On Saturday I was determined to get at least one more backpacking / fishing trip in before the rainy season really set in. The mountains were going to be too cold and anyway I got a late start. So I decided to fish Boyle Lake in the Snoqualmie Tree Farm.
With winter waders, fins and float tube the pack weighed about 25 pounds. The hike to Boyle from the Spur 10 Gates was 45 minutes of solitude. Didn't see another soul (or animal). Weather was cold, like maybe 50 degrees. Arrived at the lake at 1pm and fished unil 5pm.
I've fished Boyle before and never caught anything. I've heard that Boyle sees almost NO ONE all season long but that's not entirely true: someone is maintaining the trail and the primitive launches. Whoever they are, I didn't see them on Saturday.
I caught one very blackish looking cutt of about 8" by the launch and then nothing for a couple of hours. I listened to Car Talk podcasts on my phone and after a couple of those I caught some bass at the far side of the lake; the largest of them was maybe 10".
Finally a mayfly hatch started. Nice big mayflies that happened to match the ones in my box! Over the last hour I caught perhaps a half dozen of the NASTIEST trout ever. The first fish was about 12", darkly colored and INFESTED with fish lice. I couldn't help it. I WAS OVERCOME WITH AN URGE TO PULL THEM ALL OUT, so I did. I used my forceps and pulled about 8 of the lice off of the dark beast.
Example of Fish Lice
I was totally grossed out. But I did it for every fish I caught for the next hour. One fish that I hooked came tail-walking across the water toward me; it was so dark and muddy looking that I recoiled in horror and was glad when it got off before it got to me.
The walk back to the truck was a long, cold walk in wet pants. I guess my neoprenes have a leak in them. I was exhausted by all the hiking and kicking around. That's a lot of work for those nasty fish. You'd think that much work would get you big, pretty fish but not this time.