Camping at Sprague Lake

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Vladimir Steblina, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    The Game Department access site on the south side of Sprague Lake does it allow camping??

    The Department's web site says NO. The Department's Biologist said YES.

    Has anybody seen the signs on the ground banning camping??

    Thanks.......
     
  2. nz trout bum

    nz trout bum Member

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    Signs at the gate (at least last year) say no camping. There are 2 commercial camp grounds and one rough camping area with a donation box. That site is on the south side road back toward town. The problem there is that if you have a watercraft that needs any significant water to launch you are out of luck. Beach is shallow out a long way and maybe you could back in a boat but I wasn't willing to try. Good Luck. W
     
  3. lx-88

    lx-88 Member

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    I'd trust a website over a biologist on that one.
     
  4. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    There is camping south of the lake, along the cow creek chain of lakes. one sec ill look up the exact spot for ya.
     
  5. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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  6. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    Thanks to all for the replies.

    The Department tends to close areas to camping when there are private campgrounds nearby so I sort of figuered the biologist was wrong.

    Thanks Dustin, Cow was my back-up site.
     
  7. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    Vlad, I just read the short article in Northwest Fly Fishing magazine about Sprague Lake and wondered if you found any good rough camping at Sprague or Cow Lake? Was there even an outhouse at Cow Lake (don't see one on the aerial photos)? How was the fishing at Sprague or Cow? PM me if you don't want to post a report online. Thanks!

    Rex
     
  8. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

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    I never did go. I did look at google earth and there was plenty of room for a large rig.

    This spring NW flyfishing channeled my mind and listed two or three new places on my list.
     
  9. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    Thanks, Vlad! That article talked about 10 pounders being caught in Sprague. I imagine that's probably an exaggeration, but it appears that there are some huge trout in that lake.

    Rex
     
  10. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

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    Huge trout yes, but extremely far and few between. Did I say extremely, just want to emphasis that.
     
  11. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    Two or three years ago double digit trips were coming out of there pretty regular. Haven't heard anything in a year or so,though . Usually when I get over that way I opt for a different lake with double digit browns.
     
  12. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    Cow Lake has no outhouse or other facilities. It's just a road to a very pretty lake and inlet stream...that seem to have zero fish in them. Fished it summer of 2012 with a friend all day and we caught/felt/saw no signs of trout at all.
     
  13. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    Thanks for the useful information! Too bad about no fish being there. Do you think it just gets fished out or did it summer or winter kill?

    Rex
     
  14. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    We're still perplexed. WDFW has stocked Cow Lake in recent years (haven't check the past year though), and there was a glowing article about the rainbows in there in (I think) 2011 in NW Flyfishing. The habitat and water temps seemed fine - and this was late June 2012 in hot weather. Nonetheless, that was just one day of water temperature measurement, and our guess remains that the lake probably had a summer kill event between the time of the NW Flyfishing article and our day fishing it. I suppose it's possible that it was an off day and there were/are in fact fish in it, but it was so lifeless that this seems less likely.
     
  15. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

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    Didn't fellow WFFer BDD pen that article about Cow lake for Northwest flyfishing? You could probably PM him for more detail.
     
  16. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Lugan, I responded to your PM.

    Yeah, I did a small article on Cow a few years ago in NWFF. It was prime time after the rehab and we caught some nice fish there for a while, without much pressure. But it was a mysterious lake as much of it is uninhabitable for trout and we never did see much surface activity that would lead you to believe it was much of a trout lake. It also has a bit of tannin color to the water so you can't really see much activity in that regard either. I got the impression that trout survival from fry to adult was not super high. Still, I don't think I ever saw another fly angler on the lake, though I did see some gear folks fishing it, but never what I would consider heavy pressure.

    I have not been back since I did the article, mostly because there are so many other lakes that I have yet to fish.
     
  17. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Isn't Sprague being set up at a spiny ray lake? Someone (might have been BDD) or Steve Worley) told me that they were stocking it with Lahontan Cutts while also managing it for a future trophy bass fishery.
     
  18. Old406Kid

    Old406Kid Active Member

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    Here's a pretty good article on the history and management plan going forward.
    http://www.gameandfishmag.com/2010/09/29/fishing_trout-fishing_wo_0509_01/

    And yes a spiny ray fishery is their primary intent. Personally I think WDFW, the resorts, and community would benefit more
    if it was managed as a trout fishery with tighter regs (maybe only 2 over 16 or 18")
    Nothing against spiny rays but most fishermen, both gear and fly, mainly target trout.
    I guess time will tell.
     
  19. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    So, do you know if camping is allowed at that launch area?

    Rex
     
  20. suckegg

    suckegg Active Member

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    Last time I fished it some old codgers local pulled into the lot as we were leaving as said we were early for the big fish and you could get one over 12lbs. I think the rehab threw the food supply off but that was years ago so there should be plenty of smaller fish to grow the beasts you dream of. Best bet for the trophy they said was once the fish come into the shallows after the waters cools(October) in the fall looking for a real meal. The NWFF article came out two year after it was written so it was a bit dated. We've got some good fish on Cow. One made the first issue of American Fly Fishing magazines premier issue. You may still be able to download that issue for free on iTunes.
     

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