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Red Cap Lake

 When we were sophomores at Hoopa High in October, 1959, Russell Medaris and I backpacked into Red Cap lake to go deer hunting, the Pearch Creek trailhead about 15 miles SE of Orleans where he lived. It was a 9 mile hike into the lake with a 4000 ft vertical in the first 5 miles. We only made it 5 miles the first day after a late start, as we were both carrying 55 lb packs plus our rifles and ammunition. We camped overnight on a flat meadow surrounded by Noble
    fir trees near a spring and took off the next morning. We hit the lake in about 4 hours, set up camp and the snow began to fly. Fortunately, we brought along a 16 ft square piece of Visqueen, a 6 mil thick clear plastic, strung a
rope between two big Noble firs about 4 ft off the ground and made a tent. The wind was so strong we had to pile branches on the tent to hold it in place and the snow was really beginning to pile up and it turned very cold.

We had a big fire going, but the only way we could stay warm at night was to put one cheap sleeping bag inside the other and crawl in together with all our clothes on. We were at 5600 ft elevation, but this was one serious storm. After
    hunkering down for two days, the storm let up and we did a short hunt, but all the deer were driven to lower elevations from the storm.

We started breaking camp about 9 am and Russell went to the lake about 50 ft from our camp
 with some cut corn for bait and hooked a huge German Brown trout. It was about 24'' long and weighed around 10 lbs, so we called it good and headed out, not wanting to be caught by more snow.

We made it safely to his house late that night and enjoyed that big beautiful trout for dinner. We didn't see one deer the entire hunting trip, but we sure had a good time.

The lake was full of these huge trout and we heard the next year someone went up there with dynamite and killed them all. People like that should be punished. Says Steve Paschall


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