Thursday, November 1, 2012

Of Bucks and Brown Trout

A few weeks ago I packed the family up and headed up to the Okanogan in central Washinton to lake Chelan for some wine tasting, fishing and relaxing. While we were there we watched Indian summer disapate into true fall, with a hint of winter.. every morning the view changed, first termination dust frosted the distant Canadian peaks, the next morning it dusted the surrounding hills and by Tuesday the true snow line marked 4000' feet.. and each day after crept lower. Deer season was in full swing, the small mountain lake full of Brown Trout was all but forgotten by all to the dreams of a trophy Muley or maybe a fine spike for the freezer. I had not forgotten the lake. The lust to hunt deer that used to haunt me earlier in life has now moved into a different room in my heart, climbing rugged mountains and endless glassing has become a fond memory for me.. I do not hunt deer anymore, and I don't even know why. Perhaps some day the path I am on, and that path will meet again but for now my rifles rust. The friendship started easily enough in the dim morning light, trying to take advantage of the hour before light to latch into a brute spawner cruising the shallows I had worked my way around to the backside of the lake away from the road. I listened as dozens of trucks and s.u.v's headed up deep into the mountains. The lake is a well protected position for trout, reeds like ramparts gaurd most of it shoreline, milfoil and an acompanyment of other garbage choke the edges beyond, I was trying to exploit the spots I refer to as lake pocket water, the holes between the weeds and milfoil, casting an olive wool headed sculpin on a sink-tip with my echo 4wt switch. The additional length of the switch allows for getting above the reeds for a cast, the 4wt part makes the 12-20'' Browns fun to play with. I had just finished releasing a nice Brown when I heard a noise behind me, turning to look.. then freezing, the first thought through mind mind... 200.. gotta be 200. The Giant Muley buck was froze aswell, both of us realizing we were not quite as alone in this world as we thought. His grey face, jet black fore head, massive sweeping rack, matching drop tines with a perfect deep front forks and a crown for the back.. a perfect 6x6 with a little garbage, but mostly just mass.. and at least a 24 inch inside spread.. a perfect buck. We both stared at one another as we listened to another vehicle slowly move up the road. I wispered at him.. "I won't tell" and he cautiously turned and moved away, up the ridge and bedded on a knoll overlooking the lake and road, and much like Yeti's, Unicorns, and sexy one night stands... I never got a good picture of him.. But his image will be burned in my memory, for the rest of my life-


  1. Brad, I'm glad that switch rod is working out for you. I was wondering when I'd get to read a post about you using it :)

    Beautiful fish. I wish we had brown trout closer to Portland than we do.

  2. The Rod is great Mark. I guess my fiberhammer really opened my eyes to the 11' advantage, it definately fishes more like a 5 or 6 wt though... very fun.