Saturday, February 5, 2011

Surviving the January Jones

I would like to encourage everyone to check out Steve Bird's new blog at columbiatrout. Not only is Steve a fantastic guide and a great friend, but he is leader in efforts to preserve the trophy rainbow trout population on the Upper Columbia River. As per Steve's instructions, I'm going to send an e-mail to Gary Douvia today. 
Scotty and I finally got over to the East side of the Cascades for some winter stillwater fishing.  As we descended into Cle Elum on a Saturday morning, we heard a grinding sound coming from the rear of my truck. I thought, "Dammit, the bearings on the trailer are locking up!" We stopped by the Shell Station on the way out of town. After about two hours of trying to locate the problem (The problem was not the trailer), we gave up and headed to Bridgeport, WA to fish Rufus Woods Reservoir. We tried to ignore the ugly grinding sound coming from my truck and focus on the fishing to come.
Well, we gave it the old college try at Rufus Woods stripping streamers all afternoon. Scotty picked up one small rainbow on his blue and white Barr Bou Face streamer. I spent the day trying to get a fish on one of my new booby flies. Naturally, I got skunked (but at least I got to mention my boobies).
The next day we decided to give Omak Lake a try. I've been hearing great things about Omak Lake lately, and although Lahontan Cutthroat fight like perch, I was excited to give it a try. The record cutthroat for this lake is 15lbs.
At Omak Lake, my nervous condition due to the sound of my truck was overcome by my anxiety about where to launch the boat. We saw lots of signs saying that this or that beach was closed to all but tribal members. Finally, we found a beach with no signs. By the time I could get the boat deep enough into the lake to launch, all four tires on my truck were in the drink. The day was cold but gorgeous.

We only saw two other people the whole day. Scotty landed two or three small cutthroat, and, naturally, I got skunked. Those cutties didn't fight much, but they splashed a little. Omak Lake is quite beautiful, and I can't wait to return for some sight fishing.
I dropped my truck off at the mechanics the following week. To make a long story short, I had to spend about $2,500 to have them replace the rear differential.