here Trail Blazer Vignettes: Diobsud Lakes

Washington Trail Blazers

Diobsud Lakes

Cliff Lawson

August 6-7, 1960

Friday evening Don Ihlenfeldt, Mike Swayne, and myself left for the Arlington Hatchery, arriving there about 9:30 p.m. We placed 1200 Cutts (2500/lb) in the fiberglass can and were on our way.

After a quick coffee stop in “Woolley” and a long drive, we reached Baker Lake. The cutts were bedded down in the river and we sacked out.

At dawn we had a hurried breakfast, picked up the fry and headed down the lake. After finding a suitable spot to launch our staunch flagship “The Leaky Tiki” (an 8-foot punt belonging to Swayne) we started across the lake. With Mike as oarsman it wasn’t long before we reached Noisey Creek. The cutts were transferred to Kniert’s “half-can” and at 6:20 a.m. we started up the trail.

After about two miles the trail became non-existent and as we proceeded, the brush became very bad. All three of us were dripping wet and with no end of brush in sight, we decided to climb out of this dripping jungle. We gained some altitude and immediately became cliffed in, so back to the creek hole we went, our spirits slightly dampened.

Hours later we approached the upper creek forks. Here we rested and planted a few fry as we had done previously. The route ahead was much worse than anything behind us; it took a punishing 2-1/2 hours to claw our way up the 800 feet. From an elevation of 3,900 feet at the valley head we made the final pitch and descended to the lakes. It was now 4:35 p.m., which adds up to 10 hours and 15 minutes from Baker Lake. The can was tempered and the fry distributed with a total loss of 25 fish. As it was getting dark, we set up our camp and ate a tasty dinner.

At 5:30 a.m. we arose, had a leisurely breakfast, and started out. The trip out was uneventful, but upon reaching Baker Lake things became a bit more exciting; the lake was no longer a calm, placid surface. A small gale was blowing and the lake was whipped into a white froth. Fearlessly we ventured forth, but before long that anxious feeling overtook us. It was necessary to row with the swells to keep from being swamped. Eventually, we reached shore about a mile east of our truck.

After a few short beers to enlighten our dampened spirits, we fired up the jeep and left Baker Lake, arriving at my place at 10:30 p.m.

Trail Blazers were Don (Roman Nose) Ihlenfeldt, Mike (Lundin) Swayne, and Cliff (Brush-hole) Lawson