Secret Lake

I am a little hesitant to mention the name of this hike or where it leads. Maybe I won’t mention it here, but if you ask I will tell you the name and it will be easy to figure out how to get there with a little research. We went on the afternoon of a holiday. Luckily, I didn’t have school, or I would feel guilty about not studying.

The hike started at an unmarked trailhead. We passed through many different kinds of environments.

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The birder is always busy.

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There were beautiful marshes and meadows.

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The dogs were well behaved as always.
Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 7.50.06 PMWe eventually made it to a beautiful lake where the clouds would come rolling in over the mountains and restrict the visibility to just a few feet. Then as fast as it started, the wind would push the clouds away and the trees, lake, and surrounding peaks would be visible and inspiring.Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.38.31 AMThe wildflowers were beautiful in the meadows on the trail leading to the lake.Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.39.56 AMAt the lake there is a cabin that is open to the public and stocked by generous hikers. There were three cots, a guitar, Ramen, canned foods, and a spinning rod. Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.38.49 AMScreen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.39.32 AM

Idaho Cutthroat.

Idaho trout.Last ‪#summer‬ we took a trip to ‪‎Montana‬. We stopped in Idaho‬ along the way. The ‪‎cutthroat‬ ‪‎trout‬ were hungry until we saw giant submarine like‪ chinook‬ ‪ ‎salmon‬ swimming by. All the other fish hid as these giant, dark, spawning beasts returned to the ‪ ‎hatchery‬ nearby. I threw a few flies over their head but they were not interested in my offering. It was amazing to see these ‪# fish‬ hundreds of miles from the ocean. It took us a long time to drive to our destination, I cannot imagine what the salmon had to go through. At the end of the day, we had ‪ ‎wine‬ from WallaWalla‬ and food cooked on our campfire. What more do you want?

Camping and fishing on the Sol Duc.

I had never really been to the Olympic Peninsula. A couple of stops at the ferry terminal in Port Angeles doesn’t really count. I still have not been to the Olympic National Park. Until I am allowed to take my dog wherever I want in the park, I probably won’t be going there. I found out about the Klahowya Campground and had to visit it. It is on the Olympic National Forest land making it cheaper and dog friendly. The drive along US 101 wasn’t very impressive until I turned off the highway and into the campsite. Tall trees shaded the whole area. The beautiful, low, clear, and cold Sol Duc River was flowing near a bunch of the campsites. We arrived hot and ready to fish. Before unloading the car, Lando and I need to see the water and take a selfie.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.16.44 PMThe trees are as enormous as you would expect them to be. With so few inhabitants, there aren’t many (if any) trails beside the rivers. This is half of the reason I went. Even though there are places where it is easily accessible, most people aren’t willing to leave the campgrounds. Ferns, moss, and berries were everywhere. the smell of Christmas was everywhere. It felt 20 degrees cooler once you were in the forest.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.17.20 PMFollowing the river, I came to a very deep hole. It would have been a great place to swim if it weren’t full of fish. I was sight casting to some of the largest wild trout I have seen in Washington. It was a bit of sketchy hike to get to this area. I had to remind myself that if either one of us got injured, it is a long walk back to the car and there still wouldn’t be cell service for another 15 miles.

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It is always good when you can’t hold the camera far enough away to get a decent picture. Watching this fish eat my fly, swim upstream, jump, swim downstream, and force me to scramble over logs and rocks was a thrill I won’t soon forget.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.18.08 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.18.21 PMThanks for reading and feel free to leave your comments!

1300 miles in the Northwest.

 

Nursing school starts in a couple of weeks. (I am only mildly freaking out.) We needed one last vacation before things get serious. We packed up the car and headed East.

Lando and I enjoying tea at our campsite in Idaho. The Lochsa River was only steps from the tent.Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 9.30.48 AMAmanda slaying cutties in the rain.photo 2 We stopped in Walla Walla on the way. We heard the fruit is delectable.
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Amanda even let me catch a couple of fish. This was one of my favorites. He took a Rory made fly after a long cast.photo 1There was more than just fish when we made it to Missoula.IMG_20130906_164301_052 Amanda with her humpy.IMG_2743

Seattle summers.

Life is good. I watched Ben race and I thought for just a minute that he would win a ton of money.Ben, leading one of the most anticipated races of the year.

Then it was off to REI to check out car camping equipment. We are well stocked in the lightweight, not the most comfortable, compact, easy to setup camping supplies, but I haven’t done that in a while. Realizing that as I get older I should live life a little more luxurious, I splurged on a big ol’ tent.

So what if it won’t fit in our house?

The entrance to the REI here appeals to those of us that like moving water!

>Frying Pan adventure.

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So sitting around the house being sick is pretty miserable, so after work, we packed up the car and drove into the mountains. Everyone knows about the Fryingpan River and it’s monster trout. So we headed that direction. We pulled a “pirate camping” maneuver and slept in the car on the side of the road. It is a 3 1/2 hour drive from Boulder, so being able to fish at first light with nobody around is rare and pretty awesome. Unfortunately, first light was freezing cold! We put on every layer of clothing that we had and waited for the sun to hit the water before venturing into the river.
I pulled a 12″ and a 14″ Rainbow Trout out of some slow moving water behind a cluster of rocks. The fish seemed to be sticking together, so where you saw one fish there were a few more hiding nearby. We walked up stream and found hundreds of fish, but they didn’t want to eat what we had. It wasn’t until later that we realized how close the dam at Reudi reservoir we were. This has a major effect on our fishing as we didn’t have any shrimp patterns. The fishing shops were closed when we arrived and we were already fishing when they opened the next day. Here is why we needed shrimp patterns:
Mojdeh’s fish of the day. It rose for a BWO.

Mysis relicta is the sole freshwater relative of a saltwater shrimp which became stranded inland after the last Ice Age. They were stocked in the 1950’s in Colorado reservoirs in the belief that they would support populations of Kokanee salmon and lake trout. Unfortunately the researchers didn’t realize that the evidence they relied upon for this theory was misplaced and that in the Colorado lakes the mysis was not visible to the salmon during day time. Nopt liking sunlight, they moved to the bottom of deep lakes during the daytime when the salmon feed on the surface.
Worse still, at night the mysis moved back to the surface to feed on the Daphnia zooplankton which was a food source for the kokanees and trout denying them a food source. The only trout which benefited from the introduction of the mysis was the lake trout, a deep water feeder which reached the depths where the mysis were located in the daytime. However, in bottom release dams with deep cold waters such as Reudi, the mysis are sucked out into the tailwaters where they become visible in the daylight permitting the trout to gorge themselves.
There are a number of mysis patterns noted below which work well. The healthy mysis are translucent. As they die they turn white, so when fishing near the outlet of the dam, fish the more translucent patterns as the mysis which have just been expelled from the dam will not immediately turn white. The whiter patterns work better a little away from the outlet. The mysis shrimp has an exceedingly high nutrient value accounting for the massive growth in the trout that are able to feed on them in large quantities.
So now we know where to fish on the Frying Pan river. I saw two trout as long as my arm that must have been 8 to 10 pounds. I didn’t understand. I didn’t think that they existed. Those pigs just gorge themselves on shrimp. One day I will get back and go after them.
After fishing the Frying Pan, we headed home. But not without a stop at the outlet mall in Silverthorne. Most people shop here for hours ignoring the great fish that live beneath their feet. I have fished here 4 times and the closest I got was missing a hit that I didn’t think that I deserved. There weren’t as many fish as there usually are, and the biggest ones were eerily absent. I still fished a parachute adams in the places where I thought the fish should be and WHAMMY I hooked one. I landed him, showed him to the admirers on the bridge above, called it quits and went shopping.
Here are the hydroponically grown tomato and basil plants that we are starting.