Wednesday, August 3, 2011

HTC 10: The Coastal Rainbow

On the way home from southern California I stopped at Lewiston Lake. I decided to fish the next morning to catch the final fish in the HTC challenge. I was told that Lewiston Lake, part of the historical drainage of the Trinity River, would count as a location for a Coastal Rainbow that would qualify for the HTC.

I headed out at 10 AM (real early for me), and there were many, many midge husks in the water. The Callibaetis Mayflies were hatching, lightly, so I decided to fish midges under an indicator. After two hours moving around the lake I decided to head in. On my way in I saw a fish jumping near the northern corner (farthest from the marina) of the island just across from the Pine Cove Marina. I dropped my anchors and decided to give the area a try.

I can tell that the lake is again being stocked. I actually saw fish in the 14 inch range cruising around my boat. I cast my line into the water along the back side of the island and my flies were attacked on 6 consecutive casts. I hooked 4 and landed 2. Then, as quickly as it started, that spot was done -- no more hits.

I stayed in the area because I could see fish swimming by occasionally. The midges stopped flying by and the Callibaetis appeared to be coming off the water a little better. I changed my top fly to a size 16 flashback PT nymph and my bottom fly to a size 18 tungsten bead zebra midge (from a top burgandy zebra midge and bottom tungsten bead blood midge (both size 18)). Eventually, my line was ripped across the water as the largest fish of the day (approx. 16 inches) smashed the PT nymph and I quickly brought it into the net.

I did take pictures of the first fish caught as the 10th HTC fish of this quest. However, again, my Olympus left me with pictures that were disappointing. However, after looking at pictures taken by my old Nikon Coolpix last year, many of them were also out of focus. I think the problem I'm having is that I'm guessing at the focus as I have an active fish in a net with one hand while trying to take a photo with the other. I also cannot see the digital screen very well because of my poor vision at close range (I'm now one of the old guys who has a set of dollar store reading glasses hanging around my neck lol).

So, I have a picture of yesterday's fish that I could turn in to HTC awards, but it is really out of focus and all one shade of green. The photo above is from July 26 of last year and qualifies for the HTC challenge. I'll send in yesterday's picture to the HTC challenge so my qualifying fish will have all been caught between June 29 and August 2, 2011 -- just for the fun of it.

I'm pretty burned out from the southern California trip and four hours on the lake yesterday without enough water. I'm sure I have material to reflect on this summer's experience. I'm glad I did it, as a personal quest, and catching a Golden Trout in it's native waters has been a life long goal for me, and now it has been done.

More later.......including new tennis courts at Fortuna High, a new tennis season about to start, and my 28th school year. Life is pretty darn good.

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