west-side hatches

Hello All,
I know that chironomids are common on west-side lakes. As the weather warms up, what kind of hatches can I expect to find on some of the low- or mid-elevation west-side lakes?
Fish till ya drop.
Then suck it up
and fish the evening hatch.

Most of your west side lakes that have wall to wall houses on the shores with fertilized lawns and powerboats in the boathouse are urban slews. Chironomids are about the only hatch surviving on many of those lakes due to dense Algae growth and pollution.

Some of your more pristine west side lakes will have a Callabaetis Mayfly hatch starting mid-May usually. This is followed closely by
Damsel fly emergence in many unpolluted lakes.

Lakes that have lots of woody structure and/or emergent reeds,etc.will have a Dragon fly population of varying magnitude. The nymphs are in the lake year around since most hatch in 2-3 years of age, but become most active in the summer months.

Leeches are also pollution resistant and will be found in most lakes with a weedy bottom/shoreline area.

In some lakes a scud population exists, but it is the small scud (use
size 16-18-20 to imitate) as the calcium level is not high enuff for the big ones in W. Wash.
If you go up in elevation to the high lakes you will find some caddis hatches but seldom on lowland lakes.

That's the vast majority of hatches in the West Side lakes. There are Alderflies, Craneflies, Hexigenia Mays, and a few other odball hatches around in addition to beetles/ants/crickets and other terrestrials that can be fished,but the above hatches cover 90%+ of the fish food.

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
All these statements about the effect of pollution are a bit much. I have seen Callibaetis and damsels in many suburban lakes such as Cottage and Alice.

I haven't really fished the real urban lakes much, so fishinfella may be right on the really urbanized lakes, but the suburban and rural lakes are doing quite well.

In our western washington lakes, I would agree, Callibaetis, Damsels, Chironomids and leeches cover most of the food sources for lake fish.


Active Member
My parents live on Lake Washington and I have seen caddis (usually a size 16 w/ dark brown wings), massive amounts of midges, dragon and damsil flys and various mayflys including huge size 6 Hexagenia.