MERRELL LAKE IS BACK!!!
Merrell Lake, an 85-acre lake located on the Hubbards Lodge property, was our top private lake destination from fall 2010, when we started guiding there, through June 2012. That summer, Merrell suffered a devastating fish kill and had never been the same. In fact, on our last trip there in 2014, we managed only a couple fish, very poor when the rod fee is $100 per day.
Thus it was with more than a little nervousness that I booked a rod for yesterday’s client there, since the Story Lakes were booked up. The reports were that the lake was fishing well, but could I believe them?
Could I ever!
Long story short, between my client and I, we put close to 40 trout in the boat, of which I caught only two, while I was testing out new sets of flies. For a while there, my client was getting strikes on just about every cast. Including lost fish, breakoffs, and a couple fish that got foul-hooked, he probably hooked close to sixty fish, plus quite a few strikes that never got buttoned at all. I’d say that’s solid fishing…
Here’s a typical fish:
Top flies before our (very late) lunch were #16 Driscoll’s Midges trailing #18 PMD BLM Nymphs, with a smattering of fish on other things. They were already moving off this bug combo by lunch, so afterwards we only caught two fish on it. It took me about an hour to get dialed back in, but between 3:00 and 5:00 I figured out they’d shifted to bloodworms, and the bite was back on red Shammy Worms, with a few on a smaller red Flexi Worm (Floss Worm) as a trailer. The fishing was good enough that at 4:50 I said we’d call it a day on the next fish, knowing full well I’d be done guiding by 5:15. It was actually more like 5:00.
Most of the trout were in the thirteen to sixteen inch class, but very fat. We did get one real pig though, a fish in the 20″ class that was fat and sassy. A lot of the “teenage” fish fought like banshees. We got eleven counted jumps out of the last fish, for example, though that was probably the record.
We’ve only got about a week or ten days left fishing Merrell before the lodge guests take over and we get kicked off til fall, so if this report interests you, better book Ben or I ASAP. Absent any water temperature problems this year or other perils to the fish, the fishing should turn on again in early October, when we’re allowed on again. This is a lake that fishes great in the middle of October, if you want a change-up option from chasing fall browns.