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Big Mike at Mother Lake

Although you can see him cruising any part of Mother Lake, he favors the north shore. I don't know how many people have caught him but many people have seen him. He is a magnificent beast; all spawned up. He travels about the twice the speed of the other trout, twitching his head from side to side like an angry middle linebacker. Hence, the name Big Mike ... after Mike Ditka and Mike Singletary. Not sure why he's twitching so hard from side to side. He could be angry or maybe he's just trying to see around is kyped snout.  My son Nate and I went out Sylvan Dales' Mother Lake last thursday with high expectations of catching lots of fish and hopefully some very big fish. In addition to us, Al Ritt and his two friends Al and Iggy were there. Ritt put it best by saying "She's [the lake] is being quite fussy today."

Nate hooked up a pretty 22 inch fat girl on a #20 Jujubee. We thought things would progress from there. The other Al was doing pretty well with slow stripped crawfish patterns designed by (who else?) Ritt. Ritt was getting a few on small midge adults. I got a couple 19 inchers on various patterns. But it was slow and getting slower.

The last few weeks have bee pretty good at Mother Lake. But no one had any sucess getting Big Mike. So, the day before Nate and I went,  I asked Front Range Anglers  head guide, Patrick Knackendoffel, if he had any ideas what Big Mike might take.  "How about a big ass Pike Streamer," he said, as went to the fly bin and pulled out a #4 Tan Sculpin Leech. This is a four inch streamer that looks more like a mouse than a leech. The hook is set back near its tail. Patrick trimmed the flash a little bit and said, "Good luck."

After lunch, I decided to give it a go. I stood near the boat launch ramp and casted towards the dam, along the shore line where there is a quick drop off. For you gear weenies, I was using a Grey's Streamflex 10 foot 4 weight with a 5 weight line. This was not what anybody would call a balanced rig. The rod actually behaves like a 5 or a 6, but in this situation the backcast was pretty chunky. Nevertheless, I was able to get it out there and proceeded to strip fiercely. Once the streamer got closer, I started hard jigging with the rod. Although that's a pretty good picture of Big Mike, an equally interesting picture would have been of my face when I saw him come out of the dark blue trying to get the streamer. He chased to within six inches of the bank before he spooked and turned away. Eyes wide and blood pumping I recasted trying get a really big loop to smooth the delivery. Sure enough Mike show up again. Same problem, I was running out of water real estate, so I started walking along the shore extending the 10 foot rod to prolong the strip. It almost worked, but in the end, Mike swam away.

Third time ... Major strike deeper down before I can see the fish. I got 'em! Or so I thought. Once I can see the fish, it's clearly not Mike. In fact, it's a 23 inch Donaldson and a lot of fun to land. Guess who's chasing the action during the whole battle? Yep, Big Mike right on the Rainbows tall, until I bring the net out. After I release that fish and wipe water off my glasses from all the splashing around, it's time to try again. Apparently the fourth time was the charm. As soon as I added the hard rod jigs to my stripping, Big Mike slammed the leech/mouse in the dark water. He picked up the slack line from strips instantly and Hardy Demon reel started spinning out line. Shamelessly, I announced the other anglers on the lake that I had him, and told Nate, if I got him in, I needed a picture. He was on the south end of the lake in a belly boat and started fin his way on over. Nate arrived on the north bank shortly after I netted him to give you and idea on how long it took.

He measured out at 25 inches. Girth ~ 18 inches. If you get out to Mother Lake and see Big Mike, say Hi for me.

Last Updated (Monday, 13 December 2010 08:21)