With my wife on a two week trip to her home country, Peru, I cashed in my paid time off at work (and then some) to stay at home with the kids. My Mother, being a wonderful and charitable soul, offered to watch the kids for a night, then throughout the day on Monday.
Originally, my plans were to head south and hit one of my favorite cutthroat lakes, which also has some decent brookies in it. The day before my trip, I got a phone call stating that my buddy Keala was in town (school in Iowa) and he was getting fishy a little farther to the south, that same day.
Ultimately, the plan was to take a day trip to Boulder Mountain for spawning Colorado River cutthroat trout at a lake I've been wanting to hit for about 4 years now. Scott (another local forum member) met me at my house at 3:00am and we were on it.
Three hours and some change later, the sunrise welcomed us to fish country.
My Sentra made it to the trail head without trouble,although I think all the washboard dirt roads I've taken it on have started to take their toll. My exhaust pipe separated from the manifold, leaving my little 4-banger sounding like a cabbage shooter. Easy fix, but not the time or place for that.
The trail went by quickly and we were glad to see the group we were meeting already fishing. Unfortunately, our trip was about a week or two early to catch the height of the spawn. Most of the fish congregate in one main area for this and the action is phenomenal, supposedly.
Our group reported some catches, but very little activity and mostly smaller fish. Scott and I joined the fight and worked diligently, trying to figure out what these fish wanted. It was pretty rough and only every once in awhile, a fish would bite something.
Most of the catches were somewhat far from where I was, so I didn't get many photos, but Keala got a pretty good one that warranted a pic. Nice fish.
Beautiful lake though.
We fished for several hours and felt defeated, even though everyone had caught some fish. Everyone but myself, at that point. My efforts had only brought one strike to my attention, which I missed.
The bushes were a major issue as well, tightly packed near the shoreline and loaded with tiny thorns that just begged for an errant back cast. A full hour of my day may have been spent mashing through that spiny thicket, trying to get my gear unstuck.
Finally, I was able to catch a fish, but it was kind of a slap in the face. The tiny FEMALE cutthroat saved me from a total skunk, but being such, lacked the deep crimson underside of their male counterparts. Those males were the whole reason for the trip.
So the fishing was pretty bad, but the scenery and company was splendid. Scott and I needed to leave early enough to be home at reasonable times, so we took off around 2:00, right after Keoni, Keala, Koa, and Sai, who took their family camping adventure to other parts of the region. Hopefully they did well.
Scott and I left ourselves a little bit of leeway to quickly try some other spots nearby. Our first stop was a quick perch and brown trout session at Mill Meadow, where we found small fish, but quite a few of them. The fast catching at first was a welcome change and we stayed there until the bites faded off.
After that, we really needed to get going. Given our detour to Mill Meadow, staying on Hwy 25 and wrapping around Fish Lake was the best option for us...except for all the tempting holes on the Fremont River along the way.
Just upstream from Mill Meadow, the river was screaming for us to pull over and we finally did for some excellent fishing in a great setting. The fish were all pretty small, but it was a blast to toss a spinner into any hole and get several swipes and usually a hook up. We could have spent all day on that river, which was little more than a small stream at that point.
Vowing not to stop anymore, we hit the highway again and only made it a few miles before seeing Zedd's Meadow. It just looked too good to pass up.
As nice as that gentle meander looked, it showed no signs of life. Nothing happening in the undercut banks, nothing in the eddies, nothing in the tunnel under the road! Same river as the fast fishing a few miles downstream. Go fig.
No big deal. We had our fun and redeemed ourselves for the awful fishing on Boulder Mountain. From there on out, it was more important for us to ignore the fishy spots we were passing left and right. As hard as it was, we buzzed right by them and made good time getting back.
The only other stop was for a much needed Blizzard at the Dairy Queen (it's been years for me) in Scipio, at the truck stop. While exiting the lot, I had to grab a quick shot of something that always makes me chuckle when I pass through.
Amazingly, our 410 mile day trip required just under a full tank of gas in my Sentra (about $40) and we made it back to my house just after 7:00pm. What a day!
Happy Fishing, Humans.
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