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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, i just took a nice long drive and hike up to a great lake up above the beginnings of the NF of the Snoqualmie. I won't say the name of the lake since some may want it that way, however not too difficult to find, but you'd know which one i am talking about if you have been there. A nice long drive and some work to be done. You have to bushwhack up the creek that outlets from the lake itself for about a mile and a half, since there is no trail. Then you run into a rather large, steep incline/cliff that takes a bit of work to get past. But there is a reward. Like i said, if you have been there you know where i am talking about. For any of you who do know i just was wondering how it has fished for you in the past? What flies did you knock em dead with? Any good stories??

Scott
 

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Since there are 4 lakes there and I've been to them all, you will have to disclose more info to get a reply. You may do this privately if you wish. All are rewarding. All have been planted by the Trailblazers. All take some work. All are rewarding. Again, if the lake is an hour or more off trail, or requires an overniter, it is usually worth the effort.

Randy
 

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Randy, Would really appeciate some scoop. The alpine lake experience is one that I've been wanting to make happen but don't know where to start but based on your response, I may have found it. I don't mind a tough climb or access for a reward at the end. Can you email me at [email protected] with specifics? Ken
 

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Hey Scott, I live in North Bend and have fished a few of the Alpine Lakes. The one I prefer which does not require a alnighter is the one right off of the weyerhauser road, hike in is only about 15 minutes and access is easy. I have fished it many times being the only person on the lake and callebaetis and yellow humpy's have worked well for me. I would be interesed in learning about the other alpine lakes you have had a chance to hike to and can reply private or mail me at [email protected] Take care and best of luck!!

Mike :THUMBSUP
 

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There is really no scoop per se unless it is a route of travel to a trailess lake. Most of the alpine lakes have been planted by either fisheries or the Trailblazers. Various lakes are on different planting cycles and the fish grow slowly at high altitudes but other than that it is just a matter of getting topo maps, guidebooks, compass and altimeter (or modern GPS, I guess) and going for it. Lakes with easy gradient outlet or exit streams will have natural reproduction. The harder the lake is to get to, the bigger and more plentiful the fish. It's really that simple. The best time is between mid July and mid September. The water has to warm up before the fish will be really active. Some lakes grow bigger fish, faster because they have plenty of food in them or get a fair amount of terrestrial action from surrounding forests. My biggest fish was a measured 21" cutt (or was it 22", can't find my notes) out of a lake that had no trail but was otherwise rather close to civilization. My most prolific lake was one above the Entiat River where I literally caught and released 25 fish in a row from one rock with a size 14 Renegade dry. 50 fish days can be had rather easily at some of these lakes when they warm up. Even some without maintained trails have "fisherman" trails that are faint from lack of use but there nonetheless. Even some of the more easily accessible lakes can have great evening fishing if you stay overnight because the fish tend to cruise very close to the shore in the evenings during low light looking for ants, beetles, leaf hoppers and other terrestrials that fall off rocks and trees and brush. Lots of times it is just a matter of hiking up a maintained trail or logging road to an easy lake and then branching off to others from there that lie over a ridge or up a brushy creek. Some skills are necessary as I have wandered through heavy brush and devils club for hours looking for a way to a lake on the wrong side of a creek. A hint is that a trail that suddenly deadends is probably not continuing along later. Backtrack to you pick up the main trail and follow it. You also can't rely on flags though sometimes they help. Travelling up rock slides is easier than brush and hevily treed areas are also usually more open. Slash alder and devils club should be avoided. There is usually a better way. There are also lakes listed on the Department of Fish and Wildlife web site and your local fish biologist may even reveal a secret or to if you drop by and ask.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Randy thanks for your expertise. The lake i hiked to was Kanim, but i have also seen the two nearby. I didn't have time to really put too much effort into the fishing as time was precious, but is the hike worth it?

What works best up there? And of the three i saw which do you think yeilds the most and largest fish? I really loved the area. You are sure right about that devils club...ahhhh.

Also, which way do you use to ge there, up the county road from snoqualmie or the roads branching off of highway 2. Looks like highway 2 may be a longer drive but yeild a simpler hike to these lakes. but i can handle the county road and then the up hill climb, and the road is in pretty good shape this year.

Well, i know this is only a couple alpine lakes out of the hundreds up there or that you have been too, look forward to exploring more. Any help and i would be more than thankful, email me if you want. Thanks again

Scott
 

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I'm very confused by this thread, Scott. You said you were just up fishing at Kanim but that lake is frozen solid right now. Which other two lakes did you see near by? Within 1.5 miles of Kanim there are 7 named lakes and 9 unnamed potholes.

Brian
 

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Scott,

I would suggest you and others who are really interested in Alpine Lakes respond to Brian's post below. He is both a Trailblazer member and also a member of the Hi-Lakers and is extremely knowledgeble about alpine lakes having planted many of them. He and his father also make the Curtis Raft which is a one-man hightec backpacking raft of quality specifically designed for alpine lakes. I owned one until it was stolen a few years ago. Ask him about joining one of the clubs. I would if I had more time but I am more interested now in stream fishing and only hit a few lakes a year. Brian has probably been to hundreds and certainly knows others who have. If that is not your interest than my other advice still holds. Good topo, compass and altimeter will get you where you want to go.

Randy
 

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You offer assistance via email. Do have a personal email address or should I access the trailblazers site that you referenced? I turn 40 late August and plan on treating myself to some sort of adventure and have always been interested in the Alpine lake experience - just don't want to be eaten by a bear. Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the heads up Brian. I actually did not have the time to do any fishing, and my brother was none too pleased to be out hiking around in the pouring rain, lot of hiking and carrying pole and gear just to explore these lakes, haha. However, i was unable to tell that the lakes were frozen, thats amazing. How did i not see that i don't know, had been rainign VERY hard that day and the day before, water on top of ice?? oh well, there certainly was alot of snow up there. Are the fish able to survive up there very well under the ice?? So i hear that these lakes have been stocked at one point or another, but do these lakes have any natural reproduction of trout?

Furthermore, i had thought i had found coney lake and bench lake, but if you say there are many other potholes out there i may have just run into them instead. This was my first time up there, and i will definitely return soon to check it out some more, i sure could use the exercise, experience, and the adventure.
 

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Hmm, the mystery deepens. What road did you tke off from and how long did you hike?

The fish survive just fine under the ice. The ice cover shortens the growing season, however. Virtually all high lakes have been stocked to establish their fish populations. Some have natural reproduction and some are maintained by periodic stocking. These days the WDFW does all it can to avoid situations where natural reproduction can occur. Most of the time when fish start to successfully spawn in a high lake they will fairly quickly overpopulate the lake such that you get a lake full of small skinny fish.
 
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