We, my friend Steve and I, went in search of big rainbow trout. Destination Diamond Lake where the successful ridding the lake of chubs and assorted crap fish has helped bring back a healthy rainbow population.
Back big time as in large fish but not classic torpedo-shaped rainbow but those of the slab-side, football-shaped variety. Rainbows that suddenly realized they didn't have to compete for food since the invading trash fish were gone and have been at the bug smorgasbord with unfettered appetites ever since. In truth, Diamond Lake rainbows are obese.
Well as fat as they might be, none fell for our enticements or, for that matter, those of hundreds of other fishermen who were casting to or dangling bright lures and bug-like flies in front of them. We got skunked.
No matter it was a gorgeous October day-cool and clear with just a hint of wind on the water. And there was Mount Thielsen to the east and Mount Bailey to the west forming a magnificent backdrop. It was even quiet despite the throng of powerboats.
It was a wonderful day until it wasspoiled by the fact that shiners and other bait fish, who didn’t get there by themselves, are starting to reappear in Diamond Lake (www.diamondlake.net). This after the huge, and expensive, effort to get rid of those fish and return the lake to its former self.
Which raises the question-why do the get-a-fish-at-any-cost types feel that they’re beyond the rules barring live bait fishing? Is it a sense of entitlement they feel as in, "I'll get my limit even if it costs the body of water I'm fishing on to deteriorate. My catch is more important than yours and for that matter the health of the lake, river or stream.”
In his new book, "River Teeth", Writer David Duncan talks of a fly fishing friend who calls fishing guides, "lunker pimps." Pimps, "who see trout, salmon and steelhead not as prey, or challenge or mystery or blessing but as potential as potential ads to push their guided float trips, books, and autographed rods and flies."
The numbskulls reintroducing bait/trash and non-native fish species into Diamond Lake and other bodies of Oregon are worse than the pimps by a long shot. They’re like a human virus killing many great places to fish.