Rattlesnake Lake?

Anyone seen or fished Rattlesnake Lake lately? Is there any water left? Any fish?

I've got a buddy coming into town this weekend, and I'm looking to get him his first fish on a fly rod, so I was thinking this might be a good place.

I'm not going to be of much help since I haven't fished it since June but there were lots of little guys (6-10") around then. In general, I don't think Rattlesnake is producing as nice of fish as were there in 99 and 2000. I used to hit a few 13-16" rainbows just about every trip. My biggest this past spring was 12". Anyone else find this to be the case?


Scott Salzer

previously micro brew

I found the same thing this year, small fish during my two trips out there. Haven't been back since the spring. I picked up some nice fish the past couple of years, up to 13". It could be a result of the extremely low water during 2001. I hope it gets back to where it was.


AKA Beadhead
I have no idea in the lake level. It could be really good right about now if there is water in there. Re: size, they started planting triploids in there this year. I caught an 18" one this spring, he towed me around for quite a while before I landed him. Turns out he had a bait hook in his throat with 2 feet of line that led to a snap swivel and then some more line. Looke to be about 12lb test :EEK Went there 6-7 x's this spring, fish everytime, oar-trolling a bugger behind my inflatable mostly.

I've fished Rattlesnake twice in the last 6 weeks. The water level seems a little down right now but not a problem. In both cases I trolled wolly buggers on a full sink line. With my float tube I caught 4 12" rainbows and had regular hits. 10 days ago I went back with a fancy new electric trolling motor on my inflatable and got skunked. My sense is that the motor trolls too fast, even on the lowest speed. I may need to use the motor to get to where I want and then row when I want to fish. Nothing is simple.
I find Rattlesnake to be a beautiful place to fish and would be a good place to take an out of town friend. As with most things, take it slow when you get your line in the water.


AKA Beadhead
I think trolling a fly with oar power works better than with a motor. The erratic movements seem to help. Also I find a floating line and a beadhead fly (no relation) give it the best action and the most takes at least during periods of low(er) light. I realize to some this isn't fly fishing but I find it a very relaxing way to spend an evening on the water and it usually brings fish to hand.

Glad to hear there is water there. 2001 was scary low and probably wasn't good for the bug forage either. I was there in 2000 and the caddis were everywhere.

I was there last weekend, my second time this year. I did'nt think the water was all that low, maybe its because I have seen it at poond size. It fished well, I landed 9 in about a 1 1/2hrs. As stated the fish did seem on the small side average about 10'. They usually seem a bit bigger by this time of the year, oh well you should still catch fish. They were close to the surface when I was there. I used a floating line/long leader with buggers and prince nymphs. Good Luck :HAPPY


Be the guide...
Only part of the stocked trout are triploids. Something like 2000 (12 to 14 inches usually). The other 10 or so thousand are the typical 8 to 10 inch catchables. And some lakes get a few hundred broodstock that can range from 3 to 6lbs. WDFW website shows the stocking schedules for each lake. You can look up a lake and see what has been stocked over the last year and also see what they plan to put in it the next year. Not that they every actually follow the stocking plans :)


Active Member
I found a spot in Rattlesnake where bigger fish seem to like to hang out. I catch 10" trout all over the lake, but this one spot always produces 12-16" fish. Just a coincidence? maybe. I also like to hike up to Rattlesnake ledge. It's a good workout for a chunk like myself. :BIGSMILE YT
Thanks for all the feedback, guys. Under yesterday's bright sun, with a chorus of kids and dogs splashing on the lake's edge, fishing was pretty slow, but my buddy was able to catch a few fish -- his first on a fly rod.


Active Member
First of all, get some clear lake line, type III sinking, cortland 444sl is better then the SA. fish deep, its no secret that smaller fish are in a higher zone than bigger fish. Fish the areas around creek inlets, there are 3 or 4 in rattlesnake lake. it's not because the fish are trying to go up them, it's the food coming down. with the lake super low it will be tougher this time of year. the creeks could be dry now? I only fish it in the spring, too many better lakes in the fall. good luck! :THUMBSUP YT