Fishing Stage - Fishing Forum
Cold, Windy, Deep Snow, Had A Smoking Hot German Brown Bite In A Mountain Lake
Jan 12, 2021 15:51:49   #
woodguru Loc: El Dorado Ca
 
Years ago in December I went up for afternoon fishing at Icehouse, elevation somewhere around 4500 to maybe 5300 feet. It was drizzling soon after I started the hour drive, I figured it would be snow up there. The roads had been plowed, there were eight foot deep sides to the road, I was hoping the road to the dam was clear. It wasn't bad as there was heavier tree cover, there was about foot and a half snow on the ground. It was about 100 feet I had to break through the snow, I took four poles rigged to where I could put flies behind a plastic bubble, it was so cold there was no way I wanted to have to rig anything.

It was windy enough that there were whitecaps on the water, I was looking back at the warm car asking myself whatever in the hell was I doing out here, five unproductive casts and I may have been out of there. The wind was blowing across the lake pushing waves up against the dam across the face.

So I put a mosquito on, cast it out, and boom, an instant hit, i get it in halfway, it gets off, and another fish hit within seconds. I get in a really nice 20 inch Brown, toss him in the snow behind me and cast that fly out again. Bam, another nearly instant hit and another nice fish on. I get him in and he was a little smaller, perhaps 17 inches or so so I turned the fly without taking him out of the water. Ten minutes later I had three more fish bigger than the first one. These browns were tearing flies up, so I was on the fourth rod and looking for what else to put on. I had asked at a fly shop what worked for really big browns, and the guy sold me a couple of big Muddler Minnows, like four inches. I put one of those on, and that thing got slammed, I mean slammed and serious line stripping weight like a freight train that was not going to be stopped very easily. I started bearing down on the drag figuring if I couldn't turn him it was over anyway. We all know that feeling when the line parts ways with your reel.

I bring it in and grab another pole and tied the last Muddler on...same thing, a serious hit and immediate taking off without regard for where I had the drag set. Lost him too, my guess it was the teeth on a big brown cut normal leaders too easily, the guys I know that tournament fish use 25 pound fluorocarbon, and have told me it's hard to get the big ones in without them cutting the line.

I was a bit bummed, so I put on a wooly bugger, made a cast, and hooked a fish that took quite awhile to get in, it was the nicest fish I landed, when I got it home and brought them in the kitchen it wouldn't fit in the bottom of the sink without touching head and tail. That fish is the nicest brown I've ever caught.

I have gone up there in some nasty weather and have never seen the conditions of that day replicated...that was a memorable day for sure.

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Jan 12, 2021 16:10:01   #
Egghead Loc: Rock Springs Wyoming
 
woodguru wrote:
Years ago in December I went up for afternoon fishing at Icehouse, elevation somewhere around 4500 to maybe 5300 feet. It was drizzling soon after I started the hour drive, I figured it would be snow up there. The roads had been plowed, there were eight foot deep sides to the road, I was hoping the road to the dam was clear. It wasn't bad as there was heavier tree cover, there was about foot and a half snow on the ground. It was about 100 feet I had to break through the snow, I took four poles rigged to where I could put flies behind a plastic bubble, it was so cold there was no way I wanted to have to rig anything.

It was windy enough that there were whitecaps on the water, I was looking back at the warm car asking myself whatever in the hell was I doing out here, five unproductive casts and I may have been out of there. The wind was blowing across the lake pushing waves up against the dam across the face.

So I put a mosquito on, cast it out, and boom, an instant hit, i get it in halfway, it gets off, and another fish hit within seconds. I get in a really nice 20 inch Brown, toss him in the snow behind me and cast that fly out again. Bam, another nearly instant hit and another nice fish on. I get him in and he was a little smaller, perhaps 17 inches or so so I turned the fly without taking him out of the water. Ten minutes later I had three more fish bigger than the first one. These browns were tearing flies up, so I was on the fourth rod and looking for what else to put on. I had asked at a fly shop what worked for really big browns, and the guy sold me a couple of big Muddler Minnows, like four inches. I put one of those on, and that thing got slammed, I mean slammed and serious line stripping weight like a freight train that was not going to be stopped very easily. I started bearing down on the drag figuring if I couldn't turn him it was over anyway. We all know that feeling when the line parts ways with your reel.

I bring it in and grab another pole and tied the last Muddler on...same thing, a serious hit and immediate taking off without regard for where I had the drag set. Lost him too, my guess it was the teeth on a big brown cut normal leaders too easily, the guys I know that tournament fish use 25 pound fluorocarbon, and have told me it's hard to get the big ones in without them cutting the line.

I was a bit bummed, so I put on a wooly bugger, made a cast, and hooked a fish that took quite awhile to get in, it was the nicest fish I landed, when I got it home and brought them in the kitchen it wouldn't fit in the bottom of the sink without touching head and tail. That fish is the nicest brown I've ever caught.

I have gone up there in some nasty weather and have never seen the conditions of that day replicated...that was a memorable day for sure.
Years ago in December I went up for afternoon fish... (show quote)

Wow, those days are what a guy lives and fishes for. Good for you.

| Reply
Jan 12, 2021 16:21:41   #
BadFisherman Loc: Lake Whitney, Texas
 
woodguru wrote:
Years ago in December I went up for afternoon fishing at Icehouse, elevation somewhere around 4500 to maybe 5300 feet. It was drizzling soon after I started the hour drive, I figured it would be snow up there. The roads had been plowed, there were eight foot deep sides to the road, I was hoping the road to the dam was clear. It wasn't bad as there was heavier tree cover, there was about foot and a half snow on the ground. It was about 100 feet I had to break through the snow, I took four poles rigged to where I could put flies behind a plastic bubble, it was so cold there was no way I wanted to have to rig anything.

It was windy enough that there were whitecaps on the water, I was looking back at the warm car asking myself whatever in the hell was I doing out here, five unproductive casts and I may have been out of there. The wind was blowing across the lake pushing waves up against the dam across the face.

So I put a mosquito on, cast it out, and boom, an instant hit, i get it in halfway, it gets off, and another fish hit within seconds. I get in a really nice 20 inch Brown, toss him in the snow behind me and cast that fly out again. Bam, another nearly instant hit and another nice fish on. I get him in and he was a little smaller, perhaps 17 inches or so so I turned the fly without taking him out of the water. Ten minutes later I had three more fish bigger than the first one. These browns were tearing flies up, so I was on the fourth rod and looking for what else to put on. I had asked at a fly shop what worked for really big browns, and the guy sold me a couple of big Muddler Minnows, like four inches. I put one of those on, and that thing got slammed, I mean slammed and serious line stripping weight like a freight train that was not going to be stopped very easily. I started bearing down on the drag figuring if I couldn't turn him it was over anyway. We all know that feeling when the line parts ways with your reel.

I bring it in and grab another pole and tied the last Muddler on...same thing, a serious hit and immediate taking off without regard for where I had the drag set. Lost him too, my guess it was the teeth on a big brown cut normal leaders too easily, the guys I know that tournament fish use 25 pound fluorocarbon, and have told me it's hard to get the big ones in without them cutting the line.

I was a bit bummed, so I put on a wooly bugger, made a cast, and hooked a fish that took quite awhile to get in, it was the nicest fish I landed, when I got it home and brought them in the kitchen it wouldn't fit in the bottom of the sink without touching head and tail. That fish is the nicest brown I've ever caught.

I have gone up there in some nasty weather and have never seen the conditions of that day replicated...that was a memorable day for sure.
Years ago in December I went up for afternoon fish... (show quote)

Good for you, Woodie I guess the cold went away as the fish kept biting.

| Reply
 
 
Jan 12, 2021 16:23:55   #
woodguru Loc: El Dorado Ca
 
BadFisherman wrote:
Good for you, Woodie I guess the cold went away as the fish kept biting.


Funny how that works huh?

| Reply
Jan 12, 2021 16:28:58   #
BadFisherman Loc: Lake Whitney, Texas
 
woodguru wrote:
Funny how that works huh?

What works for me...just as it did/does on OPP...is reading your contributions to The Fishing Stage.

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Jan 12, 2021 16:42:13   #
Spiritof27 Loc: Lincoln, CA
 
I've caught some browns up there at Ice House, but never anything like that. I know they like foul weather, the windier the better. I don't go up there when the snow is flying. I heard what happened at the Donner party. Do you remember where it was you were fishing from? I used to go up there with my tube and "troll" with a fly rod and a wooly bugger.

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Jan 12, 2021 16:53:01   #
bknecht Loc: Northeast pa
 
Sounds like an epic day, one for the memory bank for sure.

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Jan 12, 2021 17:00:40   #
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Jan 12, 2021 17:32:11   #
Spiritof27 Loc: Lincoln, CA
 


Lot of water in there when that second one was photographed. I know exactly where that spot is and where those stairs are in the first one. Ice House, Union Valley, Loon and Girle Creek are all in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area, a huge granite basin in the Crystal Range of the Sierra Nevadas. Loon Lake is the gateway to the Rubicon Trail. The Rubicon River is where I'm going to go die when I'm ready to go. That's Loon Lake in the photo.



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Jan 12, 2021 18:34:55   #
woodguru Loc: El Dorado Ca
 
Spiritof27 wrote:
I've caught some browns up there at Ice House, but never anything like that. I know they like foul weather, the windier the better. I don't go up there when the snow is flying. I heard what happened at the Donner party. Do you remember where it was you were fishing from? I used to go up there with my tube and "troll" with a fly rod and a wooly bugger.


Right by the dam to where I was casting toward and along it. I've seen guys on tubes trolling along the face of the dam hammering trout. It can be a hard lake to catch fish in at times. I switched over to Union for Kokanee and loon at the upper end where the inflow pipe comes in.

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Jan 12, 2021 19:45:06   #
Spiritof27 Loc: Lincoln, CA
 
I have always done well there, but didn't go this past year what with the covid and all. I love Girle Creek and the last time i's up there with mrs, it was the spring after we got all that snow a couple of years ago and the place was flooded - I thought I had made a wrong turn, didn't recognize it.

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Jan 13, 2021 22:23:38   #
DozerDave Loc: Port Orchard Wa.
 
Did the Rubicon trail at the Jeep Jamboree back in 81’..... magnificent country up there. Camped at union valley a couple times and my daughter got married at a lodge/ campground up there on Icehouse Rd. 10/13/07 and there was snow on the ground...🐟on

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Jan 13, 2021 22:45:40   #
Spiritof27 Loc: Lincoln, CA
 
Magnificent it is. One of my favorite lakes, Stumpy Meadows, is right off the road going up there, about 15 miles outside of Georgetown. Somebody was just on here the other day asking about Stumpy. I wrote a book.

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