Rattlesnake 09 - To All Powerbaiters: Don't be caught with your shorts down

Rattlesnake Lake Plants:
Mar 23: Rainbow 9,488 3.20 Wallace[that means fish per pound]
Apr 07: Rainbow 491 0.67 WDFW/Troutlodge Triploid Trophy Trout -1.5 lbs each

These are the fish planted this year: some people refer to the little guys as 'stockers' even though they all are. On a yearly average the 'stockers' are slightly smaller, while the Trips are a little larger and about half of what has been planted in the past. No 'broods' planted, so your larger 'ugly' fish are the Trips! The lake seems to have a good percentage of holdovers, so it's not unheard of to hook into a 19-20" trout....tougher to catch, they didn't get big by being stupid! Lake level is a little low, but not a problem launching a trailer boat, unlike last year! A 5 fish limit should be enough for anyone, but I've never seen any fly guys do that, mostly so the powerbaiters can fill up their 5 gallon buckets!!
BTW: Check out the second post on this webpage: http://www.washingtonlakes.com/Repor...spx?id=464&t=1 At least the word is getting out "the hard way."
I can't stand the stupidity of fishing regs enforcement in this state. This guy above gets a $91 ticket for illegally using bait on a selective fishery lake. Perfect! I think the fine should be even higher, plus the potential for loss of gear! Yet, last Friday I took my 8 y.o. daughter to Lake McMurray to continue her introduction to flyfishing and get into some stockers to be C&R'd. We had a great day, but when I returned to my truck I had a $138 ticket (WTF!!!) for "Failure to display a valid Fish and Wildlife Vehicle Use Permit" placed on the windshield. Payable to Skagit County. . .

If the cop had checked my center console, it was there in plain sight! Forgot to put it directly on the dashboard! Guess the cop couldn't be bothered to look around before putting down the donut and begin writing a ticket.

Easy. Tickets = Revenue for the state.
Sorry for the bitch session, but some things just ain't right. . . :beathead:

In my roughly 30 years of fishing in this state I have been checked for a valid fishing license only ONCE (Lone Lake about 5 years ago). But cops seem to be really happy to make a quick runthrough of a parking lot and throw tickets around like confetti. Quick and dirty revenue raisers! :mad:

Easy. Tickets = Revenue for the state.


Ugly member
Not informed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you buy a license it is YOUR responsibility to read the regs. If you are going to go someplace and dont know the regs for the lake, you shouldnt be there.
iagree I carry a set of the regs in my car year round and a second one is in my fishing vest (usually the 1st one from the car that I accidently put there). Thats the same as telling an officer that you didn't see the speed limit sign.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
. . . The lake seems to have a good percentage of holdovers, so it's not unheard of to hook into a 19-20" trout....tougher to catch, they didn't get big by being stupid!
Sportsman's exactly right. Like most heavily-planted lowland lakes west of the Cascades, Rattlesnake has it's share of aerial predation from Ospreys and Bald Eagles. Besides falling for powerbait, the stupid fish are quickly removed from the overall population in the talons of these flying predators. Older, smarter fish have learned that survival means staying low in the water column and come up to feed on the surface only briefly. That's why savvy fishermen like Sportsman who have Rattlesnake dialed in use full sink lines to get their flies down where the big smart fish are.


Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
Poaching = $1,000 fine, $100 / possessed fish, $100 for barbed hooks - if used, confiscation of gear. Ya gotta make it hurt or nothings gonna change. Word would travel pretty darn fast in the poaching community, whatever the language.



Fly Addict
If it's any consolation (I know it isn't really for me), things aren't much better when it comes to enforcement up here in BC. In fact it's likely worse. Granted, I'm not a greybeard (only 27 years old), but I've been fishing since I was old enough to hold a rod (about 4 years old), and I've only ever been checked one time.

Lack of funding from the government, I suppose. It's frustrating.

Tex - misery loves company
I agree with the lack of Enforsement by fisheries, I have seen many POACHERS there. I have a question about Rattlesnake. Every time I've been there, I've only caught smaller fish. I did catch a few 16" to 18" Brood trout( Very Ugly),but for the most part they have been in the 10 to 12" range. If this lake is a Selective Gear lake which means (to me),half the people fishing are fly fishing and mostly catch and release. Am I wrong? Why aren't there Larger fish? Maybe they should change the limits you can take. Just a thought.
By the way, Whats the water level like?

Probably because of the huge amount of power baiters along the shore.:beathead:
I have a question about Rattlesnake. Every time I've been there, I've only caught smaller fish. but for the most part they have been in the 10 to 12" range. Why aren't there Larger fish?
It's who you ask. Kent and Sportsman really pin-it-down well. During the daytime hours, and for those using streamers (many do) -- the fishing is not all that great. However, and this is a very important point...most of the seasoned fly guys at Rattlesnake show up late in the summer -- 7pm to 10pm to witness the "smart fish" which happen to be the "large holdovers" that love to feast on the surface. When the callibaetis hatches occur in masses, the fish come up and it's hard to keep them off the dry...this is truly what makes this place so special. The holdover in my avatar was caught there and I've been broken off by some fish in that 18-20" range that were *not* cookie cutter stockers. The real fun starts when the sun sets and the wind begins to quiet. When all this comes together, it's a categorical explosion of pure ecstasy. And when you're with the people you most closely treasure, it's moments like these that make for life-long memories. So, it may be easy for one to say - "There's no big fish in there...or why aren't there large fish in there? -- There are large fish in there. Fishing Rattlesnake takes patience and skill for one to pull in fish consistently, and fish with good size. Despite all the poachers -- there are still plenty of fish to go around for all (even the C&R folk). I would just rather keep the lake clear of powerbaiters and baiters all-together...Ignorance is not a valid excuse for breaking any law. It certainly will not this summer. See ya out there.

"To go fishing is the chance to wash one's soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men - for all men are equal before fish." Herbert Hoover

He speakeths the truth!! Early AM fish are pounding the surface, but go deep early: the sun comes up and all their sunglasses are in the Outhouse! Becomes a little more challenging after that, but can be very productive...think deep! The late PM is the reverse and RSFG knows it well. We've flipped S... at each other for a few years, so here is my offer: My very limited knowledge[and fly selection] at O'dark thirty this Saturday and I'll be there the next time you fish into the wee hours[no weekdays, I've still got a couple years to pay off my mortgage]!! AND you help the old cripple guy pack his stuff past the locked gate[ I'll supply my own flys!] See you at 5:30!!
Hey Guys, Thanks for all the info. I will try to fish Rattlesnake again with a little more knowledge. Understanding the lake you fish is part of fishing too. I have most luck south part of the lake, by the creek? But I'm thinking by the stomps justto right might be good too. As for the "Brood Trout".
I'm sure they were. There Tail were all Rounded and faces rubbed raw from the cement tanks.
One more thing, I would not approach those "powerbaiters". Just call it in.
You don't want to die for a chance to catch more fish.
Sportsman - hope to see you out there on Saturday. I'll be there about noon with a few buddies (WFF Tony the Trout and a couple others) and we hope to fish until dark (or sometime after). We're planning on bringing a BBQ, cooking some steaks/burgers and enjoying life. Feel free to come on by and say 'hi', or anybody else for that matter. I'm in a red Waterskeeter pontoon and Tony is in a blue FishCat.


Active Member
RSFG's exactly right. Despite what we might hope their mission might be, the plain fact is that like city police departments, most of WDFW's enforcement efforts are focused on revenue generation to offset costs.

It doesn't take an economics professor and a cost-benefit analysis to discover that writing 10-15 tickets a day at Rattlesnake (or Langlois, Beaver, Pine or any of the other heavily planted and fished lakes) is a whole lot more lucrative and a whole lot less expensive than sending some officer out for what could be many days and tanks of gas to maybe bust one inbreed poaching steelhead on an S river. Follow the money.

You really have to :rofl: at the irony of the "economics cost-benefit analysis" side of writing tickets at R'Snake--especially when you consider how large the parking lot is there. The Snake really is quite the cash cow, eh?

--Dave E.
Dave, I doubt the tickets they write up there even pay for the gas or a days wages! I've been checked twice: 1980 on the Kalama and 2 years ago up at Rattlesnake, and I've fished it 8-10 times a year for the last 6 years...only saw the guy one other time. But he could make a killing if he wanted to, maybe he does, I usually leave late morning.
I usually leave late morning.
Sportsman...on your 5:30 offer...let's make it this...

An evening in July -- heck, you pick it, could even be two or three evenings in June and July...you pick the days. Let it be warmer out so we get an awesome hatch and I don't freeze my sack off. Let's pick a 70F day, 80F day, and 90F day -- that's three days. We'll arrange this. Meet. Fish & see who comes out on top. Dries only. I will carry your tube for you to the night-lot, bring the fly-swatter, and blow out the candle, but I expect you to bring the brews. These are the rules...do you want to play the game? No turning back.:thumb: