“A cairn!” Mike said, pointing to the small stack of rocks to mark the correct way.
I was finally looking at it: the very lake Mike and I had spent almost two years talking about.
Both Alan and Logan walked to the right of the lake, while Mike and I took the left side. We sat back and unclipped our packs to take a small breather before we started fishing. We were past due for a sandwich, and as we ate up, we could see a small fish leaping out of the water, eating every bug that hit the surface.
I looked over and saw the shadow of a fish before I actually saw the fish itself, and it was cruising the bank looking for food. Well let’s give you what you want, I thought as I slapped down my pico spider, and it was love at first splat. The fish reacted just as it was suppose to, and bolted for my spider.
“Gotcha!” I yelled, and the fish detonated into action.
“Whoa! You're bigger than I thought!” I said to the fish, as it started peeling line from my reel. I quickly reacted to get control, and brought in my first fish of the day.
A nice fish indeed, especially for an alpine lake. I stood looking into the water, and saw no more shadows of fish, so I pressed on.
I found a spot on a rock that would allow me to cast further into the lake without snagging a tree behind me, which is rare at an alpine lake. Despite the ability to perform a long cast, I first had to slap my fly down next to the edge of the rock. BLAM! A fish came out from under it and took my fly.
I stopped a few times to fish as I made my way around the lake, but nothing was to be seen. The water was shallow enough to see a cruising fish, but none came.
“Hey guys, how has the fishing been for you?” I asked both Alan and Logan as I approached.
“It’s been good.” Logan said.
“We have both done well.” Alan chimed in.
“Good to hear.” I said back, “Mike and I are going to head back down in a bit. You guys certainly do not have to come with us, but you are welcome to.”
“I think we will, if you don’t mind.” Alan said, and started to put together his pack. They both followed me over to where Mike was now waiting, before we started to walk back down the mountain.
Hiking down was a nice change from climbing up, but it requires good knees to support the high impact steps that it takes to walk down. Most people who hike say they will take an uphill trail to a downhill one, simply because it is so hard on your knees. I was beginning to understand what they were talking about, but to me, at my age, I would still take the downhill trail. But whether you would pick up or down, there is nothing like a flat trail. We had made it down the mountain with no casualties, and the flat trail leading the rest of the way out was welcoming.
“We did it!” Mike said with a smile, as we put our packs in the car.
“It was good stuff, but I am tired.” I said back.
“Me too...” Mike said, “...and you still have to drive back to Boise.” He said.
Both Alan and Logan were camping here one more night before heading back to Nampa. We quickly said goodbye, before Mike and I hopped in the car to head back. Getting off my legs after a good hike is like a breath of fresh air.
“Want to hit another lake next week?” I asked.
“I think we can make that happen.” He said.
“Gracy will want to join us, so check to see if Kerry would be up for the hike.”
“I will.” He said, and we drove home, looking forward to the next weekend.