Tuesday, March 20, 2012
3/15 - 3/18 Hillsdale Lake... "Just Horsin Around"
This past week my wife had a few extra days scheduled off work and with the weather forecast resembling June instead of March it seemed a no-brainer to get away. A couple of our friends that just happen to work for the school district had some time off for Spring Break as well so we set to planning a three day camping trip to one of our local reservoirs that has over twenty miles of equestrian trails.
While I don't ride (not seriously like these guys anyway), I go along just to enjoy the company and spend a few days relaxing around camp with the dog. I can almost always find some water to wet a line relatively close by ,although it's not always a productive endeavor.
Of the five who ended up making the trip I was the only non-rider in the group, which meant I'd be what I like to refer to as the "Camp Bitch" for the weekend. It really isn't as bad as it sounds , the menial camp chores that go along with the trip are actually a big part of what I enjoy about camping.
Between cooking meals , splitting wood , fire duties and last but not least making sure the beer coolers always have sufficient ice, a guy can stay pretty busy.
Joe and I pretty much just hung around camp for the most part , it was a good chance to peruse through a couple of my favorite fly fishing mags and finish a book that I'd started reading recently.
Joe requires even less to make him happy , a patch of green grass in the sunshine and he's quite content to lounge the day away...can you blame him??
I won't bore you with the minor details , especially since this really doesn't qualify as a "Fishing Trip" in my book. Even though we were camped only a few miles from Hillsdale Lake , the relentless 20-30 mph winds that started building at sunrise each morning made the idea of fishing that much less appealing. Joe and I still managed to make it down to the lake a couple of times , walking along the shoreline with the flyrod in tow and even making what might pass for an ugly cast into the wind occasionally.
Joe didn't seem too bothered by the fact that no fish were caught on these forays and honestly I wasn't either. If the fishing had been better I'd have had a lot less time to drink beer and nap in the sun!
I did get to try out my new dutch oven for the first time and really enjoyed using it. Although nothing fancy was on the menu, I didn't hear any complaints from the group about homemade biscuits for breakfast or the campfire fruit cobblers that I made on two of the evenings.
As a matter of fact it was noted that I'd taken my status of "Camp Bitch" up just a notch or two by adding the dutch oven to my cooking repertoire.
The only real fishing that happened was on the last afternoon , we'd packed up and were headed back to the barn to unload horses and take care of the multitude of chores involved with owning a 1200 pound animal that eats constantly. Thus I found myself with some time to kill while the others worked for a change. I decided it was a good time to make my first trip to a little pond just down the road so I assembled the 3-weight and tied on a size #8 wooly bugger and off I went.
The next hour was spent catching hand-sized gills and small bass almost at will. I'm pretty sure I was the first to fish it this year and the residents were hungry and more than willing to play , I sure love those little feisty bluegills.
Of course I had to make the wife think that I was "sacrificing" a perfectly good weekend when I could have been standing in a river somewhere , hoping the notion might just get me a hall pass the next time I need one. Just between you and me though.....I can't imagine a better way to spend a few days. Sitting around a campfire with friends after dinner each night and staring up at the stars isn't such a bad thing , even if you are just cheap labor for the rest of the group!
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher