Leech Lake, 30 June to 3 July, 2009

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by cabezon, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    I spent four days harassing brookies and triploids at Leech Lake, an annual/semiannual trip. All four days were sunny; winds varied from calm on some days to gusty winds that continuously changed their compass heading (very annoying). The helicopter transporting supplies for the expansion of the ski area took Thursday and Friday off - yeah!!

    I was hoping for a strong Callibaetis mayfly emergence, but, in spite of lots of male spinners bouncing above the surface of the lake at midday, there were few emerging duns and no real spinner falls. Mostly, the boys were looking for girls who were not there (how long can male spinners live??). Perhaps the cloud cover predicted next week will encourage more emergers.

    The rushes are just starting to reach the water's surface; they will become prime ambush zones for brookies and triploids alike in the next few weeks. The damsel emergence is just beginning, but it seemed to be stronger with each passing day. The fish weren't ready for damsel dries yet, but they were definitely hot for damsel nymphs.

    There were a few large caddis (traveling sedges??) flying around, hordes of microcaddis on two days, and a few alderflies along the shore. After about 1ish, there was a fairly heavy emergence of tiny midges (smaller than a size 22, it seemed); even some of the triploids were somewhat interested.

    The biggest surprise (and delight) was the presence of a very large (three-quarters of an inch, closer to size 10 hook than 12) flying black carpenter ant. While there weren't large numbers on the water each day (but I did see a few), their very presence had both the brookies and triploids hitting a parachute ant pattern hard.

    I counted 25 - 30 fishers at midday during the week, and fewer, about 20 fishing on Friday, the work holiday. From what I observed, folks were somewhat successful using a variety of strategies (bobber fishing with chironomids, stripping nymphs, trolling nymphs and wooly buggers, and fishing dries) and there were fish scattered across the lake. The mosquitoes are fierce; come prepared, especially in the later afternoon/evening.

    Steve
     
  2. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Really excellent report and the photos were some of the best fish pictures I think I've ever seen. It's hard getting a good shot of a fish in the water. Nicely done.
     
  3. Matt Smith

    Matt Smith On the river Noyb

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    Your fishing, pics, and reports this past week have been awesome. Better than the fly mags.

    After Coldwater, I was wanting to go there, now I'm going to have to add leech to my ever growing list of road trip fishing spots. Those are some beautiful fish! What kind of camera/filter are you using?
     
  4. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Thank you for the kudos, I have Canon Powershot S400, really a nothing special digital camera and it is several years old now. As it is not waterproof (and I take chances on rivers that lead to dunkings), I bought an underwater housing for it. I don't use any special filters. Brookies are so photogenic; as a model photographer would say, "the camera loves 'em."

    Steve
     
  5. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    I was up there on Thursday and was surprised to see so many people. I saw a few of the large caddis Steve referred to and stuck on a large Goddard sedge and pretty much kept it strung up most of the day. I probably sacrificed catching more fish by not going subsurface but it's pretty addictive watching fish slash the fly on the surface although I missed lots, probably the smaller brookies missing the fly 'cause I was able to hook most of the larger fish.

    I don't understand how that lake doesn't winterkill? The deepest spot I saw all day was 7 feet.

    I stopped by Dog for a couple hours on the way home since I hadn't been there in a few years. The surface temp was about 7-8 degrees cooler and the lake is much deeper but isn't as intimate as Leech.
     
  6. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    iagree
     
  7. Steve Kokita

    Steve Kokita FISHON206

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    Great pictures Steve! Leech lake brookies are a blast to catch, I chase them with a 2 wt. Not too many lakes around here where you can C&R good sized brookies and some trip's thrown in to make it interesting.---Steve :thumb:
     
  8. ryan2202

    ryan2202 Member

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    Hey I was there from 07/02-07/04 this week! Great Report...I have nothing to add! Fishing was of course great! I loved it! I am going to make this a yearly trip that weekend as well...Though I will probably be back to the lake a few more times! I love fishing Leech lake!
     
  9. CovingtonFly

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

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    those are sweet pictures
     
  10. ROB-ERT

    ROB-ERT Nellita

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    very well done on the pictures
     
  11. Brian Hinnenkamp

    Brian Hinnenkamp Cedar man

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    Sweet report, and beautiful pictures! I have only been there once, and have wanted to go back for years now. I have been looking at campgrounds near there, and it's tough to see where it would be best to go. I will be with my wife two boys 4 and 7 and 9 month old daughter. We have our tenting dialed at the moment, even with a 9 month old. Any suggestions?
     
  12. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    There are 8 - 10 sites at the northeast end of the lake. They are often pretty full, but you might get lucky (I always have been, but I'm there midweek deliberately). There are also camping sites at Dog Lake, a bit farther east on 12. Leech doesn't really have a "swimming hole" for the boys. There are many more sites farther east on 12, along the upper branches of the Tieton River and Rimrock Lake. They may provide more recreational opportunities, too (and few mosquitoes). The skeeters at Leech are voracious right now; without protection, you and the family may turn into human prunes. It is likely to be drier at Rimrock and the lower Tieton, and there may be fewer skeeters. Also, from Rimrock, you're not that far from Naches if you need supplies (like beer for you and ice cream for the kids).

    Steve
     
  13. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    Brian, if you have your heart set on camping, Steve gave you all the best places to camp. He may have understated just how bad the mosquitoes really are, especially for the young ones! Another option are the condos at the resort: privately owned and most are available to rent. Reasonable prices, fully equipped kitchens, shower and will sleep 6-8 people. We've stayed there a few times and will again. Even saw a couple guys carry their float tubes down the trail to the lake. We fish Dog in the AM[ some really big holdovers...need to fish deep], come back to the lodge for lunch and then fish Leech in the evening. Just an idea...
     
  14. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    Sportsman - Sounds pretty darn posh! The skitters at Leech are a real problem.

    MB
     
  15. Takuya

    Takuya New Member

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    My wife and I camped there and the mosquitoes were almost killing us:(.
    The bug repellent did not work very well.
    They kept coming!
    They are the worst mosquitoes I have ever had...

    By the way, The fish are very beautiful!
    I took a photo of those beautiful fish, but I was kinda disappointed after I saw the photo quality of the fish.
    The sunshine was strong. Maybe I need some kind of lens filter...
     
  16. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    POSH???...some are and others are pretty basic, prices vary. Even the worst one was OK: coffee pot, microwave, reefer, stove and dishes! I always prefer setting up camp, but for 1 or 2 trips a year, the price is reasonable and they don't charge extra for additional persons! The prices have almost doubled in the last 7 years, but what hasn't? We've always rented the one bedrooms and it's doable for 3-4 guys or a family. Got a few PM's, so to make it easy here's the link: http://www.whitepassvillageinn.com/reservations.cfm
     
  17. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    Sportsman:

    I just be givin ya a bad time. Nothing wrong with a little comfort while fishin, except for a certain place in Winthrop which has turned into a pit....

    MB
     
  18. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    No problemo Scott...I'm used to it! We never have camped at Leech, but even getting rigged up at the launch is a bitch. Camped at Dog one time and they weren't a problem, but all the drunks camped there made up for it! Never do hear much about guys fishing Dog, but we've had good luck there, especially in the NW part fishing the shallows right on the edge of the dropoff.
     

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