Hunting Washington Forum

Other Activities => Fishing => Topic started by: pickardjw on April 01, 2021, 08:40:44 AM

Title: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: pickardjw on April 01, 2021, 08:40:44 AM
Looking at a backpacking trip in late May to an Alpine lake that's around 6400' elevation. My research on hiking forums / websites hasn't turned up any real information about whether the lake will be frozen at that time or not. Anyone have any experience or knowledge to share?

There are some pictures of this particular lake in November with only icy edges...but I assume it does fully freeze over at least between late December and early March.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: ganghis on April 01, 2021, 08:56:53 AM
probably not ice free until August.  Expect snow camping.  Unfortunately there's a relatively short window for snowfree backpacking at higher elevations in the Cascades, like August-September.  October can be okay sometimes too, just depends on the weather
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: KP-Skagit on April 01, 2021, 09:00:06 AM
Can be variable depending on depth of lake, location, exposure. East side and West side also factor in. My experience on the west side is most of the alpine is choked with snow until at least July. I think it will be later this year.

Few years ago I hiked up to a lake that was only 4000 in late June and there was a large sheet of ice still floating in it. West side.

I would expect a lot of snow in your way and at least a partly frozen lake.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: fishngamereaper on April 01, 2021, 09:05:00 AM
It varies year to year...

This year it will probably not only be frozen but still covered in snow..but who knows...a couple warm week's and everything changes..

Most alpine lakes are generally fishable by July.

Which lake would be helpful...not like any of those lakes are secret.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: pickardjw on April 01, 2021, 10:43:22 AM
Yeah this one's no secret, Lake Ingalls. So east side of the Cascades and its on the east / south east slope. Been up there a few times in September. Definitely expect some snow, just don't know if it's a waste of time to bring fishing poles.

I dug way back into All Trails photos and found some June 2018 where the ice was pretty broken up all across the lake. No telling if that's early June or Late June though...

Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: pickardjw on April 02, 2021, 11:23:52 AM
I think I'm convinced that Ingalls will be to frozen over in late May to fish, so going in a different direction...

Anyone have suggestions on backcountry lakes to fish in late May? Range would be around or under 3 hours from Seattle...
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: elkchaser54 on April 03, 2021, 01:36:24 PM
Last summer I hit up the alpine lakes wilderness first week of June and snow level was around 4500 ft of elevation with lakes open and was able to cast some spoons
Title: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: jackelope on April 03, 2021, 02:22:58 PM
Just saw a screenshot on a local ski/snowboard FB page indicating Mt Baker had the most snow in the lower 48 and Stevens Pass was #3. Itís been a monster snow year in our Cascades. I doubt there will be any true backcountry fishing in May anywhere at any sort of elevation anyway.

Here you go.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20210403/285d608f5eefa353b8260a0013f95263.jpg)
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: fishngamereaper on April 03, 2021, 02:49:38 PM
Snow level 1k this week, forecast 18-20" new snow the next week... probably be July before anything above 4k thaws enough to fish...

Backcountry fishing is better July/August anyway when the bugs are thick.

No recommendations for true backcountry lower lakes to fish that will probably be thawed.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: pd on April 03, 2021, 03:02:56 PM
The lakes above 4k' in the Olympics are still solid with a snow/ice cap on Memorial Day, in a typical year.  I agree with Jackelope, the fishing is actually better in July or August--the fish are HUNGRY and the bugs are plentiful.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: BNAElkhntr on April 03, 2021, 05:56:08 PM
Looking at a backpacking trip in late May to an Alpine lake that's around 6400' elevation. My research on hiking forums / websites hasn't turned up any real information about whether the lake will be frozen at that time or not. Anyone have any experience or knowledge to share?

There are some pictures of this particular lake in November with only icy edges...but I assume it does fully freeze over at least between late December and early March.


I doubt youll get that high this year in may lot of snow up high
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: Blacktail135 on April 04, 2021, 09:07:20 AM
 Iíve always considered around July 4th as a time to start thinking about high lake fishing. September is the prettiest time to go I think.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: jstone on April 04, 2021, 09:43:09 AM
Not a high mountain lake but stayed a couple days at Domkey lake and the fishing was awesome. I wanted to hike up to Mirror Lake and fish but the smoke from the Omsk fire was way to thick. I will try again this year.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 04, 2021, 10:37:21 AM
As a high lake fish stocker and surveyor there are alot of variables but usually mid July is a good estimation. Don't forget your bug spray.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: zwickeyman on April 04, 2021, 12:05:08 PM
Iíve always considered around July 4th as a time to start thinking about high lake fishing. September is the prettiest time to go I think.

 :yeah:
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: pickardjw on April 06, 2021, 09:54:27 AM
Well it looks like I'm going to try for lower elevation for sure. I primarily want to test out my new hot tent and get some fishing in before it gets too warm and before I start spending most of my weekends scouting for bear and deer season...

It looks like Mildred lakes over in the Olympics could be an option based on AllTrails reviews. Will be contending with snow at the top but I think the lake will be mostly opened up by late May...

Otherwise, looking at going up to Cooper Lake...despite the recent cougar encounter over there. Anyone tried getting up there or around Salmon La Sac in late May? The campground doesn't fully open until after Memorial Day weekend due to snow but I imagine that doesn't mean it's totally inaccessible to people with 4x4. Will probably need to call the ranger district up there prior to going either way.
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: salish on April 07, 2021, 09:48:32 AM
As a high lake fish stocker and surveyor there are alot of variables but usually mid July is a good estimation. Don't forget your bug spray.

Are you a Trailblazer?
Title: Re: Early Season Alpine Lakes Fishing
Post by: AL WORRELLS KID on April 17, 2021, 06:34:27 PM
Yah, I'd let it warm up a bit too. Sweating and panting when we finally reach our Favorite Spot, with us it's "Live Bait" that usually hits the water first!  :chuckle: