Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fairy Lake Trek

So on a whim one Saturday I packed up all 3 of my kids and headed up Bridger Canyon. I of course loaded the rods and tackle. I had it in my mind to go check out Fairy Lake. Fairy Lake is a easily assessable local lake nestle high in the Bridger Mountains at about about 7600 ft above sea level. My family has camped there a few times in mid summer. The lake is crystal clear and is as far as fishing is concerned is noted for its highly visible and ever so picky cutthroat trout population. On one visit I literally sat and watched as pods of cutthroat past within 10 ft of the shore. They just do laps around the lake. I never could catch them. Some of these fish push 20 inches.

So the plan was to fish this lake earlier in the year with hopes that the long winter would have bolstered the trouts appetites. To our dismay the road to the lake was closed about 3.5 miles from the destination. I don't know what I was thinking, but I lightened my gear and, a 3 year old, 6 year old and a 10 year old and myself started hiking.

Now its a moderate pull up to the lake and the road was covered in many places with huge snow drifts (hence the road closure). We literally stopped to rest every quarter mile, but some how through pure persistence my little buggers made the climb.

We descended down a snow covered trail into fairly lake. The lake was still 95% iced over. I was a little surprised. It was the 2nd week in June and only a few patches of shoreline water was exposed. The water was gin clear so we sat and watched hoping to spot some hungry trout emerging from their winter prison. No such luck. The ice must have just broke in the past day or two at most. We only stayed 45 minutes and then made the descent another 3.5 miles back to the car. It took us a little over an hour to climb back down the trail that took us 2.5 hours to come up. The kids were bushed and they all passed out on the drive back to Bozeman. I was proud of them. 7 miles is a pretty good day for anybody, let alone a 3 year old!