Fat Brookies - Family Trip

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This week's rotation was for a family trip, so I took the tribe down to a place that we love to visit.  This time, the rest of the family would get to experience a couple of lakes they hadn't been to and we were all excited.

The usual morning lag came into play and we really cut into our fishing time, arriving at the first spot at about 2:45pm.  Nobody else was at the lake when we got there, but another party showed up just as we were headed to the shore.

We walked around to a spot that had been productive for me in the past, but the fishing was tough.

Some larger fish were in the lake, last time I visited, but the only ones making themselves visible seemed rather small.  Our minnows weren't doing the trick.

Snags on the bottom or on semi-submerged trees were plaguing us and we lost a good amount of gear pretty quickly.  Needing to figure out a way to keep from hanging up on something, I clamped a split shot weight behind the bubble on my wife's rod to keep the worm dangling.

It didn't matter though.  Lake Snaggadocious ate everything before the fish had a chance, be it jigs, spinners, minnows, or worms.

Finally, Sonia broke the ice and pulled in a skinny planter rainbow.  It was good for her to catch something though:

We released it, hoping for something a little bit larger. Unfortunately, luck wasn't with us for the remainder of our time there.

 My wonderful wife knew I could use some better fishing, so she actually gave me a "bushwhacking pass" and allowed me to take a nasty little hike to check out a hunch that I've had for a few years.  What a lady!

The hike wasn't easy.  It covered a lot of elevation in a short distance. Following the water was fine for awhile, but the brush got pretty tight in some spots, forcing me to circle around a lot of obstacles.

This was the easy part:

When my prize was finally in sight, my stomach fluttered with anticipation, but I didn't cast anywhere. Instead, I sat on a log and quietly observed for about 10 minutes.

What I could see was so shallow, doubt started to creep into my mind that anything might be in this secluded pond. Just as I was about to write it off in my mind and save myself a sloppy trogg through the mucky shoreline, I saw a clear-cut rise from a fish on the other side.

There were, in fact fish and my dear wife gave me this opportunity to shake my stick at them.  Off I went to find some structure and deeper water.

On my way, I noticed a log that just screamed brookie and a well-placed jig was devoured.

Hey, look what I found! What a bulge on that bad boy. Looks like my hunch paid off. He was released and I finished my walk around the pond, to the beaver dam, where I knew I'd hit pay-dirt. Again, I was right.

For the next short while, I was thrilled to dip my jig next to the scum line (maybe 3ft of line out) and watch as several nice brookies shot out to grab it.

This female came home with me.  She promised to be delicious, so I obliged.  The rest are still swimming.

 Let's have another look at that one:  This one had some serious noodle.

 The dreaded water spot!

There were a couple more fish about the same size and color as that last one, so they didn't get a photo.  These fish were mighty gullible and it was a blast messing with them for about 20 minutes.  Staying longer may have provided some larger ones that I had seen, but my gracious lady and family surely awaited my return.

Needing to get back, I kissed those beauties goodbye, vowing to return with a float tube IN THE MORNING, so I can spend a full day reaping the rewards of a newly found gem in the woods.

The hike back up was much worse than the descent and I was glad to see my family waiting patiently when I returned.  My nice brookie was met with some enthusiasm, so the extra time that my side trip required was justified.

There was still some sunlight left, so we thought we'd finish off the day at a lake that I thought would be ripe for the picking with large cutthroat.

Our destination hadn't been stocked for many years and was generally known as a salamander puddle by most.  While perusing the stocking reports, I noticed that it had been stocked twice in the past three years though.

Having visited the lake before any stocking had taken place, I knew the buffet would be on for any fish that were planted.  The water was rich with scuds and salamanders.  My hopes were high.

Apparently, the fish never survived though.  A conservation officer I spoke with informed me that the gill nets have been empty ever since.  What a shame.

On the bright side, we both got action from some brave salamanders that weren't afraid of her worm or my Blue Fox.  That was a first, and totally unintentional.  After a few photos, they were released.

It's too bad the fish couldn't make it. There's a ton of food in this lake.

Throwing in the towel, we gathered up our things and pointed our noses north again.

 The scenery, as always, was splendid.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

Some Background...


Why not go jogging, hit the gym, start a garden or whatever it is that normal humans do? What's so fascinating about these slimy little creatures that live in the water?

Fishing is a bit more to me than a hobby or a sport. It's an essential part of life that helps me connect with the Earth in ways similar to the long-practiced traditions of mankind. Wherever man has had a water source, there has been fishing.

It's only natural.

Happy Fishing, Humans.