The weather was great, but somehow my morning started a couple of hours later than I had set the alarm for. How does this happen, I wondered?
Well it turns out that my wife sleeps closer to the alarm than I do (by design, so I have to actually get up to turn it off), and in her sleepy daze, must have just shut it off, leaving me to snore. A nice gesture, yes, but not exactly welcome when I'm trying to get to the water before the sunlight does.
At least I learned what the real gremlin in my alarm clock was. Whatchagonnado?
Knowing I had already missed any chance of watching the sunrise from shore (the sun was shiny brightly already), I was in no big rush to get where I was going. The creek looked rather inviting on the way in and I felt the need to pull over for a quick brown trout before finishing my drive.
So eventually, I made it to the lake and got the tube inflated, all the junk down to the shoreline, and ready to shove off. My only issue was the steady breeze that had just barely rolled in. It was the time of day I hoped to already have floated for an hour or more. Wind or no wind, I was getting my tube wet.
The water was choppy and it was difficult to kick against the wind, keeping myself from running aground on the dam. Soon enough, I found my rhythm and my fins started biting the water well enough to keep me steadily moving.
On my fly rod, I laughingly tied on a big olive dungeon pattern. The large, articulated streamer pattern was more likely to spook fish than catch them, but I really just wanted to give it a try. History has shown that some larger fish live in the lake.
Within 5 minutes of getting wet, I had a bend in the rod and a 15 inch rainbow thrashing around on the other end. 15? That's it? Sure, it was nice to hook up with something, especially on the huge chunk of meat I was flinging, but I hoped the mouth that grabbed it would be in the 20" class. I had to laugh at the appetite of that little guy.
Reestablishing my gratitude to be on the water, I kept after it, kicking the length of the dam before needing a shore break. The lake seemed almost deserted and a couple of smallish rainbows were the only action so far.
After some time had passed, it was evident that I needed to get to the other side of the lake, then up into some beaver ponds.
While kicking my way back, I drifted a night crawler on one side while working a Gulp! minnow, actively. It wasn't long and I had something on the worm rod. While tending to that (dink bow), the Gulp! rod got hit. That was missed, but soon hit again, bringing in another small rainbow.
It was obvious that the worm rod wouldn't be necessary anymore, so I strapped it and continued to work the plastic and nail one rainbow after another. It was pretty fun to have the sudden mess of action, even if they were all small rainbows.
The creeks were calling me and I decided that some small stream cutthroat were in order.
The black Vibrax was just what they needed.
Some of them were showing great color.
The creek was pleasant and kept me busy, unhooking a lot of beautiful fish. Very nice indeed, although I accidentally left my hat next to a beaver pond. Doh!
With the sun closing in on the horizon, one last go at the lake was needed. The large minnows I was using hadn't gotten any play so far, but I finally had a couple of takers. The first two takes dropped it before I could set the hook and the last one ended up in my hand. Pretty small for the size of minnow it ripped.
So no big fish this week, but it was a really nice day and I enjoyed getting out. Having my first float of the year was long overdue and that felt great. The creek was full of eye candy and the wildlife didn't flinch as I rolled back down the hill.
Happy Fishing, Humans.