Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It Was Only One, But A Big One

I had a few hours to kill this morning so I thought I'd run  up to Bear River Reservoir and do a little bait dunking. It's tough to be retired, but somebody has to do it.  

My wife had a class at work and needed to be there at 0700 and since we were up at 0-dark 30, as soon as she left, I headed up to Bear. I parked and walked down to the lake at, and you can call it between the dams, the far side of the first dam, or the near side of the second dam. Any of the three will work.

The view from the red camping chair

You haven't seen this part of the lake before.

I got my chair set up and put out one rod with rainbow Power Bait. Since Bear River is known for its big browns, I was there early, and a gold Kastmaster was successful at Caples for browns, that is where I went. I put a ¼ oz. gold Kastmaster on my little Okuma with the plan to start next to the dam and work a fan casting pattern to where the Power Bait line was.

In the summer, most times you’ll find trout deep, even in the high mountain lakes. The water in Bear along the shore (I didn’t have my thermometer with me) was quite warm so I put all my power in the cast to get the lure as far out as I could. The Kastmaster hit the water at just about 100 feet from shore and about 30 feet out from the dam. I let the lure drop to the bottom and then started my retrieve. I made two turns with the handle and bam, I snagged on the bottom. But wait, the bottom was moving, ever so slowly but moving none the less. 

You have to remember that I only have two pound test on that rod and can’t just horse the line in. So I lifted the rod and reeled in line. Lifted the rod and reeled in the line. Then I guess the fish realized it was hooked and the fight was on. After a short fight I put the net under the fish and then I got that feeling again. I’ve had it before at Lake Amador and Lake Camanche. You know the one where the fish won’t fit into the net. I’ve made notes to myself before about getting a larger net, but I still use the same net. OK, so I’m a little slow.

The first attempt to get the fish into the net resulted in the fish back in the lake. Second time I managed to get the first two-thirds in the net and then I could address getting the hook out. 

After a couple of photos and deciding that the fish fell outside the two pound rule, I gently put it in the water. This fish was of a size that to make sure it was fully recovered, I held it (after wetting my hands) by the tail and moving it back and forth to get the water running through its gills finally letting it go back to the depths.  

I don’t believe I’ve ever explained the two pound rule before. When I first started this fishing thing, in earnest, back around 2008 sometime, I caught a trout (in Bear River) that went 3 pounds 6 ounces. I brought it home and being as large as it was, cut it in half eating one half and freezing the other half. We found the piece we ate tasted dirty. In the years since, I’ve found that any fish over two pounds tastes dirty too, thus the two pound rule. 
OK picture

OK, too
This fish was 19”-20” and 2 ½ -3 pounds and to top it off, the only fish of the day, but what a fish.

Camping and fishing later this week. Stay tuned for the reports starting Monday night or Tuesday.

Till then.



  1. What a great trout! especially off of 2 lb test! have fun camping!!

  2. I agree with J, A fish over 2 lb on two pound test! Quite the accomplishment!

  3. Nice fish! I use Kastmasters for a lot of species , fresh and saltwater. It's amazing how many people overlook old standbys like spoons, , spinners , and grubs.

  4. Nice going Mark, that is quite a feat.

  5. Mark, it only takes one. It only takes one when there nice fish like that one. Kudo's!

  6. Mark
    No fair you are getting to fish and I am not, and to make matters worse the area you are fishing looks better than where I am now---mowing grass--nice trout!!--thanks for sharing

  7. Nice! You and Alan have raised the bar with big fish. I'd better get to work.