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Skunked at SMC
posted by John : August 21, 2007

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SMC Lake

When we were at SMC Lake last time it was more hiking than fishing. Grandpa Jack did have his fly rod, but he never made a cast.

Lilly got to fish another lake, but Clara was ready for a more serious fishing trip. We wanted to take her to SMC, but a scouting trip was required first. The fact that SMC supposedly had golden trout was only a bonus... of course.

So I arrived at home with Grandpa Jack who magically morphed into Dad since none of the kids were home. We threw all the gear into his truck and an hour later were at the end of the road. I had my uninflated belly boat strapped to the bottom of a sweet 30 year old backpack that I picked up for a whopping three bucks at a garage sale in Portland. Dad inflated his boat with a pump that hooks up directly to the battery in his truck.

The walk to the lake is about a quarter mile with almost no gain. Along the way I saw some ripe blueberries and popped a handful into my mouth.


I've never eaten a cow patty before, but I expect the taste was similar. I spat and spat, but couldn't get the taste out of my mouth. In desperation I licked the back of my hand, which I had rubbed mosquito repellant on (100% DEET). That made my lips numb, but at least the taste was gone.

As we got near the lake there was a little dimple in the water near the outlet. I looked at it and thought, "Wow. Cool illusion." Closer and it looked less illusiony and more real. I slid down a few feet of bank to check it out and saw there was a little funnel extending from the surface to the rocks below.

Dad jumped into his boat and paddled out. I realized a bike pump should never be used to inflate a belly boat. The volume requirements for a bike tire and what is essentially a truck tire are too different to be serviced by the same pump. I almost melted the pump trying to get the boat blown up.

At last, I was on the lake. It was completely still except the ripples we made as we trolled toward the other end. Clouds had covered the lower valley and blew up against the hills, but then they shredded and left blue streaks in the sky. The sun cast shadows of trees onto the clouds making it a great show.

The fish, if there were any, were hard to catch. In fact, we didn't see or feel anything as we fished almost the entire length of the lake. Where a peninsula protrudes into the lake we thought we heard a stream coming in, but couldn't find it. Around the other side we found a waterfall dropping from a cliff that had fooled us.

We were worried about getting down the sometimes sketchy road during daylight so we left before it got dark. A total bust in terms of catching fish, but a great scouting mission to know we shouldn't return there with Clara. And it was a good father-son type of time, too.

We even logged half a mile and a 100 feet of gain!

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