Sunday, April 12, 2015

Early Lake Report: April Bait-and-Switch

On a recent day the weather was sunny and pushing 70 degrees by noon. It was an obvious decision to hit the lake when I could get away. By the time I could get away, though, late in the afternoon, we had experienced an April Bait-and Switch: clouds had rolled in, the wind had picked up, rain showers were raking over the hills, and the temperature had dropped 20 degrees.

I went anyway, and took my chances. I layered up and went out to say Hi to the geese high on their perches.

The fish were still down and a little too picky for stockers. I pulled up a few on trolled buggers and nymphs. They all looked a little like this. Not as inspiring as I could wish.

The weather decided to pull another bait-and-switch. The sun broke through briefly, the wind dropped a little--and caddis began popping all over this end of the lake.

It was one of the bigger hatches I've seen around here, ever, so I was hopeful that it might provoke a predatory response in the fish. It might have, but it wasn't on top. So I clipped off the caddis dry I had tied on in my misplaced optimism, and replaced it with a caddis nymph. I resumed trolling and was rewarded with the best fish yet out of these waters this Spring. I had to wonder if it was a holdover.

The sun kept peeking out of the scudding clouds, and I was almost ready to take my jacket off. Not really; this is April we're talking about. The wind had picked up again and the temperature continued to slide.

I stuck it out and stuck a few more fish, though of the uninspiring type again. Still, there is something entertaining about going through your fly boxes and pulling out the least likely flies and throwing them out there just to see what will happen.

After awhile even that gets old, so when the sun dipped out of the clouds and slid behind the mountains I packed it in.

As I kicked toward shore I saw the Loon again. This time it was with its mate. That's good to see. Loons are endangered here. I tried to send them a telepathic invitation to join me at Trout Lake. It won't be long now. Just 13 more days.... 

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