Drano Windy, But Hot Today For NWS Pen

A few numbers for you: eight for 15; 30-40; 7,000, 9,000 and 11,000.

What ties them all together? Drano Lake.

With the count at Bonneville Dam blowing up this past week, Northwest Sportsman contributor Andy Schneider hit the Columbia Gorge water today and reports landing six hatchery springers and releasing two wilds.

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY BLOWS -- THE BREEZE AND A WICKED-BIG BLAST OF SPRINGERS UP THE COLUMBIA. BRIAN HAWKINS SHOWS OFF ONE OF THE SIX HE AND TWO OTHER ANGLERS KEPT AT DRANO LAKE YESTERDAY. (ANDY SCHNEIDER)

Fishing conditions were pretty brutal, though, with 30 to 40mph winds howling over the lake and pushing his boat all over.

“It was so windy we couldn’t land most of the fish,” Schneider reports.

He says that when he turned the boat and headed east, the wind was picking up the water in his hot-water box and spraying he and his two fishing partners.

The kings were biting “Green Envy” Mag Lips (all-chartreuse) and prawn spinners with red-and-white blades about equally, Schneider reports.

“When the bite started to slow on the main lake, we decided to pull in close to the western shoreline and troll near the entrance of the lake with prawns.  If anyone has trolled the entrance of Drano, it’s appropriately known as the Toilet Bowl since all you do is troll round and round, waiting for your turn at the ‘sweet spot’, located right at the entrance deadline.

“First pass through the Bowl, Tom (VanderPlaat) hooks up.  Second pass, I hook up and hand the rod to Brian (Hawkins) just to see Tom’s rod go down and I grab that one; DOUBLE!!

“Third pass, Brian is looking for his last keeper, but no love.  Fourth pass, Brian hooks a native.  Fifth pass, Brian finally tags out — DRANO LIMIT!

Schneider says he saw maybe 30 fish caught for the 30 boats braving the gale.

The lake, which is really the drowned mouth of the Little White Salmon River, is open six days a week (closed Wednesdays for tribal netting) with a limit of two adult hatchery Chinook or two hatchery steelhead, or one of each. Also beware the bank-only area at the mouth.

“Thursday’s always the best day,” Schneider says. “The opening-day effect.”

The forecast calls for around 28,900 springers back to Drano — the largest forecasted run in four decades — and Wind River fish come acourtin’ too.

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2 Responses to “Drano Windy, But Hot Today For NWS Pen”

  1. Drano Dive Bomb « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] the boat ramp, call it a day with two Chinook in the box, a far cry from Schneider’s trip the previous Thursday, but fun nonetheless. GHOSTLY IMAGES OF FILLETED-OUT SPRINGERS AT THE RAMP. (ANDY […]

  2. Wind, Wind, Go Away! « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] found myself in the thick of the gale last Thursday on Drano Lake, well known for windy days, but talking and emailing with other anglers today, battles with the breeze have also been taking […]

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