Thursday, May 21, 2015

Paradise Lake & Horseshoe Lake, The Hate and Love

Lil Paradise Gill
One of the great aspects of fly fishing is the concept of learning how to be successful. To me, taking the time to learn a body of water and figuring out the puzzle of what works and what doesn't is far more rewarding than catching a few here and there. There is one lake I tell people I "hate" because it is by far one of the most difficult still-waters I've fished so far.I hate Paradise Lake. 
When I use to fish with a spinning rod it was pretty easy and on most days I ended up catching more than a few bass, but once I picked up my fly rod the entire game changed. This Sunday I fished Paradise Lake to see if I could finally figure it all out.

Paradise Lake
On Sunday the weather was still a bit cold. The cold front had finally begun to taper to an end but the clouds and winds were still around. I found the water to be relatively warm and there was a lot of nice tall grass growth on the banks; ideal holding spots for bass and other fish. The lake had been stocked with trout a few weeks ago and the majority of anglers were targeting the planters. However, I had different intentions.

Paradise Lake is known for its quality largemouth bass population however, the conditions that they live in make them wary and smart. The clear blue waters with a visibility of 5ft or more makes these bass difficult to target, especially if fishing from the bank. They'll see you before you see them and tricking them into eating a fly is futile if they saw you throw it.

I tried different sink-tips, patterns both big and small, and various retrieves but nothing proved successful. The only fish that were willing to bite were the tiny bluegills. I did manage to hook into an 18''+ bass but on its first jump it threw the hook. Pretty awesome to see it all happen though.

I definitely need to take the time to learn how be successful on Paradise Lake. The next time I get out there I'll try fishing bluegill patterns, maybe that will motivate the bass enough to get them to take. I hate Paradise Lake because its challenging, but love it because that's what makes it fun.

Horseshoe Lake
Horseshoe Lake is my still-water success story. This small "lake" is the complete opposite of Paradise Lake. The clear blue waters are muddy and turbid and foothill forest is a tall grassy meadow. Countless trips of trial and error is how I learned to be successful on this particular body of water.

Another Bobber Cat

I spent an evening during the week to fish the lake and caught a dink catfish. My standard rig wasn't working so I switched and quickly found success. I also snagged myself another bobber fish but it was a dink that was somehow able able to break itself off. At least I was able to release this one.

I'm tired of catching dinks. This Memorial Day weekend will be a great fishing weekend and I'm ready to catch some trophies.

Tied me a Trophy catching fly


  1. I have to try Paradise lake one day. Have you tried it on a float tube?

    1. It's a no contact lake so only kayaks and boats are allowed.
      It all adds to the challenge.