Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.
—Frank Tyger (1929-2011)
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We were going fishing, and though anxious, it wasn’t the first cast of the season; that we already accomplished when we fished the Deschutes River in early spring. It would, however, be our first of the season for fishing Trillium Lake.
The weather was so unseasonably cold, we decided not to fish from our pontoon boats, and put off the morning bite. We planned to hit the water in the afternoon, wading from the east shore. The forecast called for partly cloudy skies and light wind. It sounded perfect!
I readied my gear. Because I would be making long casts I chose my root beer Orvis Access, 9-foot, 4-weight. I love this rod! It casts and handles beautifully. I cleaned out my fly satchel, but couldn’t part with any of the flies in my overstuffed fly boxes; in fact, I added several more—a size 10 Irresistible Adams, and a size 10 Parachute Adams with pressed barbs. (I always fish with barbless flies.) By late afternoon the clouds fell apart, and the rain showers had tapered off. I zipped my camera pack, grabbed my fishing gear, and we were off!
Mount Hood was a breathtaking sight with plenty of snow still covering its shoulders. The lake too was peaceful, no crowds; it was just what I expected for a late afternoon on a Monday. On the lake were a couple of fly fishers trolling their way towards shore. Near the campground, along the east bank, a man fished with his children.
We also settled on the east bank, an area that usually gives up a lot of fish, especially in the fall. It was also where I was attacked by yellow jackets some years back. Chris was in the water and casting before I even put down my gear. Even if the trout had been rising, I wouldn’t have mattered. I wasn’t in a hurry. I like to settle into a place; take my time to notice what’s around me, familiar or not. I like to ease into my surroundings, not rush into them.
Across the lake, I could see that the beavers had been busy. What had been a small pile of sticks a year ago was now a full-fledged beaver lodge. It is the second beaver lodge on the lake. Beaver are scarce here, and it brings me great joy knowing they are among us. Bald eagles also live at the lake, and we saw two of them—one adult and one immature. I tied on one of the new dry flies—a number 10 Parachute Adams. I eased into the lake, careful not to step on any newts. They were everywhere! As a precaution, I slide my boots along the bottom as a warning. Not easy when rocks and roots are waiting to snag you.
The fly got the trout rising and rolling. But despite my efforts, I couldn’t hook one. Maybe it was technique, maybe it was the fly, or maybe I was just too anxious. I fished my way to the edge of the bog, but the lake bottom was so soft, it swallowed my boots and I nearly lost them. I pulled myself out of the muck onto a mat of mushy bog grass. From here I made a few casts, but had no risers. I decided to change flies. As I knelt in the bog grass for my fly box, that’s when I saw stars—shooting stars!
For me, fishing was over. It was time to go bogging for wildflowers!
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