Surprises are so lovely - well I suppose someone dropping a bomb
on one wouldn't be so lovely, but that isn't exactly what one
would consider. This surprise was the appearance of an old friend.
We've known Nils and his wife a number of years. Best of all we've
shared some terrific fishing adventures.
JC hadn't returned from his daily mail run to town, so Nils and I enjoyed
a nice visit and a walk around the yard. Since Nils is a local
nurseryman, I love to pick his brain on how my garden is doing
and he has offered some great suggestions over the years. One of
the best was not to try and re-create a 'garden' in my backyard,
but to work with nature and what I had, to instead have a 'managed
woods.' And that is just what we've done.
Eventually JC returned and joined in the conversation. Turns out
Nils was really on his way to go fishing. Pretty short notice
for us to join him that day, but he had been trying to get us
to come and fish the lake, about an hour and a half from here.
We spent an hour or so together, and agreed to join him this
week for a go at the lake.
I'm calling this little eight acre lake 'Nils Lake', because it
is a private lake, not accessible to the public, and in fact
there is no public road to reach it. No fishing access or
boat launch. But there are fish. There are about fifty
property owners, and they manage the lake to suit their needs.
A few years ago someone suggested planted some triploids. Later
cutthroat were also planted, and no ones is sure how the brook
trout got there. So the menu is varied - good sized, and cooperative.
Tuesday afternoon we drove the required distance north and
then out to Nils Lake. We parked our car, rigged up and
walked down to a pre-arranged spot. Nils drove a bit farther,
retrieved a well-hidden twelve foot aluminum boat and rowed
back to pick us up.
Nils rowed, and JC fished from the bow and I from the stern.
JC connected with the first fish:
And landed a nice cutthroat:
As Nils rowed he gave us a history of the lake, manmade, which
at one time was a commercial nursery. When it was abandoned
the plants went 'native.' So this little lake, at nearly 2,000 ft,
has a wonderful assortment of greenery.
JC and I both caught a couple of nice triploids (rainbows) and I decided
since we were his guests, and it was his boat, he
should have an opportunity to at least cast to a fish or two.
So I took over rowing, and Nils used his 'secret' method to
catch a nice cutthroat. The secret is a wet fly stripped either
right below the surface, or gigged using a retrieve of just an
inch or two.
There was an abundance of wildlife. While on the lake we saw
a mallard hen and a couple ducklings, a pair of Canada geese
with three goslings all out for an afternoon jaunt. A bit
later while we were fishing closer to shore, one black and
white head popped up above the fronds of water iris. Much
like a periscope checking out the intruders. A minute or so
later, up comes the second head. Geese do take care of their
High above the tall tree line, the snow-capped mountains gleamed
with the setting sun, reflected again in the water. The surrounding
area was quiet and peaceful with an occasional whiff of something
sweet on the air. No wind, no rain, barely a cloud - just the sound
of the oars - or line quickly disappearing from the spool of the reel.
Between us we caught ten nice fish, nothing under twelve inches,
one nineteen. Lots of laughs when Nils got quite a shower landing
one of his fish. It really was a lovely afternoon.
I do want you to take note, all of us are wearing life vests.
The tan ones JC and I are wearing are fishing vests - but really
are Stormy Seas life vests. Very comfortable and just
enough pockets to do the job. (There is a Product Review on them
here on FAOL).
A slight chill in the air signaled time to leave. A few minutes to
the 'point' where we started, a shaky debarking back to solid land,
fond farewells and Nils starts rowing back to ditch the boat.
JC and I walk the short distance back to the car (missed the
correct path and ended up doing a little cross-country). Maybe
a couple hundred feet out of our way.
The drive home, under a full moon. Perfect ending. Thanks again Nils.
We indeed needed that. ~ The LadyFisher
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