Henry Hagg with Hoppe - welcoming a new recruit (part 1)

I returned to Henry Hagg Lake but this time I took musician Michael Hoppe on his first kayak fly fishing trip - and he wants to go again. I was talking with Michael a few months ago and he was lamenting the fact he had not fished a lake in Oregon. He had fished a few Oregon rivers but was wanting to get on a lake and in a float tube. I told him I could do better than a float tube and promised to take him out in the kayaks. He looked skeptical but said he would give it a go (see the video here).

We emailed a few times to determine which lake and after suggesting Lawrence, Trillium and Hagg, he chose Hagg. I was a little concerned since Hagg is not nearly as pretty as the other two but it had been stocked recently so I figure we would at least have a chance at catching fish. It was the same weekend as the Next Adventure Kayak Bass tournament. I had suggested Michael and I enter the tourney for fun, but he was not interested.

After choosing Hagg, I toyed with the idea of entering the tournament since the lake had bass and the weigh-in wasn't until 5 p.m. Plus, the proceeds went to Heroes on the Water, a wounded warriors type program that helps vets get on the water and fish from kayaks. On Friday afternoon, I decided the $15 would be well spent and signed up. When I checked in, I was given a stainless steel water bottle, a couple stickers and a tournament marker for the photos and the promise of a barbecue that started at 5 p.m. If I caught a bass, I would talk Michael into leaving early for the weigh-in.

At 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Michael and I loaded into my Ford Escape Hybrid and headed to the lake. I knew Michael was a musician but was unsure what type of music he composed so after a little searching on the Internet, I discovered we was quite accomplished and his work was featured in movies and television shows as well as performed around the world. This proved a starting point for some wonderful conversations on the trip to the lake. Our conversations also wandered to photography and I discovered his grandfather was a famous photographer with an interesting back story. We soon found ourselves looking at a very steep boat ramp and a water level nearly 20 feet below last spring's levels. We unloaded the kayaks and gear, parked the Escape and prepared to fish. to be continued

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