This past Tuesday, April 1, I was finally able to get out and fish from a boat on Round Valley for the first time in a few months, thanks to Mike Kalinchock from the Round Valley Trout Association (Thanks again Mike!). We were mainly targeting Lake Trout by wire lining with Chartreuse and Perch pattern spoons. Though we were also trolling two rods with small jointed Rapalas behind one color of lead-core off of planer boards, hoping to get into some of the big trophy Trout the RVTA stocked this past weekend.
Me with one of the Rainbow Trout I stocked at the RVTA Trophy Trout stocking this past Sunday (March 30). Some true giants were put in this year, a few of which were almost 10-lbs!
Going into this trip I had never fished with wire line before, but Mike definitely knows what he’s doing and was able to show me the ropes for the day. I can’t honestly say I was used to letting 100+ yards of line out by hand, but once I got into the rhythm of things it wasn’t bad at all. We started out trolling on the South side of the reservoir between 70-90 feet of water for some Lakers, and soon enough we were into some fish that were taking our spoons off of the wireline rods. On our first pass down the South side we picked up I believe two fish and missed a few more. Then, on our second or third pass though the area, we finally got a solid hit on one of the planer boards which were set up to target some Rainbow and Brown Trout. Mike quickly grabbed the rod and started reeling, and shortly after said he thought it was a tagged fish. About half way through the fight, we thought it shook the hook, but luckily we were wrong and ended up landing a 24.5-inch, 5-lb Rainbow Trout. Not only was Mike right about it being a tagged fish, but it also happened to be RVTA tag #553, last year’s RVTA money fish!
Mike K. with his 24.5-inch, 5-lb Rainbow Trout (Tag #553) caught trolling a silver jointed Rapala behind one color of lead-core.
After landing that fish, we made another pass or two down the South side of the reservoir without too many more strikes, so we decided to head up to the North side to see if we could do any better there. We only made one pass on the North side before calling it a day, but the Lakers were stacked pretty thick all over the bottom there in 70-80 feet of water, and we landed another one and missed a few more. Also, not to mention we passed over a ton of bait on the North side, the most I’ve ever seen on a fish finder at Round Valley.
Now that’s a lot of bait!
Then, right as we were just getting to the North tower, we got another hit on a planer board, and I landed a 16-inch Rainbow that took a small silver jointed Rapala fished behind one color of lead-core, just like Mike’s tagged Rainbow. Definitely was a nice change to get out and fish the Valley from a boat rather than shore fishing for once, and overall I was happy with the results. Between the three of us, we landed two Rainbows up to 5-lbs, four Lake Trout up to 3.2-lbs, and lost probably close to another 10 fish on the way up.
Our catch for the day between the three of us. Two Rainbow Trout and four Lake Trout.
Not to mention Mike taught me a ton about not only wire lining, but trolling Round Valley in general. While I’m by no means an expert on trolling, I’ll be putting together a how-to trolling article in the near future with what I do know about that method of fishing. Until then, I hope everyone’s getting out and enjoying the spring weather now that it’s finally here, and tight lines!