Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dog Days are Over

Had to get out while the gettin's good. That was what I kept telling myself all week. The options were to head out to try to find some soft water or grab my bow and chase some deer. It was a tough decision, and even last night I was considering going hunting, but when I got out of bed there was no doubt what I'd be doing today. 

After getting all the gear ready (but apparently forgetting the camera) I decided to follow through with a suggestion my wife made and put the dog in the truck. Where I was heading there wouldn't be any other people (at least not at this time of year) and she doesn't like to swim much, so why not? 

When we reached the trailhead the thermometer in the truck read 29 degrees and there were several inches of snow on the ground. Welcome to Winter. 

But hey, I was there and some fish might be waiting for me if I just put in some effort. So, against what some might think of as common sense, we set out in the cold. This was one of only two times this dog had seen snow and she was loving it. I was trying really hard to not step in every drift, creek, and not trip over every log. This was definitely easier the last time I made the hike! As we came up over the last hill, sucking air, we saw the lake sporting a fresh hardtop. Luckily, a few more steps made it clear that there were still open spots. 

Kind of an "Oh crap" moment
I still had a small streamer on my rod from who knows when so I dropped it in between some logs to see if anyone was home. Before I could even start to imagine seeing fish I had one on. Too bad he was too smart for me and hauled off under the logs to break me off. Quick re-tie, drop it down another brookie flies in and slams the fly and I miss it. That pretty much sums up the action for the trip. Apparently, the fish all got lockjaw. So rather than quit I decided to try and make my way to the other end of the lake to try my luck. Bonnie (the dog) had the same idea but tried to take the riskier route across the ice. This ice was definitely not safe, so I tried to convince her to get off of it. Luckily the ice only broke when she got within a couple of feet from shore. Good thing too, because if she'd have gone down out a little further I wouldn't have been able to help her out. So we tried the safer way, but with the snow, down timber and rocks there wasn't a way that didn't involve more effort than I thought it was worth. So back to original spot for one last try before taking off.

Good thing we did, because it provided with the only fish to hand for the day. I wish there were more of a story to it, but I spotted a nice fishing holding between some logs, tossed in, and a different fish slammed it. The fight was short because I was trying to keep him out of the logs. Nice colors on this great fish that was also a personal best brookie.

After that the hole was spooked and it was time for us to head for home before the snow really started falling. Holy crap that was a tough hike! Between extra layers of clothes I was wearing, the logs and the snow the relatively short hike seemed like a death march. The truck never looked so good. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors.

Good to get out

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