11/6/17 Big Lake, Skagit County
I was long overdue for a day of fishing. Work has a way of taking this time away, but I saw an opportunity and blocked out some time in my schedule. The plan was to head out to one of my favorite small lakes that always produced nice bows. Oops, surprise! All of my favorites were closed to fishing on Oct 31! I saw some recent reports on NWFR for Big lake. Never been there. Sounds good. It must be a BIG lake!
Targeting Big lake Cutthroat required some different setups that I had not tried before. Also, I had some lead weighted line to try out and a dry suit that my bro gave me that could help with winter conditions. Predictions were for 29 degrees, warming into the balmy mid 30s, so I started my fishing at the casual time of 10:00am. It was sunny and comfortable in my dry suit. Water was like glass and nearby hills were dusted with snow. It was gorgeous! I ran out a mono line with pop gear and woolly bugger (typ bow setup) while I set up the other line with a downrigger to Dodger and spinner. Soon I had something on the rigger, but not popping off. 8” perch, C&R unharmed. Dropped the pop and replaced with my lead weighted line and a smile blade+fly combo, increased speed to 1.5-1.7mph. 8” perch#2 C&R.
Could not get my leaded line to fall below 10’, so added additional sinker to make 15’. Continued heading North, 9” cutthroat#1 C&R. Hit the North end. Changed leaded line to use clown dodger+ 50/50 Gods tooth (Fast action rig) + night crawler gel. Almost immediately, 11” Cutthroat#2 C&R.
Return trip, 9” perch#3 C&R. Light breeze and lowering sun, the temperature went waaay down. Feeling chilled, even with dry suit. Had the lake all to myself the entire time. Slight note of concern when I returned in need of a pit stop and found difficulty getting out of my dry suit (upper back zipper). Now I know why they pay the big $$ for a front side zipper. Beautiful lake, easy access, nice boat launch, lots of perch, cutthroat when you find them.