The world is a good place, not only was I able to get out on the boat again but my good friend Tony was able to join me. Between the two of us we have a constant string of fish stories going. Many years, fish and future fishing trips to plan the company is always enjoyed.
Having actually planned the trip, I woke up ahead of the alarm and got the boat ready and hooked up to the truck. After a quick stop at Fred’s for gas and another stop for coffee I was on the road. Arriving at Campbell Lake in the dark I got the boat ready to launch and a short while later was off the trailer without incident. After parking the truck I settled into my boat seat to set up the gear before Tony arrived when I noticed that it wasn’t getting light yet. I dig the phone out of my bibs and realize that it wasn’t quite 6:00 yet. What? I was an hour early, how in the world did I do that?
Tony and the daylight arrived at 7:00 and shortly thereafter we were underway. Tony was running a small dodger and a homemade silver spinner and I was running a home tied red/black fly on one rod and a 2 ½” gold Rapala on the other. We targeted water that was 8-10’ deep, trolling at 1.0-1.8 mph. We ran the dodger rig 30-40’ and the other gear 60’ behing the boat on 6# fluorocarbon. Right off the bat we hooked a number of small 6-8” rainbow and after a minor gear modification I noticed that my Rapala was acting funny. I got up and saw that it was off to the side tracking the boat. Thinking that I had hooked a reed or stick that was swimming off to the side I was going to quickly reel in a reset the gear. I picked up the slack and suddenly the water behind the boat explodes and we went for a sleigh ride. The fish made numerous long runs frequently interrupted by displays of aerial acrobatics before we were able to slide the net under our first monster of the day. The fish ended up weighing 4.1 pounds and was just the beginning of a fish-a-pallusa day.
Catching the big fish was like opening a flood gates, from that point until we called it a day we had constant action on a mix of very nice smaller rainbow to more Moby-bows. Not fishing any bait our plan was to catch and release, only keeping the injured or bleeding fish. In the end we caught 20-25 fish to 4.1 pounds. We kept 6 fish, releasing all others unharmed. We had a day for the record books and set the bar pretty high for future trips.
After a tough year last year, with fishing trips few and far between this year is off to a great start. Today was a kick in the pants and thoroughly enjoyed. And before anyone comments; my kids hate the hat also. At my end the hat is warm, windproof, waterproof, I’m old and don’t care…