Spring Valley Reservoir, ID

30 yard stretch along bank in front of old beaver lodge

comments (4)

Outing Information

Date
Start/End Time
8:00 am to 11:30 am
Best Fishing Time
9:30 am to 11:00 am
Rating
Good
Classification
Public
Water Temp
45.0°F
Water Clarity
Murky - <1' visibility
Water Level
-
User
Derek Blandford

Fish Caught

Rainbow Trout

Caught Avg Size Pattern Optional Fields
10 11" #10 Black Blandford Beetle Fish Depth: 1' - 3'
Water Depth: 3' - 6'
Kept/Released: / 10
Retrieve: Short, quick strips with occassional pause
7 11" #10 White Blandford Spider Streamer Fish Depth: 1' - 3'
Water Depth: 3' - 6'
Kept/Released: / 7
Retrieve: short, quick strips with occassional pause
2 11" #10 Golden-Olive Sheep Creek Special Fish Depth: 1' - 3'
Water Depth: 3' - 6'
Kept/Released: / 2
Retrieve: short, quick strips with occassional pause
17 11" #10 White Blandford Antron Spider Streamer Fish Depth: 1' - 3'
Water Depth: 3' - 6'
Kept/Released: / 17
Retrieve: short, quick strips with occassional pause
1 14" #10 White Blandford Antron Spider Streamer Fish Depth: 1' - 3'
Water Depth: 3' - 6'
Kept/Released: / 1
Retrieve: short, quick strips with occassional pause
37 11.08"
Total: 37 fish

Weather

SkiesMorningAfternoonEvening
Cloudy X
Precipitation
None X
Wind
Light - 5 to 10 knots X
Air Temp High/Low
50.0°F / 40.0°F
Wind Direction
-
Weather Front
-
Barometer
-
Moon Phase
81% Full (Waxing gibbous)

Other Patterns Tried

  • #20 Black Green Bead Midge Larvae

Hatches

  • 20 Gray Midge Diptera

Insect Seining

No seining information for this outing.

Fishing Partners

No fishing partners were saved with this outing.

Waypoints

No waypoints were saved with this outing.

Notes

I went out to Spring Valley yesterday after work to check on the ice. The ice was off the reservoir so I decided to dust my rod off, get my float tube out, and hit the water this morning. I was on the water by 8am.

From previous experience, I knew there wasn't much chance of catching any fish until I got back to the far end of the lake in the "shallows". That experience held true as I didn't get a single bite the entire distance of the lake while working my way back to the shallows. There wasn't much activity, so I went with a couple of my "go-to" patterns under most conditions, the Blandford Beetle and Blandford Spider Streamer.

I got back to the shallows and to my dismay was still not getting any action. There were some size 20 gray midges hatching and an occassional splash, but no real sign of major feeding, at least not on the surface. Knowing the fish should be shallow this early in the year, I continued working along the bank, and finally picked up a fish over toward the old beaver lodge.

From there I proceeded back toward the cattails into the farthest portion of the lake. This area is usually extremely productive early in the season, but I wasn't getting anything. I went back toward the old beaver lodge and picked up another fish and had a couple more hits. Since I seemed to be getting hits in this area and nowhere else, I started to wonder, "What is different about right here?"

I began watching my fish finder closely, and noticed that the area I was picking up fish was coming across as having a "softer" bottom than the rest of the lake. It also had a bit more contour in terms of "hills and valleys" than the rest of the lake. I continued to work this area back and forth and before long I was picking up fish on virtually every cast.

My best guess is that the softer bottom may have been where the midges were hatching from. Perhaps, the fish were congregated here feeding on midge larvae under the surface. All fish were caught in less than 5 feet of water. Regardless, they were active and aggressive. I had the best luck casting and stripping Blandford Beetles and Blandford Spider Streamers in short, quick strips just beneath the surface. The particular fly didn't really seem to matter as much as being in the right location. SOMETHING was making the difference and the fish were congregated in this particular area. As long as I stayed in that area, I continued to catch fish. If I moved, nada.

In 3.5 hours of fishing, I caught 37 rainbow trout. Most were the typical planter size of 11 to 12 inches, but I did catch one nice 14 incher on an antron spider streamer. It was a great way to start off the season.

My fish finder indicated the water temperature at 45 degrees. This seemed warmer than what I would expect for this time of year. If the temperature reading was accurate, then the lake should have already turned over. Turn-over should occur around a temperature of 39 to 40 degrees since this is when water is most dense. When the surface hits this temperature, the water begins to sink and the mixing (turnover) occurs. The water was stained and murky.

Today's Lesson: Location, location, location!

Comments

cwtob

Did you see anyone else fishing or catching fish? Were there fish rising? It sounds like you were there pretty early in the day so the midge pupa may have been active but not necessarily hatching yet. Nice work on finding the fish and proceeding to hammer them. Also good to see the Blandford Beetle get some love again. :)

Derek (splashbuilders)

Hey cwtob,

There were other people fishing, but I didn't see many people catching fish. In fact, I only saw one other person catch a fish. I think most of the bank fisherman were actually fishing out too far. The fish were extremely shallow. Bank fisherman should have been just dropping their lines a few feet out from the bank.

As for rises, I saw an occassional splash, but nothing to indicate any kind of major surface feeding despite the presence of gray midges. The fish were definitely active and aggressive in that one particular area.

cwtob

One interesting thing to me is that I'm trying to force myself to fish closer to the shore or bank, whether it's moving or stillwater. I know especially with rivers, I've scared a lot of fish because I'll come traipsing back to shore from wading in the middle and there will be fish sitting in a foot or two of water a couple feet from shore. Same thing with lakes, and float tubes give you a different perspective because you're usually fishing from the middle towards the shore.

Another focus of mine recently is to not discount water because it's shallow. I caught a nice brown a week or two ago on the Owyhee that was sitting in 8-10" of water, maybe 3' from the shore. The water was stained so I couldn't see him, but I decided to nymph the shallow run while wading upstream and wouldn't you know it, a fish was there. That's happened to me before.

Derek (splashbuilders)

When you think about it, it's kind of funny because usually bank fisherman try to cast their bait out as far as they can. Same when you're wading. You usually wade out to the middle until it gets too deep. Yet, when you get out in a float tube or drift down a river in a boat, you fish towards the bank a lot of times.

I've also noticed that fish are often more shallow than you would expect. In fact, I think fish prefer to be shallow when they can. There's more light penetration in the shallows, more aquatic vegetation, and therefore more insects/food. Of course temperature, safety, and other factors like that will play a role in whether fish are shallow, but I think most species prefer to be shallow if there isn't some condition that makes it impossible for them (eg.e water temperature being too high).

I'm starting to realize that you should never overlook ANY water, cause you just never know.