We arrived at Pactola this morning just in time to see Tim, with his Paddleski balanced on top of his head, heading for the water. We agreed to meet up at a beautiful little beach area this trip, rather than the boat launch Larry usually uses. Because our boats are so light and easy to manage, we've found you don't have to always launch from a ramp. These Sea Eagles are amazing! A few quick minutes to set up and you are on the lake or stream of your choice! How awesome is that. We especially love the stability of the pontoons and it is cool sitting up higher than the water. Our new seats are great! They each have two separate bellows for inflating, making them easy to adjust for your own particular comfort level. You'll notice that even a flock of geese had to come check them out. We could just hear them chatting back and forth, sounded something like "wow, check that out, what a cool ride!" I took a pic for proof, so check it out!
Today Tim and Crystal are paddling but we are using our trolling motor. Of course, we always bring our paddles along as well. Larry pushed our battery to the limit last year and ran out of juice about a half mile from shore. No problem though, they (Dick & Larry) just paddled on in. The lake had very few craft on it today, the water was smooth as glass, and the weather was perfect! Couldn't ask for better than that, right!
Pactola Lake is the largest reservoir in the Black Hills. It boasts a state record lake trout at 27 lbs, 14 oz, caught in July 2003. Today we'll be fishing for brown trout and rainbow trout. We hear that there are thousands, typically from 10 to 20 inches. There are also lots of pan fish, blue gills, rock bass, crappy, and perch to be caught here, as well as a few large-mouth bass. We were excited to hear that the fish are biting.
We can certainly see why this lake is famous for its crystal clear water. Visibility was about 20 to 25 feet. It sits on 860 acres, with 18 miles of shoreline. At the bottom of the lake is the submerged town of Pactola, an old mining camp and site of several military bivouacs during the original settlement of the Black Hills in the mid-1870s. Interesting history there.
I caught the first (and only) fish today, a pretty little rainbow trout. He bit on a worm. We catch and release 90% of the time, so after Larry removed the hook I took a picture of him holding it for just a second before releasing. It struggled for a bit, but finally rolled and took off into the depths for another angler to catch again. By the way, Lare sets up my pole, baits my hook, removes the hook and rebaits for me at all times! I cast, reel in and watch until it is time to cast again. Sounds like a good deal for me doesn't it!!! Guess that's why I like fishing and most women don't? Oh, I do hold my own umbrella when I have to get out of the sun. If I stayed out the whole time I would fry to a beautiful lobster red! Even with long sleeves, a big hat and plenty of sunblock. I think I sort of look like a Southern belle in my pic, don't you? LOL
Tim & Crystal disappeared around the bend and were gone for quite a while. We just drifted about, fishing and enjoying the sights and sounds. So peaceful, a gentle lapping on the sides of the pontoons, an occasional bird flying overhead. We finally reeled in and decided to explore the lake a bit more. Wow, it just goes on forever and ever. There are numerous pretty little bay/cove areas where one could dock. If we had been alone, we probably would have taken our lunch on board with us and done just that. But today we met back up at the beach area and enjoyed lunch with our friends. We spent another 3 hours chatting and enjoying our beautiful surroundings.
Well, that's it for now. We really appreciate the Ryerson's taking time from their busy schedule to spend the day with us. You probably know that they are the best inflatable boat dealers around! And, they have now expanded their business to include RV shades. We will be purchasing a solar shade from them for our back window this week. I have been wanting to do something about the heat and sun coming in that window for awhile. This sounds like a great solution. You can visit their website and check out the many options available for your boating/floating/sun needs here: Sea Eagle Inflatables
Please let them know Larry & Lee Ann sent you. I promise, they'll take great care of you!