Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Anticipation Goes Down In Flames

The wife is in class all this week which means up at 3:00 am and out the door by 5:30 am to be in class at 6:00. This morning I took advantage of hitting the road at 5:30.

Plan A: Drive over Carson Pass and hit the West Fork of the Carson. They stocked it 3 or 4 times prior too opening day (last Saturday) and with the snow on Friday there should still be a fish or two there. All the reports I saw said crappy roads, icy and full of snow. All I found was clear roads. 

On the way past Kirkwood Ski Resort, I stopped to take the following two sunrise shots.


Kirkwood to the left.
When I made a pit stop at Carson Pass I took another couple sunrise shots.  

Carson Pass

Around the corner toward Red Lake
For some reason they don't look as brilliant as they did in person.

I got to the 88/89 bridge somewhere around 6:30. Sorry I didn't look because I was too excited. There wasn't a soul around. Got my little Okuma with 2# and a couple 1/16 oz. Panther Martins. The "fish to extinction" crowd always uses PM's and usually scores 60 to 100 fish (their numbers) in the hole below the bridge. I, on the other hand, didn't see fish one or catch fish one. I guess the best time to catch them is when you follow the stock truck around and fish where it dumps. Its what they do.

After freezing for an hour (30 degrees) I drove toward Woodfords (downstream) and fished 3 or 4 places along the way. I didn't have any more luck in any of those places either.

Then it was time for Plan B. Since I didn't have a plan B, I just headed back. I did stop one other place on the West Carson and then turned on Hope Valley Road to fish the pool (also the West Fork) across from the campground (still closed). Nothing there either. The planted fish must have really scattered.

You'll be pleased (as I am) to know that the "fish to extinction" crowd fished Yesterday and only caught one fish.

On the way back, yes I stopped at Red Lake. I can't help it, it calls me every time I drive by. 

Red Lake mighty low on water

Red Mountain across the lake
Nothing there either. Not even one of those little Cutthroats that seem to be everywhere in that lake. It was turning out to be a very fishless day.

Next stop Silver Lake, but the wind was blowing harder than it did when it blew my chair into the lake so forget that. Bear River was out because everything is still closed and I wasn't in any mood to walk down to a very low lake. 

By now I was on Plan L. If I didn't have a B, why would I have an L? Screaming down the highway I jammed on the breaks and made a screeching turn onto Cat Creek Road. Why not, last I heard there weren't any fish there either. At least I would know if you could make it all the way to the campground (snow on the road).

Then I turned on a road and found a good place. The last time I told somebody, everybody found out. So it shall remain un-named. It was one of those wander down the road and see what you find kind of roads. What I found was the picture below. 

I'm not sharing
With fly rod in hand, I walked to the pool below.

While I was floating a Sloan's Paralyzer across the pool, I saw a little surface action to my left. I moved the fly over in that direction and this is what was making all the commotion.

I'd estimate this little native Rainbow at about 8 inches. First fish of the 2014 General Trout Season,  on a small stream, on a Sloan's Paralyzer, and a Tenkara Rod. Hooyah.

Rainbow Trout
After a few more drifts, I got back into the truck and made my way down Cat Creek Rd to the pool below the pool below the bridge, where I usually fish.

The rumors I heard about there not being any fish were totally false. I managed four more (on Tenkara), from that pool, brought to hand, released, and two missed. I also had a drive by in the pool under the bridge. I could have continued upstream, but by that time I was out of steam.

So the day was not a total loss.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a stupid pill.  


  1. Sounds like you ended the day on the high note. Glad you got into fish at Cat creek. Maybe the fish to extinction crowd fished them to extinction on the west fork? Haha

  2. its great to see some white up there Mark even if it isnt going to help much. That creek is dangerously low for May 1st and will likely be bone dry by the end of July. We are going to be in a world of hurt here shortly so enjoy any moisture you can muster up right now!! I was in Sutter Creek for my sisters wedding on Sat..Did not know you were there.

  3. Tenkara saves the day. Good for you for hanging in there Mark.

  4. Once again, you live in some beautiful country. Even if finding fish is some struggle, the scenery makes it good to be outdoors. That little stream sure is pretty, hope she doesn't go dry. Good job on the creek showing them that The Shoreman lives!

  5. Mark
    Just goes to show, never give up on the fishing, because there is always a way to keep from getting skunked; I’m really impressed with the scenery. Thanks for sharing

  6. That my friend is one beautiful trout.