It just takes one good hookup to make the day


Active Member
I fished a gin clear lake this morning using some of the suggestions I got from my thread on fishing clear lakes. Today the water seemed to be a little off color due to all the pollen that is falling from the dense forest around it. But in 30' of water I could still see the bottom so it isn't too bad. Fishing however wasn't good. I kicked around the perimeter of the entire lake and only caught 8 fish the largest being 11''. Last year I was there when a mayfly hatch was so dense that it looked like there was fog on the water. The fishing was excellent that day but I probably only saw 4 fish rise the entire time I was there today.

I decided to move on to ZL Lake which appears to be almost entirely fished out. Two years ago it was loaded with 16-17'' fish that were fat and powerful. The word got around though and the hordes descended in an attempt to clean it out . Last year there were far fewer fish but they had matriculated to the 18-19'' range. Today I visited it again and to my surprise 2 other fly fishermen were on the water. In the 12 years or so I have been fishing this lake it was the first time I have seen someone else on it. I knew going in that there would be few fish left but what remained would be damned big. It was really slow going with fly changes coming every 15 minutes or so all to no avail. The water was blue with damsels in the shallows and they were everywhere across the lake. But no damsel pattern was working. I decided to head out and put on my finest PT Sixpack for the kick back to the truck. Then it happened. My one and only take of the day. A huge rainbow grabbed the bug and took all the fly line down to the backing in a single run. It gave a good account of itself but after a lengthy fight the fish came to the net where only the front half fit in. As near as I can tell by the measurement on my stripping apron it was more than 21'' but not much more. It was a broad shouldered deep fish that was very heavy. With not many other fish to compete with these big boys have the groceries all to themselves.

I talked to one of the other fly fisherman who said he caught one earlier in the day that was the biggest rainbow he had caught in his life except for a Rufus Woods hog. I won't go back again for my usual fall outing as there are just too few fish and by fall they could all be gone.

But for a few minutes it was like the good 'ole days.