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It was cool to add brook trout to the species list yesterday. I'd caught a few a couple years ago in a beaver pond near Concrete, but it was so ridiculously easy and the fish so small it was hard to call it a check in the block.

Went camping with the g/f this weekend to Lake Anthony, in the Wallowa/Whitman Nat'l Forest in northeast Oregon. The lake's a little over 7,000 feet elevation, not too big and easy to wade. It's also full of brookies. Not "big", but plenty to put a good bend in a 4 wt. Largest about 10-12 inches. Lots of fun. Also did a hike to another lake (apparently there are several lakes in the area that are hike-in) and saw brookies hanging out in the stream next to the trail. Didn't get to cast a line to them; maybe next year when the campground opens again.
 

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Remember when you could remember everything?
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Some friends and I hiked up along McCue Ridge from Scottish Lakes High Camp Friday and dropped down to Chiwaukum Lake in an occasional drizzle that eventually turned to rain. While two friends hiked up to Larch Lake, my partner and I inflated our tubes and fished Chiwaukum. In 2-1/2 hours, we managed about 60 brookies between us, or about one every 4 minutes for each of us. Most were about 7-8 inches with a few topping 10 inches. Some were a steely silver-gray while others were brightly arrayed in their spawning colors. The hike back was a grind in the rain but we arrived at our cabin to find our mates had a nice fire going and Tim C's wonderful lamb stew on the stove. A fine day of fishing.

K
 

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Wallowa Mtns and brookies. The high lakes in the Eagle Cap wilderness are full of brookies and many, many lakes at the 7,000 ft level. They were there when I was a kid and still there. They use to have a 30 fish day limit and now they don't even have a limit on brookies. High cold mountain lake and brookie means good eating. Also, some of the most beautiful country in the lower 48. Great report.
 

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I love that place. I have never made the trek to Chiwaukum from the camp because the cutthroat fishing in the nearby lakes were too good to leave. That wood fired hot tub is such a great way to loosen up sore hiking legs. How was the weather/temps up there?
In a word, the weather Friday was shitty with near-constant drizzle and light rain, but temps in the low 50s. Saturday was the better of the two with fog and low clouds but relatively dry. Six of us hiked in to Loch Eileen Saturday where we caught fewer but bigger Westlope cutts than the brookies the day before at Chiwaukum.

Sunday dawned clear and cool (the day we were leaving, of course.)

Here's some non-fish porn shots to remind you of the high country.

K



Old Goat and Aunt Bea along the Ridgetop trail up to McCue



Old timer



The mountain larch were just starting to turn color



Old Goat leaving Chiwaukum in a steady rain



Trekking poles



The wet bar refrigerator



Loch Eileen



Camp robber
 

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But not as bad as Old Fart, eh?!

K
 

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Not the biggest fan personally. They are non-native and in most lakes they overproduce and are all 4-10 inches. I would much rather have rainbows or ideally cutts. Just my opinion. Glad you had fun though.
 

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Remember when you could remember everything?
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Not the biggest fan personally. They are non-native and in most lakes they overproduce and are all 4-10 inches. I would much rather have rainbows or ideally cutts. Just my opinion. Glad you had fun though.
I couldn't agree more. However much I'd prefer that brookies weren't so widespread, in many places they are and like it or not their presence is a sad fact of life. While in many if not most brookie-infested waters they have overreproduced to the point that they've become stunted from lack of food, that's not always the case as the photo below of a 16" brookie from a lowland lake just 20 miles from Seattle will attest.

K

 

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BAMF
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i know it sucks but they're still the best damn lookin fish there is! caught some nice size ones on Hyalite Res. a couple weeks ago. My biggest was around 12", my buddy caught one around 14" and probably the best looking one i've ever saw. It would be nice if they were all that big but they still all look the same, gorgeous!
 

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Scottish Lakes is a great place to visit. Nothing like a grilled steak and soak in the wood fire hot tub after a day hiking and fishing in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Haven't made it there during the winter yet. It is on the list when the kids a little older.
 

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BigDog
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Not the biggest fan personally. They are non-native and in most lakes they overproduce and are all 4-10 inches. I would much rather have rainbows or ideally cutts. Just my opinion. Glad you had fun though.
I joined Kent and others at the Scottish Lakes Camp last weekend. I fished Lake Julius, the closest lake to the Camp, on Friday. It was full of the snakiest, stunted, overpopulated cutthroats I've ever encountered.

So, while brookies are the usual suspect for overpopulated, stunted fish in lakes where fish have not present before human introduction, they aren't the only species that can do it.

D

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