Saturday, November 11, 2023

Another Disappointment at Barrett

 August 26, 2023

Took off from my house at 9:30pm and arrived first at the gate at 11:30pm.  Last Sunday Tropical Storm Hillary closed down the lake.  The storm wasn't as bad as anticipated.  Wasn't sure how the storm would affect the the fishing.  When Barrett reopened on Wednesday the reports were not promising.  I woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to bed.  The lake staff were later this time opening the gate after 4am.  After unpacking we on the water by 4:30am.  We hit the first big cove and banks were lined with filmentous algae.  The entire cove proved fruitless.  Once out of the cove the light began to poke out of the mountains.  Chul was the first to get on a fish after switching to a smaller fly, a size 2 frog popper.  After a couple more strikes I downsized from a 2/0 to a size 2.  In addition I switched colors from pearl to silver.  It was only then did I get my first strike.  I ended up breaking off as the fish was dragged through some branches of a submerged tree.  Before it got away it felt heavy on my nine weight.  Chul managed few more bass and a few more bluegill. 
We leave this section to go deeper into Pine,  Sun is peaking and we move to every bit of shadow we can find.  I start getting fish.  One even chased my my fly striking it multiple times ultimately failing to connect.  Not sure if it were a bass or an aggressive bluegill.  I miscalculated the angle of the sun and we were out of shadows much quicker than I anticipated so I get us out the the cove and move toward Hauser.  There is some shadows here and there and we fish everyone.  I get the best bass of the day that I never even got to see the take as I was looking down when it hit so I could reposition the trolling motor.  Once we entered Hauser the entire lake was lit up and it was time to go subsurface.  Occasionally wolf packs would show themselves but as it was proven this year chasing them was of no use.  The simply were there and gone in an instance. 
By noon we've given up trying to get bass to eat and switched our focus on the panfish.  we took to the same nesting site as last time.  They were still there but in less number.  Good news was they were bigger this time.  I took out my three weight and starting catching some on a BH nymph.  Even a small juvenile bass took a liking to my offerings.  A helicopter flew low in the canyon creating a ruckus, ruining the tranquility of the canyon.  There were people on the banks so I'm not sure if they were Border Patrol looking for border crossers
It was brutally hot so we called it earlier than I expected.  On the way out we fished a cove or two but by this time the winds were simply making the situation unfishable.  On teh way out though I was able to try out Dagur's Sweet Alabama fly I tied just for this place.  It failed to produce but in all fairness so did all the other flies I tried on the way out.  We got to the truck and packed all the gear away.  It was so hot I had an ice cold liter of water I poured the entire contents over my head and proceeded to blast the AC full blast onto me.  It took more than an hour of driving before I finally felt like my body temp was going down.  Drive home was brutal.  I needed to take a pit stop at Carlsbad to take a 15 minute cat nap to rest before completing the drive home.

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