Thursday, July 16, 2015

Family Camping, pt 1

I've mentioned this in previous posts, but in case you didn't catch it, this Summer has been really strange for me and my family. Del has a new job, so it's just been me and the boys at home. So we haven't been able to slip away anytime we like, which isn't a big deal, just means we actually have to plan our trips now. With that in mind Del took a couple days off to make the most of last weekend and we headed out to a lake that I haven't been to in a couple of years.

Loading up was the usual geometric challenge, but all went smoothly until we were a couple of miles down the road and realized we had forgot the toolbox and shovel. So, before we left our driveway (again) we talked through everything we hadn't forgotten. Once we agreed that we had everything we'd need and more we headed back down the road. 

I like this little lake
The ride consisted mainly of going slow on washboard dirt roads, but it took us up out of the heat and where everything is still green. When we started getting close to our destination the roads began to get pretty muddy, and the increasing number of sheep on the hillside was disconcerting. Once at the lake it was pretty obvious that if we stayed here we'd be right in the herd of sheep and dealing with more than our share of mud and other stepping hazards. So, onward to the next potential camping spot. 

Really pretty place
The next spot was somewhere I had never been before, but a lake that was one of the many placemarks spots on my Google Earth. The trouble with places like this, especially when its evident that the area has received some rain, is that you never know how the roads will be. Luckily, we didn't run into any issues and even found a great place to camp within sight of the lake. The rain started to fall as we set up our tent, then the hail started to come once the tent was up, so it made the process take a little longer than usual and set the stage for a cold first night. Good thing the boys and Del all got good sleeping bags for Christmas! 

I think he came for the smores
This doe seemed to have no fear, and was intent on joining us in camp
I was up bright and early the next morning and successfully slipped out of the tent to get some fishing in before breakfast. Good thing I did, because the big fish of the trip was waiting for a Gulp! Minnow to be thrown his way.

Love finding nice fish in small lakes!
Once the day warmed up a bit the fish started rising and I went to find my fly rod. When we were packing I noticed it wasn't in with the fishing stuff and asked Atley to run and grab it. He must've gotten distracted by something because it still didn't get packed and I was stuck trying to get by with only a spinning rod. Some guys can do this, but it drove me nuts not being able to fish the way I usually do. Fishing was a bit more difficult than I would've expected at a high elevation lake like this. The fish were more than willing to follow our jigs, flies and lures back near our feet but were reluctant to commit. Del came down after lunch to try her luck with her preferred method, Power Bait, but only managed one lil tiger.

Laid Back

Prettiest fisherwoman I know
Once Del was done I decided to make my around the lake to some likely looking spots with logs that protruded out from the shore. Making my way across the outlet was easier than expected, as there was very little running water. The logs proved to be a good spot as I placed a couple of casts near the first one with a jig and was quickly into a mid-sized tiger. The second log still had enough branches that casting close was more of a challenge than I was up to with a spinning rod. So I snuck out onto it instead and dropped my jig down to see if anyone was home. Another mid-sized tiger took my invitation to come up and say hello, but managed to break me off before I could get ahold of him. I didn't have another jig like the one I been having success with on me, so I had to improvise. On went a weighted streamer (that still wasn't even close to as heavy as the 1/16 oz jig) and I made an attempt. In the blink of an eye a fish bigger than I thought would be living in this lake slammed the fly and I missed him! I tried to coax him back out until Del called me back to camp for dinner. On the walk back I teased another smallish tiger enough to hit, and found an abandoned brookie tangled up in fishing line and dead. Accidents happen, but I hate to see a wasted fish like this. Good to know there might be some brook trout in this lake though...