The end is near. Saturday is the day that fishermen all over the state will be raptured up and out of sight, never to be seen again. Until the end of October. It's kind of sad about all those non-fishermen who will be left behind, but then we'll be in heaven, so there you go. You reap what you sow.
I'm ready. This spell of warm weather--high 80's on Monday--got me to the early season lake on Sunday and Monday both. Sunday was a good day. I caught trout and only trout. The lake was as it should be. Monday was a beautiful day, but a change had taken place in just 24 hours. The lake had, well, gone to hell.
The problem? I caught more of these...
Than I did these. And this poor beat up trout seemed like the Ghost of Early Season Past.
The pristine, cold-water early season lake full of trout was gone. It had warmed up enough to become what it really is, a multi-species lake, with bass (they aren't supposed to be in there, but somebody keeps dumping them in) and bluegill more than holding their own against the stocked trout. And the boats and motors have been having their impact, with the water murkier and littered with churned up weeds. And three weeks of fishing by people out to catch and kill their five fish limit each time they're there has had an impact on the trout.
Some trout are still there, and pods were still cruising and rising. But there seem to be more schools of bluegill, also cruising, rising, and even jumping out of the water, just like the trout. There were times on Monday when a compact school of bluegill would boil up to the surface and rise all at once, and it looked like someone had shot the water with double ought buckshot. I caught them in the shallows, where I caught only Rainbows on Sunday. When I moved out to deeper water I still caught them. I even caught them when I tried trolling. And there was no sign of that satisfying pop bluegill make when they take a bug off the top. If there had been, maybe I could have distinguished between bluegill and trout rises. But no, when they took my dry they were porpoising on it, for crying out loud.
So I'm ready. Ready to be raptured up to that high place I call Trout Lake. No homes or resorts. No highway. No motors. No bass or bluegill. Just high country and trout.
It's time to let the sun set on the early season lake. I won't be back, except with Jeremiah and his friends, who love to catch bass and bluegill.
Come next week, if you want me, I'll be in heaven.