Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trout Lake Report: Plan B

Some friends who happen to live up near Cutthroat Lake did their spring branding on Saturday. When it comes to cattle I'm a tenderfoot, so I'm not usually an official crew member--although one year I got to pitch in and hold down the hindquarters of one steer who escaped the branding cage and had to be branded the old-fashioned way, on the ground. I still like to be there and take lots of photos.

I got there at my usual time on Saturday but they were already finished. They had a bigger crew this year--sons and grandsons, a regular family reunion--only 29 steers to do, and they used a new and quicker method for the castrating: rubber bands. Doesn't seem like the Cowboy Way to me.

So all that was left to do was give the kids rides on one of the cow ponies--and eat. They always lay out a big spread, the more the merrier.

My plan was to go do some serious fishing at Cutthroat Lake after the branding, but when I pulled up at lake side it seemed way too crowded: Memorial Day campers, fishermen, boaters, and even swimmers. So I activated Plan B and swung over to Trout Lake.

There were and have been other fishermen there, but this lake, with its restricted gear regulations--no bait, single barbless hook, electric motors only--tends to attract fishermen serious about fishing. There may have been a few more campers there, but I was still able to get in at the channel and fish the upper section of the south lake again.

It was a wonderful afternoon, bright and hot, a real taste of summer. I threw a small muddler for awhile, with no effect; I fished some nymphs under a lightly bobbing indicator, still with no effect, other than complete relaxation.

I decided to try the Carpet Caddis again. So far this season it hasn't quite come into its own. But it did on Saturday. I flipped it out along the shoreline and had an immediate hit.

I leisurely worked my way down the shoreline casting into the endless little nooks and crannies, and found fish of all kinds who couldn't do without it.

I crossed the lake and worked back up the other side into the channel. I caught more fish along the way, and missed a few, too.

The breeze calmed down and I spent a lovely time with a little dry on my line chasing rises in the channel. I hooked more than I netted. One fish instantly wrapped around a log and broke me off.

The sun went down behind the mountain and I took a break to put my jacket on. Then I tied the Carpet Caddis back on.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect afternoon. I lost a very nice fish, then caught this one along the bank under an overhanging branch, and its twin when he rose nearby and I dropped the fly on his nose and he just couldn't resist. And I was done and happy.

I give Plan B an "A."


  1. Beautiful colors in these...the words, the greens, the blushes of rainbows.

  2. Always good to have a plan B. A nice afternoon of catching.


  3. Your bringing some beautiful fish to the net.
    Those appear to be wild.

    1. This lake is stocked, and I usually think of the bigger, wild-looking fish as successful holdovers. But there's the possibility that some wild fish have been getting in through the feeder creek...I'm intrigued. Thanks for suggesting the possibility.

  4. That looks like a "Fine Day" in my book. Those are some really nice looking browns and bows...Trout lake strikes again!!