Yesterday, a good friend of mine and I decided we would finally get to a fishing trip that we, up until that point, hadn’t been able to find time for all summer because of work and school and life and (insert anything that might take away from being able to go fishing – here).
- Our destination – Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood – Oregon.
- Our departure time – 4am
- Our cause – to relieve stress while enjoying the outdoors with a good buddy
My buddy, we will call him Mr. Ohio State to protect his identity, and I at the last minute – Thursday afternoon – had the stars align and rushed out to buy licenses and any other misc. gear that was needed. Afterwords Mr. Ohio State retrieved his raft and anchor and last minute preparations were made for the following mornings outing.
Night came all too quickly and after a quick shower and going over all my gear that was neatly stacked by the front door, I went to sleep which was all too reluctant to embrace me. At exactly 2:22am I found myself wide awake and to my surprise, my wife was also wide awake. She asked me the time and after telling her tried to obtain a last few minutes of precious sleep. At 3am it was no use and I decided to get up and get ready. I turned off the alarm that would have went off at 3:30, grabbed the clothes I had laid out the night before and bustled out the bedroom as quietly as I could muster after a night of fitful rest and in total darkness.
I went to the living room and greeted the cat, clothed myself and started preparing breakfast, which consisted of oatmeal with raisins, tart cherries, agave syrup and earth balance. Coffee was definitely needed and as I was also going to be making coffee for my wife who would be rousing herself in the next few hours to go to work, I was going to use a manual drip that would allow me to make large amounts of coffee, and as we has some pre-ground coffee left from our camping trip over Labor Day (I will tell all about that on another post and share pics) it made perfect sense… until I couldn’t find the filters for the drip. I probably spent 10-15 minutes of my precious prep time fumbling around searching all the drawers we had in the kitchen for them. Finally I gave up and had to use our method of making one cup at a time.
After weak coffee was made and having eaten my oatmeal that managed bubble over the top of my bowl in the microwave, I was almost ready to make lunch. I pulled out the bread from the freezer – yes we keep our bread in the freezer until needed – mayo and turkey. One sandwich, pear and home-made trail-mix which consisted of peanuts, almonds, coconut chips, dark chocolate chips and raisins – later. I was well on my way to being ready on time.
I managed to get all but one load of my gear moved to the front porch when Mr. Ohio State pulled up in his car. 5 minutes of loading and securing my home before leaving and we were off.
Traffic was negligible and we made good time to the mountain. We arrived a little after 5, I think and realized neither of us had brought flashlights to illuminate the raft so we could find all the valves through which we would inflate it. No worries, cars come with headlights for a reason! Fortunately Mr. Ohio State’s pump’s cord was long enough to reach the front of the car and we were able to fill almost all the compartments before we loaded the raft and moved it into launching position at the edge of the boat ramp. It was at this time Mr. Ohio State remembered that we also needed to inflate the bottom area of the raft. So out all the gear came and a quick journey to the car and fill later we were under way.
About the time we were filling the raft another vehicle arrived carrying two one-man rigs that had the individual slide in the center through the opening into hip waiters. It was completely sealed so the individual never got wet. This allowed them to float and propel themselves with their feet and most importantly, to get out into the lake where the lunkers (big fish) were and away from the edges where land-bound people fishing were to congregate.
After finally getting everything squared away with the raft and gear we parked the car, used the restroom one last time and set out upon the lake that was shrouded in fog. The dark was less so now and we could make out some features of the landscape around up and I knew where we would head once we launched.
Last time I fished here was two years ago and I did it from my kayak almost directly across the lake in front of a mass of reeds. That is where I intended to start the day off fishing. It wasn’t to last long however for no sooner had we dropped anchor than not one, not two, but three beavers were letting us know in no uncertain terms that we were in their space. I couldn’t understand why, their lodge from what I remembered was on the east end of the lake and we were no where near there.
After a period of time being circled by beavers who were displaying there aggressive posturing by slapping the water with their tails, we decided to weigh anchor and head away from where the beavers had successfully driven us away from. Closer to the den I knew to be at the other end of the lake!
As the light finally illuminated our surroundings enough to see around lake in its entirety, I could see that the beavers had been very busy indeed and had made a second lodge right where we decided to start out our morning fishing at. I would be cranky too if some stranger parked their car on my lawn and decided to fish before it was even light out. One mystery solved.
Unlike some other times we have fished at Trillium, this day started off fast and furious with fishing striking our lines immediately. I was a little surprised because the lake was last stocked a week before Labor Day and I thought it would be slim pickings. I was wrong! Almost immediately the fish were biting. I had my first fish caught and on the stringer before Mr. Ohio State had his line in the water. You see, he had brought 2 poles with him and was getting both set up properly before he started to fish. No, he wasn’t fishing with both poles at the same time. He had different set-ups so that if he wanted to change out of one he could and not take a ton of time to do it. Just reel in one line and stow pole A while grabbing pole B and preparing it with necessary bait and cast. Easy!
Mr. Ohio State had just managed to get his line in the water when I got a couple hard strikes on my line before I set the hook in fish #2. As soon as I set the hook the fish did breach the water and I must say, it was awesome! I have caught many a trout in my day and rarely do they jump out of the water. I mostly do bottom fishing with power-bait. Maybe fly-fishing is different.
I reeled in the fish and for the first time in a while I spoke the words, “Get the fishing net ready!” Mr. Ohio State was on the ball and was ready when the fish got close to him was scooped up quickly. I couldn’t believe my eyes, this fish was a monster. Not like a South Park monster fish with three eyes, but later in the day when I weighed and measured him he turned out to be 16 inches long and weighed almost 2lbs.! That would be my biggest rainbow trout ever! I was so excited. I am not a trophy fisherman and rarely do I seem to be in the right place and right time to land such a specimen such as this but I was that day.
As the morning grew lighter we were inundated with fog all over the lake and surrounding trees. It was spectacular! Oregon is a wonderful place to live. I feel fortunate to have such beauty just over an hour away.
Soon it appeared that Mr. Ohio State was going to get skunked and I would limit (5 fish) before even caught a single fish. It was not to be however and soon M.O.S. had a couple fish and I arrived at 4 before things slowed down a little bit and we decided to move.
We didn’t go too far, a hundred and fifty feet maybe. We set the anchor and resumed our beloved activity. A couple more times we were told by the beavers that was their place and they wouldn’t hesitate to railroad us right the hell out if we got too close to either of their lodge again.
By the end of the day which was marked by no nibbles by either of us in 20-30 minutes, I had limited out and Mr. Ohio State had 3 and we were satisfied. It was just before noon.
We loaded up the car and made our way back to the city and our every day lives once more having staved off the crazy for a little while longer.
Peace be with you all!
More to come…