Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trout Lake Report: Full

Click on photos for full size image.

The south end campground was deserted when I rolled in Monday afternoon. I gladly launched there. The lake is higher than I can remember; I've never launched on the grass before.

The day was warm but mostly cloudy, and a few brief showers of rain spattered across the water.

There were just enough fish coming up just often enough to keep you from thinking they had all raptured on Saturday. But the fishing was slow. I trolled, usually a sure-fire method, trying this new tie, and several others, but I caught nary a fish by trolling on this trip.

The trolling took me along a lot of shoreline, though, and it's full of birds.

Yellow warblers abound, as well as several other warblers. And I was delighted to see this pair of Western Tanagers. The female can be seen to the right of the male. The photo quality is poor, but the bird quality is superior.

I bobber fished for awhile, using this new tie--and several others--but I caught nary a fish by bobber fishing on this trip.

The sun broke through the clouds now and again, and the breeze settled down. It seemed that conditions would be conducive to a hatch and an evening rise of trout.

The midges had been coming off all the time I was there, and I saw one or two hapless Callibaetis drifting along. There were more trout coming up as the mountain's shadow slid over the lake, but they were still sparse. I tied on a Callibaetis dry and cast to rises. It took some hunting, but I finally hit the right spot at the right time.

While I had been fishing a car had pulled into the campground and a man set up camp, pumped up his boat with a shrieking electric pump, and launched. That was OK. He was there to witness my first catch of the day.           

But then, as if on cue, more rigs began pulling in, until there was once again a little town on the south end.

I drifted north, both for a little distance, and--let's be real--to find a place to pee. One thing about a full campground, it affords little privacy for such things, and one doesn't want to scare the women and children. And one thing about a full lake, it reduces to practically nothing the places where you can pull into the shallows and stand up to do your business.

Not so good when you are also full.

Happily, I found what may be the only place left to pee in the whole south end, and the only family I disturbed was a goose family. Much relieved, I resumed fishing.

Meanwhile, a couple had launched their big-ass drift boat and were working the bank like it was the Madison or something. That's OK. At least they were there to see my second catch.

I had changed flies earlier after netting what I thought would be the fish of the day. It turned out to be a little guy who had hit the moving fly with such abandon that he foul hooked himself. That fly was soaked so I had tied on a parachute Callibaetis.

I was out in mid-lake giving the Queen Mary room to pass, and flipped out the fly and got an immediate hit. Still small, but welcome. 

The lake was beautifully calm, but the hoped-for evening rise never really came off.

I trolled my way back to the grassy take out, taking the long way home, listening to bird song and frog chorus, and watching the last of the light fade from the sky. I was full again, but this time with gratitude for this wonderful lake in the wonderful month of May.

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