Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Woodcanoeguy, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Dan, nice fish.. I got a buddy that did that before... he said it was pretty sweet.

    I think we, as "enthusiasts", should leave Spirit lake alone.

    If it needs to be continually "sampled" than do a "lottery" for interested anglers... I bet you could drum up some serious interest... even make them pay for the opportunity to go there... I would pay.

    if the public gets ahold of this, it will get destroyed, and people will think that, because the rainbows are so big, maybe they should put bass, or browns, or triploids in there... imagine how big those would get? oh, the possibilities.....

    its inevitable..... those arent happy with 19" rainbows.. and will want 21" browns. etc....

    Spirit is an anomaly.. (sp)... lets leave it for science.... not every lake should be destroyed by us.

    that is, unless they need help with the research. :)
  2. I agree with mgamby on the above statement. We should leave it alone. It would get trashed if people were let in there.
  3. Flyfising Dan, all I have to say is “Wow”. Those pictures of Spirit Lake are breathtaking. What a great experience that day must have been. Also very good commentary on both Spirit and Coldwater Lake. I did find it interesting that you are in favor of opening the lake to fishing. I agree with MGamby. I see Spirit lake as a once in a lifetime event, and it should be studied and left alone. Let the scientist and biologist do their thing and not cave into the pressure. But I am an enthusiast, and if they did open the Spirit lake, I would be the first in line to get up there and wet a line. Kind of hypocritical & selfish I guess, I just hope they don’t give me that choice. I have no ideal if this is true or not (probably a vicious rumor) but I heard somewhere that they opened Spirit lake to limited amount of hiking controlled by guide and only a few groups per year. The very first group of folks that hiked up there had a young boy going with the group. As soon as the this ground breaking group arrived at the lake, the kid ran off and took a piss in the lake. Point being is that peeing in the lake probably had no impact, but these are the type of issues that can occur when the human race gets “introduced”.

    I noted from the pics that you looked like you fished from the bank. Did they allow you to bring a float tube to fish from? Did you have that choice? I have read other debates over allowing fishing in Spirit Lake and one of the concerns was safety in that the large floating logs in the lake and the high winds, they worry about logs trapping a float tuber or separate them from the launch point.

    Another item I read somewhere that one of the reasons why they don’t open Spirit Lake is that Coldwater with it’s special regulations tailored to C&R fishing and selective gear is underutilized. I personally don’t think it is a problem as that is one of the reasons why I enjoy Coldwater so much is the solitude. I have fished CW about 6 or 7 times over the last dozen years or so and I can never really see more than a half dozen folks fishing. Fine by me. But I think that has to more with the wind and it isn’t always the easiest lake to fish. I have just started to have some success within the last couple of years – I have left that lake flustered the first 3-4 times fishing it. But CW has really grown on me and I am beginning to fish it more and more and having more success as of late. I love knowing you are catching 100% wild fish, and sure most of the good fish are in the 11 to 14 inch range, but man do they kick ass for their size and I catch enough 15 inch+ fish to make it interesting. 17 inches is my personal best so far – but I have seen a pictures and talked to others that have caught larger fish than that. Plus that scenery and solitude – makes CW a personal favorite for me.

    I have noticed this year that fish on average are smaller than years past – and I can buy into the lake maybe being overpopulated a bit and maybe showing signs of other high mountain lakes (short season, limited food base, smaller fish, ect). And sure I would like to consistently catch bigger fish and I maybe a bit worried that CW average fish size will stay at 11”-14”. NW Flyfishing Magazine did feature article on Coldwater a few years back. According to the article, the food source just isn’t that abundant and an 18 inch fish is 3-4 years old. I wouldn’t mind if they did increase the limit or implement a slot limit to help, but I don’t see that helping too much anyway. The folks that fish CW to begin with are primarily C&R and how many folks that fish CW on a regular basis is going to keep any more fish? I can count on one hand the amount of fish I have seen being kept. I have only kept one myself so far in all my visits. The fish cleaning station is nice, but not used too much.

    Keep CW as is. No stocking needed. No Rotene needed. They wouldn’t let a Rotene barrel anywhere near the place. I love the fact of that they limit bank access (except when I have to pee). It is a challenging lake and it isn’t for the typical fisherman looking to fill their stringer. Hopefully Flyshing Dan is right and we are just seeing a down cycle, looks like he knows that lake pretty well and I am aligned with his philosophy, I will hitch my band wagon to any of his recommendations.

  4. Well I am sure glad I started this thread....lots of great information from some passionate anglers on a magical little lake and its fish critters. Thank you all......
  5. Hi Peach:
    Thank you for all your thoughts on CW. It is a very special lake. I have fished it since it was opened and have enjoyed myself immensly up there too over the years.
    I did take my grandson up there a couple weeks ago, and we did catch alot of fish that day which thrilled him greatly even if the fish were only about 11-13 inches. We did see two different sets of people fishing along the bank wherever they wanted to tho, which isn't supposed to happen there. So whoever's supposed to monitor that needs to do a better job.
    I do hope those who think CW is just going thru a temporary downsize in fish are right. For those who have been blessed with catching alot of fish up there that are alot larger in years back, it is tough to see the size go down so dramatically the way they have, even if they are sort of wild fishery. Guess we'll just have to sit back and hope things turn around up there. I won't hold my breath tho.
  6. Coldwater Lake was productive for me yesterday 11/2.....mostly sunny and pretty windy conditions. I didn't have much time there, but three hours of mid-day
    fishing produced 6 nice mixed size fish and one larger one that broke me off after 4-5 minutes of trying to get it close enough to net. All fish taken on a size
    6 gold bodied Muddler stripped just under the surface. Water temps are definitely cooler and I didn't see any bugs on water. The Beaver has been very active
    thinning the alders near the boat ramp. I saw an odd thing in the fairly large fish jump about 8 times at 50' intervals....straight up 2 feet or so , then falling straight back tail first into the water. Not sure what that was about....maybe trying to clear parasites from his body? The fall colors and strong
    winds blowing ash around in the crater made it a beautiful day.
  7. I haven't fished Coldwater for a very long time. Last time I nearly got skunked, but that is
    nothing new for me. Beautiful lake. First time I fished it I got a real surprise. A large something
    took my wooly but I never saw it. My rod almost doubled a couple of times and then went slack. I guess I hadn't been on the lake ten minutes when it happened. Great lake. Maybe I will get back down there when I finally get a small pram.
  8. Anyone know if you can get into Coldwater to fish now? Also, I have never fished it this late in the year. Any ideas on whether or not it would be worth the time now?

  9. I don't know if it would be worth it, and I don't know if you can get in, but I will bet it is cold.
    Maybe that is why they call it Coldwater Lake.

    With the lack of snow, the roads might be in good shape. Water temperature might be another
  10. I was just up their last week again . I watched the weather and it was supposed to be around 36 all night in the area - well it was ice for about 20 miles once you got up around silver lake to almost all the way to the lake (early morning ice not a sheet of ice) someone had actually slide off into silver lake we were told at the store in the town of toutle lake .

    Trolling was very slow , we trolled to springs running into the lake and then fished in front of the springs and nothing with indi's and chironos , went to the other end and only a couple fish . saw some sipping but did not go after them until we came back to boat ramp end .

    In the evening small pods of fish started sipping so we chased them with the electric and hooked about 5 or 6 . I think we could of stayed at the ramp end and done this all day , it was fun spotting them and racing over with my new electric and casting ahead or behind them (trying to guess witch way they were going) when we guessed right they were sipping soft hackles in 14 and 16 - actually pretty good fishing and heck of alot of fun !

    I had talked to the man who locks the gates up their and he told me they try and leave it open all winter long and have only had to close it once or twice in the last few years and when they do close it because of snow they try and get it open as fast as they can . A lot of people still make the drive to see the mountain but hardly anybody fishing .

    The slick roads did make for a hard long drive but we had no wind and a great day on the lake .

    check the weatherchannel web and pull up mt. saint hellens and watch the winds a few days in advance and you can catch a great day up their quite often . read your regs - no bait and no knotted nets among other things ! good luck
  11. I have an idea...downsize your gear for 12-14 inch fish and enjoy!
  12. Yep - just bought my daughter a redington 863 for christmas and am now looking at orvis super fines for me in 3 wt. should be all setup soon ! cant wait - cabin fever setting in - in hibernation right now - this old bear will wake up way before the bears for fishing though .
  13. Anyone been up to Coldwater to check access and fishing prospects in the last 30 days?
  14. Yep. My flyf ishin friend was up there a couple weeks ago with his brotherinlaw. He said the wind was howling from out of the east and the boat launch had about 20 feet of logs in front of it. Imposible to fish. I hope to get up there the next nice day we get tho.
    Strike Zone
  15. Planing on being their on wednesday will give a report if we make it.
  16. Coldwater on Wednesday= Ice and snow for 15 miles over the top. boat ramp was clear to launch, fishing was not very good. only hooked 4 and landed 3 two of the fish were in the 16 inch range but worked hard for few fish. still some ice in some areas of the lake. no hatches at all. no risers. fished to 30 ft. then with indi's and chiro's and blood worms and trolled buggers. fish came on indi's and chiro's.

    I'm waiting for a real good warm spell to maybe warm the water a bit. drive out the road was clear of ice and snow. it seems day to day with ice and snow or clear roads.
  17. Thanks for the report and pics. I will wait until it gets a bit warmer before I head up that way.

    Yesterday I went to Narwhalsawzall Lake (near Matlock) and had similar luck. In 2 1/2 hours slow trolling and casting, I had 5 bites, 4 hookups, and 3 to hand. Mine were in the 11" to 13" range, but one was a very good fighter. I saw it splash in some shallower (7' deep) water near some logs, so I paddled over and fired a cast to it, even though I was using a #6 brown sparkle bugger off a type 3 full sinker. Two strips...BAM! Jumped twice and pulled pretty hard for only a 12"er. I saw one other trout make one rise ring, but saw no bugs nor other risers. Surface water was 40 F.
  18. Mark:
    Georgeous pics. Makes me want to get up there as soon as I can. I had a beautiful 8 pound steelhead jump out of my net on Tuesday on the Cowlitz. It started thrashing around real hard when it knew it was caught which made my rod almost get pulled into the water. So I grabbed the rod to save it and at the same time I must have dropped the rim of the net below the water level. Needless to say, the fish realized it was clear saling since it had come unhooked in the process. So it proceeded to swim right back out of the net. It all happened in a nano second. I was just starting to lick my chops for some barbequed steelhed and then it was over. Maybe next time. That's why they call it fishin and not catching. I had a great day tho.
    Strike Zone

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