Its funny how you are aware of a lake, drive by it on the way to other fishing destinations but somehow manage never to give it a try. We live in an area with a lot of lakes that are conducive to warm water species so the pursuit of trout is probably the reason for the oversight.
It turns out my friend Bob, how has fished the local trout lakes more than anyone I know has fished this particular lake numerous times. After one of his recent trips we agreed to fish it together some time.
The time has come. Its been a hot summer – more sustained than normal I think. But an early start promised a good morning of fishing before the day’s heat built up. So we agreed to meet at the lake for an early start – not sunrise early mind you but early enough to beat the heat. Our plan was to fish until about noon.
Based on a recent trip Bob felt the warm weather had driven the fish to deeper water so I rigged a clear intermediate line to start the day. The fly of choice was a gold and brown bead head streamer that was my idea of a minnow imitation.
The lake is long and narrow with the launch at the north end. We were fishing with float tubes and it was unlikely we would make it to the far end in the time we had but I was assured we would have enough action to keep us occupied. And the fish didn’t disappoint. Bob had a fish on before I had time to launch but I had a hit within minutes of launch. The energetic smallmouth surfaced, gave a head shake and was off. An encouraging start.
The action continued although the hits were relatively subtle. In many cases a slight tension on the line was the only indication a fish was showing interest.
Bob motioned to an upcoming rock point indicating based on past experience it was work putting in a bit of extra effort around it. His advice proved to be correct. He had a solid hit from what seemed to be a largemouth but after a few minutes of dogged fight, about a 24 inch pike surfaced. I was informed that the lake also had a population of pike and walleye just for variety.
Another subtle tug first seemed like a snag on the subsurface rocks but it started moving suggesting that might not be the case. Moving this fish from the deep with my 5wt rod was taking some effort but eventually I was able to bring a hefty largemouth.
We continued down the far side of the lake catching fish here and there with enough regularity to keep us engaged. The land along this shore is crown land and cottage free. Later in the morning we decided it was time to return to the launch and crossed over to the other side of the lake. Along the way back we fished around the cottage docks, attracting both large and smallmouth base as we worked our way back. None were extremely large but there were lots in the 1-2 pound range and on 5wt rods we had to pay attention to what we were doing.
Its nice to fish a new lake and have success. This doesn’t always happen but fishing with someone who has been there before definitely increases the odds. Note to self, take more time to explore new fishing spots.