The Joys of “Summer”

The Joys of “Summer”

Thursday, Donna and I headed up out of the Cle Elum River Valley to spend a few days in the high Alpine country of the Tuck and Robin basins. We hit Tuck by 11:30 a.m. Thursday, and Robin an hour later. But the high, granite basin which nestles Robin Lakes (6,200 feet elevation) was quickly filling with low clouds, and increasing winds. Recognizing the signs of an eminent mountain storm, we dropped back down to Tuck and Tucks Pot (5,300 feet) and set up camp between the two lakes around 1:45. By 2:00 the rains started. We had a good camp site, with solid protection from the wind. Around 4:30, we popped out of the tent to take advantage of the switch from rain to light showers. Thirty minutes of casting a small (#16 I think) Royal Coachman into Tucks Pot resulted in several nice little (8 to 10 inch) cutthroats. By 5 p.m. the winds started to pick up again, making casting off the brush-lined lakeshore very difficult. (Sophie loved swimming in the frigid wind-chopped lake -- she has developed a love of ducking her head through big waves as she swims -- though she also appreciated diving back into the tent 10 minutes later) We had a modest break around 6 p.m. that allowed us to cook dinner without getting soaked, then it was back into the tent. By 7 p.m. had a powerful hail storm pummeling us, and by 9 p.m., we had snow flurries (the next morning we could see a heavy snow line about 250 feet above us -- Robin Lakes got a couple inches of snow overnight). The snow didn't last at Tuck, but the rain pounded us all night long. The next morning the rain continued until about 9 a.m. We had a leisurely breakfast in the tent, then spent a couple hours enticing cutthroat out of both Tuck and Tucks Pot. By noon, it was apparent the weather was coming back in, so we packed up and hiked out. We did stop and fish along the upper Cle Elum on the drive down from the trail head back to Roslyn and found a couple great pools with 10" rainbows. A late lunch/early dinner of burger (mushroom-swiss burger) and halibut-and-chips at The Brick Tavern in Roslyn was a perfect ending to the trip. Saturday, we decided to take advantage of the last weekend of Cedar River fishing. Knowing the best action occurs toward evening, we spent the afternoon chasing smallish rainbows and cutts up on the South Fork Snoqualmie (both ends of Exit 38, as well as down along Exit 34). We each had several fish in the 6-9 inch range and one nice cutt over 10 inches. About 5 p.m. we drifted south to the Landsburg Bridge and walked nearly a mile downstream along the Cedar River Trail. We dropped into several holes and found the action slow, until the sun dropped low. Around 6:30, we started to draw fish up to #16 elk hair caddis (olive green bodies). For the next 45 minutes we had modest success, with Donna and I each netting fish in the 10-12 inch range. By the time we exited the river, there was a brilliant red hew to the evening light and we enjoyed a marvelous sunset on the way home. All in all, a very enjoyable, though tiring, weekend with fish caught in two high Alpine lakes and three rivers, during wind, rain, and glorious red-glow twilight. With our joyously active yellow lab, Sophie, at our sides, we experienced warm sunshine, rain, wind, hail and snow while catching feisty rainbows and cutthroat trout. Though not exactly what we planned, this was a perfect late summer weekend for us.
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