Last night I really had to force myself to set an alarm to the darker-side of 5am. The prior night wasn’t the best sleep for me, and I knew it was going to be cold in the mountains – still I slid the hour hand of the alarm to 4, and threw in 30 minutes on top of that.
When said alarm went off early this morning – my still slumbering mind tried its best to keep me horizontal – but in the end the allure of watching the sunrise over an empty lake won over. Besides, early alarms and cold temps are great training for steelhead season.
As I pointed the nose of the truck westbound on the Cascade Lakes Highway, I was still unsure of my final destination. Hosmer, Crane Prairie – or maybe make a looong drive out to Wickiup. And then I started to drive past little Devils Lake. Devils is right off the road, and was the first fishable water I encountered.
The 23 acre lake is stocked abundantly by ODFW with rainbow trout, but also boasts a small population of resident brook trout. I had no clue when the last time the lake had been stocked, but little Devils Lake was right there looking beautifully empty.
Blue Sky, Crystal Clear Water, and 34 Degrees at 5,440′ in the Oregon Cascades
The air temps were in the low 30’s when I slipped the Blackfoot IK into the lake. Beyond just getting out and spending a quick few hours on a lake prior to work I was also eager to try out my new Scotty Rod holder and Anchor arm.
Devils is small so only after a few strokes I cast out a home-grown bugger creation with a pheasant tail dropper and began to paddle. Within a few strokes my rod was bending slightly in the holder and I brought my first fish for this kayak to hand – a beautiful little brook trout.
I trolled a bit further towards the deeper part of the lake – which is at most 10′ deep and I encountered a pod of rainbows. Trolling was working too well, so I just anchored up to test out the new Scotty Anchor arm and got to play with dozens of little 12″ stocker rainbows.
The fishing action was brisk. Rainbows seemed to be fighting each other to hammer the flies – they were the type of clueless fish that have a knack of healing one’s fishing ego. No complaints.
The new gear performed well. The blackfoot lacks Scotty mounting squares in the aft portion of the boat – which did not pose an issue when anchoring on the lake, but will likely not be an optimal anchor point for rivers.
As such, the next addition to the boat will likely be two additional Scotty Glue-on Mounts for additional rigging options.
All in all, the sleep sacrifice was, as it normally always is, very much worth it.