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Pinedale Online > News > May 2005 > Soda Lake Opening Day

Bill's Big Brown. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Bill's Big Brown

Cowboy Fisherman. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Cowboy Fisherman

Soda Lake Camping. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Soda Lake Camping

Another Fish fom Shore. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Another Fish fom Shore
Tyson released his latest catch
Soda Lake Opening Day
Diehards are rewarded
by Clint Gilchrist
May 10, 2005

Snow, rain and cold, along with reports of low water and low fish levels, combined to keep turn out low on opening day at Soda Lake, May 10th. But the diehard fishermen were rewarded with a small, but active, fish population. Bill (Rock Springs) has made 19 of the last 20 opening days at Soda Lake. By the string of fish tied to his float tube, and a 6-7 lb big brown, he appears to know what he is doing.

Tyson (Green River) slept in his truck last night to be ready this morning. When the fish were not hitting flies from his float tube, he borrowed a spinner rod from Dan (Green River), whom he did not know before today, and fished from the shore. His reward was a 5 lb female brown that is "going on the wall".

A dozen campers, a handful of boats, a few float tubes, and maybe 40 fishermen is a far cry from the normal opening day at Soda Lake. Tony (Green River) remembers the year not too long ago when he counted 100 boats and tubes on the lake at one time. Larry (Green River) remembers years having to be careful every cast not to hit anyone.

Population estimates are as low as 2000 fish now, down from as much as 46,000 in 1997, but they are biting on opening day. Tony (Green River) speculates they may be biting because they havenít seen a lure all winter. Mandy (Game and Fish) has been doing creel counts all morning and only encountered one fisherman without fish. By early afternoon a few fisherman had caught their limit and gone home.

But it is clear the rewards at Soda Lake are not just fish. While Tony (Green River) picks the bones of the fish he caught this morning and throws scraps to a camp gopher, he figures that anyone who stays away because there are no fish probably shouldn't be there anyway. He said, "as long as the osprey are catching fish, we are doing just fine".

Mandy (Game and Fish) woke up this morning to 16 deer grazing around her trailer. Larry (Green River) arrived in the early afternoon and wanted to get a hook in the water, but was really waiting for Thursday when the grandkids get out of school so he could pick them up. "They will love this sand," he said, pointing to the beach where his dog Bronco was already exploring.

Fishing is the excuse, but these opening-day fishermen from Utah, Idaho and all over southwestern Wyoming, have found something more at Soda Lake.



Related Links
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  • Soda Lake 2004 - Opening Day

  • Tyson's Big Brown. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Tyson's Big Brown
    5 lb female brown caught from shore with a lure.

    Float Tube Fisherman. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Float Tube Fisherman
    Some fish were being caught from float tubes, but shore fishing appeared to be better on opening day

    Fisherman Dan. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Fisherman Dan
    Dan was getting bites, but seemed content to help his friends pull in the big fish

    Single Float. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Single Float

    Bronco Explores. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Bronco Explores

    Wader and Boat Fishing. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Wader and Boat Fishing

    Mule Deer. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Mule Deer
    Mule Deer are moving to higher country, but there are still some around

    Bill's String of Fish. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Bill's String of Fish
    Two were caught from float tube and the rest from shore

    Green Grass, White Tops. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Green Grass, White Tops
    The green grass has already started even though the mountains are still getting snow

    Boat Fishing. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Boat Fishing
    Relaxing in a boat looks like the comfortable way to fish

    Soda Lake and the Winds. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Soda Lake and the Winds
    Tyson fishes from shore in his waders. The Wind River mountains are hidden by the clouds

    Good Fishing Spot. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Good Fishing Spot
    This was as crowded as it got on opening day. This is also near where two big browns were caught

    Shore Fishing. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Shore Fishing

    Winds Backdrop. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Winds Backdrop
    The Wind River Mountains with fresh snow begin to show through the clouds

    Pronghorn Antelope. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Pronghorn Antelope

    Tony's Camping Spot. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Tony's Camping Spot
    Tony arrived on Friday to secure "his" camping spot.

    Float Tube. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Float Tube

    RV and ATV. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    RV and ATV

    Workhorse. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Workhorse
    Workhorses used on the nearby elk feedground in winter are a permanent fixture by Soda Lake

    Erosion Control. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Erosion Control
    Rocks were placed for erosion control last year and have reduced the camping areas

    Fish for Lunch. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Fish for Lunch
    Tony caught this fish on opening day morning and had it for lunch

    Fishing Boat, Soda Lake. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Fishing Boat, Soda Lake
      
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