One of the highlights of springtime in Western Washington is stillwater fishing for rainbow trout. My brother and I fished Beaver Lake near Issaquah a few days after they stocked it with 6,000+ rainbows in early April. Although Beaver Lake can be fished from a short stretch of public shoreline, it is best fished from a boat. If you are a fly fisherman, a boat or floating device is required since there is no room for a backcast from shore.
It was a calm sunny afternoon in the 50s and, for the first hour, we got to enjoy the weather paddling our canoe since we didn’t get any bites! I finally landed a fish a few minutes later but my brother had no love from the fish. Since he was a rookie, I figured it would be best to start him on a light spinning rod and some Power Bait. Surprisingly that combo did not produce.
Determined to get my brother his first rainbow trout, I switched him to a Mack Wedding Ring trout lure after seeing some fish feeding just below the surface. Within a few minutes, he was catching them like a pro even though he didn’t cast more than 20 feet! At one point, he had another fish on the line before I could get the previous one onto the stringer! I think he got “hooked” on fishing that day.
I had equal success on my fly rod. Using a full sinking line and a size 10 red bead-head nymph, I caught a fish on almost every other cast. Although the rainbows were only small planters between 9 and 12 inches, they were a lot of fun to catch.
We kept some trout for dinner. After a “hard” day of fishing, I like to use my quick and simple fried trout recipe. The delicious trout dinner was a good footnote to the day.