Lake Pend O'Reille Report
August 16, 2017
We were on the water shortly after 7:30 a.m. and fished until 11:30 .am. The sun was shinning, temperatures were rising, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The lake's surface temperature was between 69 and 73 degrees depending on where we were fishing. A few days prior, the surface temperature was in the upper 70s and lower 80s. At this temperature I prefer to either call it quits, or break out the baitcaster, and drop-shot plastics deep. Water clarity was good, but not great. The lake appeared to be a little green, making it hard to get visibility greater than six feet. However, this could easily be due to that fact that the sun was low when we were fishing.
Finding the bass proved to be a challenge for us. We fished a few of our favorite early/mid summer spots only to find a few small smallmouth. I had a few hard grabs on a chartreuse Bushwacker and a brown Deep Creek Crawler, but didn't have enough action to stick with the fly rod. At this point of the summer, I believe most of the smallmouth are between 15 and 30 feet deep. Since I only had 30 feet of T-8 sinking line and monofilament running line, fishing depths up to 30 feet was out of the question. Especially since I had a St. Croix Rage baitcaster conveniently by my side, rigged to drop-shot any soft plastic to the bottom in seconds. So I chose to finish the day with the baitcaster and picked up a few smallmouth in the 1-to 2-pound range on a KVD Dream Shot.
If I were to fly fish the lake again tomorrow , I would bring a faster sinking line (30 feet of T-14 to be specific), and smaller flies. A #4 or #6 chartreuse Clouser would probably do the trick for these short-striking smallies. Also, I would be on the water fishing 30 minutes before sunrise. Due to our hot weather, the bigger smallmouth feed very early, and very late in the day. I am even contemplating chasing smallies from sunset to 10 or 11 p.m.