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July 14, 2011 / flogginwater

Troutastic Trip to Lost Lake

Yesterday I took my nephew Tyler fishing again. We went to one of Oregon’s many Lost Lakes. This one, like the others, is a mountain lake, cold, clear water. The bottom is rock & mud, there’s a lot of vegetation and downed timber in the lake – giving the water a tea color. And it’s full of hungry, mostly wild trout.

Ty, and my sister Dawna and her husband Tim had gone fishing there a few days before, and done well with their power bait. Ty fished lures and got a few himself, but he’d left his fly rod at home. And so he came home with reports of huge fish eating on the surface, even jumping clean out of the water – presumably trying to feed on some unseen insects.

It came down to a bass/panfish trip to Henry Hagg Lake – or a trouting trip to Lost Lake for our fishing trip this week. Lost lake and it’s trout won out this time.

Loading up the Scanoe atop the Jeep, and loading in a fly rod (or two) and a spinning rod apiece, we set off in search of adventure – or close as we could come to it. As (bad) luck would have it, I’ve lost my box of spinners and micro crank baits. I thought I might have lost it in my friend Jason’s boat – but he looked after I called him, and he couldn’t find it. Looks like it’s lost & gone forever, like Clementine.

But I DID have my box of mini fly tied jigs, and we had a jar of Berkley Crappie Nibbles (aka, fish crack) – just in case. I also had my main fly box, my smaller fly boxes with some worm imitations and streamers. I took my 6wt Grigg and my 4 wt Cabela’s. Ty had his single fly box with him.

We started off with the fly rods – I used a soft hackle peacock bead head nymph, Ty tried a dry fly. I got some bumps, but no committed takes. Ty landed his first fly caught trout on that dry fly. He landed two more dry fly trout later also.

We split the fishing day between flinging flies, and bobber & jig fishing (with the rig I mentioned earlier this week) – we caught some nice fat trout, some with some good size fish in the mix. All the trout we caught were wild fish, rainbows mostly, but about half a dozen of the fish we landed were cutt-bow hybrid trout, beautiful fish.

Some of the trout – a lot, actually, had parasites on them. Some fish had a few, one fish was literally covered, they’d eaten his left pectoral fin away, covered his head, and were all over the roof of his mouth and his tongue. White, wiggling worms of some sort, boring into the fish’ flesh. Nasty things. They seemed a lot more prominent in fish caught on the eastern shore of the lake, than anywhere else. Kind of weird.

Parasites aside, the fish were great, the fishing was great, the scenery was spectacular, and the weather was nicely overcast and in the high 60’s. Couldn’t ask for better!

Near the end of the day, we fished a log jam near the put in, the first place we’d tried early in the day. I caught one final trout – probably the unluckiest, or luckiest trout in the lake. We’d seen osprey and bald eagles fishing all day – but my last trout had had two close calls with death that day – it had FRESH, still bleeding and bright red gashes in it’s back from one of those big bird’s claws. Shockingly, the fish was otherwise OK – and hungry. It ate my little fly tied jig with as much gusto as any other fish I’d caught on that rig. But the fish had gotten hooked in the back of his tongue – and honestly I’m not sure that one survived. He would’ve probably succumbed to his wounds regardless, but I still released that fish. Worst case – he died and provided an easy meal for a bird or other critter. Circle of life.

Lost Lake is another place on the list of places to revisit, sooner rather than later.

This morning, my wife wanted to meet up with one of her friends and her kids, so her friend could meet our son. We were hitting up a local park that sits at the confluence of a small creek, and the small river for which the valley I live in is named after. The sprinkle we’d gotten here at home yesterday was enough to bring the creek up and make it running muddy and fast – so the fishing sucked. I think I made a dozen casts, without a take, before heading back to the car to stow the rod.

We spent the rest of the day bumming around, running errands and relaxing. We stopped at a couple Goodwill stores, and I found some cheap gold – a signed copy of John Shewey’s Steelhead Flies – a book that sells for $49.99 retail (before the author’s autograph, of course) for $4.99. I love Shewey’s books and articles – so this was a great find. All in all, this was a pretty good weekend (since my weekend is Wed/Thurs) for me.


One Comment

  1. Cofisher / Jul 15 2011 19:36

    The only thing worse than a fishing blog with no fish is a blog about high water and fishless days. I'm glad this didn't turn out to be one of those. Good deal on the book as well.

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