It's May long weekend and I am in Osoyoos. We drove up Friday after work and I couldn't leave my fly rod at home, it would have got lonely. Despite the long drive and lack of sleep last night I was up early to try out a new lake. With my pontoon strapped to the roof I was on my way to Sawmill lake. I heard there were some good size rainbows in the lake and that spring is a good time to fish it. The road up to the lake is a little rough and I wouldnt want to drive a car up it but i made it up with no problems in my SUV. Upon arriving I took a look around. There is a rustic campsite up there and some beautiful scenery. Standing on the shore looking out over the lake I see what I came here to find. A rotund, good size rainbow launched itself up out of the water right out in front of me. I was getting even more excited and quickly returned to my vehicle to gear up and get on the water.
I had never fished Sawmill before so my first order of business was to tour the lake to look for fishy spot sporting structure and dropoffs. The lake is a small lake and quite shallow for the most part. I rowed around and trolled a black leech paying attention to what was under the water.
After about a half hour of putting around I found myself a nice shoal on the edge of deeper water where there was plenty of surface action. I anchored up and continued to cast my black leech pattern. No takers, knowing that there were fish feeding in the area I changed patterns to a green sparkle leech with a gold bead head. Two casts later I felt the familiar tug of a rainbow devouring my offering and I set the hook. By setting the hook I mean I simply lifted the rod as the fish had absolutely hammered the fly. A couple jumps and a great fight later I had my fist Sawmill rainbow to hand. Just a note, to anyone wanting to fish the lake it is currently artificial fly, barbless hooks and catch and release only (but don't take my word for it, check the regulations before you go).
As the day progressed the swallows began to show up. They must have known there was a hatch about to happen. Soon after they arrived mayflies began to hatch and the fish responded by sipping them off the surface. I was cursing myself for forgetting to bring mayfly dries. It would have been amazing to watch the trout rise in the clear water to a mayfly dry sitting on the surface. Fortunately, the trout continued to enjoy the tantalizing green sparkle leech I had on and I continued to catch many more rainbows, none of which were under 16" and many much larger ones.
Sawmill is now on my list of lakes to revist and fish again in the future. It was a successful day full of big rainbows and good times. On a side note, due to the warm climate in the area and the shallow lake, this lake is probably best fished in the spring and the fall before and after the hot summer weather.
Pictures to come, when I get home.