The last of three fishing trips into Hancock came on Saturday. We had hoped to take Clara to SMC Lake or one of the other lakes above 3,000 feet near it. However, the weather was looking nasty so we chose to head farther north to Lynch Lake.
Grandpa Jack and I had fished Lynch a couple of times and done ok. I had even seen a cougar there once while trying to fish it with a friend. The big risk was that it was a solid hour of driving to get there (actually the same as SMC). Luckily, the good folks at Hancock take good care of their roads and on a Saturday they were abandoned.
We rolled up to the lake and parked. Unlike SMC or other options, we had less than 10 feet to walk from the car to the lake. We probably walked more to get to the huckleberry bushes than to the lake. (Yes, I found some blueberries. Yes, they tasted horrible, but not as bad as the blueberries at SMC.)
Clara was thrilled to be out on the lake and I was thrilled it wasn't raining. We had all kinds of extra gear stowed in a waterproof bag, but needed none of it. We trolled around for a few moments while Grandpa Jack got into the water. (He wasn't slow. He had helped us get going.)
I rowed out and Clara held the rod. We saw a few fish jumping, but didn't get any action until Grandpa Jack caught a small cutthroat near the north end of the lake near the outlet. Clara and Grandpa Jack traded, "You're silly!" across the lake. After Clara ate a lovely lunch of peanut butter and jelly she decided she wanted to row. Since we weren't catching fish anyway it seemed a good way to keep her interested. She did great and I leaned back and ate my own lunch.
Unfortunately, while Grandpa Jack continued catching small fish we were unable to catch any ourselves. In desperation I put on a dry fly and tried casting into the shore, but to no avail. We did catch a little fish while the dry was dragging in the water so it wasn't a complete disaster. (Dry flies shouldn't drag in the water. Think of a steak moving on your plate. Would you eat it?)
While fishing Clara looked up at the little hill about 700 feet above the lake and commented that we could probably see the whole lake from up there. Yeah, probably. And since it had been logged and we could see the "shows" from the lake there was probably a road up.
Once we called it quits on the lake we packed up and headed north on a road that looked like it would go to a couple of other lakelets, but instead of following the line on the map it took off in a different direction. We had to make a big looping detour to get back to the hill. We did come across a beekeeper's hive storage spot and drove through a cloud of bees.
The road up to the "peak" was in great shape and we made it in just a few minutes. The views were great, extending all the way to Seattle in the west and deep into the forbidden Tolt watershed to the south.
The trip home was only marred by a wicked hole in the road that made us all bounce around and woke up Clara and she dozed in the back. Oops.
The quality of the road makes me think some of the others on the map might be viable routes to the high country as well. We'll just have to see about how high we could get...