Help with fly selection for Alpine Lakes?

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by castaway, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. castaway Mark 1:18

    Posts: 26
    Leavenworth, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Looking for some assistance here guys... without giving away any secret flies, what would be your recommended "go to" flies for fishing alpine lakes in the north central cascades during August and September? Any help would be great, I sure appreciate it.
  2. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Fish in the alpine lakes usually aren't that picky. Usually. It can depend on the lake. For most lakes, a handful of EHC for the top and some wolly buggers for sub surface will do the trick. But to cover all your bases, consider various terristrials like ants and beetles, and then some hairs ear nymphs, carey specials, humpies and royal wolffs, etc.

    Try using the search function. There are many posts on this topic.
  3. Troy Lichttenegger Troy

    Posts: 41
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    In a lot of the alpine lakes their are log jams everywhere, I usually venture out on these log jams and cast out a beaded san juan worm or a wolly bugger as metioned up above, works great :thumb:
    Tight Lines,
  4. Rory McMahon Active Member

    Posts: 1,615
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    u wil get a lot of different responses, but hers my list.

    Hares Ear Soft Hackle
    Zug Bug
    Para Adadms
    Royal Wulff
    Small olive woolly buggeres and small black woolly buggers
  5. SuperDave New Member

    Posts: 341
    .Spanaway, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Any of the series by Denny Rickards (which see) ESPECIALLY the Stillwater Nymph and the tan Callibaetis Nymph in sizes #12 and #14. I fish them all summer in the Cascade high lakes.

  6. gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

    Posts: 741
    Gig Harbor, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Here is my list of top picks
    Zug Bugs, Tellico Nymph, Callibaetis Nymph, Wooly Bugger

    Elk hair caddis, Gulper Specials or Parachute Adams, Royal PMX and beetle patterns.

    These would probably be the same flies that I would choose for beaver pond fishing as well.
  7. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,225 / 0
    Chad's right. By August, the fish can see the sun rising lower and lower in the sky every day and sense the shortening days. These are their cues to pack on as many calories as possible to build up body fat for the cold, dark and hungry winter days ahead.

    In my experience, you can darn near throw anything out and catch a fish on it. They won't be at all picky, especially if you're lucky enough to be fishing a lake that sees little in the way of other fishermen.

    IMHO, far more important than a particular fly selection is bringing a floatation device that will allow you to methodically probe every inch of the shoreline.

  8. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    If you hike far enough the little devils can be caught on sailfish :eek: sized flies, bless there little hearts
  9. Jim Jones flytosser

    Posts: 575
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    We hiked into a high mountain lake this past summer and by the end of the day we were tying on bugs just to see what they wouldn't eat.

    Didn't find a single fly that wouldn't work. Granted it was a pretty tough hike (at least for this old body) and I am guessing this body of water sees little pressure.

    Have fun!

    Jim Jones
  10. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0

    I've had trips like that before too. We ended up having a contest of who could catch a fish on the biggest \ ugliest fly. My buddy was new to tying and had some ebarassing looking big ugly flies - so he won easily (although now that I"m tying as well, I could give him a run for his money...)
  11. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,406
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +318 / 2
    Just to be contrary, I've busted my butt getting into D***a and O***r with some friends with little to show for it. Four of us fished fairly hard for 4 days, with a couple tubes, and I think we caught 1 or two 2 total. On the way out, the "fisherman's trail" (bitch of a scramble really) meets the maintained trail at T***t Lake....where the fish were hitting the surface like you wouldn't believe. Like dozens of fish each second, giving us the finger. It happens that way too.
    That said though, all of the flies recommended will work in Spring & Fall & usually in between.
  12. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,225 / 0
    You point out another truism when fishing Alpine lakes: not every lake has fish in it.

    Some lakes are barren and won't support the plant and insect life at the bottom of the food chain that fish need for food. Others winterkill. Some are planted regularly but are hit so hard by the catch-and-kill folks that they become put and take lakes. Finally, some never had fish in the first place and for a variety of reasons have never been planted, or were planted long ago but were deemed insufficiently worthwhile to warrant replanting later.

  13. WT Member

    Posts: 771
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    If I could only have one fly for alpine lakes it would have to be an ant pattern.
  14. laivindil Member

    Posts: 37
    Suburbia, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    So is there a list of lakes with self-sustaining trout populations? Or ones that get enough stocked that there are some to catch in sept?
  15. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
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    I'm not aware of any public 'list' that would indicate which lakes are planted, which are self-sustaining and which are barren. Further, I don't believe that WDFW lists ANY stocking reports for lakes that are not accessible by road, in wilderness areas or above 1500 feet in elevation. Such lakes are stocked with WFDW assistance and approval by a closely-knit, invitation-only club which holds such information in strictest confidence.

    Nonetheless, a close look at a map of any of the major drainages in western Washington will show a large number of lakes, most of which will have some fish populations. While some of those lakes will be difficult if not nearly impossible to get in to, there are quite a few that can be reached in an hour or two's hike.

    The great beauty of living in this state is the thrill of finding out on your own which ones have fish and were worth the effort to get to.