About this blog

This blog is all about fly fishing for native trout. On it I cover trip reports, fishing tactics, conservation, the latest news about native trout species and much more. This site provides a companion to my web page Nativetroutflyfishing.com.


Friday, September 18, 2009

A day in the high Cascades

I am still working on writing up a post on my Southwest trip as there is a lot to talk about with almost two weeks on the road. Since I am still a few days away from finishing that post, I figured that I might as well cover my most recent adventure first. Shortly after getting back from my long trip to the Southwest I got a call from my buddy Ryan wanting to know if I would like to go hiking near Mt. Rainier National Park. Even though this was really more of a hiking trip I threw my 2wt in my pack for good measure as there were some Brook Trout where we were heading. I usually am not huge on fishing for non-native trout, but as I said the fishing was a bonus on this trip.

We arrived at the trailhead at around 9:30 AM and began our 3.5 mile trek into a couple of small lakes that lie along the crest of the Cascade Mountains. It was a crisp morning in the mountains and the slopes were just starting to show the first traces of autumn. The lakes lie in a small glacial cirque and within an hour or so we were looking down upon the lakes.

A view of the larger of the two lakes from the ridge

It was about a mile down into the bowl that the lakes are situated in and upon arriving at the bottom we decided to head to the smaller of the two lakes to have lunch and maybe try a few casts. Other than a periodic breeze the lake was glassy calm with not so much as a dimple on the surface to indicate that there were any fish around. Even so after lunch I rigged up my rod with a small Thin Mint Bugger, found a decent looking point with a steep drop off and started fishing. I proceeded to worked my way around about a quarter of the lake, trying several different flies and casting to some great looking structure but never saw a sign of any fish. With the lack of fish activity in this lake I decided to head over to the next lake to try my luck. However, there was a small stream between the lakes that I thought that I might as well check out first.

The stream between the lakes

At this point I had a Zug Bug nymph on and upon approaching the stream I could see a number of small Brookies holding in the current. A definite improvement in comparison to the lake. I picked the largest fish that I could see and tossed my fly in front of it. My fly barely had time to sink a few inches before the Brook Trout rushed forward and engulfed it. Even though this was one of the larger fish that I could see in the creek, it was by no means a large trout and as such it was no match for my 2wt. After catching this fish I continued to work my way downstream towards the other lake catching several other Brookies as I went, some smaller and some larger than the first one.

A small but beautiful Brook Trout

Once I reached the next lake the same exact scenario as with the first lake replayed itself. No hits, no rising fish, nothing. As such I didn't spend much more time fishing and we decided to get back on the trail and hike out again. The hike out of the cirque was a bit steep, but once we reached the top it was an easy downhill jaunt across and alpine meadows with stunning views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding peaks.

Mount Rainier on the hike out of the lake