I woke up to Bryan and Mike having a conversation about getting out of bed quickly after waking up in the morning. Both came to the conclusion that they can’t just stay in bed; they have to get up and do something with their mornings. I, on the other hand, have no problem relaxing for an extra ten minutes before getting up. In fact, this morning I stayed in the sleeping bag, nice and comfortable, extra long while Mike and Bryan gathered water to boil. It didn’t take long for the Jet Boils to get the water up to temp, which was my cue to grab my mug and special Market Spice cinnamon orange tea I had brought to top off my morning. 

The lake was once again placid, with no sign of life. We unanimously decided to not fish our current location and tp head out and up the steep climb with fresh legs. 

“Whoa, where are you leading us, Bryan?” Mike asked, as we followed him on his trail out. 

“Ummm, this way.” Bryan said, with a chuckle, as he turned away from what looked like a twenty foot drop off an enormous boulder. 

“Geez, you are like a horse headed back to the barn. Head down, only one path.” Mike said with a laugh. 

“Well, I could have made that…” Bryan said, finding a much better and safer way out. 

We knew what we were in for on this climb out, and to be honest climbing up a steep terrain is much easier than hiking down one. Hiking sticks come in very handy on this kind of hike. You can easily burn out your legs when hiking any steep trail, but with the addition of arm power hoisting you up you can do it with much less leg effort. 

A good safety tip on steep terrain is to take your wrists out of the straps on the walking sticks. The sticks are a big help when hiking up or down steep slopes, however if you slip you can cause serious damage to your arm if it gets caught in the strap while taking a fall. Just removing your hand from the strap makes having the stick a handy tool rather than a dangerous one.

Bryan was at the top of the mountain waiting for us as Mike and I got there. We had all worked up a sweat on that climb, but it was all downhill from there. 

We passed a small frog pond on the way back to the trail that led us out. 

Further down the hill Boulder Lake came into view, and with as early as it was we decided to stop and fish the lake for a few hours before heading back to the trailhead. 

We pulled out our Wilderness Light float tubes, blew them up on the shoreline of Boulder Lake, rigged up our rods, and we were ready to fish in no time. 

Both Bryan and I caught fish like we were in a competition.

We were certainly putting on a show for the spin fishers on shore. If they were fly fishers I could have offered help, however when it comes to spin fishing I am like…well, I’m like a fish out of water.

Time flies by when you are catching fish, and I had promised I would be home at a certain time, so Bryan and I got off the water and headed back on the trail. We met Mike on the way out. He was fishing off the shoreline and was ready to take off when we approached him.  The two mile hike back seems to take forever, but it was nothing compared to the drive home to Boise. Coming home early after weekend traffic is hell. After saying goodbye to Bryan who stayed up in McCall to fish more lakes, and Mike who lives there, I was off on my two hours drive that took three and a half hours. 

Horseshoe Bend is the bottleneck that kills the drive back to Boise from McCall. Once past the small town, it’s like the arteries of a clogged heart opens back up and the flow is steady again. I made it home late, but still in time to hangout with the family before bedtime. The kids wren excited to see the picture of the grayling I had caught, and the video of me releasing the fish. It’s this spark I hope turns into a passionate flame for the love of the outdoors I hope to instill in my kids… Whether on a hike or a fishing trip, present or not, I am always there with them. 

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