The day to day grind is interrupted by some talk in the main office about fishing and I am in conversation mode with my coworkers. Talk turns to a nearby pond and someone's eyes light up with glee, "that place is loaded, if you can get in there with a kayak". Later on the evening, I am on google earth scouting the pond that looks like something you see on the bass fishing shows from deep in the south. There is cover, and a lot of it. The nearest road looks to be a good half mile away and I bring up the pond with the local fly shop. Looking up historical satellite photos from the past fifty years reveals that the pond didn't exist in the 1960s and only when the fish and game department started releasing captured beavers in the area did it start to form. Since then, the pond has grown each and every year as the beavers dam more and more. Back to the major question of access reveals a serviceable trail and old road heading back to the pond. Bingo.
The First Fifty Yards of Trail.
Arriving one Friday morning, I unloaded my brand new SUP Yak from Diablo Paddlesports and loaded her up with gear. She was about to make her maiden voyage if I could just get her there. My Diablo Chupacabra is 10.5 ft. long, 38 inches wide, and weighs 58 pounds without any gear. I pick her up and begin making my way down a lovely trail, the exact one google earth displays so clearly. After fifty yards, I need my first break and I readjust the carrying position to my back. Soon the wide trail narrows abruptly and branches begin scraping the sides of the kayak and my face. After a few hundred yards I reach a fork in the remaining trail. This was not on google earth. I take the wider trail to the right and after a few minutes I realize that it is a dead end into a make shift paintball field.
I Thought This Used To Be A Road?
Soon the Trail Disappeared.
I back track and hop onto the original path. The rapidly disintegrating trail now has thorn bushes and down trees to contend with and I find myself having to squat and hop over them with the kayak and gear on my back. I am sweating profusely and need multiple breaks as I shed some layers of clothing. Soon there is no trail and I find myself in the middle of the woods with a kayak that can't fit through the trees. I am having trouble finding the way and soon ditch the kayak to scout out a path to save time. I find myself following deer trails and soon hear the birds signaling that I am getting closer. I find toads and frogs as well as a beaver skull. Evidence. I go back for the kayak and recall one of my favorite scenes from Young Frankenstein: when Igor proclaims, "it could be worse, it could be raining," before lighting and showers erupt out of no where. I chuckle as the rain comes and doesn't let up for most of the day. Later on, I finally make my way to a causeway of the lake an hour after I left the truck.
Getting Close to the Pond.
I Wonder What I'm Going to Be Slinging Today.
The Causeway to the Pond.
Finally getting on the water, I don't have it all to myself. I immediately spot the local wildlife as two bald eagles roam overhead along with several osprey, herons, and geese. I am not the only one fishing. For eight hours I deftly maneuver the SUP Yak around old beaver dams, fallen trees, and remnants of tree stumps. She handles flawlessly, all while standing up and fishing. I am into some serious numbers of bass on top water in the rain but a big bucketmouth eludes me on this day. As the day winds down, I find another access point on the opposite end of the lake and decide to hike out through private property rather than the woods again. I make it back to the truck in a little over ten minutes. Quite the difference from the morning when I foolishly rushed in.
The Entire Impoundment Made By Beavers.
One of Two Flies Thrown All Day.
Have To Start Somewhere.
Now Were Talking.
Largest of the Day.
Paired For Life.
Didn't Produce As Much.
Now That is a Birds Nest.
A Bald Eagle Putting on an Aerial Display.
On the Hunt For a Wayward Beaver or Fish.
One More Nice One.
Everything I Hoped It Be & More.