Thursday, November 10, 2011
Trip Report Part One of Three: Clearlake State Park
On Tueday I made a day trip with my friend Joe to go fishing and do some photography at Clearlake State Park in Northern California. OK I'll admit it I only threw in my flyrod at the last second in case the fishing was really hot. The day started off cold and foggy but cleared up pretty rapidly to be a beautiful fall day. I focused my efforts on paddling up the three main creeks and sloughs that help make up the park. Here the water is perfectly flat and well suited for photography from a kayak like my Ultimate 14.5.
I started with Kelslsey Slough and immediately discovered a lot of Great Egrets and Mallards resting on the logs in the slough. With a slow approach you could get very close. Those Mallards with there orange feet really stand out. When I got to the end of the slough I saw the flip of a tail and my mind immediately jumped to RIVER OTTER! Luckily for me the otter was engaged in hunting crawfish and small fish and was more curious about my presence than afraid. Several times it went up onto a log to check me out. At one point it even swam around under the kayak for awhile checking it out. It must like Ultimates! I was blessed to spend close to ahalf an hour with the otter before it went up into the brush along the bank to take a break.
Paddling out of the slough I headed over to Kelsey Creek I passed Joe along the way and he had caught three Largemouth bass. One of them he hefted out of the water. It was a nice fish easily 6+ pounds. A great way to start the day that's for sure.