Well Amber and I had separate adventures this week. She climbed into the Gothic Basin off the Mountain Loop Highway on the west side of the state and I soloed into Lake Janus just on the east side of Stevens pass to search for some late season trout. I got a fairly early start, hitting the trail by 8:30. The drive in from Highway 2 was a little frustrating. The Smith Brook road is extremely popular with novice hikers and the trail head always gets packed with the cars of people looking more correctly prepared for a day picnicking in the park than taking a hike on a backcountry trail. Their back road driving skills usually reflect their trail experience and I wound up in a caravan of little city cars being lead by a gigantic 4 wheel drive truck that looked like it had never seen a week without a trip to the car wash. When we hit the parking area I was out of my rig, had my pack on and was signing the trailhead log book before most of them were out of their Subarus and Priuses. I hit the trail hard because I wanted to get into the lake. I did the 3.6 mile, 1550 feet of elevation gain trek in an hour and 5 minutes! I was feeling good. Amber and I had explored this lake a couple of weeks earlier and I knew where I wanted to look for the best fishing spot. I worked my way around the opposite way we had gone last time.
At Janus you can bushwhack through brush on the east side or traverse in the clear over bog on the west. I opted for the bog as my wet boots soon confirmed. When I am in fishing mode I don’t worry much about staying dry or comfortable. I just want to find the fish! And find them I did! Third cast with my favorite lure brought in a beautiful 14 inch trout. A few more casts and I had another.
And then I bound my line on a cast, it snapped and sent my favorite lure on an epic journey of its own arcing out into the center of Lake Janus. Aaaaaah! Why don’t I stock up on those things?! (I think it is because every time I go to buy another lure I hear something about how many I already have… ) I spent the rest of the morning finding the right combination of lure and location to fill the limit. I found several spots I could just cast straight out from shore and get about one hit per cast. I brought home two nice 14 inchers and three ten to twelve inchers. As a bonus, three Navy FA-18s on a training run screamed overhead! It was awesome! You would have to pay good money to get that kind of view at an airshow! Sorry, no pics – fishing pole in hand, camera in pack. It might seem strange to some people to see Navy jets up in the mountains in the center of the state but the coastal training base is just minutes away when you have jet engines! I circled the entire lake and I think I have identified the number one fishing location.
It is of course at the exact spot, most difficult to reach, as my boots and pants soaked to the knees will attest. I will head straight for that spot the next time I go to test my theory that there will be a whole collection of big ones just waiting to jump on my replacement favorite lure.