Jim Taylor

Always prepare for a camping or fishing trip early. That’s my mantra, seldom followed. A couple of weeks ago my friend Tom and I took a road trip to fly fish upper Klamath Lake. I had gotten new tires for my drift boat trailer, fully charged the batteries for the electric motor, purchased new camp canopies for shade. Tom has a brand new tent to sleep in. We were ready to go. Firewood, food, clothes and fishing gear.

I picked up Tom at 6 a.m. After loading up his personal gear, we were on our way for a four-day adventure. It is a five hour drive to our destination and we commented on the light traffic. Going through Eugene on I-5, then east over Willamette Pass was very pleasant. Driving at a reasonable speed would get us there in plenty of time to set up camp. Float the boat and get in a half day of fishing.

Passing by Odell Lake I noticed how unusually smooth the lake surface was, just like a mirror. Just then it hit me! I forgot to bring the electric motor. I thought I was prepared. Not wanting to row the boat for four days, I turned around and drove the 130 miles back to Keizer.

After again filling up with gas, we re off once more on our journey. The traffic was much heavier on the second run but we arrived in time to unload and set up camp. With the sun setting we did manage to bring two nice rainbow to the net—one was about seven pounds.

The next morning we had a good breakfast of hashbrowns and bacon and got out on the lake. We hooked a half dozen and landed a few weighing up to six pounds. Early afternoon was cheese, sausage and crackers time. Relaxing around camp was refreshing. The first roll of thunder caused us to put some things under the canopy in case of a thunder shower. That was a good move because soon it began to pour.

An hour later we left the safety of the truck cab to discover the canopy had leaked. The only damage was a roll of paper towels that looked like it had soaked up half the thunder cloud. The canopy did provide shade but obviously wasn’t waterproof. Time to go fishing.

After pumping rainwater out of the boat we were off again. The lake was calm after the storm and the air smelled fresh. The fish were active and we were rewarded with a productive evening. A great steak and potato dinner topped off the day.

The third day was a repeat of day two except it rained twice as hard and twice as long. This time Tom even had water on the floor of his new tent. We had only about an hour to fish that evening, but we hooked and landed four big rainbows. A great dinner topped off the day.

The following morning, the fishing was slow and we had to be done by 10 a.m. to break camp. In the last 30 minutes we hooked our only two fish of the morning, but the last fish was nearly 10 pounds—the biggest of the entire trip.

A great time had been had with big fish and a good friend. The motor worked great and was worth returning home for. I’d be willing to bet I don’t forget it again. It wil be something else I forget, I’m sure.