O'Neill Forebay Fishout
By Steve Rudzinski

Just like last year, our first day started out with a decent bite for Elaine and Bill and me before the wind started blowing hard. (Small fish up to 16" most around 12" were abundant, especially the last hour you can fish off a boat or float tube). Elaine and Bill drove over to the west side of the lake to fish close to the shore in some deeper areas with great success I learned later.
Two more fishermen arrived, both using a float tube for the first time, David Marks and a new to be member Matt Williams (not the ball player). Matt was a veteran fly fisherman and took to the tube easily enough with the wind conditions and while we had to sit it out we practiced casting as we waded out to our hips. My left-handed casts were too dangerous and it was just like fishing at Pyramid in the wind and waves. I showed both guys how fast to strip for these fish and Matthew had the instant good results of catching over 12 fish near the point beneath the power tower. I've never seen anyone catch so many fish from shore.
Others rolled in on Friday and Sat and even Sunday, Steven and Milana Rawson win the award for all the categories for camping, the Dutch oven-baked pies, one cherry on Friday night and apple on Saturday, both pies came out perfect and with frozen ice cream on top. We ate steaks and baked potatoes in foil over coals, stir fry, and craft beers. I love camping like this, we all had a great time and survived the high winds and driving rain the first night and following day which put the fish off the bite. Only the last night did I have one of those 20 fish per hour frenzies.
Thanks also to Lee Haskin who guided me and a few others the Saturday before the event. You never know what the lake is going to give you but knowing the places where fish like to stage is an added bonus to being lucky.
I often thought of the former gang of fishermen that would arrive for this famous event, Jim Hall and Gary Hazelton every year, Elaine and Cecilia, Loren, Gil and so many other long time members who enjoy campfires, camp food and lots of laughter. I am honored to carry on this tradition.

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