Lake Crescent ONP


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
Board member Go Fish (Dave) and I decided to hit Crescent today on the opener. We've both driven by it hundreds of times on our way to the coast and it has been on our bucket list for awhile.
We ended up with a combined total of 15 fish. Dave got his fish on a black leech or bugger and I got most of mine on a white bugger. With the clear water, it was fun watching the fish track the fly before committing to the take.

While we didn't land anything large, knowing they are all wild native fish made up for the lack of size.
We were able to land three species of fish, coastal and crescenti cutthroat as well as beardslee rainbows. Catching a new forms of cutthroat and rainbow was especially rewarding.

Overall, good weather and a nice day on the water with a good friend.
Here are a few pics from today.

Nice report, Brian. I spent quite a bit of time there growing up in PA. Used to fish the mouth of Barnes creek for cutts. Spent many hot summer days swimming in that frigid water was well.

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
Great idea to fish Crescent this weekend guys and thanks for the photos and report. I look forward to fishing it myself this year.


Go Fish

Language, its a virus
It was a great day to take a flyer on a
multi-hour drive to a huge lake and fish.
Weather was almost perfect, access was
as easy as pie (there is a bar and espresso
at the lodge), plus real bathrooms. All the fish
fought very well. One 14 inch coastal cutt jumped
3 times before hitting the net. A great trip and will
be done again. Even the leaky waders couldn't
deter me. Brian, as usual, put on a clinic.


wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
Stonefish- educate me which fish is which and how do you tell the difference- I'm assuming the first two are beardslee, the last two crescenti, the middle the coastal cutt?


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
I believe your id to be true. It was my first time fishing there, so it was a bit of a guessing game for us as well in regards to what we were catching.
We talked to a very helpful angler while out on the lake who helped us id what we were catching.
He mentioned the coastal cutts would have a brownish color, having just finished spawning. That one was easy as I've caught many of them before.
He mentioned the crescenti would be silvery with slightly yellow fins and faint throat markings. You can see a yellowish pectoral fin on the fourth fish. I understand there may be cuttbows in the lake as well.

The beardslees had a very distinctive blue back to them. It was very visible in the water as they tracked the fly.
You can see some blue around the eye of the first fish.
Here is another picture that I didn't post. Notice how much smaller the mouth is on this fish. It looks like a hen beardslee to me.

Hell, I might be totally wrong about my fish id skills. I do know that I caught three very different looking types of fish and it was fun as heck fishing for them. Perhaps Kyle McCurdy can chime in as he has fished it quite a bit.
Hope this helps.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Re-reading this thread, my guess that the cutthroat I brought to net there on Wedn was what they call a "downstream" Coastal Cutt (not a Crescenti), due to its olive brownish hue and red-tipped dorsal fin. She was heavily spotted, a little bit lean and mean, but strong, solid, and by no means "snakey." Regaining her heft after winter/spring spawning. She was a very pretty looking cutthroat! Her hue and spotting was similar to the that of the cutthroat seen in the center shot in the above pics that Stonefish posted, but I think the one I caught was prettier.:)
We estimate that she was around 16"
She definitely deserves a place in my "best ever" cutthroat memories. She's in the "top ten."

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
I just put together the best lake trolling rig I could cobble together from my pile of miscellaneous gear...custom made for targeting big trout like those legendary big Beardlees.

I discovered that 3/4" (inner diameter) PVC exactly fits over the butt end of my 6 or 7 wt (hard to determine what weight it is!) Fenwick Boron 9' rod that has a rearward tightening reel seat. As it existed before modification, I couldn't jab the rod butt into my gut and crank the reel handle. That boron is kind of heavy, and the rod flexes into the cork handle. It seems a bit unwieldy for casting, but is excellent for trolling streamers. I prefer a medium action full flex rod for trolling, since its much easier than a fast action rod to bring a fish in close alongside when you just want to unhook it. You can bend the tip of this rod around full circle to meet the butt.
Now I have a 3.5" extension that fits snugly, held on by zip-ties in front of the reel. Jams into my gut with authority and I can crank away. The whole thing is 6.5" long. I just had to cut a slot in the pvc for the reel base with my dremel, and spray paint it black.
Reel is my old Medalist 1594 RC loaded with the Cortland 333 6 wt type 3.
I'm going to get a faster sinking line for it. I might have to get a reel with more line capacity. I figure the line and backing should total at least 600 feet, in case I hook Moby Beardslee and he heads for the bottom.:eek:

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