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Old 12-06-2018, 08:24 AM
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david vaughn david vaughn is offline
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Nearing the end of Rim country Tiger Safari's...

Well, with pretty much nothing to do yesterday afternoon, I opted to take a little drive up on to the Rim and check icing on Woods and Willow Springs. The Rim Road is fairly free of snow/ice/slush, and is passable with a 2WD vehicle. A friend suggested not taking the entire FR 300 Road, unless I had 4WD due to the amount of snow/ice/slush/mud throughout the entire 40+ miles of roadway. Otherwise, the 4WD would easily pass over those sections of road are not friendly to my little Dodge Dakota Quab Cab.

The first gate leading into Woods Canyon just north of FR 300 is closed and locked. Guess I won't go chasing any Tigers up there until next Spring.

Going into Willow Springs wasn't bad and was 50% covered in snow/ice/slush. The main parking area was nearly completely buried in the white stuff and only 2 brave souls were on the water.

The main body of Willow Springs is ice free, however from what I could tell, the southern finger is icing over fairly quickly, and the eastern finger looked like it was getting iced over as well. The boat ramp was still clear of ice at the moment, so perhaps several Tiger Safari's can be arranged before it is fully iced over.

Thought you'd like to know, just in case a last minute chance to chase some Tiger's or Bow's was giving you some mild fits...
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:50 PM
Levisdad Levisdad is offline
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Thanks for the info !
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:41 PM
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BigPoppa BigPoppa is offline
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Going into Willow Springs wasn't bad and was 50% covered in snow/ice/slush. The main parking area was nearly completely buried in the white stuff and only 2 brave souls were on the water


Wow those two guys on the water is straight dedication to the game, put and take fishery? straight love to the fishing game
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:12 AM
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david vaughn david vaughn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigPoppa View Post
Going into Willow Springs wasn't bad and was 50% covered in snow/ice/slush. The main parking area was nearly completely buried in the white stuff and only 2 brave souls were on the water


Wow those two guys on the water is straight dedication to the game, put and take fishery? straight love to the fishing game
Yup, dedication is the key!

So much so, that Monday looks like an ideal time to bring the tube up to Willow Springs and chase some Tiger's at least once before the ice completely locks me out...

Now then, where are my new, untested, wool socks?
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:30 AM
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david vaughn david vaughn is offline
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Even though I went looking for some Tiger's, all I could muster was a bunch of Rainbow's.

I arrived at Willow Springs around 11:15 and on the water around 11:30. Quite a bit of the snow/ice is gone on the road and sunny patches of ground, but there's still enough of the white stuff in the shady spots to cool down the air temps.

Speaking of air temps, it was around 40F upon my arrival, and around 38F when I left around 6pm. Not much wind to speak of and around 4pm, the lake surface turned to glass with a stellar top water bite.

I mainly fished the west shoreline and south finger with varied success, throwing SSL's in colors Blood Black, Light Olive, and Black. The best color for my day on the water turned out to be Blood Black. A single attack on my last Light Olive made me wish I had tied up additional SSL's in that particular color. Seems as if something rather large attacked that fly one time and with a savage turn of its head, took most of my tippet with it.

I really wasn't quite prepared for that one hit and it woke me up pretty quick!

My big fish came near the mouth of the southern finger with 4 very heavy 16" Rainbows fighting like they were Brown's were brought to hand. Not much color to speak of, but nice and heavy. Had I possessed a stringer, I wouldn't have minded taking these home for some fish tacos. But then again, Catch & Release does have its rewards.

Continued north along the cut in the west channel picking up several more 14"-15" rainbows and sporadic hits along the way towards the dam.

Had several LDR's along the way, which was fun as well. Cold hands made my fingers somewhat numb in line hauling, which allowed dem dar fishies to slip the hook. It's all good though, as it was still nice to see the rod bend and flex with feeling the weight and fighting fish at the other end of the line.

Around 4pm, the gentle breeze totally abated turning the surface into glass. Fish began hitting top water with a vengeance and I quickly re-lined with floating line and Mini-Hoppers. While the hoppers were quite successful, the sizes I have were a bit too small as the hook just wouldn't quite dig into the upper jaw. I'm not sure if I have a bit too much material near the hook gap, or if the hook gap itself just isn't deep enough to snag the fish.

Regardless, I switched over to a #14 Popper which proved to be the ticket. The topwater bite lasted roughly 30 minutes and while I had lots of hook-ups, very few were brought to hand. Frustrating, but enjoyable.

The breeze came back on around 5pm and I fished until 5:30 with sporadic success, throwing both topwater and more SSL's. One cool thing is that while fishing SSL's under an indicator, that indicator would receive more hits than my SSL. Thinking about adding another bug to my box.

All told, I had 10 Rainbow's to hand, 4 of which easily reached/surpassed the 16" range, with the remainder falling between the 14"-15" range, but all were heavy and willing fighters. A handful of LDR's with an untold number of hits and one brutally savage hit on my last remaining Light Olive SSL.

Back to the bench I go!

My new wool socks did quite well, even though my little piggies got cold, but nothing like the "other" pair of wools socks I wore a month ago. The "other" pair of socks will most likely make a nice pair of motorcycle socks this winter.

Regarding icing, most of the lake appears to be ice free, with the exception of the back side of coves sheltered by the sun. The water level is continuing to drop and I'm hoping for a heavy snow pack for all of our waters this winter.

Perhaps next time I go to Willow Springs (next week?) the eastern finger of the lake should be explored. I haven't fished that side of the lake in several decades...

Sorry, but due to cold and less than nimble fingers, I couldn't get a grip on my phone to take some pics for everyone to see. Something about the possibility of losing my phone to Davy Jones' watery depths kept me from attempting it with shaking hands.

Until next time.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:23 PM
Levisdad Levisdad is offline
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Thanks for posting...
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:48 AM
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nice post... thanks for sharing... glad to hear the socks worked...
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