That's interesting. The non-profit I work for co-manages a lake in Norcal with a spawning trib that goes dry/heats up/disconnects from the lake in some years. The lake has a small population of big LCT and used to be used for brood stock/egg collection. I think this lake's pop seeded some of Washington's LCT lakes IIRC.Several years ago I got to talk to the fisheries biologist for North Cascade National Park. He gave me the name of a couple lakes that held big fish. From what he said a few lakes have bigger fish because the fish are able to spawn but only get off a spawn every few years, and that keeps the fish bigger than average.
Looks like such a good day!Thought about putting this in the trip reports, but the location is going with me to the grave...so general forum it is. Hope you all enjoy:
Cool story behind these mondo hook-jawed, man-eating Cutthroat trout:
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A couple years ago on a backcountry hunt I wasn't seeing any deer, so I focused my spotting scope on this glorified puddle a long way off at the base of a snowfield. It literally doesn't have a name. I was shocked to see the tell tale ripples of fish sipping bugs on the surface. "Huh, that's crazy." Back to looking for deer.
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But as my love affair with trout fishing has been rekindled, I started thinking about that puddle more and more...wonder what kind of trout? How big? How many?
Well, those that know me, know exactly what happened next. A man needs answers.
Loaded the pups and gear up for an overnighter into the unknown. 4 hrs of bug infested hell to get back into the basin at 7200 feet, but we made it.
Took a few minutes up in the rocks while rigging to spot for fish and sure enough...GIANT fish cruising in about a foot of water, just crushing bugs.
Oh man...felt like I was dreaming.
Took a few minutes to enjoy the calm before the storm and then got right to it. Fish after fish, many of them 16-18" and PISSED. If you told baby Jesus to draw up the most perfect cutthroat trout...well, these are those fish. A match made in heaven for a 3 wt rod and click pawl reel, my ears are still ringing!
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A truly epic adventure by every metric.
Oh, and the lake now has a name, El Dorado...after the lost city of gold that captivated so many adventurous wild men back in the day. Only this one is real.
90% of the time I carry a stiff 9' 4 wt spooled with an OPST commando head, great for the weird angles you end up with in the backcountry, can shoot line a country mile and need zero room for a backcast. Would be sick on a 3wt too. The OPST floating tips are actually surprisingly good for dry fly presentations.Looks like such a good day!
I’m always so curious about people’s decisions in terms of rods they bring on certain trips. Especially alpine lakes. I’m always too nervous to bring my 3wt because I’m afraid if there’s any sort of wind I won’t be able to cast far enough, even though the majority of the fish are perfect for a 3wt. Even though I actually prefer my 3 and 4 wt rods for multiple reasons, I still tend to bring my 5wt just in case there’s wind or I want to throw a BH wooly bugger.
90% of the time I carry a stiff 9' 4 wt spooled with an OPST commando head, great for the weird angles you end up with in the backcountry, can shoot line a country mile and need zero room for a backcast. Would be sick on a 3wt too. The OPST floating tips are actually surprisingly good for dry fly presentations.
I was impressed how well the 3wt Technical Trout line punched through the wind, but nowhere near the authority of a shooting head.
I'd give the Commando a try on your favorite 3 wt, with my 4 I can launch a size 2 conehead about 70 feet with a variety of single hand spey casts...really fun way to fish up high.
A true gamechanger. Flick of the wrist...SHE GONEThis is my first backpacking season with the commando head for my 3 WT....... I don't know how I fished backpacking prior to that, but I was not doing it right. That commando head is a total game changer for backpacking. I haven't been able to get my hands on a floating tip though, can't wait to try it out
I've tried the opst in high lakes. It spooked fish more than it put any on the end of the line. I used a 175gr.I actually have an OPST Smooth for my 5wt with the intention of using it in alpine lakes. I just dont have the skill to use it that well yet. Need to practice.
I've run 2 pseudo-scientific split tests on the catch rates of the OPST system vs traditional WF fly lines in an alpine setting.I've tried the opst in high lakes. It spooked fish more than it put any on the end of the line. I used a 175gr.
I had wished I just had my airflo super dri xceed, and find whatever points I could work a cast from.
PM inbound! Anyone who's been in that country is a fella I'd like to know.Great shots and fish! These are golden trout according to stocking records...
I fished this lake a couple years ago when they were smaller, but still good sized, abundant and hungry. May have to make another visit after seeing this post, awesome