Fishing the High Sierras at Silver Lake

by on August 25th, 2010
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Plan was to wake up at 4:30am, but it’s already brushing past 5 and the sun is creeping on the horizon. Somehow snapping out of a solid slumber, I sense there is something wrong with that annoying red-led lit alarm clock next to the bed. Sure enough, the clock has failed me once again, probably something to do with human error, but none the less, I am on my feet, dressed and warming up the car within minutes. Don’t bother to call, phone is off, I’m gone fishing!

Today’s fishin’ mission is in the High Sierra at Silver Lake in California, a short 30 minute drive from my camp. The sun is already coming up and starting to shine on the lake when I arrive, but somehow my trip has only taken 20 minutes and that included the momentary stop to grab a hot cup of coffee. The paper cup is the “holy grail” this frosty early morning, as it contains the life giving spark I so drastically need after staying up until 2:30am sorting through tangled hooks and lure assembling the “perfect” tackle box of fishing gear.

Good ole Red Rooster Tails have always been a family favorite, so this seems like a great lure to start with. A few casts and a small Brown Trout is on the line, off the hook, and carefully released back in the water. Almost too small to keep, and too beautiful of a fish anyway, let it live to swim another day and grow. Some people are adamant about keeping every fish they catch, and although these people do eat their catch, it seems appropriate to let a few go from time to time out of respect and gratitude to the great “fish spirit”. After all, maybe in doing so, someday I will catch “the big one”.

Today is not the day for the big one, or even half of the big one, but there are a few more caught in the few short hours I am there. By 7am, there have been three fish landed, 2 browns and one rainbow. Both of the browns go back, but the rainbow is a keeper and it goes right on the stringer. This fish is about a pound and a half, a perfect size fish to cook over the fire later that night. It is also heating up rather quick at this point and my sweatshirt comes off, it is 7200 ft. elevation.

Over the next hour I try a multitude of different lures, but there is not another bite. At 9am I surrender to the sun and the growing heat. It has been close to an hour anyway and not a splash in the water. The water is still and mirrors the mountain peaks, it is dead quiet and not a single fish has jumped anywhere. With dinner in the bag, it is time to find more coffee and return to camp.


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