Saturday, June 3, 2017

Let's Go Fishing - Penland Lake

Walla² Fly Fishers - Brian, Steven and Dale with Buddy headed out this morning with a forecast for a beautiful day to be sitting on the water, and searching for trout at Penland Lake.
Distance to the lake from the Walla Walla Fairgrounds is 117 miles and travel time is about 2¾ hours. Lake elevation is 4,941 feet. 

Penland Lake is a 67-acre lake located southeast of Heppner, OR.  The lake is fairly shallow with good bank access. Facilities at the lake include a developed campground and picnic area. Boating is permitted but limited to non-gasoline powered craft - row boats, pontoon boats, float tubes. 

Steven traveling Hwy 395 from Tri-Cities arrived at the lake before Brian and Dale. From Hwy 395 at the Hwy 244 intersection, turn right on the Western Route Rd. which is in the middle of forest, meadows and pastures, with easy road signs to follow, to the lake.
Leaving Hwy 395 onto National Forest Rd 21 - Western Route Rd - onto National Forest Rd 2103


Dale was driving, and he shot right pass this turnoff to the lake, which is 3-miles from the paved road, 2-miles to the lake.

Upon arriving at the lake it was a beautiful sight.
From the shore ~ boat launch area

From off shore looking at the boat launch area
Shortly after arrival it was time for lunch for all. We pulled out our sandwiches, and drink, stood around chatting and noticed a nice hatch of Callibaetis "Mayflies" coming off the lake.
About a size 14 Adams

Since Steven had gotten to the lake before Brian and Dale, we asked him what fly pattern he was using to find the trout he had hooked onto. He said was using a red Copper John all morning, but said as a mid-day breeze had started coming up the hookups were farther apart. Dale mentioned that approaching High Noon - bright light - the fish were probably running deeper as well.

While eating lunch, we noticed a Bald Eagle appears and makes a splashing cruise over the lake. We could not tell if it had caught a trout or not. Later in the afternoon there were two eagles working overhead. Made a beautiful sight on this high mountain lake. Beautiful Bald Eagles.


Brian and Dale started their trout search this day with the BS Special that they had tied Thursday evening at our Project Healing Waters fly tying session.

Fishing after lunch, was most pleasant. The sun was shining bright, the air was very mild, and several people including Dale were wet wade fishing. After the sun went down behind the trees there were several young fishermen jumped into the lake for an evening swim. A most pleasant day to be at Penland Lake.
But in the meantime, our high hopes of an afternoon full of catching, turned into an afternoon of mostly fishing.

The breeze that was stirring and felt so good at lunchtime, got stronger and made casting and holding our boats in place very difficult. The Stars and Stripes across from the boat launch, flew further and further unfurled from the flag pole as the afternoon progressed, and the waves on the lake begin to crest with small whitecaps. So around 5:00 pm we called off our fishing for the day. For this day Steven had caught over a dozen fish, Brian had hooked into about a dozen fish, and Dale had gotten jerked around by 6-8 trout. A great day of fishing, a slow day of catching.

We were on the road by 5:30 and driving back through the hills and flats that surround the Ukiah area. A beautiful big valley of open space, surrounded by mountains of 5,000' to 8,000' wildlife and a lot of fishing opportunities. Here most of the time, one has the world to themself's and the glory of nature.

Arriving home just in time to unload the pickup and gaze at a beautiful sunset,

and noticed the moon overhead... 
 Waxing gibbous ~ Visible: 70% and ↑

So with all said and done, it was another wonderful day of fly fishing in another Oregon Territory ~ high mountain lake.

Report submitted by
Dale McKain
with Buddy

Tight lines and good fishing.

Walla² Fly Fishers


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