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Author Topic: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes  (Read 2510 times)

Offline Eric M

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Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« on: July 19, 2019, 04:31:01 PM »
Hey all. One of the areas I bear hunt has a lake with fish in it. I'm no kind of great fisherman, but took some rooster tails up recently and casted until the mosquitoes became unbearable. (I used 100% DEET and still counted 27 bites). Anyway, anyone have any suggestions on what sort of bait works for them? I don't know how to fly fish. Never did this kind of fishing before.Thanks.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 04:53:06 PM by Eric M »

Offline Brushcrawler

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 04:56:43 PM »
Itís probably not what you want to hear, but skip the DEET. If I you it on your line or lure I think you will catch far less if anything. A roostertail early or late in the day should work. Maybe try a smaller size next time. If fish are rising and you donít flyfish try a fly with a casting bubble. And donít forget to enjoy the scenery! Those alpine lakes are spectacular here in Washington.
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Offline Eric M

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 05:00:27 PM »
Itís probably not what you want to hear, but skip the DEET. If I you it on your line or lure I think you will catch far less if anything. A roostertail early or late in the day should work. Maybe try a smaller size next time. If fish are rising and you donít flyfish try a fly with a casting bubble. And donít forget to enjoy the scenery! Those alpine lakes are spectacular here in Washington.
Thanks. Ill probably need to get a head net, at least in July. Yes, i love the lakes up high. Is the fishing still any good in August and September?

Offline Birdgetter

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 06:05:43 PM »
Yep, the fishing in August is great for me. Rarely fish in September because Iím usually preoccupied, so I canít speak much for September. Iíve always fly fished so I donít have any insight other than that method.  :tup: Good luck.

Offline Igor

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 07:03:18 PM »
Itís probably not what you want to hear, but skip the DEET. If I you it on your line or lure I think you will catch far less if anything. A roostertail early or late in the day should work. Maybe try a smaller size next time. If fish are rising and you donít flyfish try a fly with a casting bubble. And donít forget to enjoy the scenery! Those alpine lakes are spectacular here in Washington.

Yep.  Just take a clear plastic bubble, and fill it around 1/2 - 3/4 full of water.  Put a fly about 4' behind it.
The bubble provides a lot of weight, so casting it is easy.  Do a slow retrieve.  It seems to work best for me in the evening.  I have caught many high-lake trout using this method.
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Offline Eric M

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2019, 10:19:28 PM »
Thanks everyone

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2019, 07:25:22 AM »
FIW, DEET eats nylon, dissolves it or something, so it puts holes in nylon fabric windbreakers, sleep pads, etc.  I have never tested it on mono fishing line but guess that it will eat that as well if you get some from fingers onto line or leader, weakening or breaking the line.

Mega ditto re casting bubbles.

I will provide the snide comment from men with far north experience:  if you could count the mosquito bites the bugs were not bad.  :)

Offline Eric M

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2019, 07:54:43 AM »
FIW, DEET eats nylon, dissolves it or something, so it puts holes in nylon fabric windbreakers, sleep pads, etc.  I have never tested it on mono fishing line but guess that it will eat that as well if you get some from fingers onto line or leader, weakening or breaking the line.

Mega ditto re casting bubbles.

I will provide the snide comment from men with far north experience:  if you could count the mosquito bites the bugs were not bad.  :)
Haha ok thanks

Offline Alpine Mojo

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2019, 05:06:31 PM »
If you fish roostertails, but overwhelm your *censored* from mosquitos, you have no business hiking in to any high lake.  Just sayin'...
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Offline Shoofly09

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2019, 09:31:26 PM »
DEET is hard on fishing line, sunglasses, plastic watch bands, etc....        Pray for a windy day to keep the bugs away.


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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2019, 09:40:10 PM »
Use the highest concentration of DEET you can find, bad skeetos ruin everything. For fishing, ultra lite spinning rod, no heavier than 6 lb test line, fly bubble with two flies (tiny Adams, skeeto, Black ant flies), with 6 to 8 ft of line behind bubble. Retrieve slowwwwwww, feel for the tug.
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Offline Eric M

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2019, 03:05:31 AM »
Thanks for the help everyone.

Offline Dslayer

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2019, 04:05:42 AM »
Big fan of Kastmaster spoons, 1/4 ounce, fish with a jerking retrieve, almost as if you're jigging it back.  Silver, Gold, Silver/Orange, Silver/Blue, and our favorite, Metallic Perch, which we call the CK or cutthroat killer.  Second the advice on casting bubbles with flies, but they can be filled and trolled with a wooly bugger, muddler minnow or Pautzke eggs or even Powerbait.  The trick with mountain trout is to have a lot of tools in the tool kit, you can just about always find something that works.  My belief is that the meateaters (bigger fish) are always looking for that bigger, better, different score, thus finding larger fish with salamanders, etc. in them, and if you can run something like that by them you might fire them up even during the summer doldrums which seems to happen during a long period of hot, dry weather.

I just about bathe in DEET in the early season and have never had trouble with it and clothing or line.  I use something called Crystal Fireline, 6 pound, which I like for it's castability and durability-you'll appreciate that when a decent fish takes you into rocks or around or over downed trees. I usually have something like Ben's 100 which is almost 100% DEET to rub directly to my skin and a spray to reach shoulders, back, etc.  I don't get bit much but living in clouds of bugs is pretty much what you have to endure in the early summer where I fish.  You can catch fish until the snow flies although most of us are otherwise engaged during the fall. 

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2019, 05:33:37 AM »
Big fan of Kastmaster spoons, 1/4 ounce, fish with a jerking retrieve, almost as if you're jigging it back.  Silver, Gold, Silver/Orange, Silver/Blue, and our favorite, Metallic Perch, which we call the CK or cutthroat killer.  Second the advice on casting bubbles with flies, but they can be filled and trolled with a wooly bugger, muddler minnow or Pautzke eggs or even Powerbait.  The trick with mountain trout is to have a lot of tools in the tool kit, you can just about always find something that works.  My belief is that the meateaters (bigger fish) are always looking for that bigger, better, different score, thus finding larger fish with salamanders, etc. in them, and if you can run something like that by them you might fire them up even during the summer doldrums which seems to happen during a long period of hot, dry weather.

I just about bathe in DEET in the early season and have never had trouble with it and clothing or line.  I use something called Crystal Fireline, 6 pound, which I like for it's castability and durability-you'll appreciate that when a decent fish takes you into rocks or around or over downed trees. I usually have something like Ben's 100 which is almost 100% DEET to rub directly to my skin and a spray to reach shoulders, back, etc.  I don't get bit much but living in clouds of bugs is pretty much what you have to endure in the early summer where I fish.  You can catch fish until the snow flies although most of us are otherwise engaged during the fall.

I use one Kastmaster with out a hook on it to find the depth of the lake by counting down after I cast it out. If you can get your spoon closer to the bottom of the lake more often the bigger fish are down there, itís hard sometimes to get by all the smaller hungry ones.😉
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Offline Eric M

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2019, 07:09:52 AM »
Big fan of Kastmaster spoons, 1/4 ounce, fish with a jerking retrieve, almost as if you're jigging it back.  Silver, Gold, Silver/Orange, Silver/Blue, and our favorite, Metallic Perch, which we call the CK or cutthroat killer.  Second the advice on casting bubbles with flies, but they can be filled and trolled with a wooly bugger, muddler minnow or Pautzke eggs or even Powerbait.  The trick with mountain trout is to have a lot of tools in the tool kit, you can just about always find something that works.  My belief is that the meateaters (bigger fish) are always looking for that bigger, better, different score, thus finding larger fish with salamanders, etc. in them, and if you can run something like that by them you might fire them up even during the summer doldrums which seems to happen during a long period of hot, dry weather.

I just about bathe in DEET in the early season and have never had trouble with it and clothing or line.  I use something called Crystal Fireline, 6 pound, which I like for it's castability and durability-you'll appreciate that when a decent fish takes you into rocks or around or over downed trees. I usually have something like Ben's 100 which is almost 100% DEET to rub directly to my skin and a spray to reach shoulders, back, etc.  I don't get bit much but living in clouds of bugs is pretty much what you have to endure in the early summer where I fish.  You can catch fish until the snow flies although most of us are otherwise engaged during the fall.
Appreciate the advice.

Offline Eric M

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2019, 07:11:15 AM »
Big fan of Kastmaster spoons, 1/4 ounce, fish with a jerking retrieve, almost as if you're jigging it back.  Silver, Gold, Silver/Orange, Silver/Blue, and our favorite, Metallic Perch, which we call the CK or cutthroat killer.  Second the advice on casting bubbles with flies, but they can be filled and trolled with a wooly bugger, muddler minnow or Pautzke eggs or even Powerbait.  The trick with mountain trout is to have a lot of tools in the tool kit, you can just about always find something that works.  My belief is that the meateaters (bigger fish) are always looking for that bigger, better, different score, thus finding larger fish with salamanders, etc. in them, and if you can run something like that by them you might fire them up even during the summer doldrums which seems to happen during a long period of hot, dry weather.

I just about bathe in DEET in the early season and have never had trouble with it and clothing or line.  I use something called Crystal Fireline, 6 pound, which I like for it's castability and durability-you'll appreciate that when a decent fish takes you into rocks or around or over downed trees. I usually have something like Ben's 100 which is almost 100% DEET to rub directly to my skin and a spray to reach shoulders, back, etc.  I don't get bit much but living in clouds of bugs is pretty much what you have to endure in the early summer where I fish.  You can catch fish until the snow flies although most of us are otherwise engaged during the fall.

I use one Kastmaster with out a hook on it to find the depth of the lake by counting down after I cast it out. If you can get your spoon closer to the bottom of the lake more often the bigger fish are down there, itís hard sometimes to get by all the smaller hungry ones.😉
:tup:

Offline The Big Game Hunter

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2019, 07:42:50 AM »
FIW, DEET eats nylon, dissolves it or something, so it puts holes in nylon fabric windbreakers, sleep pads, etc.  I have never tested it on mono fishing line but guess that it will eat that as well if you get some from fingers onto line or leader, weakening or breaking the line.

Mega ditto re casting bubbles.

I will provide the snide comment from men with far north experience:  if you could count the mosquito bites the bugs were not bad.  :)
Haha ok thanks
Have you tried using a ThermaCell? I've used it with really good results while hunting and fishing. As long as it's not too windy and as long as you remain stationary, it should do a pretty good job of keeping the bugs off you.
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Offline jbeaumont21

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2019, 07:53:19 AM »
My go to lure for high mountain lakes is a black and gold panther martin size 4 or 6 depending on the size of fish.  I prefer panther martins over rooster tails and all other spinners because you are able to retrieve the lure at much slower speed with their blade design.  Also able to jig them off the bottom with a flutter action that brook trout can resist.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 08:27:59 AM by jbeaumont21 »

Offline jbeaumont21

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2019, 08:31:03 AM »
Forgot to mention that many high mountain lake have barbless and/or single hook restrictions so make sure you check the regs.  They make classic single hook panther martins but I usually just pinch the barb flat and cut off two of the hooks and call it good.

Offline REHJWA

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2019, 09:23:54 AM »
If it is not windy I swear by my thermacell for bugs it even worked well in Alaska in the rain.
You can also try a white bucktail jig suspended under a bobber around cover (like crappie). The jig slides over submerged logs well and you usually get the bigger brook trout when you can work the cover better.

Offline banishd

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2019, 09:50:04 AM »
Gold kastmasters, gold anything with action. Fish a lot of lakes 2k - 6k. Super dupers, Thomas bouyant...also ditch the deet! Buy some sawyer picaridin lotion. Very faint smell, no mess, proven as effective at preventing bites as deet. Doesn't leak in your pack. It's a synthetically created bug repellent used in Europe but only available in US last decade or so. Have not seen it in stores but amazon has it. If it's really bad I turn the thermacell on too.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2019, 11:43:03 AM »
Old thread I see

Offline Eric M

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2019, 07:41:37 PM »
Old thread I see
Thats okay if u have anything to add its welcome

Offline CougHunter

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2019, 02:33:53 PM »
Nothing to add but another question:

There's a lot of talk about spinning lures which makes sense. But what about flies? Any recommendations on good patterns for a newbie fly fisherman?

Also, is fly fishing advantageous over spin fishing in alpine lakes? My fly gear is more portable, so I'd lean toward fly fishing.

I'm hoping to take my daughter out for an alpine lake trip in the coming months.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 08:05:09 PM by CougHunter »

Offline jeffro

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2019, 08:52:18 PM »
I have a 9í Eagle Claw 4 pc pack rod with a reversible  handle so you can use it as a fly or spinning rod.
Sometimes the topography wonít allow for classic fly casting, maybe roll casting at best.
Thatís when the spinning reel and bubble weight come out.
Leeches, wooley buggers, mosquitos, gnats, ants or whatever hatch is on all seem to work,
sometimes bead headed for a little sink.
But if the fish arenít rising, the Spinning reel and hardware come out.
Rooster tails, blue fox spinners, kastmasters, red devil spoons, dick nites, small rapala plugs, wee frogs and jigs with soft baits and slide bobbers are always in the tackle box.
No mosquito repellent, EVER, scent is crucial when fishing for anything, especially high altitude trout.
If itís not that far of a hike, a float tube or inflatable raft is worth its weight in gold.
Good luck
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Offline jbeaumont21

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2019, 11:03:44 AM »
Nothing to add but another question:

There's a lot of talk about spinning lures which makes sense. But what about flies? Any recommendations on good patterns for a newbie fly fisherman?

Also, is fly fishing advantageous over spin fishing in alpine lakes? My fly gear is more portable, so I'd lean toward fly fishing.

I'm hoping to take my daughter out for an alpine lake trip in the coming months.

Any of the standard searching pattern flies work good; Royal Wolf, Renegade, Parachute Adams, Mayfly, Elk or Deer Haired Caddis, etc. If they're not hitting top water then try a dropper nymph below the dry fly.

Offline Chesterdog

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2019, 11:36:11 AM »
My buddy and I bush whacked into a subalpine lake with pontoon boats for the purpose of dragging flies around. I'm sure no one had fished that lake in decades. Had what I believe to be a state record golden trout take a bite and then c&r. What a rush! Long black or brown leech pattern did the trick.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2019, 11:51:27 AM »
You can thank the TB'ers group for that experience

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2019, 02:02:10 PM »
Wow! Thatís a big Golden!  :tinfoil:

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2019, 02:45:53 PM »
Chesterdog is that a WA lake? Nice fish!

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2019, 10:21:25 AM »
Chesterdog is that a WA lake? Nice fish!

It was caught on a small lake in a Hancock forest management property in Washington.  Our research showed that this lake was stocked pre-1950 by someone who had to hike them up in a pack.  This fish is a remnant survivor.  Super cool!

Offline npaull

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2019, 10:23:00 AM »
Awesome fish, way to go.

Offline MLHSN

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2019, 11:15:25 AM »
Chesterdog is that a WA lake? Nice fish!

It was caught on a small lake in a Hancock forest management property in Washington.  Our research showed that this lake was stocked pre-1950 by someone who had to hike them up in a pack.  This fish is a remnant survivor.  Super cool!

I don't believe (could be wrong) that they were stocking Golden's pre-1950. They didn't start releasing all the stocking data to the public until the last decade. So there is a really good chance it's been stocked recently.

Nice golden by the way.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2019, 11:48:58 AM »
Groups like TBers or the state do not stock on any Weyco property. Also a fishes life span in these lakes is around 8 8 yrs give or take some

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2019, 01:23:32 PM »
It was more than 3 miles from any dirt road or established trail, way up in a timber resource.  The last mile was all deer trails and bushwhacking.  Looked like no one had been there in a long while (I'm sure a trail cam would prove me wrong though).

Please educate me.  What are the TB'ers group?  Is that stocking from a plane?

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Re: Questions about fishing subalpine lakes
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2019, 01:55:00 PM »
They stock fish all over the place.  Sometimes even unnamed lakes, with as few as 50 fry.  Thatís how they get big with limited food supplies.  Iím not aware of any naturally reproducing Goldenís in WA, but there could be.

 


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USFS asking for info on Landlocked parcels by fireweed
[Today at 01:33:50 PM]


WTB 10mm by nicz
[Today at 01:20:59 PM]


Idaho harvest summary is published by follow maggie
[Today at 01:14:50 PM]


Fishing Photos by 7mmfan
[Today at 01:14:39 PM]


FS Eberlestock mainframe (PRICE DROP) by huntnfmly
[Today at 01:13:18 PM]


Calling Cougars? by KFhunter
[Today at 12:37:09 PM]