Lost Lake and dragonflies

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Roper, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    My buddy Jim and I hiked into Lost Lake on Sunday. First time there for me and there were tons of dragonflies and damsels. No takes on damsels and I had no dragon imitations. Does anyone know how to fish dragonlies? Nymphs, sinking lines, draggin' the bottom I would presume. What kind of retrieve do they need?

    Lost is a beautiful remote lake that gave up a fat 17 inch Brown to a size 10 bead head bugger. But not much else after that.
     
  2. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

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    Hiked into?

    Where is this Lost Lake you are refering to?

    As to fishing damsel imitations, they crawl to a place where they can get out of the water, so when hatching time comes there is an exodous of bugs trying to get out of the lake.

    Try a hand twist retrieve fishing out into the lake from shore or near shore. But I know guys who don't do that, and do well.

    Rob
     
  3. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Lost Lake location

    9 miles northeast of Monroe, and 2-3 miles off the road. If you want directions, e-mail me.
     
  4. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

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    Trout do not feed on the adult Dragon Fly only on the nymphs. There are patterns for the nymphs stage but a green leech pattern will work almost as well. Work the pattern toward weed beds or the shore for the best effect. The hatching dragon fly pulls itself up out of the water using the plants like a rope.
     
  5. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

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    Dragonflies are generally big, and many of the nymphs take over a year to mature, so they're available to trout all the time. They are most important at times when little else is going on (winter, early spring, late fall), and when they are on the move because they're getting ready to hatch (late spring, summer, early fall). But they are a good big meal, and trout will often go out of their way for one. And because they're big, they can attract big fish. Little trout might be afraid of them. Some dragon nymphs are nasty predators themselves, that will even stalk and attack small fish!

    Many dragon nymphs spend the better part of their time down in the silt or under the leaf litter and other detritus. Others crawl and climb among the dense aquatic vegetation. They're not often that vulnerable. However, most can swim, and will if they need to, taking a big chance if there's any big trout around. Many of them actually swim by jet-propulsion, shooting water out through their rear-ends. They travel in 3 to 6 inch bursts, often hestitating for a second or two between blasts, though if alarmed they can get their mojo on. The standard retrieve is slow to medium fast, short, sharp strips, fished deep.

    Many imitations are heavily weighted to get the fly down to where most naturals are found, particularly over silty substrates. Other patterns have neutral bouyancy or are actually designed to float (with deer-hair or foam bodies), but still be fished deep. These are very effective fished on a short leader with a sink tip line, allowed to hover just over weed tops, with short, sharp, attention-grapping strips and long pauses. In clear, shallow water with cruising trout, this can provide some nervewracking sight-fishing.

    Dragons emerge just like damsels, by climbing out of the water on rocks, sticks, treetrunks, reeds, or whatever. This is when they're most vulnerable and available to trout. Quivering reeds, or big splashy boils tight to structure can indicate fish feeding on dragon nymphs. Fish imitations tight to reeds and other structure. If practical, retrieves toward shore or at least parallel to it will be more effective, but if that won't work, just try to make a lot of casts with short retrieves, as your retrieve won't be doing much good once it gets a couple feet from the reeds.

    In BC, dragon nymphs are old standbys. The Carey Special is essentially a dragon imitation, but there are many other Canadian dragon patterns, some impressionistic, many very accurate. Those chaps fish dragons all the time, trolling them, casting them, all season. My impression is that many anglers south of the border think of them as a novelty or backup pattern. Maybe. I don't fish them that often myself, and have a tendency to think of the few patterns I carry as desperation flies. Often they've wound up giving me excellent fishing, when everybody else was getting skunked, making me feel like an idiot for not getting desperate sooner. And the biggest trout I've ever landed, a 6/7-pound rainbow at Moccasin, came to a ridiculous looking marabou dragon nymph.
     
  6. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    Isn't moccasin lake a private lake up by twisp? I would love to fish there but don't have the money. I agree with you that dragons work but it's a little easier on private water with lots of big fish in them. :WINK
     
  7. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

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    I make no claims to prowess or even luck regarding that fish at Moccasin. Heck, I didn't even have to pay.

    Moccasin is actually managed very well to create something a little better than the "put-and-release" fishing common at many private lakes. But there is no doubt that fishing somewhere that only allows six rods per day four days a week gives you a leg up. The trick at a place like Moccasin isn't that there's more fish; it's that there's LESS. With managed pressure, the fishing can be better with fewer fish, allowing them to grow bigger, a classic win-win. At Moccasin, they do use triploids, but only a few, the rest are kamploops and browns, and all fish are planted as juveniles, growing and naturalizing in the lake. (Remember that all those 24"s you guys yanked out of Lenice this year were triploids.)

    You're right though; there's no denying a certain fish-in-a-barrell aroma to the whole pay-lakes enterprise. I will say you get over it when the reel is screaming. But I do put a personal asterisk over that fish, and actually consider the 4.5 pound non-triploid rainbow out of Chopaka back in '95 my personal best. But technically, that Moccasin sumbuck is the biggest trout I've brought to hand, and I was just trying to make a point about dragon nymphs. He did eat one, regardless where he came from or how he got there.
     
  8. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Whether or not trout feed on adult dragonflies, they certainly TRY to. Seeing some of the biggest fish in Lenice leaping several feet out to try to snag a coupled pair of red dragonflies in the fall is a common sight. I watched an enormous brown at Dry Falls repeatedly make porpoising jumps at a dragonfly skittering along ten inches or a foot above the water. I can't help but think that they must be successful on occasion. That said, I have only had a limited amount of activity with dry dragonfly patterns fished on the surface.

    Adult damselflies are another matter entirely, trout love 'em and hit them with what can only be described as abandon. The only time that I've had trout absolutely refuse a dry damsel was last year at Chopaka when the damsels were swarming about a foot above the water and an imitation presented on the surface would be completely ignored while fish all around it were leaping out trying to capture the airborne naturals.
     
  9. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

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    Well if trout feed on adult dragon flies I never heard of if or read about it any any books. But I am sure they may try to at times. I have read that bass will go after the adults and have seen this on occations. I will admit I have never tried an adult dragon fly pattern for any type of fish. Since the books I have read have always said not to bother with exept for bass. Bass I have other patterns I like. I am wondering on these red dragon flies since I have only seen the blue and green ones. How big are they? Have you only seen them in the lakes around Lenice?:DUNNO
     
  10. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Red dragonflies are quite common at Lenice and most of the other eastern Washington Lakes that I have fished, even up to somewhat higher elevations (like Chopaka). I've seen them from spring into the late summer and fall, in fact they seem to be the most common type of dragonfly around; much moreso than the black-and-white, blue and green species. The coupled males and females are often seen flying just above the surface of the water, the female's abdomen dangling down and repeatedly dapping the water; presumably ovipositing.

    Haig-Brown, in Fisherman's Spring (I think), describes Paul and Knouff Lake guide Bill Nation's "Nation's Red" as a dragonfly imitation which Nation fished just below the surface believing that the trout took it, along with its reflection in the underside of the surface film, for a pair of mating dragonflies flying just above the surface.

    As I said above, I have not had a great deal of success with adult dragonfly patterns and I suspect that this is because the fish seem to be most interested in dragonflies that are actually flying above the water. They are much stronger fliers than damselflies and, unlike damselflies, don't seem to get knocked down by the wind very often and so, rarely become available to the fish in that condition. I have had enough action, however, to keep trying whenever there seem to be lots of dragons around and the fish show some evidence of being interested.

    I've wondered if the British technique of floss lining (as described by Gary LaFontaine) or perhaps putting a big yarn strike indicator on the leader on a windy day and allowing the fly to bounce along and above the surface might prove fruitful. If I ever encounter the right sort of conditions I've promised myself to give it a shot.
     
  11. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

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    If I ever get over to Easter Washington to fish without driving on through to Idaho instead I look foward to checking out these red dragon flies. The large yarn indicator to fly a pattern I do remember reading about somewhere myself now that you wrote back on. But since at the time of reading it sounded like a not very productive but fun way to fish, I had forgotten about it. I thank you for the reminder.:HAPPY
     
  12. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Lost Lake location

    I might be old---but I'm good.

    I was searching for that lake on one of my many maps. Is that the lake in the Lake Chaplain watershed just below Lake Chaplain. If it is that area is closed to public entry. Just thought that I would add this just to keep you all safe. Jim S. :THUMBSUP
     
  13. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Lost Lake location

    Is it a private land issue or a government closure?
     
  14. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Closed area???

    I'm not sure that's right. The road into the lake has a sign posted by the PUD stating what the rules for use are(no dogs, motorized vehicles, don't walk on the bog, etc.). There are no signs at the trailhead either. In fact there were no signs posted anywhere. That's unusual for an area if it were closed to the public.
    What make you feel it's closed? Anything in black and white?
     
  15. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Closed area???

    I might be old---but I'm good.

    Well I really don't know but the map that I got the info off of is the Washington Road and Recreation Atlas. It shows Lake Chaplain and it also says Lake Chaplain watershed. In a box below it it has printed Closed to Public Entry. My Washington Atlas and Gazetteer doesn't have any of that in/on it.

    Also one more question. Those ponds below Lake Chaplain. I heard that they planted fish in them. Is that true or not? :DUNNO
     
  16. jgrins

    jgrins New Member

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    Closed area???

    I believe that Lost Lake is to the West of Lake Chaplain, not downstream from it. The road/trail appears to parallel Lake Chaplain for awhile before heading west and uphill to the lake.... Roper, do you park by the Lake Chaplain dam and hike from there?
    -Jeff
     
  17. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Closed area???

    I might be old---but I'm good.

    I know that it's to the west of it. I was asking about the pond or series of ponds below the dam. Jim
     
  18. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Closed area???

    I haven't heard anything about the ponds below Chaplain, but just got a report from some ATV riders last week that Beaver Lake and Echo Lake to the north of Lake Chaplain had fish thrashing the surface. Anyone fished either of those lakes? I'm thinking of exploring them this weekend and could use some info. (i.e. - are they worth it?)
     
  19. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Jeff, I park down (west) from Lost Lake on the Woods Creek Rd. and hike up to the lake. I come into the area from Monroe and Hwy. 2.

    To the others, I haven't fished the other lakes in the area but will be soon and will report out when I do.
     
  20. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I might be old---but I'm good.

    You used to be able to drive to them lakes but then they put a gate up and now you can't.
     

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