Monday, April 27, 2015

Trout Lake Report: Opening Day

Spring showers greet you on this opening day at the lake.

The campgrounds are full, and various watercraft dot the water. You launch at the north end, the least congested area.

You kick across to the inlet side, and before you get there the rain stops and the sky lightens.

A north wind keeps up, so you explore a sheltered bay in its lee. Many callibaetis are sheltering there, bobbing on the water. While you watch, a fish comes up and takes one with a loud clop.

You tie on a pheasant tail parachute and give the fish a look at it. After awhile you begin to kick slowly around the bend in the shoreline, drifting the fly behind.

The first fish of the season at Trout Lake ambushes the fly before it can get away. It's a pretty fish, and looks like a veteran. It's been a long time coming.

You continue to drift the fly behind you as you scull slowly toward the inlet. More fish come to it with dramatic takes.

The wind has backed off, and you stay with the pheasant tail parachute, happy to be fishing a dry.

You prospect around the inlet, hoping for a spring brown, but find none. The water is already high and remains cold, so the conditions that will attract fish to the inlet as the weather warms are still moot. You explore under the willows along the bank around the inlet, another brown hangout. You think you've got one when a fish takes with a flash of yellow, but it's another colorful rainbow with yellow highlights.

You need a break. The problem with spring is that there are precious few spots shallow enough to--let's be honest--stand and pee. The other problem is that the many boats, holding both genders, make privacy an issue. You try going up the inlet to where it shallows out, but there are downed willows blocking it halfway along. So you kick across to the truck, beach the tube, and take a break in the sagebrush under the big Ponderosa.

By now another squall is approaching. You launch and kick back across to the other side again, trolling a black woolly bugger.

You get some bumps, and then a solid hookup.

The squall soon passes and the lake calms again. There are some fish coming up here and there. You watch from a distance as a large fluttery insect tries to rise from the surface. Just when you think it's going to make it, it disappears in a splashy rise.

You tie on a little muddler you tied especially for opening day. You make it flutter on the water, and fish hit it hard.

One of the Trout Lake eagles flies over and lands nearby. It's been fishing, too.

Finished with its meal, it takes a post by the inlet.

You continue to fish toward the inlet with the muddler. You miss a couple and take a couple. You're enchanted by their beauty.

You got too close, and the eagle has moved off. You're beginning to think it's time for you to move off, too. The fish have quieted down. And after six hours in the water you're getting a bit chilled. The low at home is to be 34 degrees; at the lake it will likely be lower yet, and the slide downward has begun.

So you begin the kick back to the take out for the second time. You're looking forward to the heater in the truck. And you're looking forward to the next time you can get here. It has been a very good opening day. It has opened the season at Trout Lake, and, after a long six months away, it has opened up your world.

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to beat the excitement of an opening day on a river or lake. Looks like you had one of those days that made all of the anticipation and waiting well worth it in the end. Great eagle shots...I never tire of seeing those amazing birds.