Saturday, August 18, 2007 - Sylvan Lake, Eagle, CO
Spent the weekend camping at Sylvan Lake just south about 16 miles from Eagle Colorado with the family. We have been here before and it is great for the kids - plus there is great fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities nearby. The lake is small - about 10 acres or so - and it has a small creek leading in and out of it. About 3 weeks ago they had an 8 foot wall of water come down the mtn side just below the lake and campground and down through a gully into the river - it brought lots of deadwood and red mud and basically wiped out the lower section of river. Much further down the river through private property the water was much nicer - and of course off limits.
I had a couple hours to fish during an Avelyn nap - so I took the kayak out with the dog and tried my hand at some "lake" fishing. The weather was slightly overcast and about 78 degrees - it was a bit windy, which caused for some problems when trying to make more than one cast in the same spot. The fish were always slamming the surface - especially close to shore. It wasn't difficult to see what was hitting either - they were clung to my shirt and kayak by the hundreds (literally). They looked like black duns in size 12 - they stood completely upright in the water and looked like huge sailboats getting taken in the wind. I tied on the best pattern I could to imitate it, a size 18 dun in grey. Of course I was chucking into a wind and was throwing a needle into a haystack of bugs - so I had no chance. I was whipping up quite a bit of line and snapping my flies on the grass behind me - so eventually I lost my rig. I switched to a nymph rig with about 15 feet of line between flies and indicator. This late is very shallow in spots and the green weeds stretch straight up - in sections the water looks a couple feet deep - but then the weeds are another 7 feet deep - so it is pretty deep. The water in this lake is pure and you can see all the way to the bottom unobstructed - it looks like an aquarium.
I decided to troll with my nymph rig - which posed a few problems - I couldn't stay in one place with the wind at my back, and I couldn't keep my nose into the wind and hold it steady either. I did make a few trips to the far side of the lake and saw some HUGE fish swimming below me. They stood out because the water is so clear and their fins are a greyish sliver color. These fish were easily 10 lbs and the guy in dingy boat with an electric trolling motor told me he caught a beautiful 16 inch brookie that was thick. The water here is amazing - they stock it every year with fingerlings - but there are some monsters in there swimming amongst the canopy of weeds. There is also a sign by the spill in that says no swimming or fishing Sept 1 - November 1 - no reason was given, but I assume that it is because there might be a salmon run???? Who knows - but that is pretty cool.
I basically was gone 2 hours and needed to head back - I was paddling straight into a head wind and worked my ass off. Cabo basically slept in the boat the entire time - she was great to have with me, and everyone who paddled by made a comment about how cool it was to fish with your best friend.