The end of the lake fishing season has come. A few weeks ago, the road department closed the gates that granted us access to our high favorite Cascade lakes. Even though it snowed, I had to get in that one last trip. The fish get lethargic and the days are grow short but it’s always worth the drive. As I arrived at the lake, the snow was a bit deeper than I expected and as I parked I hoped I wouldn’t have any trouble when it was time to head home.
It was a perfect fall day; crisp and clean. The mist was still rising off the water, and the South Sister mountain reflected as if the water was a perfect mirror. My Swedish friend and I were the only ones on the lake.
I carry an arsenal of Sage rods on my pontoon boat when lake fishing and I try to cast between the reeds with a 4 weight Sage MOD rod. I got a few fish to strike at my ant but none hooked up. I decided to motor up into the channel that connects the lower and upper lakes. The “kayak hatch” was nowhere to be found and we fished the channel in peace.
The brookies were very wary as the channel is narrow and shallow. I put a size 20 midge below a strike indicator and sat back to take in the beauty all around me. Bobber down, fish on. It’s a rainbow. Sweet. Next one was a cutthroat. I try again and bring in a mini brookie. Size doesn’t matter, it’s more about enjoying that one last trip before it’s time to ski on Mt Bachelor instead of just enjoying it’s reflection.
Lee Ann Ross learned to fish as a kid on the Muskegon River in Michigan. Her career took her to the third world for 25 years where I stalked trout in the hills of Sri Lanka and the mountains of Kenya. After retiring and moving to Bend, Oregon, she now fly fishes all year and teaches skiing in the winter. She has traveled widely to fish many of the well-known sites like Kamchatka, Mongolia and Belize, but her passion is to fish unique species in truly off beat places: Mahseer on the Burmese border, Nile Perch at Murchison Falls in Uganda, and big trout in lakes at 12,000 feet on Mt Kenya. Lee Ann is currently the president of the 400-strong Central Oregon Flyfishers Club, focusing no youth environmental education and youth flyfishing. In addition to being a Sage Elite Pro, she's also on the pro staff for Dave Scadden Paddlesports.