flies for remote lakes

(Note to those who frequent the Piscatorial Pursuits website: I just posted this same message over there)

If our schedules mesh correctly, in a couple of days I'll be going with my father-in-law on a horse trip up in the hills (far NE Lewis County). Any suggestions for patterns to use in those remote lakes? A couple that have been suggested to me so far are:

Griffith's Gnat

Do any of you care to share any other ideas? I don't tie yet, so I'll be heading to my local shop to buy a few.

This will be interesting... I've never ridden a horse! But when I heard "there are lots of remote lakes up there" I knew I had to jump on it.
Fish in remote lakes usually haven;t seen many flies. So any of the usual stuff will work.

I would take some adams, elk hair caddises, woolly buggers.
Nymphs also work such as, hairs ear, prince.


fish'n glass
i'd take a soft hackled hair's ear and an olive willy (or a damsel nymph or a small olive wooley bugger) in addition to the previous posts' recommendations. let us know how you do.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
zambi said:
. . . This will be interesting... I've never ridden a horse! But when I heard "there are lots of remote lakes up there" I knew I had to jump on it.
If the lakes are indeed remote, just about any pattern you choose will probably catch fish. This time of year, I'd concentrate on fishing small to medium dries in the shallows. Mayfly, caddis and damsel adult patterns will all work. Medium nymphs like GRHE's PTs and soft hackles will also catch fish. Fish 'em all from a floating line and a 10-12 foot 5X or 6X leader.

You might want to plan on bringing along floatation as the thick vegetation around most westside lakes doesn't allow much backcasting room.

Wish I was going with you although the last time I spent much time on a horse, I thought I'd fractured my pelvis for a couple days afterward.

I agree about virtually all patterns working, but make sure you have some mosquito patterns in the 14 to 20 range. The visibility will likely be unbelievable, and the fish have plenty of tiem to look over their potential meal. Suggest using fluorcarbon tippet as added stealth measure.

Thanks guys. The on-again/off-again trip is now set for a short overnight stay (Sun/Mon). I'll let you know how we do. As a new guy, any reports may be a little less technical than you're used to (i.e. "the tiny black onw with white sticking out did really well"). Anyway, I'll post a report early next week when I'm able to walk again :)

Addendum: UGH! Postponed again. Fickle father-in-law :) Kidding--he's a great guy. I will just wait and see and if the trip happens, I'll be back with a post. :)
Finally went, ended up at Dumbbell Lake. Warm water, pretty shallow lake from what I saw. Heard rumors of 20" trout in there; after having been there, I'd have to see to believe. Just doesn't seem like there's enough food source to get them that big and sustain them, but I'm a newby and that's just my guess. I caught 8 or 9 small cutts, and lost 5 or 6 more. The biggest was not more than 12"; most were half that. They sure were pretty, though!

I tried a variety of the flies mentioned in a variety of sizes. Strangely enough, the one that caught all the fish was one my brother made up. Forgive my lack of precise terminology in describing it: white feather wrapped around the eye end of the hook with black thread wound around to form a small bead. Orange furry stuff cut close to the shaft all the way down from there.
Dumbbell is a very productive high lake and quite capable of growing 20" fish if they live long enough. But, the lake is fished very hard and natural mortality is high in lakes in that area so a lot of the fish get cropped off before they have a chance to get large. You'll have to work for your lunkers, but there should be a few there. They're probably hanging in cool, deeper water and not rising to drys. If you were catching 6" CT they were almost certainly stocked last fall and the 12 incher was probably stocked 3 years ago. That is excellent high lake fish growth.