It was time for the annual Boulder trip, and this time we actually wanted to make it to the Boulders - rather than get stuck at the bottom of the trail. We planned accordingly, and thanks to Parker's new truck, we wouldn't have a problem getting up the trail. We planned it around the same time we had been up there two years previously.
Parker, Trevor and I headed up Wednesday after work, and T's dad and brother were going to join us Thursday night. The drive down there is always fun with all the anticipation of the promising fishing for the next few days. When we got to the trail head I was a little nervous as last time the vehicle we were in couldn't make it up the trail - and the trail is VERY rocky and VERY steep in sections! By the time we got to the top of the mountain (about an hour or so drive up the rocky trail), it was dark. We were grateful to get the camping spot that we wanted - right next to Beaver Dam Lake. It is basically the only camping spot that is right next to that particular lake, so it offers a little exclusion, and it offers a perfect set up.
We set up camp, rummaged for some dry wood and started a fire. There was still a 1.5 foot deep snow drift next to camp, but within the few days of us being there it would almost disappear.
The plan was to fish at Beaver Dam the next morning. We woke up, after a good nights rest, and began fishing pretty early - although not as early as I would have preferred. We had to get our rods set up as well as our float tubes, and not before too long we were kicking our way towards the middle of the lake. Only twenty yards off shore I spotted a fish as I was kicking. It was about 3 feet deep - I cast to it and BAM - first fish of the trip. It was a brookie with a crazy looking head. Let the fishing begin! We had a great first day and caught a lot of fish and some good sized ones - We mainly caught splake and brooke trout, with some cutthroat in between. Shockingly - the green and brown damsel with a very slow retrieve was the money maker - the fish couldn't get enough. Oh, and I forgot to mention it was a little chilly and rain clouds would come in fast and leave fast - but we were properly prepared. We stayed out on Beaver Dam most of the morning and early afternoon, and then went in for a late lunch. After lunch we headed up towards Fish Creek Lake - generally my favorite lake of the area. We quickly discovered the fishing was not like it was two years ago. We could not get in to the fish! It was very frustrating and we caught a couple very small fish. Discouraged, we packed up and head back down to camp after a few hours.
Trevor's dad and brother would be joining us sometime later that night. Around 10 or so they finally showed up, and T had already given up on them, thinking something happened and they wouldn't be making it up there (obviously, there is no cell service). They showed up and got there camp stuff ready, while Parker and I enjoyed some sloppy joe's (we were in charge of our food, and the Cook's were doing their own thing with meals). Parker tied up some more damsel flies to be sure we had plenty for the next day.
Friday, we decided to fish Beaver Dam, as it was producing well the day before. We did great again! Generally I prefer fishing on rivers over lakes, but the Boulders is a special exception. Being on small, high elevation lakes in the middle of no where with absolutely amazing surroundings is hard to beat. It is fun to be in the middle of the lake on a float tube just cruising around "trolling" for fat brooke trout. For lunch, we had the typical bratwursts. Well, the Cooks also had some brats, but they were jalapeno and cheddar filled brats - but it didn't end there. With their brats they put cut up jalapenos AND jalapeno mustard! I was in awe and shock, and thought so much jalapenos was a dangerous craving up in the woods without any proper indoor plumbing. Oh, and I shouldn't forget that soon after that, they pulled out jalapeno and cheddar popcorn! WOW!
We decided to head up to Fish Creek again with T's dad and brother to give it another shot. Long story short, his dad and brother killed by dragging a black caddis - we couldn't believe it! Parker and I got skunked! We went back out at Beaver Dam and killed again later that night.
Saturday - The Cooks decided to head up to Blind Lake - the biggest natural lake on the Boulder Mountains. Parker and I decided to hit up Pear Lake, which is right below Blind. You have to hike up to both lakes, but the hike is only around 40 to 60 minutes. I had never fished Pear, so I was up for the challenge and supposedly it has Grayling fish - a species I've never caught. We got up to the lake, and within a few minutes saw fish rising. Parker and I quickly set up our rigs appropriately and started catching Grayling - and boy did we catch Grayling. I had the hope of just catching one - yet I had landed five within the first 20 minutes. It wasn't too long before I had landed 20 Grayling. This was some of the fastest fishing I have ever had!
We headed back to camp - it was now early afternoon, and it began to rain and didn't stop for two hours. Parker and I decided to relax in the truck and wait until the rain stopped. The Cooks finally returned from their longer trek. They said they had a great time fishing up at Blind Lake (my previous experience up there was very slow). They all caught a lot, and some good ones too. They were eager to hear how our quest for Grayling went, and couldn't believe how quick the fishing was for us!
Not wanting to waste any of my precious fishing time, I quickly got back in my float tube and kicked out. Cooks were exhausted from their longer hike and settled in for an early dinner and relaxing evening. Parker quickly joined me out on the Lake, and we continued to have great success - after all it was our last evening of fishing. For dinner, we had some good steaks and potatoes!
Overall, the trip went really well, and we caught a good amount of fish with some pretty ones as well. We had good food and good company. We had a fun last night, and T's dad had lots of fun fishing stories! We were glad they could join us. Sunday morning we had breakfast and packed up everything. It was a great trip, but an exhausting ride home! The Boulders is always such an amazing place to go fishing and enjoy nature.