When Fish Are So Close, Yet So Far

You may recall a post from a few weeks ago in which I mentioned that one of my best friends, Mark Wizeman, quit his job, loaded the truck and set off across the U.S.A. for the summer. Well, I just got another road report from Mark, and this is one I know I can relate to and I'm sure you can, too. That's him below at Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It looks gorgeous, but there's heartache in them hills.

Mark writes: Even though there are a ton of lakes in the park, the list of ones that were fishable due to ice-off was fairly short. Rule of thumb was lakes under 10,000 ft. And to narrow that down even more, only some have fish and others are closed to fishing. But Dream Lake was our highest elevation hike yet. It was half thawed and hugged by high mountains of snow and rock. For the most part we had the lake to ourselves. We fished our way around but it was treacherous. Snowshoes were a must to do it safely and we were fresh out. We both fell hip deep into the snow several times and though I could see fish, I couldn't get to them.

Mark's emails immediately reminded me of a short trip to a local bass lake a few years ago. I remember standing on shore looking out over a mud flat at dusk. In the center, just out of casting range, bluegills were jumping for their lives and the V wakes from bass broke left and right, pushing waves all the way to where I stood. I took one step onto the shallow flat, sunk in up to my waist, struggled out, and watched the chaos from afar, knowing what one good cast in the middle of it with a popper could do.

How about you? What's your most sorrowful tale of seeing fish that you couldn't reach?