Today we began by going to find my cousin and his family as they are here in South Fork for a vacation. They were heading out to fish at one of the area lakes so we followed them up there. Megan, their daughter caught a trout almost immediately on a power bait type rig and then the rain started in and we could tell that it was not going to let up anytime soon.
So we all loaded up in our vehicles and we went our separate ways to run errands in the neighboring towns while it rained. Paula and I returned in late afternoon and had a nice home grown salad and grilled pork chops all seasoned from the herb garden we grew this year. Good seasoning makes all the difference in the world on meals and I so appreciate Paula's expertise in adding just the right touch of flavor.
I had to go to choir practice then at 6 but as soon as I got out, we headed up to one of the lakes. Paula put on her trusty Renegade fly in a #12 and a clear plastic bubble about 4 feet above that. I sat down with some of the new Gulp brand bait. It resembles a pea and is a plastic scented bait. These are all food grade material and totally biodegradable. I wanted to see if the bait worked as my cousins kids wanted to try that tomorrow. These pea shaped baits are superb both in texture, their ability to stay on the hook and no mess. They feel like plastic and you can catch multiple fish without the bait coming off or losing it.
Both of us were immediately into fish and Paula caught and released about 8 while I caught my limit of 4. She quickly filled our limit out to 8 total and we cleaned them right there on a rock. I chose to filet them and leave the skin on and grill them with Rosemary and Thyme over low heat. This will be mouth watering I am sure and I cant wait to try that later this week. While you can freeze trout, they are best when fresh caught and cooked. I prefer mine grilled now days and by leaving the skin on and cooking skin side down, you save the moisture in the meat. The fish were both hatchery fish and older fish as two had the whiter meat of being just stocked and the other 6 had the pink meat of fish who had been in the lake for some time and been feeding on the fresh water shrimp.
Cooper the Yorkie fetched in all the ones we kept and that's the funniest thing I have ever watched. Who would have thought a Yorkie would fetch fish? The accompanying picture shows what he looked like on the trip home. He is covered with fish slime and scales and smelled so bad. As soon as we got home he had to have a bath so I could stand him sleeping on my bed tonight.
As I had expected, the fishing is phenomenal right now with the lower crowd numbers due to the fire over the last month. There are less lakes to fish in to be sure as the fire burned around some of them and there is a danger from falling burned trees now. But the other lakes and streams are putting out a bumper crop of fish to the people that are here. Don't delay your trip due to the fires now as they seem to be abating and there is no smoke in South Fork at least. OF course it can start up again, but that's true of storms in the south or other weather factors across the nation. Be aware of your surroundings and be safe.