July 26, 2023. Wednesday. Despite reassurance from an early morning chat I had with the Kiosk, I arrived at Dino to a frothing lake. Wild wind gust tore through the serene wind pattern that had lulled the lake into a sense of complacency. But I, oh yes, I was not going to be deterred. Hell no, for I had a date with the fish, and it was set for Wednesday. The promise of favorable morning winds beckoned me like a siren’s call. To ensure the waters would be just right, I dialed up the Lake Kiosk for the latest wind intel. “Fear not,” they assured me, “the lake’s as calm as a zen monk, and the forebay’s sporting a gentle breeze.” A perfect setup for a tranquil morning on the fishing frontier.
Enter reality, stage left. Oh, sweet disappointment! When I pulled up at 9:00, the lake had transformed into a chaotic playground of whitecaps and waves. Like Hunter Biden’s ill-fated “slam dunk” plea deal, my fishing escapade was not going according to plan. Crossing the lake now seemed like a fool’s errand. I sensed the situation might turn downright hostile in a few hours. No thank you, chaos, I thought, turning my prow towards the Forebay, hoping for better prospects.
But alas, the Forebay was not in its prime state either. It wore a murky, bi-tonal cloak, an unsettling result of the mingling between the Powerhouse and the Canal waters. A muddy divide ran right down the middle of the forebay, and there I stood, casting into the transition zone, praying for some cooperative fish to grace my lure. Alas, not a nibble in sight!
I relied on my sonar and checked all the tried-and-true fishing spots, but those elusive concentrations of fish were nowhere to be found. Sure, I managed to snag a few small ones here and there, but they were about as eager to bite as a lazy sloth in a heatwave. Not exactly the fishing extravaganza I had envisioned.
And yet, amidst the struggle, a glimmer of hope appeared on the horizon. The 156 Channel, near the weedlines in front of the Island, presented a small victory. Shallow waters at 8 feet depth held promise, but fishing efficiently there was a whole new ball game. See, the lake’s pumps were gushing water like there was no tomorrow, while the influx from the canal and powerhouse stirred up a swirling vortex of floating algae and clumps of weeds. This called for adaptability, and so, my trusty weedless clousers came into play.
All in all, I managed to haul in 13 fish during the day, but my eyes were set on the prized keepers. You know how it is—sometimes you feel like a champion, and sometimes you feel like a two-bit dink to break the lull.
And as if the lake’s fickleness wasn’t enough, the road to my piscatorial adventure presented its own somber interlude. I encountered a chilling accident on the opposite lane during my drive to the lake this morning. A mangled car, a helicopter touching down on the freeway for immediate assistance—it was a sobering reminder of life’s fragility. My thoughts and prayers drifted to the person involved, hoping against hope that they emerged from the chaos unscathed.
Fear, elation, and contemplation—the ingredients of a day on the lake, in a world where even nature and asphalt conspire to test your mettle.