I took the day off from work to do some fishing while the bosses were in SF doing the Quarterly Business Review - my job was done, so what better time to get away from work.
I'll be honest, after hearing the wind whip up all night and that it was snowing like crazy in the high country, I wasn't interested in spending my day at a lake around 10,700'. But I went anyways. I was hoping to kayak this lake and try to get into some big Macks. I tied up some huge size 4 streamers on Tuesday night - in black, tan, white and chartuese - and was ready for some pigs.
The ride up got sketchy even before I hit South Park - it was a slick road and the temps were below freezing. This is about the coldest day we've had so far. The mountains were beautiful with a fresh coating of the white stuff. South Park wasn't as windy as normal and the sun was in and out in stretches - so it looked like a good day.
I saw this beautiful horse on the way in - he was with another pack of 3 or 4 hiding in the bushes.
As I increased elevation, winding through dirt roads and beaver ponds, the snow started getting deeper and the road got harder to see. When I got to the last road that headed up to the lake, I was the first set of tire tracks on it at 9:30 am - I took the road slow and at the top parking lot the snow was about 8 inches deep and there were some rather large drifts on the far sides of road where the wind slowed and the snow collected.
This un-named lake is a haven for bait chuckers and fish keepers - and there are many posts and pics on the internet of rednecks with stringers full of macks from this lake. I guess I shouldn't be bitter about people actually keeping fish legally, but I am bitter about all of the beer cans, egg containers, powerbait jars, cigarette butts and other garbage that seem to follow bait fishermen to far off places like this. Coincidence? I think not.
The parking lot was empty and the wind was kicking up to 40 mph, so I decided not to take out the kayak. Which sucks because I brought the sinking line and wanted to troll the big streamers along the bottom. I hiked my way about half way around the lake and nestled myself just around a small corner to avoid most of the wind. I pitched the streamers for about an hour and a half - with little luck. I did have one hit right in front of me about 8 feet out as I was about to pull the streamers our of the water. It hit late and kind of surprised me - I saw a huge flash of an under belly that was about 18 inches long (or so). That would have been a nice fish.
I nymphed a bit and had a few wacks as my indicator dropped below the surface briefly and when I gave it a pull there wasn't anything there. The fish actually kept attacking my balloon indicator - which was kind of funny. I switched to a big dry fly, but they weren't interested any more. The weather was hazardous to say the least - I dressed in (I'm not lying here), a turlteneck, long sleeve t-shirt, turtleneck sweatshirt, 2 hooded sweatshirts and then my thin waterproof LL Bean fishing jacket - I had a face guard and a hat on as well - with fleece pants, thin fishing pants and waders as well. I wasn't cold except my hands once in a while, and the wind in my face was annoying. I called it a day at around 2:30pm and then the sun popped out and felt nice. The wind however, never let up.
I got skunked, but I'm not upset. It was better than working and I enjoyed this new lake - next time I will get a better opportunity on a much better weather day!