Packwood Lake-The service road has been maintained, it's shorter and provides better views than the NFS trail--but you might run in 4 wheelers, etc. Fishing was good-the fish are in spawning, post spawning behavior and aggressively chased lures to chase them away from their eggs, etc--It was really fun to watch that behavior around the area of the outlet and the dam. I usually fish the upper end of the lake where Lake Ck comes in with some success but a new tree had blown up the lake and into my 'spot' an drastically cut down my casting reach. I lucked into a new spot, though, actually as I was heading down the lake and out. I also walked up the trail some past the lake--not maintained yet-lots of blowdowns, mud and water on the trail.
Manastash Lake-The trail past Lost Lake was under snow and snowshoes were useful, particularly for the way out--only the edges of the lake were open but was still able to catch a couple of fish trolling a Kastmaster along the edges of the ice. I would bet by now the lake is open and much of the snow is gone in the hot weather we've been having.
Russell Ridge-Actually this walk was presaged by a short visit to Phantom Lake to see if it had been replanted since the previous winter kill and it has-fish are now about 6-8 inches and looking like Phantom Fish, itty bitty heads and ponderous bulbous bodies--they'll be dandies by next year--anyway after catching a few and letting them go, my daughter and I crossed Hwy 12 and drove up to the Russell Ridge trailhead above Rimrock Lake--this is a great hike for its spectacular views and chance to see wildlife. The snow is coming off quickly-this is a south facing ridge with lots of open country.
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