WVFF  Outings


October Outing at Rat Lake

By Alex Fisher

One person’s impression of the fall Rat Lake excursion…

We met at Pateros’ Sweet River Bakery, to ponder the day ahead.  Undeterred by the fact that the hot chocolate maker was down, Craig regaled us with bits and pieces of his recently completed wildlife tracking class. Now there’s an idea for some of us to consider. But at the moment, we had to move on and not let the morning slip away.  As we caravanned up to the lake, it was difficult to not notice the fall color splashes along the canyon, accented by black angus seemingly dotted everywhere. Solitary bovine exclamations occasionally broke the silence.

Unlike the early morning Columbia River ride from Wenatchee, with its long shadows, sunlit clouds and water reflections, the sun above Rat Lake that day was only dimly visible behind a glaze of diffuse cloud mass, refusing to warm the chilly air for most of the day.

This is the main reason why Mike Huff was the star of the action. His gas firepit  brought movement to many a frosted finger while his hot coffee and  “cheese burgers or regular?” question provided fuel for the stoic, cold fishermen earnestly rowing to the call of their stomachs. Throughout the morning, the lake was quite placid with only a light easterly breeze at times, just enough to push a float tube in an unwanted direction.

Everywhere on the lake there were numerous thin, twisted bits of what appeared to be light colored dried plant matter suspended in the water columns extending down from the surface as far as one could see. Only occasionally through the mid morning to early afternoon did a trout rise.

The fishing itself was at least adequate. Most guys were dropping or trolling streamers like Carey Special or Gil’’s personally tied woven green dragon fastened to the tippet by a bowline knot for easy movement. He has fished this lake before and generously indicated places along the east and west shorelines where he has had success. He noted that in places, the middle lake depth was about 75 feet but most fish were in the 20 to 25 foot range, many only about ten yards offshore. 

One plucky middle aged mechanic with a ponytail caught a pretty good sized rainbow trolling a green Carey Special.  Later, he noted that he had caught a couple of smaller browns. Someone else caught a couple of rainbows on a cinnamon colored woolly bugger. There were reported hits along the shore using chironimids but no firm commitments from its inhabitants.  As we were packing to leave, we were snapped out of our flat water revery by a speedy Sheriff’s SUV spinning out of the turnaround point, doing the job of law enforcement (or looking for one of Mike’s burgers) even way up here in this delightful canyon. Moments later a scrawny fellow with hamburger wrappers and coffee cups on the dashboard of his beat up low slung faded blue pickup with a Sonoma license plate holder anxiously asked us what the cop was looking for. We shrugged our shoulders.  He said, “I was at work when that SUV came up here, you know.” Uh huh…Not sure about him, but we’ll be back.

WVFF  Events

WVFF Banquet     Jan 13, 2018

Red Lion Hotel  Wenatchee WA 

More details about this event will be posted here as they become available


There may be a fly tying class offered in Leavenworth this winter. Stay tuned for details…



It is not too early to start thinking about the 2018 Academy. Again we are preparing for another Youth Conservation and Fly Fishing Academy to be held June 24-30, 2018 at Gwinwood Community Center on Hicks Lake in Lacey, WA.  If you know of a child that might be interested please bring her or him to our attention ASAP and if you need more information give Bruce Merighi the WVFF Conservation / Education Board Chair a call at 679-2274. 

The Academy Staff will be contacting dedicated volunteers to contribute their time for the success of the Academy – for the kids.  This Academy is all about the girls and boys, 12-16 years old, to teach them the basics of fly fishing and conservation.  The event is one full week with some staff and all youth living in clean, warm cabins at the Gwinwood Center.  All meals are provided.  Students need to bring their personal belongings, i.e., sleeping bags, pillows, rubber boots, etc.  All fishing gear and fly tying equipment is provided, however, students may bring their own fishing gear.

The event is supported by the membership of the Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers and the Icicle Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

The cost to sponsor a student is $300 for the week, and we usually strive to send two from our neck of the woods but can always do more.   Succesful applicants must provide thier own transportation to and from the academy. 

Applications will be posted on this web site real soon and the NWYCFFA will accept them starting January 1, 2018 until April 15, 2018.  Applications are also available for downloaded from the NWYCFFA website – www.nwycffa.com,   via email to mtclancy39@comcast.net  or call 253-278-0061. As always the WVFF Board must review and approve all applications from our area prior to passing them on to the Academy folks. 

Each applicant must submit an essay explaining why THEY want to attend The Academy.  A letter of recommendation is required from a school teacher or counselor. The academy has a Facebook page listed under their name for viewing pictures from previous events. 

We are very proud of the Academy; this has been a life changing experience for many of our youth and the WVFF will start a campaign to spread the word among local school districts and youth groups in the near future. 


                    Back to Top