Down the Ballot

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oregon Outdoors: Hagg Lake

I took a trip out to Hagg Lake this last weekend to do some early morning fishing up by the rocks near the dam. Those of us that went loaded up the truck and were on the road by 6:15am. On the way we stopped in at the Lake Stop Grocery. It is a little bit better than your typical convenience store. It also serves as an excellent tackle shop. In the age of the big box store, you have to try and support the local folks where you can.

Hagg Lake isn't too far from Forest Grove off HWY 47, so getting there isn't a real problem. The earlier the better. There have been some days when a huge line of vehicles back up Scoggins Valley Road. It costs five dollars to get in and by noon the lake is usually full of weekenders. Boats of all sizes are allowed on the lake. By this point in the summer, swimmers are everywhere. The video above was recorded long before the party boats arrived. It was taken at about 8am. The sun was just behind the trees. I decided to give my video gadget a try and capture a video to share.

Nothing beats a lazy Sunday afternoon fishing...well for the group I went with anyway. There were plenty of people who made it very clear that fishing was not their idea of a way to spend a hot Sunday afternoon. We anglers understand we share the lakes, streams and beaches with all...sometimes it seems others do not understand that. About noon is usually when the first swimmers appear, and boy did they. They came in boats, vans, trucks, sports cars, and bikes. People of all walks of life...walked right behind us and decided right where we had cast our lines in the water would be a perfect place to swim.

If you are going to swim, don't swim right next to people who are fishing. Not only does it spoil the serenity of the moment, it could be very dangerous. Several people swam right up to our lines that were in the water and exclaimed "I think this is a fishing line!" if they didn't see the five people with fishing rods from the bank. It only takes one toe to snag a hook. If I cast out and a caught a swimmer with my line and hook, I would render any assistance I could with my small first aid kit. It wouldn't keep me from muttering under my breath, "serves you right schmuck". I don't know if there is any standard etiquette out there for anglers and swimmers sharing spaces, but there very well should be. When you see someone fishing from the bank, that should be notice to the swimmer that swimming right next to them isn't a good idea. Likewise, an angler shouldn't cast a line out in the middle of a group of swimmers.

Us anglers battled for our precious spots on the bank for a good hour or so after the first swimmers swam up to our lines, in the end, we were just five versus the hot mess of afternoon swimmers expecting the beach cleared for their afternoon swim. When the first speed boat of people blasting music approached us to off load their passengers to get food from a nearby table we knew the day was lost. Demoralized, hot, hungry and slightly agitated we reeled in our lines, packed our tackle and made the trek back to the truck. On the drive home I watched the video above and was comforted that peace and tranquility would soon come again to the lake. Perhaps someone fishing the next day would catch a glimpse of what had drawn us to the same spot on the banks of Hagg Lake. 

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