Death of a Fly Rod

Since it had been two weeks since I was last up Highway 88, I figured the snow would have melted and I was right.  I loaded the boys up with our float tubes and fly rods and we headed to Woods Lake on top of Carson Pass.  I’d never fished there, but had heard the fishing for brookies was pretty good.  Just the kind of place to get the boys into some fish, or so my thinking went.

As we climbed 88 we saw a sign warning of a two-hour delay.  Then another as we approached the junction with highway 89.  They advised to tune to AM 1610 for information, but all we got was static.  I decided to see how far we could go and found a short section of one lane road while crews worked on some utility poles.  No delay at all.  Whatever.


Owen following me out into the lake.

We pulled into Woods Lake and found they were working there too, but on the bathroom walkway.  We pulled on our waders, rigged up and got in.  Henry had a fish on pretty quickly, while Owen and I skirted the shallows on our way into the main lake.  I had a bite near the little island, but we headed for the back of the lake anyway.  We saw sporadic rises as we crossed the lake, but had no takes.


Owen below the inlet waterfall (upper left in the shadows).

Owen and I ended up near the inlet and he got a tug, but no hook up.  Then it happened.  I cast and heard a cracking noise.  At first I thought it was my fly hitting the rod but then 3/4 of the rod ended up laying in the water.  For a second I thought it had come apart at the ferrule, but no.  The butt section snapped right below the first ferrule.  Damn!

Broken Rod

Snapped right in half. WTF?!?

It sucks, not just because I broke the rod, but because I built that rod.  It was my favorite.  A St. Croix 4 wt.  I used it everywhere, even when my 6 wt would have been better.  I don’t know if its warranted.  I can’t even remember which series it was.  They all have different names now.  I’m sure I can find out, but even if they replace the blank, I still won’t have  a rod.  We’ll see.

Anyway, we kept fishing, me with my 3/4 rod.  I actually got pretty good at casting the thing, though my hand got tired really quickly gripping the tiny rod.  Now I know why they have grips.  I managed a hook up trolling back to the outlet where we parked and a couple of small brookies once there.  Neither of the boys got any more action.

Honestly, they cast OK, but it deteriorates pretty fast.  Fatigue and frustration set in and they start flogging water or end up with a pile of fly line on their head.  After about three hours of fishing, we decided to leave.  We headed west and stopped at the Lake Margaret trailhead for lunch.  There we decided to just head home since my rod was broken.

On the way back we noticed the same two-hour delay signs and so we tuned in to AM 1610 again.  Now it had some information.  Highway 88 will be closed weekdays from 10 am to 1 p, between August 2 to September 30th at Carson Pass for slope work, including blasting.  The two-hour delay signs are up a little early apparently.  I wonder how many folks turned around or will turn around this weekend because of that if they leave them up?  Anyway, read more here.

Other than the broken rod, it was an OK day.  Not many fish, but it was pretty and warm.  Looks like if you’re going up 88 you better get where you are going before 10 am and plan on staying until 1 pm.  Not to bad, I guess.  I hope they really mean that.  I’d hate to drive up and find the road closed at 9 am or something.  I guess I will find out here soon.


Henry making his way across the lake.

By the way, sorry for the quality of pictures.  I was using my Kodak PlaySport and it only shoots 5 MP stills.  Jen has my camera with her in Connecticut this week.  I wasn’t going to bring my $800 DLSR out on the water, but you did get a video!

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