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MrP

Banks Lake: the middle of nowhere

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Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

On June 23, I am hosting a site in Washington for the CAGI. I'm hoping some of you can make it REGARDLESS of the tackle you use. In fact I am very much hoping to have fly fisherman and bait fisherman. Our site is Banks Lake near Coulee City. Coulee City is the capitol of nowhere so that means that Banks Lake is right in the middle of nowhere. The desert and the basalt cliffs are beautiful; I think you'll actually enjoy nowhere. I sure do.

I think that some of us who fly fish for Carp feel that we are pioneers of sorts. I do. I also recognize and acknowledge the pioneers who were pioneering before I had a clue. Many of us who fly fish for Carp have read "Carp on the Fly" by Brad and Barry; it has a 1997 copywrite date. At the same time they were writing their book there were some WA fly anglers who were also pioneering fly fishing for Carp. In 1997 Bill Marts, Mike Huffer and Darc Knoble produced a video with Jim and Kelly Watt entitled "Carp on the Flats". I know Darc; he is the guy who turned me on to fly fishing for Carp. Thank you Darc, thank you very much. The video is an hour long and I don't know if you can purchase it anymore. I've watched my copy 8 or 10 times. Or so.

"Carp on the Flats" was filmed on Banks Lake the very place we will be convening here in Washington State. You can watch the video by logging on to this site and entering Carp in the search bar. Enjoy.

http://www.hook.tv/default.aspx?home=1

As the new Fly Fishing Director for the CAG I look forward to meeting many of you, sharing water with you, and enjoying the exchange of information.

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Guest Zarabanda Fly

Very enlightening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For an old coot like me, after 35+ years chasing trout & bass in fresh water and assorted saltwater predators with the fly, these videos are really opening my eyes to a new world of fishing, and for a lot of people down here in Mexico.

I still have to find a place like that over here, though!

Thanks for posting this.

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Guest zonker
"Carp on the Flats" was filmed on Banks Lake the very place we will be convening here in Washington State. You can watch the video by logging on to this site and entering Carp in the search bar. Enjoy.

http://www.hook.tv/default.aspx?home=1

I watched the whole thing last night. Great presentation. All those flats make me envious. That's what flyfishing for them should be like.

z~

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Guest KB

I am in. John if you would like help convincing Kelly, let me know. I can plead a case for you.

Kim

Edited by KB

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I actually have a compete copy of this DVD and have to admit it is one of the reasons I have considered attending this CAGI. One of the downsides for me is the one rod limit.

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Very enlightening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For an old coot like me, after 35+ years chasing trout & bass in fresh water and assorted saltwater predators with the fly, these videos are really opening my eyes to a new world of fishing, and for a lot of people down here in Mexico.

I still have to find a place like that over here, though!

Thanks for posting this.

Is you avatar one of your flies - I think it looks really cool.

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i think i'll get the green light kim, but it might kill our other trip planned. this will be fun though. i'm trying to get wendy berrel to abandon his wife, son, and 1 month old baby (at that point) and fly out here!

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Guest Zarabanda Fly
Is you avatar one of your flies - I think it looks really cool.

Yes it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for noticing it and asking!!!!!

The abdomen is a coffee bean, the legs are mono (30, 17 & 10 lbs.) joined with Flexament and colored with a brown permanent marker.

Cheers!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Zarabanda Fly

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i think i'll get the green light kim, but it might kill our other trip planned. this will be fun though. i'm trying to get wendy berrel to abandon his wife, son, and 1 month old baby (at that point) and fly out here!

I can barely even get out to fish my own carp-thick water right now... To use biblical terms: it'd be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

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Ladies and Gentlemen:

Here is a copy of an email I sent to Jerome about Banks Lake plus a bit more info.

Hi Jerome,

Here is some additional information about Banks Lake. I don’t know who will come this first time to the CAGI in WA but I’ve tried to cover the possibilities for where they might like to stay. I’ve also included two URL’s that give some background on Banks Lake and show some access points.

RV and tent camping:

http://www.sunbanksresort.com/

http://www.couleeplayland.com/

http://www.parks.wa.gov/parkpage.asp?selec...teamboat%20Rock

http://www.bankslakelodge.com/

Nearby motels:

http://www.innsoaplake.com/

http://www.notaraslodge.com/

http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=mot...al&ct=title

Information about Banks Lake:

http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=17020014

http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/r2banklk.htm

I don’t camp much anymore. For all the time I spend outdoors I would say I rarely camp. That said I don’t have any familiarity with the RV and camping spots except to say that they fill up quickly in the summer. I tend to stay in inexpensive motels when I am fishing away from home. There is one small, older, very modest motel in Coulee City. It’s called the Ala Cozy. I haven’t stayed there for a couple years. Dale, the owner is a very nice guy. It’s just the only motel in town so he charges, in my mind, quite a lot for a very modest product. For twenty five cents you can get the bed to vibrate for 5 minutes. Seriously. It’s not dirty or unsafe, it just isn’t much. It does however give fishing access in a matter 5 minutes. There are many lakes in the area that I have fished over the last 30 years for trout. Because of that and because of my Carp trips these last few years I have quite a lot of familiarity with the motels in the area. The Inn at Soap Lake is very nice particularly for being in such a small town. I have taken my wife there. She is always a good sport but some of the places I stay when I’m fishing I wouldn’t take her. The Inn at Soap Lake is about $90 for a double room. When I’m splitting this with another guy that’s not bad. The Notaras Lodge is about the same price. The rooms are huge which I like. Parking is a very minor inconvenience here. The town of Soap Lake is about 30 minutes drive north to Coulee City. I was planning to have the guys get together for dinner in Soap Lake on Saturday evening for a dinner extravaganza at Don’s. Six miles south of Soap Lake is Ephrata. Ephrata is still a small city but it is much larger than Soap Lake having McDonalds, Safeway, WalMart, and a variety of motels. These past two years I have been staying in the remodeled Ephrata Inn. It’s modest but quite adequate for a fisherman. I think its $44 for a single and $59 for a double. There is a new Best Western in Ephrata but its $90-100 for a double. The drive from Ephrata to Coulee City is about 40 minutes. The drive from Steamboat south to Coulee City is about 20 minutes and the drive from Sunbanks south to Coulee City is about 35-40 minutes. If the guys stay at Sunbanks they will be over an hour from Soap Lake.

Our fish and wildlife laws here in Washington prohibit chumming (prebaiting). The game wardens will site you for this. One of the reasons I have chosen Banks Lake is because it is one of the very few lakes in the state where there is an exception and chumming is allowed. Again, I’m hoping to have both fly fisherman and bait fisherman. Also, our fish and wildlife laws allow only one rod per angler.

Objectively, I must say that the Carp in Banks Lake are not that big. A ten pound fish would be large with the average being more like 6 pounds. They are however plentiful and will often occupy the flats. Because there are a good deal of wadeable flats and because chumming is legal here I have chosen Banks Lake. Okay you brave, adventurous souls; take a leap, sign up for the CAGI in Washington State at Banks Lake way the heck out in the middle of nowhere.

PS I am very focused and serious when I'm stalking tailing Carp. However I am compeled to add that I like to laugh and play around too. Come to WA if you like to fish. And to laugh.

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Guest majicwrench

One thing I might add...... the last few years you DID NOT nead a Washington license to fish for carp. I have not yet checked this years regs, although I was over there carp fishing a few weeks ago and did not get a out-of-state license (I live in Montana).

As Mr P stated, there is grand trout fishing a short distance from Banks if people want a diversion from the carp.

Keith

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why would anyone want to fish for trout instead of carp? heh heh...

you do not need a license to fish for carp in WA. i buy one anyway (out of state) because i can just see the incredulous look on the fish and games officer's face when he spots me standing in one of their prime smallmouth lakes with a crayfish pattern and a flyrod. "yes officer...i'm fishing for carp!"

it would be true, i'm just not sure they'd buy it.

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There are several trout lakes in the area as Wrench says. Largely the fishing in those lakes tends to better in the spring and fall. I still fish for trout but that's when there aren't any Carp in the shallows yet. If you guys are going to come up, or over, here to WA, please come to fish for Carp. On that weekend the heck with the trout. We're here to chase Carp baby!

We renew our fishing licenses here in WA on or before April 1. This new season's regulations again state that you do not need a license to fish for Common Carp. John's point about explaining to a game warden that you are not fishing for Bass is a good one and Banks Lake is definitely a well known Bass Lake. I am certainly asking that anyone who participates in the CAGI here in WA observe our state's fish and wildlife laws. I really think though that if you are fishing for Carp without a license you'll be okay but I must emphasize that it wouldn't be my call in the event you are checked. You could easily see some Bass while you are here so you would need to not target them please if you don't purchase a license.

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two summers ago i was taking a friend of mine fishing at my favorite carp spot. he is an avid trout fisherman, and only came along because I told him he could fish for smallmouth while i cast to the nasty looking carp. we got to the location and started walking along. I stopped and pointed out into the water.

"see that small dark shape our there?" i said...extending my rod like an arrow...

"yep..." my buddy responds while squinting into the sun.

"ok...that's a bass. now, do you see that really big dark shape over there?" i asked again...pointing just a little farther away..."that's a carp."

he eyed the two shapes like a spectator at a tennis match...eyes and head bouncing back and forth. finally he turned to me and said..."i think i'll try for that carp!"

i'm kidding really...i do love smallmouth bass...when the carp aren't around!

looking forward to the CAGI!

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I'll fish for bass, I'll fish for trout, I'll fish for salmon; in fact I hope to catch a lot of Humpies at the end of this summer and in the early fall. It's all good. There's just nothing quite like the major rush of sgtalking and casting a fly to a wary, smart (as fish go) feeding, strong, durable, Carp.

Also, great minds think alike. Well Wrench has a great mind anyway and I just happened to get lucky I guess. I opened his email about calling the WDFW after I made my post about regs etc. I happened to be thinking about making that very call. I'm going to call the Ephrata office of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife tomorrow and let them know we're coming to Banks Lake. I hope this proactive approach to the license issue should take care of things. When I have an anwer I'll post it.

Looking forward to seeing you boys.

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Guest majicwrench

I quite agree with the above, why come all that way to fish for trout?? I did call Fish and Game a few years ago and chattted about fishing without a license for carp, at the time he said sure, it's in the regs, just better not catch any bass. And I do fish over there without a license, and I do target and catch only carp. At the same time, a friend was carp fishing with a bud from his boat, when he got back to the launch a sherriff was there and asked to see his license. His reply " I don't need a license to fish for carp" ( BTW, this guy lived in-state and had a license) The officer replied, OK, well than, let's check the boat and trailer out to make sure everything works, lights, life vests etc etc.... ....they showed the gentleman their licenses and all was well.

Mr P, thanks for confiming that it is still in the regs.

Keith

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I have spoken with people at three different offices of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Captain Anderson, in the Ephrata office, says he will send out an email to his enforcements officers regarding this event at Banks Lake. The understanding is that CAGI participants will not target any other species while fishing for Carp during the CAGI. As long as we are fishing for only Carp he says he will ask his officers to not question us about licenses. Also, I checked with Olympia to find about the requirements for hosting a fishing tournament. The good news is we don't need a permit given the parameters of our event.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of you.

Also, in the evening during dinner I'm hosting an additional contest. You're fishermen, you'll like it. I might even have a prize but I'm not goin' out on a limb on that one yet.

Oh, and one more thing, please register. Jerome set up a link in the CAG events forum.

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Jim - If I don't need a license does that mean I can fish with more than one rod for carp specifically? Could you find out and advise?

Also is there camping on the lake - meaning the ability to fish on after the event.

Edited by Keith

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Hi Keith. Thanks for asking. I did check on the rod question and the answer was that an angler can only use one line (rod). That rule applies to all of our water for all species.

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Jim,

Sound pretty neat. I hope you have a great turn out and everybody enjoys themselves.

Best of luck to all participants and the host of course.

BTW...watched a bunch of those videos and must say that I have a lot to learn :D

Talk to ya later,

Andy

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Guest majicwrench

MR P,

Thanks again for checking on the regs and for making the call. Too bad we can't use two rods, I was looking forward to casting one in each hand......can you imagine the debacle if I hooked two fish?? BTW, and off topic, they just made it legal over here (MT) to use two rods, I gotta check into this...could get real interesting on the Missouri this summer!

I am planning on coming to the Grand Event. Just some stupid questions.... are wives coming??? Is this a one day fling?? Is there a post somewhere that describes all this for late comers like me?? Inquiring minds want to know...

Keith100_0705.jpg

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Jim - how far from Long Lake(Thurston) is Banks? I happen to know there are some monstrous carp in Long Lake.

One rod only is a bummer to fish for smaller carp :D It's still a long way to come for a bunch of babies :D

Edited by Keith

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Jim - how far from Long Lake(Thurston) is Banks? I happen to know there are some monstrous carp in Long Lake.

One rod only is a bummer to fish for smaller carp :D It's still a long way to come for a bunch of babies :D

Keith, Long Lake in Thurston County, is where the WA record Carp was caught. I believe it was 41 pounds in approximately 1980. Two summers ago I went to Long Lake in search of Loch Ness size Carp. Washington has changed a bit since 1980. Virtually the entire lake is surrounded by homes and there is very little public access. There were also a great many jet skis and tow boats that day. I spent two and a half hours there in my Zodiac and never made a single cast. That's not to say that you won't have quite a fine time fishing with bait. Heck, who knows, you may even break our state record.

As to one rod being a "bummer to fish for smaller carp: (It's a long way to come for a bunch of babies:)", let me answer two questions together. It is indeed a long way to come for small fish; you are right. My strong hope is that we will have both fly anglers and bait anglers at Banks Lake. In time, I will bridge that gap, maybe this year, maybe next year, the day will come. I truly hope you will come and enjoy yourself. As the WA CAG State Chair my strong expectation is that anyone who comes to this event in WA, regardless of the tackle they use, will be a good sport. The Carp in Long Lake are said to be much, much bigger than Banks Lake. Long Lake is five hours closer to California than Banks Lake.

MR P,

Thanks again for checking on the regs and for making the call. Too bad we can't use two rods, I was looking forward to casting one in each hand......can you imagine the debacle if I hooked two fish?? BTW, and off topic, they just made it legal over here (MT) to use two rods, I gotta check into this...could get real interesting on the Missouri this summer!

I am planning on coming to the Grand Event. Just some stupid questions.... are wives coming??? Is this a one day fling?? Is there a post somewhere that describes all this for late comers like me?? Inquiring minds want to know...

Hey Wrench, so glad to hear you are coming. I would recognize that signature rod and reel anywhere. Very cool picture. As to wives, well I can tell you that Katy is not coming. I rarely mix fishing and with traveling with my wife. I'll be heading over the mountains with my friend, Rich. His wife, Cathy, most definitely won't be coming. I really don't think any of the other guys are bringing their wives but that of course doesn't mean that Susan might not enjoy coming and reading by the lake or whatever.

I have seen your laser casting Wrench but I have never seen it with two rods at the same time. Wow, that would be something.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 23. John and KB sound like they will be fishing some on Sunday morning and then heading back to Oregon. Rich and I will do the same except we won't be going to Oregon. on the 23rd we will be meeting for breakfast at the Dry Falls Cafe and then heading to the lake. The south end of the lake is about 3 minutes away. We'll be meeting for dinner at Don's in Soap Lake.

As to more information, look in the CAG events forum where you will find tons of great information that Jerome has posted. He is very thorough.

Looking forward to seeing all of you.

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