The Fish Sniffer - Spicer Meadows Night Paddling, Camping and Fishing
Spicer Meadows Night Paddling, Camping and Fishing

Written By: Headwaters Fishing Team, June 24, 2014
Species: Trout
Location: Spicer Meadow Reservoir,

Spicer Meadows Night Paddling, Camping and Fishing
Spicer Meadows Night Paddling, Camping and Fishing Spicer Meadows Night Paddling, Camping and Fishing
Spicer Meadows Night Paddling, Camping and Fishing

Over a recent weekend I had a chance to mix two of my favorite hobbies kayaking and camping, which I have done many times separately but never camped out of a kayak. I also threw in a little fishing when Bam and I went up to New Spicer Meadow Reservoir.

Bam and I loaded up our Headwaters shop borrowed kayaks, the Jackson Cuda 14 and the Eddyline Caribbean 14 and set off for Spicer. The Caribbean is one of my favorite boats in the shop for its light weight and sleek design. I knew the 7 mile paddle to the other side of the lake wouldn’t be as tough with this great boat. 

Dan Arbuckle came through for me with dry bags and showing me the proper way to load the Caribbean 14 with all of my gear. The important thing is to make sure the load you are carrying is as close to the middle as possible so the weight is not all in the bow or stern.  I was able to put all of my gear inside or on top of the boat with plenty of room to spare.

We left Lodi at 6:30 pm and were at the lake by 9:30 and on the water by 10:15. This was my first night paddle without the help of a full moon. The paddle was exhilarating and really gets your senses going when you cannot see that well. Good thing Bam knew where to go!

Spicer is a smaller canyon type lake and the stars were out in force that night with the Milky Way very prominent in the sky.  Another cool aspect of this lake is the back half does not allow motor boats of any kind even trolling motors. 

We made it to the end of the lake around 12:30 am, found a great campsite, started a small fire, and grilled up some food before heading to bed. The beautiful part about Spicer is there was nobody at the back of the lake. We could have chosen anywhere to set up camp. 

I woke up to lots of buzzing around my tent and realized the bees were working hard carrying pollen from the tall green plants surrounding the shore and wanted no business with us.  

When Bam and I checked out the lake the trout were reacting well to hatching callibaetis. There was no wind in the morning and conditions were great to fish. We quickly got to the lake and Bam set up his fly and I tied on a Panther Martin.

 I think we slept in too much, though, as soon as we got going the wind picked up and the callibaetis took off for the shores. We paddled to the where the creek came in to the lake and Bam hiked a bit to check out the creek and I stayed in the lake and kept at it with my Panther Martin.

I finally caught my first fish in almost two decades when I caught a nice trout. We tried a little trolling but by the early afternoon the wind was really picking up and never died down till well past sunset. 

We ended up cooking up that trout with some scrambled eggs and potatoes and had a great breakfast. Sleep caught up with the both of us and I woke up and Bam had a rainbow trout on the stringer. 

 He tried a bit of trolling with the Cuda 14, but still the wind would not let up. We feasted that night on trout, grilled chicken and sausage.

Life just seems so much better when you have skewered meats sizzling over an open fire out in the middle of nowhere.  The next morning had us scrambling to break down camp load our boats and get on the water before the winds showed up.

We made it about two thirds of the way back before we got walloped with the wind. We made it to the boat ramp and loaded boats and headed down the hill after a great camping trip.

Bam was great at getting me set up for fishing and I enjoyed camping with someone who loves it as much as I do. If you are looking for a great place to kayak and camp with no crowds, and throw some trout fishing in, Spicer is my recommendation. 


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