Lake Fontal

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by SalmoGairdneri, May 6, 2002.

  1. SalmoGairdneri New Member

    Posts: 4
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    The stock report says Fontal was stocked last year - so I drove out and found it last wednesday. Nice little lake, figured I'd fish it this past weekend but Saturday morning the road gate was closed!!! Why would WDFW plant a lake that is (apparently) on private land? Ticked me off somethin' fierce - :REALLYMAD

    anybody know who owns that lake now? :CONFUSED
  2. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Yeah, the gate scene at Fontal blows. According to Terry Rudnick's book, "Washington Fishing," Weyerhauser owns the land. The reason they gated it off is because the local yahoos have had the bad habit of trashing the place. I hate to agree with that corporate giant, but the second time I tried to find the lake--and getting lost in the process--I found an old burned mattress on a side dead-end. Even though motorcycles are not allowed on the property, there are obvious signs that people are violating the rules. Dirtbike tracks have been evident the last two times I went to Fontal.

    What I do is just load up my mountain bike with float tube, waders, and rod and make the 2.5 miles to the lake. If it was Fontal you actually were at, you should have passed a total of three gates by the time you reached the lake shore. Otherwise, you were somewhere else. Like Lake Hannan? :DUNNO
  3. SalmoGairdneri New Member

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    On the previous Wednesday I did see evidence of four-wheelers and dirt bikes, some garbage and a half drunk bottle of CodeRed at the put in on the lake. Based on my map I'm pretty sure it was Fontal - I took a wrong turn on the way in and ended up under the powerlines, tracked back and took the other fork and ended up at the foot of the lake, don't recall how many gates I passed - looked for Hannan on the way out but didn't see it, even though the road goes right by it.

    Good idea on the mtn bike/float tube - my buddy and I were thinking along those lines - now the real question, how'd ya do? :THUMBSUP
  4. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Well, all I can say is that everytime I've been there--which is twice, I've hooked up on very nice, solid-bodied trout. Sadly, that only amounts to two, very nice, solid-bodied trout. The first time, I fished from a raft in the middle of a very hot day in July. I feel lucky that I caught anything at all, considering that the fish had to be holding very deep in that 70 degree water.

    The last time, I hooked up on a nice one that shook off my carey special. Nothing was rising for the whole time I was out there, and I really hadn't worked out my chops with my rig. Considering it was still mid-February and freaking cold, the one fat trout that got away was still somewhat of a victory. Getting nice ones only is a good indicator. Still, I do plan on going back the first chance I get.

    Right now, my float tube and waders are needing repair, so it's going to be a while. Actually, I'm heading off to New Orleans for a couple of months--flying out tomorrow morning. When I get back, I'm hoping to have everything ready for my third Fontal expedition. By then, it'll be time to work deep. I expect the water to be warm again.

    If you are planning on doing it soon, do slow and short strips with a carey special, a mottled (multi layered colors of wine, brown, olive, and black) marabou leech, a brown or black woolley bugger, or a Thin-Mint Leech, or a minnow imitation. The spastic strip will draw fish and give them a chance to strike the fly. Good luck and tight lines!

    --Dave Eriksen :THUMBSUP
  5. Sparse Grey Hackle Member

    Posts: 375
    Fayetteville, NY, USA.
    Ratings: +26 / 0
    Dave,

    It appears that you got the directions Fontal that I sent you last year. Glad you found it.

    When I first started flyfishing lakes, Fontal was my practice lake. I have never landed a RB larger than 12", but the fish are usually pretty healty for their size. Fontal's unique quality can be found in its Brook Trout. If and when you have a brookie on, that fish SHOULD surpass 9". In Washington, that's not bad. In fact, on my first trip to the lake I caught one in the 14" range. The bad side of this was that it was before I had confidence in my ability to take fish on a fly rod and I got her on a kastmaster spoon. Since then
    I have yet to catch a decent Brookie, just RB.

    Fontal can often be real sporadic. Heavy midge hatches can bring a lot of surface activity, but finding the right imitation can be difficult. I have always had my luck on buggers. Black buggers have picked up Brookies in the past, mostly near the inlet.

    Hope that aids anyone who reads this.



    Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
    (Sir Izaak Walton)
  6. shrich New Member

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    I decided to walk to Fontal from the main gate a couple of months ago. (I've never seen the main gate open). At the second gate was a sign posting "NO TRESSPASSING. Is this still the case?
  7. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    If the main gate you are talking about is the one next to the entrance to Camp Hamilton, then that one has never been open. As far as the "NO TRESPASSING" sign, I've just took it to be part of the Camp Hamilton/Lake Hannan property access situation. At least that's a very good excuse to continue to Fontal.

    As far as the size of the fish I've seen at Fontal, they've been both of quite good size--well over 12". My guess, without having measured then, would have been around 14" to 15". Strong fighters and of good girth, though the one I pulled out of the 70 degree water was sluggish until I got it to the surface. It was there that it turned it on and tossed my black chironomid. It quickly swam down and out of sight, as if nothing had happened at all. Still, I would think that a spring outing would be a good time to test their mettle. What do you think? I'll be envying all those who decide to take the time out in the coming weeks. As I said before, I'm going to have to wait until September or October.

    Tight Lines!
    --Dave Eriksen