Here is this weeks KROOT Fishing Report with Deputy Don and Leaf, Fish On Ya’ll!!!
Here is a KROOT Fish Tale about Golden Trout fishing in the Methow Back-country.
Gold! That was the cry that rang out through the hills of many parts of the American west at the turn of the century. Now with the rising price of precious metals we see people pushing the limits to get at this shinny prize again. In this case however the place is the same but the gold being sought is in the swimming form Agua Bonita to be precise, Golden Trout.
In the state of Washington Golden Trout are stocked into lakes above 5,000 ft. with no outfalls, no trail and as a bonus there are no stock reports which makes finding a Golden Trout lake almost as hard as getting to one. In the end however for those hearty souls that completes one of the handfuls of treks in the Methow Backcountry in search of this rare fish the rewards can be endless.
The first time I made the hike into this particular lake I found it destroyed by a large avalanche which had occurred sometime early that spring. Due to the precarious position in which this small tarn sits it is very exposed to the harsh conditions in its given location. Many of the lakes in the high country experience very short, truncated summers and long winters which have a way of making the creatures make the most of their time.
As my friend and I made the trek in I found myself praying to the fish gods repeatedly as I gasped for breath “please let there be fish, please let there be fish”, so as I made the last pitch and dropped my pack all I could do was stand, pray and watch for rings. It didn’t take long, at first I thought they might just be bugs coming off but then, splash and again, I knew it was all worth it.
After a “Full on Double Rainbow” like experience I got down to fishing and before long it was on, the fish seemed to be feeding mostly on tiny Calibatis nymphs as they emerged so I dropped a small Pheasant Tail Nymph about 2ft under a small indicator and the spunky Goldens started to respond.
In the end I caught more than a dozen from the lake; one group seemed to be about 6-8 inches and the other about 10-12. Golden Trout are smart as they have not been fully domesticated lake their rainbow cousins, so you have to observe and adjust to what fish are after. My friend Thomas and I found many beautiful fish in a few small pools in the lakes outfall before it sunk underground. Fishing sessions were punctuated by berry picking sessions, both blueberries and huckleberries were in mass, our clothes were stained from sitting on them as well as faces and hands from gorging upon them.
On the second day Thomas and I took a tour to the pass above the lake to check out the mine above and take in a view before our walk down. Sitting on a knoll above the lake we found an old miners cabin with quite a view, Thomas wanted to stay. After prying my hiking partner away from the cabin we made our way up the short handmade mine-car road between the mine and the cabin. After a short inspection of the mine we made our way to the pass and took in views on all sides.
On my long walk out I was struck by the will and determination required to accomplish the feats of engineering people have pushed themselves to in the middle of no were. I felt like I understood what drew these people to this place so high, so far away from civilization and I understand how it might be hard to come back.
“Metageden” that’s what they are calling the most recent form of natural disaster around here. I think the term would be pretty close in some cases. I n many places and many ways around the Methow Valley we have seen massive change over the last couple of months.
My family and I as well as many others have lost our homes in one of the many events to transpire in the Methow Valley over the last few months. One thing however remains and that is the spirit of the people in the Methow, strong as ever.
So fishing, yeah we’re still fishing and we’re having fun too, in between disasters and all. I have been on the river and have been on the still water too and both have been great. You can feel the end of summer in the air and in the water temps. As is usual for me at this time of the year I am wanting nothing more than to head to the high-country in seek of beautiful trout and mountain views.