Birthdays are meant to be full of surprises and this year was no exception. There is a high lake, a small one, not far from our place above Oroville. It's a stubborn little lake that does not give up it's treasures very easily. Scott can attest to this. I've managed to steal one or two of it's gems over the years. I was hoping this visit would be a good one. The road in is primitive and in places very narrow and steep. The wind decided to follow me to the lake, but it made beautiful diamond like reflections in the low autumn sunlight. I fished for quite a while with no luck and was beginning to think it might be a skunk day when one of the brookies in this lake took the offering. Though only about a foot long the fish was full of fight and as you can see, broad shouldered. The "bite" was on as I soon caught several more, some to hand, others just a tug or LDR'd. All of a sudden I spotted a shape in the water to my left. It looked like a stick bobbing in the water. I thought it must be one of the reeds that line the shore. Then I noticed it was moving...WTF? Like a moth to the flame I finned my way over to it. JEZZUS-FRICKIN-CHRISTMAS...it's a goddam snake! Now mind you, the temps when I parked above the lake were in the lower 30's. The water was really cold! This damned snake was in the middle of the frickin' lake and full of energy. How in hell was this possible? Snakes are cold blooded and it had to have been in the water for some time to be in the middle of the lake because it didn't swim very fast. Like an idiot I netted the damned thing and it had plenty of energy left, it came right up out of the net headed for me! Back in the water you crazy snake! After hanging around for a few minutes it finally headed away from me, thank goodness. That sure creeped me out... After my strange encounter with the snake the bite dropped off and I reserved myself to taking in the beauty of the area. All in all it was a beautiful trip to this little high lake, quite the birthday treat. My wife and I hit the PastTime bar and grill in town for dinner that night. Buffalo burgers, house fries, and a pint of Irish Death, a great way to finish the day.