Throwback Thursday: Clear Lake State Park

Kelsey Slough largemouth bass, caught on a spinnerbait

I have fond memories of Clear Lake going back to my childhood, when family car trips to Fort Bragg on the Mendocino coast meant traveling along the lake’s eastern shoreline (and occasionally stopping at the Foster’s Freeze in Lucerne, which is still there). Of course, Clear Lake, a very large natural lake, has many, many facets and even now I’ve seen only a minute portion. One of those is Clear Lake State Park, on the western shore. I think my first visit must have been in April or May 1995, when I accompanied the Big Guy, along with his small aluminum boat on a one-day fishing trip. The sight of the two curved wooden bridges over Kelsey Slough and Cole Creek last week reminded me of that long-ago outing, so I had to dig up the photos I shot that day with my 35mm film camera. I’ll be sharing more images soon from my recent hike at the state park, but I’ve included a couple of bridge pictures today for comparison.

Fishing Cole Creek, near the boat ramp and docks

Cole Creek bridge in March 2023

Bridge over Kelsey Slough, with cottonwood fluff everywhere, 1995

Kelsey Slough, 2023