Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cutthroat Lake Report: Inscrutable

When my niece Emily was two years old, her father, a religion and philosophy major, taught her a trick. He would ask, "Emily, what is the nature of reality?" And she would answer, "It's inscrutable!"

So is Cutthroat Lake and its trout. I gave it another good shot on Monday. It was a rainy day, and I thought a change of weather might make a difference.

There were plenty of bugs, including Callibaetis. I even slapped a bug off my neck and discovered it was a damselfly nymph. In just days this lake will be crawling with damselflies.

So where were the good fish? It's inscrutable.

I tried everything you can do with a floating line, which is the way I'd prefer to catch them. I trolled, using some flies I cadged out of my steelhead box, big meaty flies, purples and blacks and lots of flash. I trolled beadheads. I trolled nymphs. Yes, including a damselfly nymph. I trolled bead head nymphs. I trolled a muddler.

I trolled, and had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. Which was exceptional.

The breeze was intermittent, and when the lake calmed a bit I fished dries. There were no rises to cast to, and my offerings apparently held no interest for the fish. The swallows, on the other hand, loved everything I laid out. They were swarming the bug swarm, and the air was full of the sound of their clicking beaks. Later, nighthawks joined them, all swirling around my head. It was wonderful.

When the breeze would pick back up, I'd hit the trolling trail again.

At dusk I settled on a little muddler and worked the shorelines. I had a splashy take that must have been a teenager at least, but it came off. I finally caught another baby.

So I didn't break through the inscrutability this time. But, as I'm sure you know, I had a great time trying.

Imagine if the nature of reality--and trout lakes--was scrutable. That would take all the fun out of it.


  1. Inscrutable! Great story. As usual, I like how you look at the sky.

  2. I'll still trade you my day for yours...looks pretty good from where I'm sitting.

  3. It's hard to imagine a lake that beautiful and not crowded with people. You are lucky in that regard.


  4. You talk about peaceful.