Brainard lake has finally become a fun lake to fish again. Today we discovered that the road in past the pay gates is still closed until sometime about mid-June, so there are just hikers maybe and a token other fly fisherman around...even on a Sunday. (And one poor tenkara dude who stood on the bank dangling with his stick and watched us casting and catching trout.) A dark cloud would roll over every ten minutes and drizzle all over the lake, but then the sun would immediately pop around a soft corner and the lake would come alive with midges, caddis and rise forms. Once every hour or so the lighting and rain would chase us back up onto the bank amongst the shelter of trees. We would wait it out and be right back at it.
The state has apparently not stocked the usual doses of pale-sided cuts in Brainard for a couple of years in a row, so the wild brook trout have no more competition...and they have begun to take advantage of the situation. The average fish we caught was a very solid 12 to 13 inches and fat.