The lake sits just below the summit of 8020 feet from sea level. Which, in turn, just happens to be about the same elevation of the snow level. The ice has disappeared from the lake, but the true feeling of spring will not start here for another month, especially in terms of temperature. With clear skies, the temperature plummeted even a little deeper overnight. Stepping out of the 4Runner, I felt I had stepped back into January.
History has shown this to be a great time to be at this lake, nonetheless. The bigger fish, free from the ice capped lake for the past three-plus months are on the prowl in the shallows. The smaller fish are congregating along the shores where the water is more easily warmed by the sun’s rays, if even only a few degrees. It’s predator/prey season and one of the best times to catch a monster.
I braved the cold and in the blackness of early morning, began my preparations. I opened the back hatch to get my gear. Apparently I wasn’t the only one feeling the effects of the cold weather. The pressurized cylinders that lift and hold open the hatch gate, didn’t quite lift it to its highest potential. My head and the life-challenged hatch met, a little north of the right temple. I’m not sure what man or beast could hear me then, but I apologize now for the words I expressed at that moment.
I began casting out in the dark waters. Cast after cast. I picked the ice out of the eyes on the rod that continually froze with the water carried back on the retrieved line. I casted more. I exchanged lures and varied colors. I sped up the retrieve and I slowed the retrieve.
The light of the day slowly took over the dark and the sun crested the surrounding hills to the east. The sunlight would drive the fish deeper and the mercury a little higher. I tried another spot or two. I casted more. I tried a few more lures. Nothing. Goose egg.
In shame, I packed my gear and started the drive back home. As if it wasn’t enough to have to admit I caught zero fish, I felt at the sore impact spot on my head, a small bump had formed.
Great! Two goose eggs on the same trip.