Thursday, June 25, 2015

cabackroads destination--Minnie Lake, Douglas Lake Ranch, British Columbia

cabackroads destination--Minnie Lake, Douglas Lake Ranch, British Columbia

travel dates:  May 18-22, 2015

I believe this marked the 15th year of the annual week long fishing trip to Minnie Lake.  It was very different from some of the cold, windy trips in the past.  February of 2015 was marked by very warm weather in the Northwest.  So much so, that when we flew to Florida it was actually colder in Tampa than Wenatchee. The warm weather moved the ecological calendar up one month or more.  So when we showed up in the middle of May it actually felt more like the end of June.

The mornings were still and without wind.  Even more amazing the afternoons had a light breeze, but none of the wind storms in past years. The fishing time was well extended almost into the early evening as a result, since most years the wind usually pushed us off the lake by two pm.

The clouds would build up in the afternoon.  Somewhere in British Columbia I am sure they brought thunder and rain, but at Minnie Lake we merely got pretty clouds.

I am not sure why clouds look better in black and white than color.  Maybe it is just the white focuses your attention on the cloud and not the landscape.  I believe I have enough pictures of clouds to make a portfolio.

That black and white thing just get addicting and pretty soon all the pictures you take end up without color.

After fishing and dinner one evening I went for a walk and discovered the final resting place for some of the ranches cows.  That does explain why the coyote's calls seemed so close to the ranch house..  It was because it was that close!!  I did take some "artistic" pictures of dead cows, but decided it best to let the cows rest in peace.

On the same walk I ran into a rather interesting event.  Never seen this in the wild before.  Here is the picture.

The picture does not show it well.  The yellow-headed blackbird and his mate are sitting on the fence post having dinner.  There were so many insects hatching from the lake that they did not bother flying around catching insects.  Just sat on that fence post and open their mouths to catch the bugs.  In my ecology classes, I remember all the energy flow diagrams and the importance of animals to collect more energy than expended in the catching.  These birds had it down.

The other "event" on the lake was one of Canada's most famous fly fishermen filming a episode for a outdoors program.  So this is how its down folks.  The fishing boat and the filming boat.  Brian Chan has written several books on fly fishing lakes.  If you are interested in learning how to fly fish lakes I highly recommend "Skip Morris and Brian Chan on Fly Fishing Trout Lakes". It covers everything for the beginning trout lake fishermen.  Trust me there is nothing like fishing out of pontoon or float tube smoking a bad cigar and catching fish!!

The early spring meant that the spawning channel was empty and all the fish we caught we bright and flashy, instead in their dark spawning colors.  The Canadian geese were herding the youngsters around the lake.  

At the end of the day the fishing crews headed back for the dock.

The important statistics water temperature 67 degrees at the surface.  Algae bloom was starting to show and the water was murky. The trollers did well.  Probably their best days on the lake.  For Tracy and the midge fishermen things were slower than in previous years.  So another trip too Minnie Lake filed into the memory banks.

The crew is already looking forward to next year.

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