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I was able to get away for an evening at Trout Lake. Being a Friday, campgrounds were crowded, so I drove on up to the north end.
The lake is quickly filling up. That's good to see; there's lots of very nice shoreline and marly shallows up at this end.
I ranged farther this trip than I had before, and explored the intakes where the snowmelt is entering the lake. This is just one place; there are at least three others, and the water is rushing in, creating a strong current thirty yards out into the lake.
I had already noticed that the water in the south end was warmer than it is here. I had attributed that to the depth of the lake, but it dawned on me that it's because of the cold water pouring in up here. And it's even colder in that current. I could feel the temperature change in my feet as I paddled through.
Winter steelheading deja vu.
I stuck with an indicator for a long time and tried the hare's ear, a scud, a little chironimid, and a bead head leech. I got a couple of hookups on the leech, but lost them both. The second one jumped right off the hook. Spectacularly.
As the evening wore on I began to write a post in my head about getting skunked on Friday the Thirteenth. While I was doing that, though, I started trolling the bead head leech. It took awhile, but this little trout finally hit, hooked himself, and stayed on until I got him in the net.
These are strong, active fish. This one, like them all, thrashed in the net--maybe you've noticed that some of the trout in recent photos are foamy--but I managed to get two quick shots.
Then I tried for a closeup, but that didn't work out so well. The trout made a quick exit.
But the skunk was off. I had pulled one out in the bottom of the ninth to keep the streak going.
I continued to troll, but though fish were rising here and there I wasn't getting any more hits. So I began writing this post in my head: "I pulled one out, and pulled one out..." Yeah, I liked that line.
As the moon rose and dusk deepened, I switched flies a few times and ended up with a little purple bead head wooly bugger. Suddenly a fish slammed it, a good fish. I felt a strong pull, then he burst out of the water, and tail walked. Right toward me. I was stripping line like crazy but he just wouldn't go down again. I could see him, slap slap slap slapping across the water toward me. Then he went down...and I pulled in the slack, then more slack, until I realized it was all slack.
I've never had a fish do that. I would gladly have rewritten this post in my head if I could have caught that fish. "I pulled two out, and pulled one out..." I like that even better.
A cold wind came up from the north and I decided to call it a day. I got two more bumps on the way in. But it was a one fish day.
So... I pulled one out, and pulled one out.