I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting!
Okay let me back up a little here. I’ve been fishing in the San Gabriel Mountains since I was a little kid, and one of the places that I used to love to hike up to was Crystal Lake. The lake has been on lock down since late 2005 due to fires, then rain, then road damage, and now it’s open.
This place holds a special place in my heart. It’s where I caught my first Largemouth Bass as a young boy, and has always made me feel so far away from everything going on in the world.
So enough reminiscing, the point I’m trying to make is that I finally had the chance to make it back up there a couple of weeks ago.
I arrived early in the morning and the parking lot was still closed. So I parked on the side of the road, put my Adventure Pass in the rear view mirror, picked up my Okuma 9′ 5 weight and off I went to relive my childhood.
After about a 1/4 mile uphill hike, I arrived heart racing to see if it still looked the same. As I turned the corner it was like 14 years just rolled back, and there I was 10 years old with fishing gear in hand.
After a couple minutes I remembered that I was there to fish. I tied on a size 12 Beadhead Olive Flash-A-Bugger and after about three casts I was on a fish. I set the hook, the fish fought for a second, and then it came off.
I stood there in shock were there still Bass in here? Plus it fought like a really good one. I sharpened my hook and made sure I had completely mashed down the barb. After my next cast, another hit and another fish off.
I repeated this process about 5 more times with 2 more flies. What was going on? Do these fish have holes in their mouths?
By this time the sun had started to come up, and I decided to switch to a Hopper Dropper Rig.
One cast and I had a decent sized Green Sunfish in hand. This thing fought like a fish 3 times it’s size, and I couldn’t believe the girth for the length of the fish. Well at least the fish were healthy and abundant.
After about 5 Small Bass, 15 Green Sunfish and 1 missed Catfish, I decided to call it a day. People were starting to show up with their dogs and kids. Throwing rocks in the water and scaring away all the fish.
I packed up my rod and reel and started to head out, and as I turned the corner I heard a rustling in the trees and decided to investigate!
There was a small Pack (that’s probably not the right word) of deer, eating acorns (the deer were eating the acorns not the other way around) and moving toward the lake to get a drink of water.
What a day. I am so excited to see this little Lake in such great condition and please if any of you make it up there, pick up your trash and practice catch and release only!
I want nothing more than if I have children, for them to someday be able to enjoy this great little piece of my childhood.
Switch to our mobile site