It was that time of year again in my neck of the woods. The time of the season where we let the fish do their thing in the rivers so we can have lots of other little fishes to catch in the future. The spring closure is a tough period of time to get through, especially when you had a couple amazing pre-closure trips under your belt. But I understand, it’s for the greater good and I am at peace with it. I want there to be fish for generations to come and so like everyone I else, I suck it up and fish lakes for about 2 months.
As with most things I do with my brother we had zero plans until about the minute we leave the door, and this was no different. The weather was not on our side this weekend so we were really trying to avoid taking the canoe out if possible. We ended up recalling a lake we drove past last summer where we could see fish just off the bank cruising in the transition from the shoal to the deep water. It was a completely different time of year and no where near the same weather, but we could cast from shore and so we off we went.
It was a long weekend so there was a fair amount of traffic as we made our way to the lake. There are several other outdoor activities that could be taken in down the forest service road we had to travel and thus a few times we got stuck behind out of province vehicles driving like it was their first time off a highway. None the less we made it to our lake in a reasonable amount of time. The water was choppy, honestly it looked too choppy to us, but we were already here. We drove along the lake looking for a spot that we could at least get some casts out without hanging up in a tree. When we found a spot we were happy with we pulled the truck over to the side and got our gear ready to start casting. I say casting as that is pretty much what I was expecting with all the wind. My brother made it to the water before I did, but didn’t bother to put his waders on. I fully committed and got all the gear on. I waded out in the lake not even to my knees and proceeded to cast my first fly of the day. We were casting into the direction of the wind and letting the waves carry the indicator along the shore line. After about 20 or 30 seconds I began to give up hope and started talking to my brother. When I returned my attention back to the indicator it was gone and so I did what any fly fisherman would do, I set the hook.
Now that there was a glimmer of hope that the day wouldn’t just be freezing in the wind we continued tossing loops into the wind. My brother continued to cast from shore and occasionally get snagged in the trees behind him. I on the other hand, hooked up again on my very next cast. As I am writing this I still question why he didn’t just put his waders on.
Not all was lost for my brother on this day, well maybe a few flies. We continued battling the wind and lobbing flies and indicators into the lake. Watching the indicators peak at the top of the waves and drop to the bottom over and over was almost hypnotizing. I once again lost sight of mine and set the hook. I looked over to my brother and said “hooked up again” and just as I did he set the hook as well. We had doubled up on a super windy day on a rather large lake fishing from shore covering an area no more than 15 meters squared. If someone told me this is how our day was going to be before we left that morning I would have bet the house against them.
I believe we called it for the day after this, but we returned the next day as we saw no point in checking out another lake when we knew this one was fire. The wind was blowing much harder on the second day and some spin casters were in our spot from the day before when we arrived. We headed further up the lake to find another suitable location. This ended up being a blessing in disguise as the wind was blowing considerably less at this end of the lake. Again we parked the truck jumped out and got our gear on. My brother made the right call this time and put his waders on as well. And just like the day before, first cast, first fish for the day.
The sun jumped out from behind the clouds on and off the second day which helped to break the bone numbing chill from our hands. The countless number of fish we were landing meant we almost always had our hands wet for some reason or another and combined with the wind it was no joke. Things had slowed down a little bit as the afternoon rolled around so I decided to finally switch from a chironomid pattern to a bloody balanced leech. It was the right move as the indicator started diving beneath the surface once again. My brother made the switch as well and landed what was probably the biggest for the trip. It’s nice to know that fishing lakes doesn’t always have to be over complicated with boats, anchors, sounders, stomach pumps, etc. We did just fine with only two rods and two different fly patterns all weekend.