Backpack Fishing Trips

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by kingpuck, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. kingpuck

    kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

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    So as I spend this week getting ready for finals, and look ahead towards my spring break, which I'll be spending tying flies and enjoying Microbrews. It got me thinking about this summer and my desire to get up to the alpine lakes and get some fishing/backpacking in. So my question to you (without giving away your secrets, which I understand) is what advice do you have for someone when fishing alpine lakes? Anything in particular about fly selection or best time of day to fish?

    Thanks in advance, can't wait to hear the stories.
    :beer2:
     
  2. Jason Wood

    Jason Wood Guest

    I'll second that request, I sit at work drafting on the 'puter and thinking often that someone, somewhere, is headed to a lake to fish. Stories and advice please...Jason
     
  3. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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  4. CoastalCutt

    CoastalCutt Member

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    I always like to fish right after ice out in mid June most years around some lakes in Snoqualmie/Stevens Pass area. The fish are hungry after a long cold winter. For flies, usually general attractor patterns will do. Hare's Ears, Pheasant Tails, EH caddis,' and my favorite the Parachute Adams.
     
  5. Ethan G.

    Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

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    I second chadk's suggestion once again. It is a great book. Anyways, fish-hiking is one of my areas of intense study. I've found a few patterns that work great. I mostly fish high in the upper reaches of the Olympic rivers, home to resident Coastal Cutts and stocked brookies in some cases. One fly I'll suggest is a half-yellow half-black wooly bugger in size 10 or 12. It works.
    -Ethan
     
  6. Luke Ramirez

    Luke Ramirez Still DoubleUgly

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    I fished a few alpine lakes last summer. The one thing I would suggest even more than fly pattern or line type, etc is to get away from the populated areas. if there is a lake that is within 6 miles of the trailhead, make that your base from where further lakes may be explored. Same kind of idea as the rivers around here.

    - Luke
     
  7. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    My advice would be tie some flies and drink some brews before/during your finals week, and then spend your spring break fishing some hike-in lakes, dirt-camping and generally living like a hippy. You'll learn a lot from the experience.

    The only way to learn, is to do.

    Life is short. Don't wait for it to happen. Get on it.
     
  8. kingpuck

    kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

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    Thanks guys for the advice. I'm definitely going to look into that book and try and tie some of the flies suggested. Parachute Adams is a bit intimidating still, just in trying to get the wings right. I can't wait though, I've been chomping at the bit. Want to try and get my first golden trout this year too. Should be a good year, if we can get rid of this darn snow enough though.

    Hefeweizen for all!:beer1:
     
  9. CoastalCutt

    CoastalCutt Member

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    PM me, if you have some "spots" I'm interested in, I can get you your golden.
     
  10. CovingtonFly

    CovingtonFly B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again

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    As far as best time of day to fish I would have to say when your there it's the best time for you to fish. It's like everybody asking about which tide is best to fish in the salt, any tide you can get on the water is the best.
    As far as good fly patterns remember that the high elevation fish have a shorter growing season so are generally going to be more opportunistic feeders and generally less selective (I think anyways). That could be one reason ice off is a good time. Also late in the season when the fish are looking to fatten up.
     
  11. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    Nows the time to put together:
    Day pack
    10 essentials
    quick dry pants (zip off legs)
    small chest pack w/minimal accouterments (can be worn with or without day pack)
    wade wet or flyweights
    tie some EHCs, Adams, PTs, Humpys, EHCs, GRHEs, small buggers, EHCs
    multi-piece 4wt
    lt wt hammock (4 relaxing, beats a rock)

    random thoughts (J.Handy)
     
  12. Diehard

    Diehard aka Justin

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    Keep in mind that nearly every lake up there with any size has fish in it, even a lot of the ones with no regular trail to it. Generally, the further away from the trailhead(s) and roads, the better. There are some really good alpine lakes (some with large, plentiful fish) and many with just dinks, but it is all fun when you are in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    Get some hiking books for each section of the Cascades/Olympics (or borrow from the library). The books by Ira Spring are a great place to start.
     
  13. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    All good suggestions, this is a favorite question to answer as I'm always looking forward to the High Country. In your arsenal of flies consider taking bugs with lots of good movement (life) in the water. Small skinny leeches and buggers with a little flash in the body sz 12, glass bead head flies that catch the sunlight such as bead thorax soft hackles, also don't forget your scuds with flashback. Many alpine lakes have scud populations and fishing a scud under an indicator during your lunch break can keep both hands busy. You know what happens when you put your rod under your arm to take a bite of sandwich!
     
  14. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    And don't just pass by the small little creeks.......fish them. You will be amazed sometime.
     
  15. kingpuck

    kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

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    Right on guys! I'm really excited about the melt. Plan on heading to a fly shop and picking up more supplies (ugh, never ending) and soon enough will be whipping up some beauties. I'll try and post my creations when there all said and done.

    I've also looked into buying the little 2 man backpacking raft at REI and packing that up to the lakes. As I've heard that most of the lakes have very little shoreline and with the amount of snow we've had it stands to reason there will be even less. What are your opinions on this? Not needed? Bad idea?

    Thanks for the advice from everyone, it's greatly appreciated.
     
  16. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Get into the interior of the BOB MARSHALL complex. Once in there, which will take you two good days of strong hiking, you will experience some of the best wilderness fishing in the lower 48--- lakes and wilderness rivers and streams.
     
  17. Smooth

    Smooth Guest

    Consider packing some extra weight in the form of a float tube. Rafts work for some people, but on a windy day (even a light breeze) it is difficult to hold a position. Having fins leaves your hands free from rowing. Also...I in no way wish to imply you would do this...I have seen too many piles of brightly colored PVC rafts stashed in the bushes and deteriorated beyond usefullness (trash) because the owner was too lazy to haul it out.

    You will access much better water and in some cases a tube is about the only way to fish a lake because of so much brush and vegitation choking the shore. Plus...it is way cool floating in solitude on a high mountain lake on a sunny day...near Heaven as far as I can tell!

    Hitting higher lakes (like Panhandle's suggestion, the Bob) is a good idea. You have options all over the western US. There are more accesible areas than the Bob though.
    Pick a spot and go! You will have fun.

    You can find some lighter tubes around 3 lbs, but look for a pair of lightweight fins. Regular fins are HEAVY. Don't forget waders and long underwear...high lake water is COLD...you don't want to count on "wet" tubing up there even in August.
    Anyway...I have managed to go in to remote lakes for a few days with no more than 40-50lbs including the tube, gear, waders, fins, tent, etc, etc.

    Bring a floating line, a sinking line too...dries, nymphs, buggers, and soft hackles.
     
  18. Diehard

    Diehard aka Justin

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    Oh, also check the elevation of the lake(s) you are thinking about fishing. If it is 6,000ft or above (in WA), usually you are above the tree line or the trees are very thin. (lots of room to backcast!)
     
  19. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    On a hike last June to an alpine lake, Jason and I arrived at the lower lake to find a bright yellow Seyvlor raft about 3/4 inflated leaning against a large Hemlock trunk. A recent rain had filled the lower part of the raft with water. Nestled pretty as you please in the water was a pint bottle of Wild Turkey.

    The bottle was full to the top; the paper seal was broken although still intact. Immediately suspicious, I uncorked it and gave it the sniff test. Smelled like whiskey with no weird overtones, so I took a cautious pull. Tasted like whiskey too. Ummmm!

    My paranoid mind immediately started racing with scenarios of why anybody would leave a perfectly good bottle of whiskey (well, maybe NOT perfectly good) in a raft leaned against a tree.

    We decided to leave it alone and on our hike out ran into a group of two twentysomething guys and a gal just a few dozen yards from the raft. After a round of greetings, I mentioned the whiskey and watched their eyes light up.

    Not sure what eventually happened, but on my next trip back in September, both the raft and the whiskey were gone - probably long gone inthe case of the whiskey.

    K
     
  20. WaFlyCaster

    WaFlyCaster Tricoptera

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    cant stress the importance of getting away from the popular hiking areas as noted above.... hiking rarely used areas will increase your catches significantly in high mountain lakes... also someone already also mentioned that when you get above a 6000ft the trees are much smaller... also I noticed that the farther north in the cascades you go the lower the treeline seems to be... as well as the eastern side obiviously has less trees than the western side.... I also cant stress the importance of going to lakes without trails... I have never been disappointed with a hike to a lake without a trail (always find willing fish)..just make sure that it is large enough to support a population of fish.
     

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