High Lake Outing

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
Yesterday I went up to a lake at 4400 feet for a day trip and christened my Outcast Trinity. Wow, there’s something about mountain lakes. It’s a real snug fit but the tube with fly-weight waders packs up into my Fishpond Tundra Tech Pack (backpack with removable chest pack) for a one day outing. My Korkers wading boots with the non-studded Kling-On soles work great for the hike in/out. The Orux Maps GPS Android app on my phone displaying a custom USGS map I made for the area worked great. I always knew where I was on the trail and it sounds off every mile with a voice distance and elapsed time hack. The hike in took 1 1/2 hours.
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It was a gorgeous day and the wildflowers were in bloom
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I checked the beaver ponds on the way in for fish, but nada. Mosquitoes were thick but I’d sprayed my clothes and hat with OFF!; got through un-bit.
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Walked around one corner on the ridge above the lake to catch this
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Very few mosquitoes at the lake. But good mayfly hatches almost all day.
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It took about 10 minutes to inflate and rig out the tube with the 7 foot long “Bernoulli bag” pump I made. I blow into the bag to open it up like a shopping bag, then just close the end and roll it up to inflate the tube. It takes 3 ½ times to do each side-tube bladder, and 1 ½ each for the two seat bladders. The bag pump rolls up to the size of a hand towel and weighs only 4 oz. but doesn’t help suck air out of the tube. I have to put the pump nozzle on each of the tube’s 4 Summit valves to depress them and lay on them one at a time, then depress each valve with my finger while I roll up to get all the air out. Rolling up into a Lowe sleeping bag compressor stuff sack and getting it back into my fishing pack took some doing so it took about 30 minutes to pack up. (Note to self – head in to pack up 30 minutes early when fishing with someone else)
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A few more minutes to put my toys away that would be left onshore then Ready to fish. And they're still rising! There were good hatches all day.
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I took my 7-piece 9’ 4 weight pack rod and a floating line.
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It was a Brookie bash. They loved a Trico emerger, an easy to see parachute Klinkhammer emerger with a Pheasant Tail abdomen and Peacock thorax with wigglys (I am going to tie more of those!), a (Swisher) "Viper" Damsel nymph, and an olive Crystal Flash weighted conehead bugger (REALLY looks like a small fish). Cookie cutter 8”-9” but they sure scrap harder than Cutties or ‘bows. Missed several, landed 9 (including one smaller Rainbow) with a few LDRs. A common Brookie tactic was to dash straight towards me after taking the fly so I was stripping like mad. I landed two right in front of a couple of gear/bait fishers got who got blanked.
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This fatty took the conehead
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Spied this old boy (girl? per yuhina) watching me on the way out
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On the way out the mosquitoes at the meadows were hellacious, the bug spray effectiveness had diminished, and like a dummy I’d left the bug juice in the car thinking the treated clothes would last the entire day. But I had stuck a bug headnet I treated my lovely wife gave me as a stocking stuffer sometime ago in my back pocket. THAT was relief.
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The bugs were so thick in the meadows on the way out I just threw my stuff in the back of the car, quickly jumped in and drove in my wading boots down to an inn where I
changed into sandals while sipping an Expedition Amber Ale.

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
Your post sent me googling "Bernoulli bag" to figure out what you did. That's VERY awesome. What material did you use for your bag?
I had originally purchased an "Instaflator" from Flyweight Designs (Flytepacker rafts) that has a nozzle like any of the cheap hand pumps for $7.00 shipped. It included two of the old-style air mattress valve adapters and a PVC adapter for Boston valves that press fit into/onto the pump's nozzle. The Outcast summit valve adapter also press fits onto the Instaflator nozzle.

But the pressure required when rolling up the bag to push air past the summit valves without somehow physically depressing the valve damaged the thin/lightweight plastic Instaflator tube. I figured out too late that if I stick one of the Instaflator's old air mattress valve adapters inside the Outcast PVC pump adapter to depress the valve that the concept worked.

So I took 7 feet off a roll of kitchen vacuum sealer (Seal-A-Meal) freezer bag material that is about the same circumference as the Instaflator bag but is a LOT thicker/tougher. I used the vacuum heat sealer to neck down the bag at the nozzle end, then used the Instaflator's nozzle parts and PVC Boston valve adapter to press fit the nozzle onto the freezer bag tube. You might be able to use the hose end and nozzle parts from a hand or foot pump to make one.

Even with the air mattress adapter inside the Outcast PVC pump adapter to depress the valve, the pressure required to inflate the Outcast bladders where they are firm enough to hold the tubes apart would probably damage the Instaflator's lightweight plastic tube. I wrapped a narrow strip of Gorilla (duct) tape around the freezer bag tube end and nozzle fitting to reinforce the joint so it stays together under the pressure.

The heavy freezer bag material doubled the size of the rolled up pump to the size of a rolled up terrycloth hand towel, and doubled the weight to 4 oz.

Hope that helps.


Active Member
That Mt. looks familiar! There's quite a few lakes around that on in the wilderness areas that have some good fishin' in them.

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
Thank You for the kind words Patrick. Your posts strike me the same way. That's (one of) my Black Diamond Trail Trekking Pole(s) I use for wading. I have a bad hip so I carry it all the time when creekin' and wading. The blue cord is an adjustable lanyard that slips over my left shoulder, across the chest/back and under my right arm. The big carabiner clips to the chest loop and a smaller 'biner is connected to a short loop securely tightened around the pole's grip. When the carabiners are clipped together it can either hang collapsed or extended out of the way or I can unclip the carabiners from each other to extend the pole to arm's length. The lanyard can easily be removed but I was exploring beaver ponds, and I'm lazy.
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I thought it might be something like that. I also use a collapsible trekking pole, but haven't figured out a way to quickly stow it when not needed. I end up collapsing it and hanging it on one of my chest pack straps. It works, but takes time. I'll have to figure out your system and give it a try. Thanks for posting the extra pic.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Brian, well done. Thanks for sharing the trip report and the do it yourself skills for your minimalistic approach to the alpine lakes. I have an older kayak bow bag that has an open end, fold to close. I'm going to play around with it to see if I can make an instaflator bag. On the rare occasion I hike my lazy butt in to fish somewhere, I have just carried my K Pump 100, a great tool, but not close to cracking the "ultralight or minimalist" categories.
Brian, what a great trip, and I love the photos. I'm always envious of the way you Americans (and I'm including Canadians here) still have all this space to romp around in. A lake like that all to yourself? Here in overcrowded Italy yo'd be sharing the water with all manner of watercraft, hell, they even try to go white-water rafting on the little mountain stream I fish outside Rome. In 12 inches of water! I suppose the downside to these places you have to hike into are the mossies and other biting insects, but heck, that's what military-strength DEET is for.

Thanks fo sharing,

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