Keith Clarke: Cachuma Champ


Keith Clarke finally baptized the fancy fishing rig given to him by the Department on the occasion of his retirement as Chair, and, as usual, he did it in style. Senior Consultant Rick Johnson, from UCSB Instructional Consultation, invited Keith to fish Cachuma with him in his souped-up fishing/waterskiing boat on Friday, July 28—and your editor, Bill Norrington, was also invited along in order to provide a truthful account of the outing (it’s hard to shake the old adage that hunters lie in wait, and fishermen wait and lie…).

Keith’s best fish was a 20 inch, 2 ¾ lb. rainbow trout, by far the biggest fish caught by the three of us, and, from what I gathered, the biggest one caught by anyone fishing the lake that day. We all limited out (five fish each, most around the 2 lb. mark) after 8 hours on the lake—at least 3 hours of which were spent making a minor running repair to the boat, figuring out how to tie on our leaders and lures, finding the best part of the lake to fish, losing fish, and untangling lines.

At the end of the trip, Rick announced that Keith had passed “the novice test” with flying colors: “Not only was Keith’s fishing ‘gear’ better than mine, but he never once asked: When does the fun begin? Or when do we go home? At the end of a very long day, with smiles and with good spirits, he was ready to go again. That makes for a great fisherman on any day!”

Napoleon Bonaparte once said: “In victory, you deserve Champagne; in defeat, you need it.” Accordingly, I brought along a bottle of champagne in order to celebrate or commiserate about the results of Keith’s outing and duly presented it to him to take home as a “victory trophy” of his record catch. Keith is definitely “hooked” on fishing Lake Cachuma. Knowing him, he wants to break the lake record of a 12.5 lb. trout—assuming that the one he caught hasn’t already grown bigger than that! Well, you know what they say about fishermen… Click here for more photos. (Article by Bill Norrington, lead picture by Rick Johnson, attached photos created by Natalie Wong).

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