Visit from the otter

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by IveofIone, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. I fished Bayley Lake on the Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Refuge last Friday. I got there at least an hour before anyone else showed up and immediately got on the water, it was still a little foggy and frosty when I started. I had hoped for about an hour to myself to get things sorted out and dial in what would be working for the day. I kicked away from the launch and was almost instantly greeted by an angry otter. It circled my Fat Cat hissing and snorting between dives that appeared to be WAY too close to my boat. I tried moving to other parts of the lake but the damned thing followed me relentlessly. Needless to say not a single fish got close to my line during the time the otter was harassing me. Almost 50 minutes of fishing time had already been lost and discouragement was settling in. I finally gave up and went back to shore just as 2 other guys were showing up with their pontoon boats.

    They noticed it of course as it was still cruising the shore giving me the business. I decided to change to a floating line and fish chironomids figuring that if I dropped the 'mids down straight below my rod tip I might have a better chance than casting out into the otter's orbit. Entering the lake again it appeared the otter had disappeared. Outnumbered now he apparently gave up. I moved out into 7 ' of water with a fresh Bionic Worm under an indicator and in a few minutes landed a dandy red band of nearly 21''. I stuck with the worm pattern the rest of the day . I caught 5 big fish for the day and a bunch of shakers with no further interruptions from the otter.

    The lake is pathetically low, the outlet stream is dried up and it just looks sad. Last year the entire valley was filled with water and fishing was just excellent. This year the lake is so small that if you get a few guys on the lake you almost have to watch your back cast. Here's hoping for a big water year.

    Ive
     
    dfl likes this.
  2. Otters - I had a face to face run-in with one under our cabin (dark, skinny crawl space).
    They look huge in that situation, not one I'm in a hurry to repeat soon.

    Ive - you'd better count to see if all your toes are still there!
     
  3. There was a family of seven otters, circling and hissing at my pontoon Friday night, also. I was getting a little nervous, wondering how much damage seven of the little bastards could do to me. Against that many, I could have possibly been the first ever otter attack fatality.
     
  4. I see them all the time at a small mountain lake that shall go nameless. They get real cranky when they've got young, and like to hang around my kayak hoping for an easy meal on a stunned trout. I even discovered one in my beached kayak when I came back from taking a leak.

    They're pretty damned big....I've had them bump the bottom of the boat. I wouldn't feel at all secure in a float tube or pontoon with my legs dangling in the water....they've got sharp teeth, and are fast as lightning!
     
  5. I have coffee with otters here on Lake Wa. often on Sat/Sun mornings. They don't improve the fishing, nor do the Bald Eagles, but I get a SMB once in a while. Close to home and a nice way to greet the day.
     
    Krusty likes this.
  6. That's exactly the treatment I got from a pair of them on a beaver pond off the SF of the Snoqualmie. A week earlier I was slaying the brookies there but I was getting nothing so after the constant harassment for 30 minutes, I got the message and moved along. I also hold little hope of that that beaver pond will hold much to fish for awhile.
     
  7. It always makes my day to run across them too. I fished all these waters 50 years ago, and I definitely don't remember seeing them in such numbers....it was a relatively rare occurence. Don't know what changed, other than the fact there used to be a lot of indiscriminant pointless shooting back then. I had an uncle, now long dead, that shot every osprey he saw because they 'were stealing all his fish'.
     
  8. Back when Southcenter Mall was in the planning and early construction stage, an eagles nest (if memory serves) was discovered. It was all stop on the project. Not surprisingly the eagle turned up dead a few days later and construction started again. Another world today.
     
  9. Yes it is....I work with heavy construction contractors, and the preservation/environmental ethic has pervaded their ranks. I have seen them proudly take great pains to avoid disturbing nesting raptors, and watched their delight when the fledglings finally take flight.
     
  10. I've found a shot or two from the .380 will go far to "discourage" the little bastards.
     
  11. What's a guy like you carrying such a 'little light in the loafers' caliber?
     
  12. I wasn't there, but I don't think it was construction workers doing the shooting. More likely owner. Also, it might have been a Heron not that it matters now.
    But anyway, back to otters. I like them. But I'd have a different opinion if they were crapping on my boat or deck, or in attack mode. In that event, I probably wouldn't call animal control. I'd guess a sling shot in the near vicinity might convince them to leave.
    Alex - Bad Joss shooting firearms in the city. That would be my last resort.
     
  13. I think these are really otters in weasel's clothing.
     

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  14. I hooked on last year accidentally. Hell of a fight on my six weight! I couldn't figure out how to end the encounter, but he solved it for me by biting through my leader.
     

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