Friday, May 10, 2019

Big Fish In Baum Lake

Baum Lake is a great destination for any kind of fishing any time of the year. I tend to like fishing Baum Lake when the weather warms up in the spring as it is more comfortable and scenic. This trip I decided to do something a little different and solely fly fish from my inflatable kayak rather than my float tube. I was looking forward to getting some more experience learning how to effectively catch fish from my kayak with a fly rod.

On the day I arrived the parking lot at Baum Lake was nearly full as if everyone had the weekday off. I was a little worried about the fishing pressure but previous experience has taught me that the lake is always full of fish no matter the amount of anglers. I set up my kayak and spoke to a regular who reported that the lake was stocked with larger +4lbs trout in January and that they were taking callibaetis.

Large Baum Bow

I set off to my usual run and started playing with my new anchor. It wasn't long before I hooked and landed my first fish. This rainbow trout was a brute and most definitely one of the bigger planters that the gentleman I had spoken to was referring to. After netting my first fish of the day it seemed like all the fish had stopped biting which was a bit unusual for Baum Lake.

Hours went by with no grabs and by high noon the sun was starting to beat me down. I stopped fishing and decided to do some recon on my kayak to find where the fish were holding. By kneeling on both knees in my kayak I was able sit up higher and spot fish. One thing I noticed was that there were way less fish than my previous visits however the fish I saw were much bigger. Baum Lake was going to be quality over quantity fishery this time around.

I didn't start catching fish again until about mid-afternoon when most of the other anglers had left for the day. It wasn't easy fishing by any means, the fish really made you work to get them. The tactic I found the most productive was nymphing while using my kayak as a one man drift boat. I had to control my drift with my paddle in my left hand while holding my fly rod and presenting my rig with my right hand. It was a lot of difficult multi-tasking but the technique was deadly productive. I only caught a total of five fish the first day however they were all steelhead size rainbows that ripped out line like they were wild fish.

Callibaetis and Scuds

My second day out on Baum Lake fished a little slower. I hooked about six big fish but they were well spread out throughout the day. I sampled a few of them to identify what they were eating and my findings showed that each fish had eaten a few callibaetis nymphs and one or two scuds. This was surprising because most of the fish I had caught were on midges.

They Almost Look Wild

The fishing was a bit tough this time around but the fish were all big and phenomenal fighters. The kayak helped me get to places that I would have been exhausted kicking to on a float tube. I'm starting to really like this whole fly fishing from a kayak thing.

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