant place to stay.  509-632-5291 

Bass like cover....hiding cover....ambush cover....cover.... (continued from 06/09 The Fly Fishing Shop Insider)
How To Select Your Next Bass Rod

Bass are ambush fish.  Productive bass fishing demands pin-point casting accuracy.  Bass often live surrounded by dense cover.  Usually the angler is targeting small openings in this cover.   

Placing the fly where it is most vulnerable or irritating to a bass is very important if you want to catch it.   If the fly lands in exactly the right spot the first cast, it will often get an instant strike. A presentation that takes several casts to get the fly into play is less effective.    

A fly rod is the perfect weapon for bass sight fishing.  It can be a rapid fire instrument rendering pin-point accuracy. Selecting a rod and line combination that performs smoothly in all your normal casting ranges is important.  Few casts of over 40' are required. Super fast rods are not an asset. They give a herky-jerky presentation that destroys accuracy.  

Bass flies are larger than most trout flies.  Casting bulky poppers and hair bugs takes practice.  It also takes the right rod and line combination to enable you to perform at your best.  Often loading your rod with a heavier fly line can be useful.  A heavier line will slow your rod down and provide the energy needed to launch larger, bulkier flies.

Bass come in a wide variety of sizes.  Most  Oregon bass are 1 to 3 pounds.  These small to medium size bass seem to prefer poppers and hair bugs in the size #6 and #8 range.  A #5 to #6 fly rod is ideal for fish of this size.  

A #7,  #8 or even #9 rod is appropriate where 4 & 8 pound bass might be encountered.  Bigger bass often respond quicker to bigger flies.  A heavier rod is more comfortable for casting really large flies and might be needed to pull larger fish out of heavy cover.    

It is always handy to have two rods rigged.  One rod should be equipped with a floating line and the other should be equipped with a sinking line.  That way bass can be fished at a variety of depths without restringing your rod. 
(to be continued in 06/23/02 "Insider" Newsletter)

16-Hour On the Water Steelhead Fly fishing School
Take a drift boat ride down the Deschutes River with: 
Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and Ron Lauzon.
This is a school that will cover a lot of water and fishing knowledge in one day.
Summer Steelhead will bite any time of day on the Deschutes River, 
however odds go way up during the low light hours of morning and evening.  
That is why we are starting very early and are staying late.  
We want to give you maximum advantage 
by having as many fish hooked during this class as possible.  
Nothing teaches you more about fishing than being where 
fish are being hooked and landed.
Emphasis will be on floating line fishing, 
but will also cover sinking tip fishing during mid-day periods. 
Both single-hand and two-hand rods will be demonstrated.
Learn how to locate steelhead water and how to approach it. 
Watch an expert guide as he fishes and discloses the secrets
 and proven methods that put fish on the beach.  
Get a lot of hands on help so that you too can be productive.
Save yourself five years of experimenting on your own. 
Bring your own waders & rain gear.  Rods, reels, flies & tackle are supplied.
A barbequed lunch will be served on the river.  
There will be a long rest period after lunch.  
Cots will be supplied and we urge that you consider napping along the river for a couple of hours to re-charge your batteries for the evening fishing and the long ride home. 
Price includes Deschutes Boaters Pass.
Meet at The Fly Fishing Shop at 4:30am arrive back at 11:30pm.
Because of the demand we are going to do a second summer steelhead class!
Date: August 16, 2002 - 9 students only!
First come, first served.

Item Description Price To Top
ST-CLASS-5 8-hour steelhead class with Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and Ron Lauzon, July 19, 2002. CLASS FULL 05/27/02. $195 -->SALE ENDED
ST-CLASS-6 8-hour steelhead class with Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and Ron Lauzon, August 16, 2002. $195 -->SALE ENDED

4-day Spey Rod/Steelhead PHD Class
Spend 4 days on the Deschutes River with: 
Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and Simon Gawsworth.
August 17, 18, 19, 20, 2003
Mid-August is prime time for the stretch of river we will be fishing.
This school intends that you will graduate with extensive proprietary knowledge 
of steelhead fishing and spey rod casting.
We will camp on prime water and we will have walking and boat access to miles 
of steelhead runs that will present a divers array of angling problems to be solved.
Classes will be held mid-day.  You will fish with a guide each morning and evening.
Brunch and dinner will be served at times to give you the best fishing periods.
This will give you the best advantage for hooking as many steelhead 
as possible during your stay with us.
Nothing teaches you more about fishing than being where 
fish are being hooked and landed.

You will learn all aspects of spey rod fishing with both floating and sinking-tip lines. 
Learn how to locate steelhead water and how to approach it. 
Watch an expert guide as he fishes and discloses the secrets
 and proven methods that put fish on the beach.  
Get a lot of hands on help so that you too can be productive.
Save yourself years of experimenting on your own.

You will stay in a very comfortable tent camp on the water.
A Camp Person will be available at all times to make your stay as comfortable as possoble.
All cooking and eating will be done in a spacious screen-house.
Comfortable sleeping cots and pads are supplied in double occupancy tents. 
All food & non-alcoholic beverages are included.

Bring your own sleeping bag, clothing, toiletries,
waders, rain gear, rods, reels, flies & tackle.

Price does not include Deschutes Boaters Pass or Oregon Fishing License.
Meet at The Fly Fishing Shop at 6:30am arrive back at 6:30pm.
Date: August 17, 18, 19, 20, 2003 - 6 students only!
First come, first served.       

Price: $1850 per person.  Non-Refundable Deposit: $399 Balance Due: $1451 by 07/01/03
Item Description Deposit To Top
ST-CLASS-5 4-day PHD steelhead class with Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and Simon Gawsworth, August 17, 18, 19, 20, 2003.   $399 -->SALE ENDED

If you would like to read past "Insiders", click Archives

Your commentary is always welcome.  Drop us a line:

HOME.  The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

To Top

Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann & Patty Barnes

Top Fishing Websites at TopFishingSites.Com 4reel fishing top fishing sites Top Fishing Sites