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Rufus Woods triploids taking the bait

FISHING — Bait fishing for triploid rainbow trout has been hot at Lake Rufus Woods, especially  near the lower net pens, says Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad's Family Guide Service.

New flavors of Pautzke baits work, he said.

“Mallow Balls O’ Fire, American Wildfire, Atomic Garlic and Garlic Wildfire all got woofed when the bite was on,” he said, noting that they continued to get fish when the faster bite had turned off. 

“Refine your old slip sinker bait fishing techniques for better success at Rufus,” he said.

  • “First, lengthen your leaders.  Instead of 2 to 3 feet, your leaders should be 4 to 6 feet. 
  • “Second, vary your weight as the current changes.  To be consistent you have to be able to feel the bottom.  You can be going 70 to over 90 feet deep to get at these pellet-eating fish. 
  • “Third, use a big chunk of bait.  We usually are putting a gob of bait big enough to hide a #4 hook.  
  • “Finally, don’t just let it sit there.  If you don’t get bit, move the bait.  Recast often.”

Rufus Woods triploids fewer but bigger

FISHING — Here's the latest fishing report from Lake Rufus Woods on the Columbia River downstream from Grande Coulee Dam.

It comes from Anton Jones (above with a 9-pound triploid rainbow) of Darrell & Dad's Family Guide Service.

This is a great time to fish Rufus Woods for triploid rainbows.  The numbers aren’t what they were a couple of months ago, but the average size is better. 

Troll smile blade flies just under the surface or cast one quarter ounce black roostertails to catch fish around the lower three net pens.  If that isn’t happening, move up to the lower pens and fish green or red Pautzke’s fire bait off the bottom with a slip sinker rig. 

If the current is pushing good, add a Mack’s smile blade in front of the bait to attract those fat boys. 

Fishing guide’s tip: Don’t spare the rod on kids

FISHING — Chelan-area guide Anton Jones, who fishes with families almost every week, has a bit of advice for adults who take kids out fishing, especially as the kids get older.

“I see all too often, parents stepping in and “rescuing” a 14-year-old kid that is struggling with a bigger fish or a slightly more difficult task,” said the owner of Darrell and Dad's Family Guide Service.

“I know you don’t want them to fail, but you’ve got to let them work through some adversity to build confidence and competence.We had an 11-year-old that handled a 20-pound fish on a heavy outrigger rod. It was difficult for him, but you could see him mature a bit more in that moment.” 

Chelan macks produce; Upper Columbia salmon spotty

SALMON FISHING — The latest observations on upper Columbia salmon fishing from Anton Jones of Darrell & Dad's Family Guide Service include a digression to point out that mackinaw fishing continues to be great at Lake Chelan, as one can see above in the form of a 21 pounder in the hands of Jolene Rhoads of Spangle.

Meantime, “Salmon fishing on the Upper Columbia has been spotty at best,” Jones said.

“Everything we have heard indicates that the lack of a thermal barrier at the mouth of the Okanogan River has made for very slow salmon fishing. Below Wells Dam, it has been a bit better, but the inconsistent releases from the dam have played hobb with our fishing.”

Feed the tribe with Rufus Woods hog-like rainbow trout

 FISHING — Heading downstream from Grand Coulee Dam has been productive for anglers casting bait rigs near the commercial net pens at Lake Rufus Woods, according to Anton Jones of Darrell & Dad's Family Guide Service

His photo above indicates the rough range of possibilities for these outsized fish.

Here's his secret for matching what the fish are eating with a distinction that makes his bait more irresistible.

At Rufus, we know the fish are feeding below and downstream of the net pens on fish pellets.  How would they find our pellet imitation among the gazillions of actual food pellets?  Well, they wouldn’t.  So we fish where they are with a bait that is in the area they are eating, and only a bit bigger than what they are feeding on.  However, we use rainbow color and glitter to attract their attention.