Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good trips, bad trips, you know I've had my share

My first trip to Coffeepot Lake was magical. Must have been around 2006. Scotty and I had a good day fishing from the drift boat at the Northeast end of the lake. That afternoon, we met Bill and his dog, Scout. Bill was an unemployed heavy machine operator from Spokane. He was spending a few weeks camped at Coffeepot. He told us about the fantastic chironomid hatches at the Southwest end of the lake and vowed to tow us down there the next day. Given that Coffeepot is about 3 miles long and can become extremely windy, we were grateful for the tow.
We had a blast getting to know Bill and fishing with him over the next two days. The weather was gorgeous, bugs were plentiful, and we caught many good fish.

Our second trip to Coffeepot was not so wonderful. We arrived late on a Friday night. As we set up camp in the dark, the extremely drunk guys in the next campsite decided to drop in on us. These were the obnoxious and inebriated, uninvited guests that would never leave--my least favorite part about camping in public campgrounds. 

On the next day, the lake just seemed to be in a funk. Soon the heat gave way to high winds, and we were back in camp with time to kill. Too hot to be in a tent, too windy to be outside. Plus a neighbor was running his loud generator all afternoon. The combination of hot winds and generator noise made staying in camp like flying in a open airplane over the desert with no wind shield.

Trip #3 to Coffeepot was a cherry. We hauled all our gear to the other end of the lake and camped in an unimproved site. The lake had just turned over, the water was murky, and it took about a day for us to figure out the fishing. We caught most of our fish from a bay where the water was just a few degrees warmer than the rest of the lake. I learned that following turnover, the fish suspend in the top 3 to 4 feet of the water column. Once we figured this out, the fishing was fast.  Our good friend, Andy Towell, professional photographer, took many beautiful photos on this trip. To see his work, check out: Andy Towell's Coffeepot Gallery

Last week's spring break on Coffeepot may have been the best yet. My boat stayed anchored reasonably well in the wind, the chironomid hatches were good, and the campground was nearly empty. On our last day we drove into Odessa to get more firewood. The nice ladies at the local supermarket told us where we could find some pallets for free. We loaded up the back of the truck and returned for a warm evening by the fire.


  1. Coffee Pot is the best. Such good memories that I have almost completely erased that bad trip. Was it Scout or Jeep?

  2. Beautiful, healthy, chunk-o rainbows. Goes to show you never know unless you go.

    'The combination of hot winds and generator noise made staying in camp like flying in an open airplane over desert with no wind shield.'

    Nice line, that.

    Great report, James. Thanks