Solitude. When I search for new places to fish I’m looking for a lonely stretch of country. Water and a road that gets me close. I have been lucky enough to find many such spots that meet this definition, but this area is covered in these special spots.
Fishing with our bird dog is an occasionally challenging endeavor. She wants to sniff every piece of ground and swim all day. On the other hand, we want to have a little stealth along the edge of the water that is lost when a bird dog decides to splash the whole shoreline. Fortunately there’s enough time in a day to both fish and let the dog get her yeah-yeahs out. Plus the midday fishing was some slow going so it was good to have a distraction. Up until the fish started rising that is, then her distraction wasn’t as welcome but you can’t have it all.
The fish were cruising the clear lake edges, presenting awesome sight fishing opportunities. The tough part was they were incredibly picky and were content to sip tiny dry flies and ignore our carefully selected flies. These big cutthroat were seemingly taunting us as they rose around and almost on top of our flies.
This is a goal coming to fruition. New water to me and off the main drag. Water filled with big, beautiful cutthroat trout. We spent two days at this lake and creek and only saw a few people drive by and one other hiker with no interest in fishing. The wild thing is that this is one of the more easily accessed spots on the mountain. It makes me more excited to get further out there and check out more water. It still blows my mind that an area with such incredible fishing and relatively easy access isn’t a more popular spot. I guess most people don’t like to do their research or take chances on new water. Their loss.
We certainly weren’t catching a fish every cast. But the lake gave up nothing under 14″ and it only takes one or two fish like that to make a day. It’s awesome to see fishery managers prioritizing these native fish. Not only are they supposed to be there, but they are quality fish and some of the most beautiful.
With dusk and smoke settling in we headed down the hill. The dog was so tired from swimming all day she fell asleep before we got her bed out of the car. If you have a bird dog you know getting them this tired is the true sign of a successful day out. A quick drink, some hot food and to bed to rest for another day of chasing cutthroats.