|Lake Alice at dusk|
Named after William O'Brien's daughter Alice, Lake Alice is shallow, fairly narrow in width, and completely crammed full of small sunfish. I don't think you could cram any more sunfish into that lake with a shoehorn. They are everywhere, and 90% of the sunfish I saw were 4 inches or smaller. I did manage to catch a couple of bigger green sunfish, but for the most part the little guys would beat the bigger ones to my fly.
|First fish on my Scott F803/3 rod, a nice fat Green Sunfish.|
|Another nice one.|
Finding mostly small fish in Lake Alice, I moseyed over to the channel that leads to the St. Croix, and had much better luck, at least on the first day. The water was low, there were a lot of big rocks and downed trees providing cover for the fish, and big bluegills were abundant. I also saw a bunch of big carp swimming around here and there, but none of them were interested in my flies. The fishing was a challenge because of all the trees and other vegetation lining the banks, but my roll casting skills kicked in, saving the day. After catching 20 or so fish in a little over an hour, I headed back to our campsite and had a fun evening with the family.
|A big ol' bluegill from the channel.|
That night some thunderstorms rolled in, dumping a couple of inches of rain on us and all of our stuff. Not a big deal, but all that rain water eventually ends up in the St. Croix, along with all of the rain from the dozens of tributaries upstream. So for the rest of the trip, the channel that had given up so many nice sunfish that first day became high and filled up with quite a bit of leafy debris. The fishing got slow, but that was OK because there are tons of other things to do at William O'Brien State Park.
|Our wet camper, after the rain.|
We went to several naturalist programs as a family, we went on some hikes, we rode our bikes, we saw a ton of wildlife, and we sat around and sweated a lot. Did I mention it was between 92 and 100 degrees all weekend? We also got to listen to the hum of approximately 4 billion Spring Peepers in the wetland across from our campsite every night as we tried in vain to fall asleep. Ah, the joys of camping!
|This was exciting! A large Fox Snake outside the Visitor Center.|
|A fresh, tiny Painted Turtle.|
|A momma Painted Turtle laying her eggs in the dirt, hoping to make more fresh, tiny babies.|
|One of the 6 ticks we found on ourselves over the weekend.|
|We had many campfires, despite the oppressive heat.|
|Don't know why there was a purple haze around this campfire... pretty cool though!|
|Trees at night.|
|More trees, this time through the campfire smoke.|
|Did I mention we found 6 ticks...?|
|The Wife and 3 of our kiddos, underneath the falls on Osceola Creek.|