Mountain Lakes

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Dryguy, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Dryguy New Member

    Posts: 14
    kirkland, wa, usa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Fished a beautiful mountain lake in the Cascades yesterday for some surprisingly big fish. Not sure why the fish in some lakes are decidedly larger than in others. This lake had a couple of things going for it that would likely make the difference: Hard as hell to get to, rich insect life-saw mayfly, caddis, terrestrial, small minnows, good inlet/outlet flow, depth in spots of at least 30 feet. Not sure what else matters, but we had some time to kick it around as we were standing catching our breath at the numerous rest stops on the way down! What a beautiful place we live.
  2. cwbraue Member

    Posts: 154
    Yakima, Wa finally
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    Some mountain lakes are planted with Kamloops rainbows, which apparently get bigger than other types. Also, many planted mountain lakes have too many fish for the amount of food to grow very large. Lakes with fewer fish and light fishing pressure can produce decent sized fish.
  3. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    A good food source is key. I know of some lakes that have good supplies of fresh water shrimp (forget the name), and the trout get big and fat.

    But as mentioned, there can be too much of a good thing. In some lakes the trout are able to reproduce and end up competing too much for only a modest food supply.

    One thing to keep in mind - if you are having trouble keeping the little ones off, there is often some big predator fish that consider those dinks to be lunch. Fish deeper with big leach and streamer patters after you get bored with the dinks. You may be pleasantly suprised...
  4. jackchinook Member

    Posts: 314
    Winthrop, WA
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    As eluded to before, the number of fish is important in determining the eventual overall size and health of fish in a lake. While food source is important, I believe quality and quantity of spawning habitat to be equally, if not more important. If properly stocked with relatively low numbers of fish that can't reproduce or can only reproduce with minimal success, the fish will get big, regardless of whether there are freshwater shrimp in the lake or not. I caught a 19" rainbow in a Chelan Co. lake two weekends ago and couldn't find any sign of scuds in the laked (though the surface with literally squirming with red copepods and chironomids). However, add scuds into the mix of a non-overpopulation lake with low numbers of trout and you'll find trout of epic proportions...the kind measured in pounds instead of inches. I know of an offtrail lake above 7000' that has rainbows over 6lbs. It's one of those rare bodies of water with the right aspect, shallow but just deep enough it doesn't winterkill, scuds, very limited spawning habitat, etc. All of the factors are there for big fish and it puts out huge, 100% wild fish.
  5. cwbraue Member

    Posts: 154
    Yakima, Wa finally
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    Dryguy- were those minnows really minnows are trout smolts? I have been wondering if any mountain lakes have minnows, and if that would increase the size of the trout, does anyone know that?