This bad boy was caught casting a chub pattern plug and tore me up on my 6.5 foot spinning rod. Wickiup was the spot.
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This is a “good news/bad news” update on the Wickiup fire and as I see it, more to the good news side of things than the bad. I have feared that some day a fire would start around the vicinity of the reservoir. My fears were confirmed this past week when a fire started on Sunday, July 28th around 1:00 p.m. that afternoon. Fortunately, the Forest Service had crews on it immediately and between the helicopters, dozers and field crews, they were able to build a perimeter around it quickly. Another good break was that the prevailing winds were pushing it from its origin west of the Deschutes Arm toward the western shore where it ran out of fuel near the lakes edge.
As of Sunday evening, they estimated it had already burned between 30-40 acres. By Monday afternoon they had the upper hand and contained the fire at 100 acres. The “bad news” is there are some toasted areas along the western shore of the arm from Brown’s Creek to the southern end of what I refer to as “ Sheep’s Bridge Bay” just south of the old cable tram at Sheep’s Bridge. The “good news” is that it only burned a few hundred yards along the shore. This fire could have been a catastrophe of monumental proportions if the winds would have been blowing from the north or east instead of the west. My thanks to all the firefighters who got on top of this so quickly.....good job!!
The campgrounds that had been evacuated on Sunday were reopened by Monday at 2:00 p.m. As far as I know there were no structures or RV’s lost and no one was hurt, just a little shaken from the evacuation.
I was heading up there on Monday but had to wait and see when and if it was contained and I could even get into the area. With a few things to do at home yet, I made it up to the lake on Wednesday evening just in time for some thunderstorms that sparked even more fears of fire threats....luckily, nothing of any consequence happened other than a few spot fires that were quickly contained.
My buddy, Steve Kroll, was already camped there and we fished together on Wed. evening until the thunderstorms unnerved us both and we got off.....too much thunder and lightning all around us. On Thurs. morning, with improved weather, a friend, Tony Herrin, would join me for a couple of days of his vacation. As luck would have it, I hooked up on a nice hookjaw brown right before he showed up. I caught him from the same area up around where I had lost a good fish the night before. I had returned to the same area that morning wondering if I could get that fish to hit again. You can never really tell about something like that but I like to think I fooled the nice 8.5 LB. hookjaw again and this time got him up for some photos before releasing him. I think his home was among some logs that ODFW had placed in that area to improve brown trout habitat years ago.
When Tony arrived we hit a good casting area and both stuck a few nice browns in the 4-5 Lb. range. I think we ended up with 6 between us before we took a lunch break around noon. The wind picked up quite a bit so we decided to take a nap before the early evening bite. I think we took another 7 browns that evening before we got off. Most were 1-2 Lb. with a couple around 3 LB. The next morning was clearer weather and we did a combo of casting and trolling until noon. Tony had the hot hand catching most of the browns that morning and most came while casting plugs. His best two were around 4 LB. He wasn't feeling well as the morning progressed so we pulled out around noon. After lunch at the Twin Lakes Resort, we decided to call it a day. I headed home for the rest of the weekend and he headed back to his place. It was a good outing with 20 browns for a day and a half.
I am heading back up this coming week so check back for more reports on Wickiup and maybe a trip to East Lake.