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Paulina’s Hidden Gold

This killer hookjaw hit a trolled tui chub pattern plug about 220 feet back in 13 feet of water at Paulina Lake.

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I had taken the trailer up to Paulina Lake the week before for the “last hurrah” on the camping for this year. Steve Kelly fished with me on the weekend and then Jan and I went up later the following week as high pressure and better weather moved back in. Jan is not all that big on fishing but does go out with me occasionally when the weather is favorable. We did have some sunny days with highs in the low 40’s but cold nights down into the low 20’s made it hard for her to hang in there. We pulled out on Sat. after 3 days. Over the course of the stay, I caught a lot of little browns but nothing over 3 LB.

We did make a trip down to Wickiup for some driftwood and as you can see by the photos, the lake got a little lower than normal this year. It bottomed out at around 42,000 acre feet before they cut the irrigation flows back recently. As of this writing, it is back up to 51,000 acre feet so there will be no issues with getting back out on the lake for the rest of Oct. The ramp situation should be good to go from here on out until the season closes on Oct. 31. You may want to check to make sure the gate is still open though. Hoodoo was anxious to get out of there and the camp host is gone.

I had decided to leave my boat at the dock at Paulina Lake Resort and make a trip back up later in the week to fish another day and then pull it home. As I pulled in yesterday morning, the temps were in the 20’s and snow was forecast later in the day. I bundled up and headed out to make a pass in front of the resort.

After getting rigged up, I immediately popped a small brown. An hour later I had caught 4 smaller browns to 17 in. This time of year, the smaller browns will hit with abandon as the try and put on a little weight before the water temps drop and winter hits up there. The larger browns, that are spawning size, will be going through hormonal changes to concentrate on reproduction and go off the bite in general. Many of the bigger browns caught in the fall will hit from aggression but are not actually eating and are often foul hooked as they try and remove anything that invades their space. The browns in Paulina lake are all stocked and do not have the appropriate habitat to spawn in the lake but go through a false spawn in the shallows from Sept. to Nov. up at that elevation. When they are in the shallows they are fun to watch if you can find them as they stake out territories and chase each other around.

My best brown of the day came around 10:00 a.m. and hit a plug way back as I went over a point. He got into the air 4 times as I slowed the boat to play him. He fought his heart out before I finally netted the 6 LB.+ brown. With water temps now down to 47 degrees, it was easy to leave him in the net while I got a couple of self timer photos before his release. I caught at least a dozen browns for the day but this was the only photo worthy trout for the day. When I pulled out late in the day, I felt a little sad as I drove down the hill knowing I wouldn’t be back up to Paulina until next spring....God willing!

I will be leaving for Kootenay Lake in Canada a little later this month. I hope to send reports each week we are there.

Tight Lines,

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