Trout Fishing at Leech Lake, WA

 Posted by on July 1, 2015 at 11:57 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jul 012015
 
Sunset over Leech Lake WA

Sunset over Leech Lake WA

The heat wave in Western WA over the past couple of weeks has put a damper on trout fishing in the lowlands so many fishermen are looking to the hills for cooler waters. Leech Lake near Mt. Rainier, a high altitude flyfishing only lake, is one of my favorite lakes because of the scenery, prolific insect hatches, and the size of the prey.

Last weekend, we tried to unsuccessfully to escape the heat. Despite being at high altitude (about 4,500 ft), the temperature at Leech Lake was in the high 80s.

Leech Lake brook trout

Leech Lake brook trout

Despite the heat, we had decent success with our 5 weights on the first day. The brook trout at Leech Lake, with beautiful markings, were as pretty as any I’ve seen. Perhaps it was because I haven’t seen a brookie recently? The largest brook trout was 14″ and was taken on a size 14 elk hair caddis.

The rainbows, fat and feisty, no doubt feasted on the prolific damsel fly hatches that day. The largest, coming in at 18″, succumbed to a tiny black ant fly on the surface. The dry fly action was fairly good on the first day but dived precipitously on the following day.

Damsel fly hatch on Leech Lake WA

Damsel fly hatch on Leech Lake WA

Although it was not lights out fishing by any means, the scenery and quality of the fish at Leech Lake make it one of my top choices for WA lakes, especially during the heat of the summer.

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Callibaetis Mayfly Hatch at Leech Lake

 Posted by on July 5, 2013 at 11:36 pm  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jul 052013
 

 

 

 

Callibaetis mayflies hatch at Leech Lake

Callibaetis mayflies hatch at Leech Lake

A friend invited me to fish Leech Lake near Mount Rainier a few days ago and I gladly accepted as I had never been there before. Leech Lake is a high elevation  (4412 ft) lake open for fly fishing only.   Since it was a Tuesday, I figured that we would be one of only a handful of fishermen at the lake that day. I drastically underestimated the crowd–I counted at least 25 people on the lake that day!

It started slow with occasional strikes in the morning. Then a massive Callibaetis hatch ensued between 1pm and 2pm. Within minutes, I was literally covered with dozens of Callibaetis mayflies. Fish were rising all around me in a feasting frenzy so I tried to “match the hatch.” I methodically tried one dry fly after another. Although I caught a few fish, including the beautiful brook trout below, none of my flies elicited strikes consistently.  Most of the other fishermen had the same experience.

Brook trout from Leech Lake

Brook trout from Leech Lake

We left Leech Lake that day overwhelmed by the huge mayfly hatch and humbled by our inability to fool the numerous surface eaters. But the many puzzles encountered in fly fishing are what attracts many of us to the sport.

 

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