March always reminds me of the good ol' days at Mann Lake in Oregon. For years it was considered at "secret lake" that held large Lahontan Cutthroat (originally transplanted from the seep lakes in Washington). Funny thing is that the place is so remote that it is hardly worth considering "secret". It's basically a large mud puddle on the western side of the Steins Mountains in Oregon's desert. You must drive to the middle of nowhere and then drive a little further. If there's any secret to the lake it is how you survive the place. I don't know how the yearly March trip began but Mann can be one of the coldest, most windy hostile places you can fish. At the base of the snow-covered Steins, the freezing wind blows off the mountains and down on the lake. Even on a sunny day, the wind is known to uproot dome tents and send them rolling through the sage brush. I guess the idea was to fish the lake during March because the cutts were coming out of their winter slump and beginning to feed on the midges that came off during that time of year. And these are not midge size midges. The suckers are like a size 8-10. (you don't need anything fancy for a pattern, this one tied in black or red is all you need ) Also, the cutts hug the shoreline as they swim around the lake. You don't need a floating craft because you usually do best wading into the lake and fishing close to shore. In fact, one tactic is to wade out until you are waste deep, turn around and cast back toward shore. The fish can swim with a foot or so off the shoreline. Some March trips to Mann were miserable yet we caught a lot of cutts averaging 16-inches with some in the 20-inch range. Some trips to Mann were just miserable. Most of these shots were taken during trips in the 80s. A few years ago, some nitwit dumped goldfish in the lake and the ODF&W had to kill the lake and start over again with the cutts. By now, the goldfish are gone and the cutts have grown back to their original size. It is completely an artificial lake with cutts attempting to spawn in small feeder streams but the planting keeps the fishery going. So, if you are so inclined, you can keep the limit of trout you keep but why anyone would want to eat one of the suckers is beyond me. Spin guys from Boise show up and keep the cutts and all I can think is YETCH... how can you eat those things? It is an alkaline lake and while the cutts are large, they are certainly not solid. Your hands will suffer the effects of the alkaline water so hand lotion is a must or your hands will dry out and start cracking in short order. I tell ya, the place is hostile, yet for many years, our group would head over there in March... fools that we were. The lure of the large and numerous cutts was the draw. Large groups of anglers would wade out to fish yet it didn't matter. Once a pod of cutthroat would swim by, we'd all start hooking up. 10-12 of us would make the trip because it is one of the few fisheries were gang fishing works out. There are no trees so the only place for refuge when the wind becomes unbearable is the sage brush. I guess this was the point of the insanity: Here's the irony.... One year, the guys and I decided to try Mann in the Fall. There was no wind. No one else was on the lake. It was sunny and warm and we caught just as many cutts as we did in March. Still, each March I think about those trips. Some where banner. Some where not. Almost all were cold and windy. So if you're inclined to suffer to catch large cutts, now is the time to drive to the middle of nowhere and then just a little further. And for gawds sake, bring warm clothes, hand lotion and make sure you have good tires -- the 20 or so miles of gravel road is known to eat tires.