Friday, May 23, 2014

A Rare Occurrence Indeed

Thought I'd get a head start on the Memorial Weekend crowd. I headed up the hill and after the usual coffee stop at Cooks Station, stopped at my usual place at Silver Lake.

Now, if you're getting tired of seeing pictures of Silver Lake, let me know and I'll stop taking them.

Got started a little late so I got to the lake just before 0900. I walked out to my usual spot and it was occupied by a couple gentlemen who had a few fish on the stringer already.

I walked to a couple other places and finally landed to the left of where they were fishing. In chatting with them, came to find that one was a fan of my column in the newspaper. He says he's seen me before, but didn't know who I was. A new friend was made. 

I put one rod out with rainbow Power Bait and before I could put the second one out with a blown up crawler, I already had the first hit of day. It turned out to be a little 10 inch stocker so I cut him loose for another day.  I left the rod with the crawler out for about an hour and then replaced it with a couple of those white floaty things and a new crawler, but nobody wanted worms today.

After a while I pulled that rod in and put my little Okuma out with an 1/8th oz sinker and a dab of Power Bait. They were biting pretty good, so why not go with 2# for a little light action fun.

From then until about 10:30 it was hit after hit and I finally got one about 12 inches for the stringer. From 10:30 to about 11:15 it got quiet so I snapped some pictures.

Still some snow across the way

Glass calm
You have to make the next picture large to see the bugs flying around. I couldn't tell what they were, but there were a bunch of them. Nothing on the water and no surface action so I don't know if they were relevant or not.  
Bugs, you have to look close
 The the action picked up again, which brings me to the title of this post. Silver lake is famous for it's Mackinaw Trout. You might also know it as Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), a member of the Char family. I've heard stories of 20 and 30 pound Mackinaw coming out of Silver Lake, caught by those boat guys trawling crawlers with flashers or Rapalas or something, but I've never heard of anyone catching one from the shore.

That changed today. I got a bite on one of the rods with rainbow Power Bait and when I got it in, it was the fish below which is a Mackinaw. Once again it was one of those fish that don't fit in the net. I weighed it at 2 lbs. 1 oz. on the handy dandy Berkeley digital scale. A rare occurrence for sure.      

Mackinaw Trout

I would have let it go, but is was bleeding pretty bad so I put it on the stringer instead. When I got a good look at it, I think the reason it bit on the Power Bait had to do with it's lower jaw. Seemed pretty deformed from ??????? My guess would be that it was looking for anything it could find to eat.

Look at the bottom jaw
Around 10:00 the guys next to me left and a family came to take their place. Now this family had a couple little guys maybe 5 years old. I found myself with two rods bouncing so I set the hook on one and with the help of one of those little guys (he reeled in the fish) brought a nice 11 inch Rainbow to the net and on his stringer. He landed it after all so he should have kept it.

I kept five including the Mackinaw and one Rainbow in the pound to pound and a half range. All in all, not a bad day.   


  1. Mark, if you've got a smoker or knows someone who does, smoke that mac. They're really good eating. The lake pics are really nice. Good for you.

  2. What a good day...mac from shore and sharing the fun. Saw your comment on my latest post, and have to say I was surprised at the lack of folks on the West and Little Walker rivers today. Not complaining, got quite a few fish to the net even if the water was high. Even shared some knowledge with a budding fly fisherman. Feels good to pay it forward.

  3. Nice little laker. Those guys are great smoked. Last one I had I ate smoked and then served over rice with some soy sauce.

  4. Nice fish. Back east they smoke those lakers.

  5. Mark
    The Mackinaw trout is a new one for me; I can't believe there wasn't any surface activity with all the insects activity. Keep taking those pics of that lake it is one awesome looking place. Thanks for sharing

  6. I bet you were as excited reeling in your Mac as that 5 year old was reeling in his fish. Nice catch!

    1. It was definitely a "what the heck kind of fish is that?" moment.

  7. you caught a fish with a fat lip!

    im sure he will taste well in spite of it

  8. First off, I have read your blog from the beginning I believe. In all that time, I have never got to the point that your pictures were a distraction. Those you took today are beautiful. Glass like water is often tough catching, but, you did well. I have never caught a Mack before either so more kudos to you.

  9. Beautiful pictures, Mark. I don't believe in too many pictures, so, post them all! :)

    Sounds like a beautiful day of fishing, meeting new people, and helping some little guys catch fish.