Trip Report My yearly spring affair! (Secret Lake - Picture heavy)

I started learning 26 years ago from some wiser older gentlemen, and grandparents throughout life, that one way to live longer is to plan a yearly affair. The reason this is important to an extended life is, if you are only focusing on now, tomorrow of next week, once you reach those near-term events it can provide an emotional/mental low/let down… “What now?”. So, I plan (which is always just a plan, that might change due to weather) my yearly spring affair.



My affair is mine, some express that they couldn’t stand it (similar to hair color preference), but for me the excitement starts building almost the day the affair is over. (Part of this is because of the “Crowd”, opening day was 30 pwc)



This year I almost doomed myself with the count down as the weather turned at the last minute, a buddy was going to caravan over the pass with me, but looking at the weather we had to shoot for the window of clear pass conditions as we pull travel trailers. On the morning we were to leave, SNOW at my house. The morning cleared and the pass opened…. “ LET’S GO!!!”
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Part of the excitement that contributes to this spring affair is the joy of catching up with people I have met through the years and that I might only see at this lake, around a fire or on the water. So, as I set up and fish over the coming days/weeks watching as familiar faces and rigs roll into the parking lot the season of fun and fish has begun!
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This year started off well, with the weather. Yes, it was cool and cold at times but the majority of the days were sun filled. This allowed for more nights outside around a fire, this was a blessing as people are still being safe due to covid. Many days with very little wind and if it did blow it was usually on a single day or overnight. We did have one day/night with 44 mph sustained wind, with higher gusts. We had 2 days with 30-35 mph sustained, with higher gusts. Just so you know travel trailers with all the jacks down still REALLY REALLY rock and roll with that much wind! The temperatures were pretty good, we had numerous nights with 25 deg and several days with highs 60 – 67 deg. I do love watching the beauty of the area come to life after the winter.
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This year the water was in better shape, visibility started at 2-3 feet on the opener, and proceeded to clear a little every day. As of the 22nd visibility was to at least 12 feet. I was able to see the bottom and rescue a measure net a friend had dopped earlier in the month. This was much better than last year when the visibility for the entire month of March never cleared. The lake level came up about 2 inches from the 1st to the 22nd. The water temp on the opener was 41.23 – 42-96 and on the 22nd was 45.97 – 46.86 several days it got right to 49 but would drop back down as the nights were very cold. (Water temps were compared with 3 different Garmin Striker 4 finders, at 1 foot below surface)



And finally, the fish and catching. The fish were in good shape, they showed to be in good health. They started off hungry but semi lethargic. I only caught several that appeared to be skinny, most were healthy and plump. As the water temp started to warm the fish started really getting shoulders on them and fought a lot more. This made for exciting fights and runs. Some were definitely more acrobatic, several with up to 6 jumps, before settling down. Now onto a possible controversial finding (I use a measure net and actually measured my measure net due to the controversial findings; I measure every fish and document it right then, I error on the under size so if it appears to be 16.5 I record 16 inches); SO – the average fish size in the lake during the time I fished was 14.56 inches. The largest fish was 17 inches (and this was the same with 3 guys measuring and recording). I heard a lot of guys saying otherwise but the data doesn’t lie, no reason too. The smallest fish was 12 inches. Sorry if the facts hurt your feelings. Now, there were some very fat fish, as the measure net measures 4 inches across the bottom and numerous fish were wider than that. My, catch rate was on schedule to rival some of my better years and had several really good days. I was hampered (and under both physical and mental duress) this year by a last minute medical issue/finding. I was informed that the severe pain in my shoulder and bicep, of my cast arm, is a torn rotator cuff and upper bicep tear, so had to change casting, netting and fishing hours were limited. But catching was still really good, and I would say that for my buddies it was a great spring.
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I had great pleasure in meeting several new people from the forum this year (even with law enforcement in close proximity hahaha ( @PezVela )). And as always it was great to see those that I have met before and enjoyed visiting and fishing close to, but not to close, hahaha ( @dp ). It was also great sharing (I am willing even when I get in trouble with my buddies) information, flies and my homemade indicators (and how I make them – even though they aren’t approved @Irafly hahaha ).

Bug Life was interesting and changing throughout my time...
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This will most likely be my last Trip Report until the Fall according to my Shoulder Surgeon (as his rule before this trip was “That Shit has got to hurt!” and “Leave me enough material to work with!”) So, PLEASE keep sharing your reports and trips!!



(I am sorry also that due to the shoulder I couldn’t hook up with a couple of you Drysiders that offered a day trip or two… in the Fall or next Spring for sure!)

A bit of traveling restroom humor... but serious...
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Tight Lines, Cheers and YOUR INDICATOR IS DOWN!

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Shawn
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Eastside

Active Member
Thanks. Good report and hoping you have successful surgery and easy recovery. I’m retiring at the end of April and hope to spend a week at one of your favorite lakes at the top of White Pass this summer in my camping trailer. Next year, I’ll introduce myself.

Mark
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
Thank you for taking the time to write up your adventure and share some pictures.
hope that your surgery goes smoothly and that your recovery is uneventful and quick.
Steve
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Thanks for sharing, and good luck with your procedure, best wishes.
I've never walked down that road. Used to be a small snake filled trail to the wadable flat. Been a while since I've been there.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
Great report, Shawn! Glad that your didn't jinx yourself on the start of your journey - that Seeger Effect stuff is REAL! The pictures of the midges from your throat sampling are superb and once again show that some of my ties could use a bit more "wing bud" effect.

Good luck with your shoulder/bicep surgery and PT. You're young enough you'll get back at it soon!! Best wishes, sir.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Thanks for the report and good luck with your surgery.
Haven’t fished there in years. As mentioned, used to be a trail as I recall as well.
When did the road to the lake get put in?
That certainly makes things easier and opens up different craft opportunities.
 

Shawn Seeger

(aka. wabowhunter)
WFF Supporter
Thanks for the report and good luck with your surgery.
Haven’t fished there in years. As mentioned, used to be a trail as I recall as well.
When did the road to the lake get put in?
That certainly makes things easier and opens up different craft opportunities.
So, don't know for sure when the road got put in but, I have walked that road and used the "WINDY BLOW HOLE" Vault Toilet, for 26 years.

I suspect a big part of the road being put in, was WDFW started to change and plant the lake differently over the years and it makes it easier. Also they use the road to "try" and enforce the law and regs!
 

dp

~El Pescador
always enjoy the time in Shawn's camp each year. glad you got home safe.
get the surgery done and get back on the waters.
 

Ron Olsen

WFF Supporter
Hi Shawn
Great read, you obviously are going way beyond just catching fish!
Now about that rotator cuff and bicep tear......... Just what I did a few years ago, on an epic day when it all aligned, dozens of fish, up to 29", and a wee bit too much lifting with the left arm..... led to about six months of basic recovery. Sucked. I timed it in late January and was back on the water by April. Lots of PT, stay away from the personal trainer. If you have an option, opt for the mini open repair, which is arthroscopic discovery, then focused mini open to do the heavy lifting. Full arthroscopic has a lot of issues with slow recovery, pins pulling out, and a potential second, less successful repair. Great fun watching the recorded surgery video, a definite two popcorn evening....
But hey, I'm fully back in the saddle, just wishin' for the rocking trailer and a doctored measure net.
Ron (from Leech lake)
 

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