June 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
My job as a liquor sales rep and a full time Dad doesn’t leave me with a lot of time on the trout stream, and when I do get to get out, it is usually for panfish with the kids on one of the local lakes. But recently I heard about a small lake that is stocked with rainbow trout. I was somewhat skeptical when one of my customers told me about the 20 inch ‘bow that he caught an hour before he was supposed to head off to work, but when he took me in his beer cooler to showed me the fish, I was sold.
I called my friend, Pappy, who is usually up for an adventure, and he met my son Alex and me near where we were to fish. Pappy isn’t a fly fisherman, so he brought a spinning rod, I rigged up Alex with my spinning rod and a bobber, and I sported my Sage 3wt fly rod.
The lake was nestled right in a hardwood forest in what looked like a glacial pothole that was not any larger than 30 or 40 acres.
Right off the get go, Pappy caught about a 4 inch crappie on his Panther Martin. Not the right species, but at least at this point we could rule out getting skunked. It didn’t take long before he was hooked into another fish, this time it was a 6 inch bullhead… hmm I was beginning to think that I had been sent on a wild goose chase. And then out of the corner of my eye, I saw Pappy retrieving his spinner and an 8-9 inch rainbow was chasing right after it right up to the boat! I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth for him to keep the spinner in the water and the fish was gone. Dang.
As we drifted through the middle of the lake, the wind began to kick up a bit. In a moment of distraction, I let my olive wooly bugger sink to the bottom. As I picked up my rod tip, wham, I was hooked. From previous experience, any trout larger than about 10 inches will put the bend in that 3wt, but this fish wasn’t the 20 incher that I was hoping for. I got a glimpse of the fish, and it showed its colors, our first rainbow that was about 8-9 inches! Just as fast as I had seen the fish, my fly popped out and it was gone.
So we continued to fish, shoot the bull and admire our quant little pothole lake. About a half hour passed and we were starting to get a little anxious when Pappy hooked into another fish… Crappie.
We were within the last 10 minutes, mostly due to hunger, when I hooked into another fish. This one, however, was a little more sporting than the rainbow I lost earlier. I knew that this fish wasn’t the 20 incher either, but it certainly had gumption in his fight and he wanted to stay towards the bottom. Not wanting to take losing another trout to chance, I grabbed my net and played the fish out. As luck would have it, I caught my first bullhead on a fly rod.
While the trout fishing gods didn’t exactly smile on us on this fishing trip, it was certainly good to get out with Pappy and Alex on a lake where you could feel, even just for a moment, that you were the first people to explore this beautiful lake. And hey, at least we didn’t get skunked.