Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Plan

As you already know, I always have a plan or two or three. This morning I needed all five. 

Plan A: Launch the Float Tube Cumberland in Woods Lake. After coffee at Cooks Station, I got to Woods Lake at 0830 only to find waves on the lake. Waves at 0830 meant bigger waves and more wind as the day went on.

OK, Plan B: Park in the Woods Creek access lot and walk down to the creek. Followed a couple of guys down the path (I've never made it all the way to the creek) to where the creek enters the lake. That would be Caples Lake. Made my way upstream (note to self, next time bring machete) to a spot where I could actually put the line in the water. That would be the two pictures below.

The Creek Upstream
The Creek Downstream
After attempting to get the fly on the water and actually getting one hit and run, I decided to move a little more upstream. As I passed these (I think they are Purple Lupin) flowers I took a quick shot.

Purple Lupin, I think
I followed a trail I stumbled (literally) across and the further I followed it, the further uphill and away from the creek I went until I came out in the parking lot. So much for Plan B.

Plan C: After much frustration with Woods Creek and it's access I got back into the truck and headed downhill. As I passed Caples Lake I noticed that even though the wind was blowing, it seemed calm on the sandy side of the spillway. Got my fly rod and a Tungsten Bead Head Thin Mint, walked over the dam, and found a place where I could get a good back swing with out catching trees or shrubs. As I approached the lake and as is the standard for this lake, the wind now blew straight into my face.

So I would wait for the wind to calm, cast, strip, and wait for the next calm period. While waiting for the next calm period I noticed the guy standing on the spillway dam and it seemed that the wind was from his back. OK, I'll walk over there and fish from the spillway dam. As I approached the steps, he was coming down mumbling about the wind being in his face all morning...See, that lake is evil.

Plan D: Back in the truck to check out a little creek I just noticed this very morning. It's just up the road from the Silver Lake Dam and running pretty good. I think they call it Oyster Creek and claim there aren't any fish in it. I'll see for myself. Parked, couldn't find an access, drove across the road to another parking spot only to find a "No Trespassing - No Fishing" sign. Drove a little further back up the road to another dirt road and followed it for several miles on almost 4 wheel drive terrain. I was at the point where I was looking for a turn around spot when I dropped out into a big meadow and there was a campground with vault toilets, motor homes, and campers galore. I don't know if they came in the same way I did, but if they did, I applaud them. I did run into a Ranger and asked about creeks and he suggested I go to the creek below Silver Lake Dam.

Plan E: The creek below Silver Lake Dam. I first fished right up against the dam and scored the first fish of the day. He looked a lot like this one, could have even been this ones brother or sister (don't want to be politically incorrect).       

Fished my way down stream and missed a few, but there wasn't a lot of water in the creek and the fish that were there were very skiddish.

A Small Pool
Kept going downstream hoping for that pool or riffle with the next fish in it, but it was not to be. The further down I went the bigger the rocks got.

Much Bigger Rocks
I finally got tired of climbing over much bigger rocks to get to water and called it a day. Besides the count was Mark - 1, fish - several, but at least I didn't get skunked. I think this creek is the beginning of the Silver Fork of the American River because it eventually hooks up with it miles down the canyon. That other little creek I was trying to fish in Plan D also connects with this creek down below where I was. Got to love the USGS maps.  

As I mentioned on the 3rd, next outing is Tuesday with my friend Glenn. To tell you the truth, I think (from his recent email) he's a little nervous. That's OK, I'll take care of him. Hehehe.



  1. I never considered you a diehard Mark. I know when a trip just isn't going to come off. Plan A, plan b plan c = go home.

  2. Tenacity my friend, and you have it. I believe the flowers are Lupine and they are beautiful, as is the brown.

  3. Mark
    Those streams look like a Tenkara moment. You can't go wrong with the Tungston beadhead anywhere on a stream. I really like the colors on the brown.

  4. Enjoyed your pain. That tenacity has gotten you this far. Here's to the next time you can spend all that effort actually FISHING. Meanwhile, have fun with Glenn.

  5. way to keep after em, you guys sure do grow some big rocks out there ;)