Thursday, July 15, 2010

17 1/2 Tons and 2 DFG Truck Loads

One would think, with that many trout stocked in the last two weeks, that the fish would be wiggling up the bank and jumping into your net. I had visions of the Asian Carp jump by Rainbow Trout. Not the case, at least not where I was. I got to Caples Lake at 0830 and even stopped for the superstitious cup of coffee at Cook's Station. Before I set up, I stopped and snapped a quick photo of the spillway.

This was June 28th

This was yesterday. A lot of difference in the amount coming over the top.

Decided to try the rocky area on the left of the spillway where I had that big hookup on a crawler back on the 28th. Fished one rod with the slip sinker rig and power bait and put the other out with just a crawler to float around, just like before. Sat for a hour and a half chatting with the guy next to me and the rods in the water. Since neither of us caught anything, he decided to run over to the Crystal Basin off Highway 50 and I decided to go to Red Lake and see if I could scare up a Cutt or two.

Got to Red Lake at 1000 (earlier than on the 28th) and set up in my usual spot. One line out with Power bait, the other with Kastmasters in pink (Rainbow Trout), silver, gold, and firetiger. Nothing. Stuck a crawler under a bobber. At this point I would have even taken one of those little sucker fish. Couldn't even get them interested. At 1130 packed up and drove back to Caples. Couldn't stand the idea of being skunked. After all, I stopped for coffee!!!

This time I went to the sandy side of the spillway. Walked back about 100 yards and found a little tree root hanging out over the edge of the lake. Just big enough to plop my boney butt on and a couple of nice roots for foot holds. Put one rod out with PB and the other with the pink Kastmaster. Nothing. Tried gold and silver, still nothing. Talk about frustation. Where are the
17 1/2 tons and two truck loads of trout? My luck, probably on the other end of the lake.

In the process of dodging a 15' tree floating by, I realized I had a fish on one line. What do you do? Reel in the fish, which is behind the tree, or reel in your other rod, so you don't lose your tackle in the tree. With a gear ration of 5.2:1, I started cranking my Shimano Sienna 2500B for all it was worth. The Kastmaster looked like a Marlin lure, skipping across the top of the water. Made it.

After I got the Bow in, I put out both rods with PB. The tree finally settled to my right and up against the bank. While I was contemplating all the fish I was going to catch, now that I found my "hole", I decided to check the water temp in hopes of putting the Float Tube Cumberland in next week. First thing I did was drop the thermometer. A drop of 3 feet or so into the lake below my perch. That created another problem. How to get turned around and be able to reach through the roots and retrieve said thermometer. I was able lay on my stomach (in the dirt, I might add) and stick my long arm through the roots and grab it and as it turns out, it registered 58 degrees, although that was right on shore. Might be a tad chillier further out. OH, I also checked Red Lake while I was over there (you'll recall I didn't spend a lot of time catching fish while I was there) and it was 61 degrees.

Over the hour and a half I was back at Caples, I managed to pull in 2 more Bows on PB and drop the PB jar into the same hole as the thermometer. Didn't have as much problem getting it back because I was already experienced in thermometer retrievel and used the same technique.

Coffee, no limit. Something wrong here. It's never failed me before. I did have a couple of errands to run and maybe I just left a little early. If I would have stayed, maybe I would have caught two more. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

We'll see what happens next week. Till then.

Mark (Shoreman)


  1. Hi Mark,
    Days like these sure can test a man's metal, especially when you've partaken in your ritual coffee, I'm betting that with your persistence that you'll score heavily next time out.

  2. That's a lot of fish to be fishing for that is for sure. However, 98% of them must have been held up in one spot in some kind of shock caused by dumping that many at one time. Sorry, Mark, that is the best excuse I could come up with.

  3. We fished Caples, Red, West Carson, and Markleeville Creek Monday/Tuesday. Stayed at Caples campground. Caught a 24" Rainbow Monday night just after sunset. Experimented with anise oil at Caples. 3 poles with identicle rigs except anise. (slip sinker, 12" 3 lbs. test fluorocarbon leader, #8 snell hook, rainbow glitter pb). The pole without anise never caught a fish and only got rapped twice... the other two poles caught over a dozen fish combined. Markleeville creek was a great place to fish. Kept a dozen for the smoker, 10 rainbow and 2 brookies. We missed you by a day...

  4. Well you did not get skunked, right? A few bows. No limit. But you were out there doing what you love to do, that is the important part. To me a skunk is failure, even if I'm fishing marginal waters for that trophy brown. You did catch fish! Water at 58? chilly! You have cutts in the lakes too? Sounds awesome.

  5. Mark
    I have days like that and can relate. I recently ran into a guy who put me on something that he uses when the trout are not biting live bait. It is called the trout magnet, you catch everything on these little jewels and they work. My son-in-law used some the other day on the Elk River in Tennessee and landed 9 trout in less than an hour. You fish them under a bobber. Here is the link to order, I ordered the small pack and have already caught bluegill on them.

  6. Think of how hungry those tons of trout will be this week! You may need to wear camoflage just to get out of the car, so they don't mistake you for a meal.

    Nice post and pics, Mark