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Reports > 2022 > February > Monday 21
Monday, February 21, 2022
By Dave Graybill
One of my favorite early spring fisheries is for rainbow trout on Bill Clapp Lake. It’s about 16 miles from Soap Lake to the boat launch at the bottom end of the lake. Billy Clapp is known for excellent trout fishing, but also has some big kokanee. It also produces walleye and smallmouth bass. What makes it special is that, due to the drawdown of the reservoir, only small watercraft can access the lake until it fills. The concrete ramp and dock are a long way from the water in the early spring. Anglers with small boats or pontoon boats must drive across the sand to reach the water. The threat of larger boats on trailers getting stuck in the soft sand is very real. This means that the big trout in Billy Clapp don’t see any significant pressure until it fills, usually in late March or early April. Trout fishing is terrific. Anglers can expect trout of 14 to 16 inches. Some years the lake produces rainbow weighing 3 to 4 pounds. A very effective way to get these hungry rainbow is to troll Rapalas or Flicker Shads right on top. When they hit these lures way behind the boat, better hang on!
Jim Anderson holds up one of several nice rainbow we caught in late February on Billy Clapp in 2020.