Big Alpine Trout:

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    • #81255
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      The following thread is for Big Alpine Trout (hopefully all entered are over 20 inches) and the type which dreams are made of. But this is no contest, just superb big trout beyond the norm…

      Ted Allestad’s big rainbow trout, photo by Kenny Allestad 1994. (photo contribution from Trail Blazers Photo Boards Display, submitted by McPil – coordinator.)

      [Edited on 12-11-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84754
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      One of Mark Boyle’s big rainbows (released) photo by Ken J. McLeod 1994. (photo contribution from Trail Blazers Photo Boards Display, submitted by McPil – coordinator.)

    • #84755
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Glen Lee’s big rainbow-cutthroat trout, photo by Mark Boyle 1996. (photo contribution from Trail Blazers Photo Boards Display, submitted by McPil – coordinator.)

    • #84756
      brownster145
      Participant

      I truly am taken back by the knowledge and experiences of you Trailblazers, not to mention the incredible photos you take to prove it.

      Beautiful fish caught in beautiful, pristine settings. What more could you ask for?

      Andrew

    • #84757
      sooperfly
      Participant

      Great pics! I couldn’t help thinking Eastern Washington needed some representation here. 🙂 Here are a couple pictures I thought you guys might like. A couple of these are from lakes a bit over 7,000 ft.

    • #84758
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Wow! Nice big trout. Great photos.

    • #84759
      jackchinook
      Participant

      A question regarding these fantastic fish…
      I have fished a lot of nice highlakes, some of them very remote, some not so remote. I’ve caught lots of fish up there as well. Again, some of them nice, some ‘not so nice’. (they’re all nice…just not very large). Anyways, what advice would any of you be willing to give for seeking out the few large fish amongst their smaller neighbors? How much of it do you think is finding the right lake at the right time in the cycle? Do most people on this forum/in the club use spinning gear…spoons, spinners, bait? I use a flyrod about 99% of the time and do pretty well but I’d prefer quality over quantity if faced with an either/or dilemma. I can’t complain, just hiking up to a beautiful alpine lake and catching a mess of trout with nobody else around (like I did yesterday) is always fantastic…I’d keep doing it if nothing changed but I’d love to add to the experience! I guess time of day, specific lures/flies, specific types of water to look for, perhaps recommended reading?

      Thanks
      jack

      by the way, how’s fishing been for everyone else?

    • #84760
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      There is no easy, and no short answer to your questions. If you are catching a bunch of small fish it is possible, even likely, that there are no big fish in the lake. If a lake has fish that are naturally reproducing too efficiently they will become skinny and large headed when they sexually mature at age 3 or 4. There are too many fish for the food supply and they stop growing longer and put all their energy into producing gametes. In lakes with stunted populations you will catch small ones one after another and there will be no large ones in the lake.

      Sometimes, you will be in a situation where there is a large population of recently planted fish, and a few large hold overs. Or, perhaps, more frequent stocking or limited natural reproduction such that there are fish of a range of sizes. Every lake is different and I can think of a myriad of contradictory examples to any generalization I make, but here goes anyway. Often the big ones will be down deep. I’ve been to lakes where fish were rising around the shore and fishing was decent. The easy thing to do would be to fish to the rising fish all around the shore. In one particularly good example of this situation I abandoned the 12-13″ fish along the shore and went deep off a rock slide. I worked one spot I liked for 45 minutes with no luck until I figured out the proper depth and technique. I had a strike or fish on 8 of the following 10 casts with the smallest fish going 17″. The technique is to go deep with a reasonably heavy spoon like a 1/4 oz Krocodile and retrieve very, very slowly. Find the bottom by counting how long it takes to sink and time the start of your retrieve on subsequent casts to start just barely off the bottom. Rock slides are particularly productive locations for this technique.

      Often large rainbow will cruise the middle of the lake. A flatfish, f5 or f7, trolled in the middle can be very effective. I’ve seen situations were shore anglers might catch an occasional small fish while we couldn’t keep large fish off out in the boats.

      I prefer catching fish on flies. There is no good way to keep small fish off if you are using flies. I can remember one partially frustrating day at a lake in Wyoming where the goldens were cruising the shore in schools. One large fish surrounded by a bunch of small fish. I would sneak up on the shore, spot the fish, and catch one of the little ones every time. Most of the time it is a matter of persistence and luck. Last summer I was at a lake with my daughter and we were catching lots of 8-10 inchers from the previous plant. Finally at the far end of the lake I told my daughter to cast her fly over along the shore and she caught a beautiful 16″ CT. It was a matter of putting the fly in a good spot and getting lucky that the big one hit it that time instead of a little one.

      Sometimes you just have to get lucky and get to a lake that for whatever reason wasn’t fished much in the previous few years and there are some fish left over from an old plant that haven’t been caught. It might be another 10 or 15 years before fish like that can be found in the lake again.

      As an aside, I always fish with a fly rod (5 wt). When I’m spin fishing I just put my spinning reel on the normal fly reel seat and use it as a spinning rod.

      I never really care if I catch fish at all. The setting is good enough, fish are just a bonus. Big fish are an extra special bonus.

    • #84761
      Cliff Church
      Participant

      Brian,

      When you use spoons – or any other hardware, do you replace the treble hooks with single siwash hooks? I always end up releasing a lot of fish and the singles make it a heck of a lot easier to do that. I’ve been doing this with my Kastmasters for years, using Gamakatsu (sp?) singles. I haven’t noticed if I lose more fish than if I was using trebles. Ditto with the Flatifsh. Just curious how you do it.

      Cliff

    • #84762
      ltlcleo
      Participant

      Well I told myself that my backpacking gear was coming out this year and it will.BEAUTIFUL FISH! Looks like alot of them were c/r too.brings back memories.

      I have Heard of the trailblazers before but this is as close as I have come to interacting with you guys.I grew in bremerton and have been trudging around the olympics since boyscouts.Some of you guys amaze me with the places you have gone.Like Hagen lks.One of my favorites, but to go cross country from there???I have always wanted to drop down into the crazy creek drainage!It is challenging enough to get into there from the putmin trail.I guess my problem is most of my adventures are solo and the risk of injury keeps me from pushing the envelope that far.Nothing like a deep breath by yourself back in gods country though.

      my monicker..ltlcleo is my favorite fishing spoon.I have got to say that I have at least a few hours fishing for steelhead with spoons.Get rid of the trebles.Trebles are great for catching anything but fish.Like weeds, sticks etc.They are likly to pin the fishes mouth shut causing the fight to diminish.Ut most they make catch and release unrealalistic.With bigger fish you are more likely to hook a piece of the soft flesh in the mouth instead of getting a good corner set.I have lost alot of big fish because of trebles.

    • #84763
      brownster145
      Participant

      ltlcleo- Welcome to the forum.

      Salish- I’ll second that comment about the Kastmasters. I think you may have a little better chance of landing the fish with a treble [on the smaller fish; I agree with ltlcleo about the bigger fish], but its definitely not worth it with all the time you spend getting the fish off, possible injury to the fish, increased likelyhood of hanging up on the bottom, and in my opinion, a lesser chance of attracting a strike (that could just be me wanting to believe that I’m really doing something special by changing the hooks).

      Just my two cents worth. I’m sure Brian has a lot better answer than I do.

      Andrew”

    • #84764
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      I definitely don’t have a better answer. I think your answer is excellent. I tend to have some lures with treble hooks and some with single in my tackle box. The ones with trebles are there, more often then not, because I was throwing the lure in at the last minute and hadn’t remembered to change the hook, not because I wanted the treble hook on. I always regret having it on when it mangles a fish.

      I have found, however, that single, barbless hooks are far less effective at hooking fish when trolling from a raft, where I have to hold the rod between my legs, for rainbows. They hit the lure, come out of the water and immediately throw the hook.

      Glad to have you here ltlcleo. I’m a west Sounder living here in Silverdale.”

    • #84765
      Cliff Church
      Participant

      Thanks Brownter & Brian C. like you, I do 90-some percent of my fishing with a fly rod, but I like to bring spoons and flatfish on mountain lakes. I’ll try outfitting my hardware with both hooks and see what happens. Welcome to you, too, ltlcleo.

      Cliff

    • #84766
      ltlcleo
      Participant

      thanks for the welcome guys.I spent a few hours yesterday digging through this sight.The biographies of the old timers were special.Those boys were a tough breed with a definate love for our wilderness ereas.I always love the chance to talk to the few old timers left around here.I find the history and the stories of the past more entertaining than what is left.

      I fell in love with the high lakes as a kid and it was not till after scouts and high school that I found hagen and others.I dropped of only because I became caught up in exploring the canyons of the rivers on the hood canal.I am hopefully going to fish under the high steel bridge tomarrow.Beating the brush on the lowlands of th olympics can be a tough route to go!

      Did the trailblazers do any stocking here in the olympics?I always wondered if the fish I caught were wild or natives?

      I could see where without a hookset that a treble would be more likely to set itself.Onother reason I got tired of trebles were my two dogs.It is also easiar to c/r a dog with a single barbless than it is a treble!lol

    • #84767
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      “Virtually no high lakes in the state have truly native populations. Many of the introduced populations are now naturally reproducing. The few that do have native fish are large valley bottom lakes like the Hidden Lakes, Black, Waptus, and Packwood. All the fish in Olympic Mountain high lakes were introduced. Some were planted by Trail Blazers, but that has never been a primary area for the club and all current stocking there is done by the WDFW using helicopters.”

    • #84768
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      “OK, we know you have been out, lets see some more big fish, and what about the marmot we heard trapped in the Olympics . How do marmots taste, MIKE?”

    • #84769
      McFarnell
      Participant

      Hi guys,

      I ran across these great pictures and thought I would post one of my own! This rainbow was actually caught in California last summer (2003). This lake is over 10,000 feet elevation.

      Happy Fishing/Bushwhacking/Hiking!

    • #84770
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      “Wow, nice fish!”

    • #84771
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Mike Swayne’s Butterwick Lake cutts from years past…

      posted by McPil

    • #84772
      brownster145
      Participant

      Nice fish!

      McPil it’s been a while since you’ve posted here. Good to see you’re still around. =)

      How about some more of those fishin’ stories?

      Andrew

    • #84773
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      brownster,
      Hi guy, I shall do that, let me see what I have…

    • #84774
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      another big rainbow caught & released by Glen Lee, July 1993, photograph by Mark Boyle.

      [Edited on 12-7-2003 by McPilchuck]

      [Edited on 12-7-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84775
      DJH
      Participant

      Wow! Better than football shaped! That is a fine specimen!

    • #84776
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      a big cutthroat caught by Mike Quinn, Sept. 2003, photo by Glen Lee.

      [Edited on 12-7-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84777
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      I see Mike and glen have the hold it out toward the camera so the fish looks even bigger technique perfected. 😛

      [Edited on 12-6-2003 by Brian Curtis]

    • #84778
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Actually, these fish are both over 20 inches, as with all the other pics I’ve previously posted. Remember, this thread topic is: Big Alpine Trout.

      note:
      The following thread is for Big Alpine Trout (hopefully all entered are over 20 inches) and the type which dreams are made of, ones that would win a Kingfish Award in the Hi-Lakers Club or another contest if they were enetered. But this is no contest, just superb big trout beyond the norm…

      [Edited on 12-11-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84779
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      and another big brute (fine-spotted cutthroat) caught from other state high lake by Brian Curtis.

    • #84780
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      A nice rainbow caught in 1959 by the late, Leeland Seese (old-time member) donated by Mike Swayne.

    • #84781
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Jonathan,
      you should edit (i would hope) that photo out as this thread is not to be meant for sarcasm, but to show or inform people that big alpine trout do exist in high lakes, or the end result can be a trout 20 inches and over, whether it’s kept or released. As I related previously, the topic thread is Big Alpine Trout, all are 20 inches and over in the photographs, including Glen’s and Mike’s…Glen’s being just over 20 and Mike’s 23 inches.

    • #84782
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      “Hey, I liked Jonathan's picture. It fit well with the other photos even though it wasn't a huge fish.”

    • #84783
      brownster145
      Participant

      I must agree with Brian. I don’t think any harm was done by Jonothan’s photo, and it’s a nice fish anyway even if it’s not as big as the others. Essentially everybody knows what a big fish looks like, and I doubt that anybody will be misinformed by the picture.

      Some of my most memorable fish have been smaller–well, probably because I don’t catch many big fish. 😉

      Some of them sure fight hard for their size.

      Andrew”

    • #84784
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Whatever, I thought it was a bit sarcastic myself. No harm done tho. But (I won’t mention any names) I did receive a few private emails saying they didn’t think it should be in this thread, so I was responding to that request because I agree, that’s all so now you know.

      PS. Iam sure Jonathan has a big alpine trout photo he might like to share, I’ve seen his flies and they are superb quailty, none better IMO.

      Edited on 12-10-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84785
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Even if it was sarcastic that doesn't matter because sarcasm is allowed here. Jonathan's post was appropriate and I do not like to see posting discouraged.

    • #84786
      Jonathan Leathers
      Participant

      Well if 20 inches is the bench mark then I guess I’m part of the club. I will submit this picture in as serious a manor that I can. I have other 20+ inchers that were not caught in the mountains can they be posted here (I didn’t see a high lake qualifier)???

    • #84787
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Hey, anyone can post what they like, it’s an open board, and as far as that goes, I can as anyone can, disagree with whatever. If we agreed on everything, or posts in a thread, it would be pretty boring. So, if someone is looking for a retractment on my part, you won’t get it here, I chose to disagree with what I saw as not being particularly asscoiated with the thread topic, some others said the same in private. When I began this thread, it was meant to show folks what can be achieved (some alpine trout do grow big if not huge) or found in fishing (some) high alpine lakes. The thread was not meant to belittle anyone elses catch, but the thread topic again is Big Alpine Trout. Anyone can deviate from that, is their own right to do so. But I would hope they would start their own thread if it is to drift.

      BTW Jonathan, NICE Big Trout you recently posted!

    • #84788
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      a nice 22 1/2 inch Alpine cutthroat caught in July 2001 by Ken J. McLeod, photo by Glen Lee.

    • #84789
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      a 21 1/2 inch Atlantic Salmon (torpedo) caught at near 6,000 feet elev. in a Washington high lake Aug. 1982, by Ken J. McLeod. “released 11 others from 18 to 22 1/2 inches all caught on flies.” Not the best photo but what a fish!!!

    • #84790
      brownster145
      Participant

      Nice fish, McPil! So you released 11, did you keep that one? If so, how did it taste? I prefer salmon over trout any day(granted the atlantic isn’t the best, but I bet it would still be excellent).

      I don’t know where you guys are fishing (except the Wind River range) but I’ve never seen anything close to these fish in the mountains. I must be fishing in all the wrong places. 16″ is my record.

      Anybody want to clue me in as to where I could find trout bigger than, oh, 15″? I won’t tell anybody. My u2u inbox is always open. 😉 😀

      Hm, I guess I sound like a beggar. Of course, if you’d rather not say, I completely understand.

      Andrew”

    • #84791
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      “Nice fish, McPil! So you released 11, did you keep that one? If so, how did it taste? I prefer salmon over trout any day(granted the atlantic isn’t the best, but I bet it would still be excellent).”

      I found out about a lake thru a biologist that was planted with Atlantic Salmon, it took me alot of digging to find that info: 4,000 landlocked Quebec stock eggs were raised, of that two lakes were planted in the Olympics, they grew to enormous size way beyond what I caught in the 3 days on my first trip with my uncle who I invited along. I killed one in the picture, my uncle also one 19 incher for eating, his only BTW. All the others I released because you can’t eat that much fish and rarely do I keep but one or two anyway while high lake fishing, and then those are usually cooked, rarely do I pack out any fish as they don’t taste the same or fiber the same ten hours later. The Atlantic’s were superb fighters and their taste excellent.

      Big trout are where you find them, and mostly it takes alot of searching to find them. Lakes that usually grow pretty nice fish are ones that are off the well beaten path, but not neccessarily so. One of the biggest trout I ever saw was in Evan Lake, less than 1/4 mile from the trailhead up near Boardman lake. Another 6 pounder I saw was at Ilswoot Lake in Necklace Valley, no shit!

    • #84792
      sooperfly
      Participant

      Well, I couldn’t help it.. I have this posted on another topic, but I think it belongs here too. Too bad I didn’t actually catch it live.
      But, as the topic is “big alpine trout”, this qualifies. An honest 25 inches even.

    • #84793
      Dave Weyrick
      Participant

      Thought I’d add this snake of a specimen to this wonderful collection not because it was a beautiful fish (though it tasted most excellent!), but because it was long enough- at 24.5″- to take the first Hi-Laker Kingfish award of the current millenium. Caught with a gold quarter oz. Thomas Bouyant while spin casting from my tube in a lake at around 4000′ on my last cast of the evening. Drug it in without alot of fight. Photo by Sandy McKean.

      [Edited on 12-11-2003 by Dave Weyrick]

    • #84794
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      WoW!!! What a fish, I’ll bet that would have pulled a fellow around the laKe! Nice photo, too. And Dave’s looks pretty nice, probably pulled you around, too. Thanks Guys for posting.

      Edited on 12-11-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84795
      Dave Weyrick
      Participant

      Thanks Ken. As I recall it did pull and spin me a bit.

    • #84796
      sooperfly
      Participant

      “Thats a nice fish Dave.. great place to fish, too.. I go there every year. I have a friend that pulled a 13 pounder out of there. Another note, after the fires last year that area sure took a beating. I was there when they were burning and got some pretty good pictures.”

    • #84797
      Dave Weyrick
      Participant

      Now this one is a beautiful fish and is still swimming about, hopefully several inches longer than the 23 it measured to win the 2002 Hi-Laker Kingfish award. Pictures showed that I caught it both days I was at the lake above 4000′ somewhere in Washington State. Took an egg pattern on a short line the first day and my trusty Thomas Bouyant (gold 1/4 oz.) the second.

    • #84798
      brownster145
      Participant

      Definitely nice fish there, Dave.

      So do bigger fish generally have darker hues?

      Andrew

    • #84799
      sooperfly
      Participant

      This one I also have on another thread, but hey, with all these great fish pictures, I can’t help myself. 😛

    • #84800
      sooperfly
      Participant

      Here are some pictures from the Hidden Lakes, Pasayten Wilderness. They were taken some time in the 50’s. I don’t advocate keeping this many fish, so don’t jump me please!

    • #84801
      sooperfly
      Participant

      another one…

    • #84802
      sooperfly
      Participant

      One last one.

    • #84803
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Those Hidden Lakes pics are pretty amazing. Who are the people?

    • #84804
      sooperfly
      Participant

      Brian, they are businessmen and orchardists from Brewster, Washington. I knew three of the four men quite well, two are recently deceased.
      I don’t know the name of the packer that took them in there, but I have a pretty good idea. Sorry for the quality of the photo’s but I snapped a picture of them with my digital camera.

    • #84805
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      “By the late sixties/early seventies the fishing in the Hiddens had declined so far that local anglers where putting pressure on the bio to plant brookies. The, then, very young and green bio actually did plant brookies in there. Thankfully, for some unknown reason they never took. We know the plants were good because they surveyed them at age one and they had grown very well, but they subsequently disappeared. That could have been one of the all time great disasters.”

    • #84806
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      An unofficial Wa. State Golden Trout Record – Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Fly Caught by Don Sherr – Ken J. McLeod’s (McPilchuck’s) Uncle Don. Aug. 1985 — 20 inches, est. 3 lbs.

      [Edited on 12-19-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84807
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Steve White’s big fat rainbow – 24 5/8 inches (multi pounder) July 1994. Photo by Ken J. McLeod

      note: Steve’s bug proof (black flies) wool clothing.

      Edited on 12-19-2003 by McPilchuck]

    • #84808
      Glen Lee
      Participant

      I took this photo of Mark Boyle holding this big C.T. in the summer of 1995. This fish came from a Washington state alpine lake.

    • #84809
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Here’s our webmaster, Jeffrey, holding a nice cutthroat that goes over 20″

    • #84810
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      In celebration of getting the pics reattached to this thread, here’s another big fish pic. I caught this one this last September in a Montana high lake.

    • #84811
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Brian Curtis wrote:

      In celebration of getting the pics reattached to this thread, here’s another big fish pic. I caught this one this last September in a Montana high lake.

      Hi Brian,
      I like it! Nice to see the shots back up.
      McPil

    • #84812
      giantbrookie
      Participant

      I just wanted to say that as an outsider (Californian) I am mighty impressed with these monster fish pictures! I have been fishing the high lakes of California for more than 20 years and fished over 500 lakes and I’ve only landed two fish over 20″: a 20.5″ brown from Heather Lake and Desolation Wilderness and a 32.5″ mackinaw from Gilmore Lake, also in Desolation: My wife has fished almost as much as I have and she too only has tallied two 20″+ fish, both 23″ macks from Gilmore: In any case this thread and some others on this board really make me tempted to head a little further north for fishing one day.

    • #84813
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Hi giantbrookie, it is great to have you posting on the site. There are a lot of issues we have in common with California high lakes, and some that differ (we don’t have any mountain yellow legged frogs) so I hope you’ll stick around and join in the discussions.

      I do have to note here that to get these large fish pics represent one heck of a lot of lake visits. What you’ll probably enjoy most about a trip up in these parts is how different the mountains are from the ones down in your area.

    • #84814
      giantbrookie
      Participant

      Thanks for the welcome, Brian. I wish we had an equivalent forum like this in CA. As for issues such as MYLF, I would be happy to give an update on how things have been going (in CA and particularly the Sierra) from a fisherman’s point of view (that is somebody that doesn’t have direct access to information on policy changes). The long and the short of it is that there some fairly significant Sierra Nevada high country lake fisheries management changes (outside of Natioanal Parks), but the overall effect on high lake fishing is probably not huge. From a fishing standpoint it looks like the number of “lost” lakes (ie those that will no longer contain trout) is small in terms of percentage, although significant if one is unfortunate enough to be planning a trip to one of those “lost” lakes.

    • #84815
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Another brute: caught by Leif Nagle Sept. 2005, photo by Mike Quinn.

      McPil

    • #84816
      sooperfly
      Participant

      Posting this for somebody else. A nice fall ‘bow.

    • #84817
      Sandy McKean
      Participant

      Nice ain’t the word for that ‘bow — it’s spectacular!. At what elevation is this lake? (I presume east side of the crest too.)

    • #84818
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @smckean wrote:

      Nice ain’t the word for that ‘bow — it’s spectacular!. At what elevation is this lake? (I presume east side of the crest too.)

      Well in excess of 6500 ft. That is about average for the lake. They caught one that was 26” but the guy with the camera was on the other side of the lake. All were released. 😀

    • #84819
      Sandy McKean
      Participant

      Well in excess of 6500 ft.

      WOW…..It hard to believe any lake in the state of Washington can grow fish this big at 6500′. I would think only in eastern Washington could this be possible, but perhaps it is elsewhere.

      NO, I an not “fishing” for the lake name here. I am just curious about elevations and food supply.

      P.S. Are you sooperfly or Guest? And if Guest why not register?

    • #84820
      sooperfly
      Participant

      @smckean wrote:

      Well in excess of 6500 ft.

      WOW…..It hard to believe any lake in the state of Washington can grow fish this big at 6500′. I would think only in eastern Washington could this be possible, but perhaps it is elsewhere.

      NO, I an not “fishing” for the lake name here. I am just curious about elevations and food supply.

      P.S. Are you sooperfly or Guest? And if Guest why not register?

      Oops.. didn’t realize I wasn’t logged in when I posted. Sorry! 😆 ..

      This lake has abundance of feed. Huge scuds, salamanders, copeopods, etc. It’s really small, has a sandy bottom and is quite shallow.

      http://www.rivercolor.com/images/fish2.jpg
      http://www.rivercolor.com/images/fish1.jpg

      Nothing in those pics less than 18″.

    • #84821
      brownster145
      Participant

      Great pics!

      Has anyone here ever tried twitching a jig when fishing directly over a school of big fish like that? It seems like it could be very effective. I’d certainly have tried it by now, but I never find myself directly over schools of big fish! 😆

      Andrew

    • #84822
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      ‘Tis a nice rainbow there!

      Big trout on jigs…never tried them but could see that they’d probably be effective. Myself and a few buds have found that flatfish seem to have a certain “killer” movement which is pretty effective for larger fish, and then there is the larger spoons too. And some like the right fly when else fails.

      McPil

    • #84823
      Dave Harwell
      Participant

      I’m a little hesitant to post this because the lake is only around 1000′ in elevation. But, it’s in the woods and it is a large specimen. If folks complain I’ll be happy to yank it.

      My friend Aaron used steelhead jigs all day on this lake and cleaned up. 2 very nice Browns and a handful of Cutthroat/Rainbow trout were caught in the middle of winter.

      Hmmm, I may try a jig this winter….

      I know a few Trailblazers frequent this fishing hole.

    • #84824
      Anonymous
      Participant

      A nice brown from that lost little lake in the woods . “Beautiful”

      McPil

    • #84825
      Sandy McKean
      Participant

      This lake has abundance of feed. Huge scuds, salamanders, copeopods, etc. It’s really small, has a sandy bottom and is quite shallow

      Not that it matters, but I didn’t phrase my words properly. What I meant to say was that I am ongoingly interested, as a quasi-scientific matter, in the relationship btwn elevation and food supply.

      I could see by the fish photo that the food supply was good , and the food items you mention (especially the scuds) make perfect sense. It is that the fish grow to that size (which is the same thing as saying “have that much to eat”) at 6500+ feet that amazes me!

      You’ve never said……was this on the east side of the Cascades crest? (I assume it was in the Cascades.)

    • #84826
      mcmahon2005
      Participant

      You said it was a shallow lake at 6500′. How does it keep from having a winter kill?

    • #84827
      sooperfly
      Participant

      In Eastern Washington. And I’m not sure how it doesn’t winterkill. Some of the lakes I go to are only 4-5 feet deep, you can wade all the way across, and they don’t freeze out.

    • #84828
      McFarnell
      Participant

      Hi all,

      Thought I would post a couple pics of some Cutthroats we caught on a family trip to Idaho last summer. These guys are about 18″ and nice and fat!

    • #84829
      mcmahon2005
      Participant

      Nice fish, just to let you know, this thread is for fish 20″ and over.

    • #84830
      Mike Blodgett
      Participant

      I caught this brown last month…22″

    • #84831
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Here’s Art Jackson’s big cutt of 5 lbs. caught this summer of 2006. Indeed a brute…

      McPil

    • #84832
      brownster145
      Participant

      Not to call your judgment into question, McPil, but did you really mean 5 pounds? I’ve seen lots of 5-pound trout, and that fish looks to be about half that.

      Certainly over 20″, though. 🙂

    • #84833
      sooperfly
      Participant

      Brownster –

      Having been to the lake in question I guarantee you that fish was every bit of 5 lbs. Wouldn’t surprise me if they had packed in scales to weigh fish either. 😀

      I posted this on nwhikers too, but here is my biggest fish of year. Alpine lake, 6500+ ft. Well in excess of the 20″ rule.

    • #84834
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Just going by what Art relayed. Only he knows its exact weight. Nonetheless, a brute to say the least and well over 20 I am sure.

      McPil

    • #84835
      chrome22
      Participant

      Here is a nice cutt from about 1977-78, don’t know if it made 20″ but it’s close. Whale lake is @ 4600′ & a pretty good cross-country hike, well it was back then…Our route was pretty cool, we started @ Slide lake and I caught a MBS cutt there that was huge 26-28″ guessing about 4 lbs…no picture of course. After Slide we went up the creek to Enjar/Hamar then over the ridge to the north & down the rockslide to Arrowhead lake. Next day we made it to Whale, fish nailed a #3 Mepps spinner. I was fishing my old Lamiglas collapsible 7′ spin/fly rod & think I had my Dad’s Mitchell 304s on it then….

      This is one really slick site, glad I found it!!

      c/22……. 😉

    • #84836
      Cameron
      Participant

      This is my largest high mountain lake trout yet, caught in June 07. This is a very small lake apx 4800′ on the west side, north of Mt. Rainier. It’s loaded with leaches and frogs, with a muddy bottom. An ‘old timer’ fishing buddy showed me how to get there (no trail) and told me that it contained monster rainbows. Well, I fished it for 5 years before landing this one. I also landed a couple beautifull Brookies that I didn’t know were here. I included a picture of one of them, even though it’s not close to 20″; only because of how fat and beautifull it is. Super fat… maybe 14″?

      I’m guessing the Rainbow at 4lbs and 22-23″

      Cameron

    • #84837
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      anpther big cutt, heard him say over 26 inches.
      Leif N.

      McPil


    • #84838
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      Word was that both Leif and Ben ran into some damn nice “big cutts!”

      McPil


    • #84839
      Cameron
      Participant

      My goodness, those cutts are enormous!! I hope this summer to hook into a few like that… Hope I’m not too nosey here, but could you give me a general area that may hold trout of that size? The only place I’ve heard of with cutts like that are the Hidden Lakes… saw video of a 6+ pounder being landed at the WA Sportsman’s Show, from the Hidden Lakes. An outfitter takes folks 20+miles in there by horse (Darwood IIRC.) Haven’t been in there yet myself.

      I can’t wait for summer… Planning on getting to some more lakes around Mt. Daniel, including Swallow Lakes. Anyone been in there? If so, from which side did you come in? It looks doable from Robin/Tuck Lakes, maybe a fun way to go.

    • #84840
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      The Hiddens have rainbow and bull trout (the latter in two of the three).

      You can get to the Swallows from Tuck and Robin or you can go from the Tonga Ridge Road past the Deception Lakes. The Tonga Ridge Road was washed out in the 2006 floods. I don’t know if it is open yet or not.

    • #84841
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      and yet another real big cutt caught by the “Tye” man.

      McPil


    • #84842
      Cameron
      Participant

      Thanks Brian,

      I could have sworn the video I saw was a cutt…. maybe another lake in the vicinity?
      Have you personally been in to swallow?

    • #84843
      sooperfly
      Participant

      I’ve been to the Hidden Lakes many times over the past 10 years or so. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve caught. I’m not saying somebody else hasn’t caught this or that, this is just my experience.

      Cougar Lake: Bull and Rainbows
      Lower Hidden: Bull and Rainbows
      Middle Hidden: Bull,Rainbows and Cutties
      Upper Hidden: Rainbows

    • #84844
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      I’ve been in to the Hiddens 3 times, but not in many years. That’s the first I’ve heard of a cutthroat coming out of any of those lakes. There were some stocked there in 1975. They also stocked brookies in 1972. We’re really lucky they aren’t still there.

      Someone with a sense of humor named the lakes. Instead of the mundane Lower, Middle, and Upper they are:

      First Hidden
      Middle Hidden
      Big Hidden

    • #84845
      sooperfly
      Participant

      I went back through my record in the Hiddens and it looks like when I caught the most cutties was in ’01 or ’02. Seemed like every other fish in Middle Hidden was a cutty. And they were all about the same size, around 10 inches or so.

    • #84846
      sooperfly
      Participant

      Not my fish or picture, but a dandy measured 26″. Posted with permission from my friend. I also posted this on nwhikers.

    • #84847
      Mike Blodgett
      Participant

      That is definately a nice fish…thanks for sharing….

    • #84848
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Here’s a 20 inch Yellowstone cutthroat my wife caught in the Absoroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana. The best fish I managed to catch on the trip was 18.5 inches.

    • #84849
      allison
      Participant

      A little o/t, but are these guys Yellowstone Cutts as well? From our trip last month to the White Clouds. One guy in Challis who owns a private hatchery guessed Yellowstone Cutt/RB hybrid based on description and location.

    • #84850
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Here’s one from the vault. I caught this one in the Winds back in ’79.

    • #84851
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      I’m a little late with this reply to your post, Allison. For some reason I can’t get a larger size version of your pic, but they look more like RB in the thumbnail. The one in my last post was a Yellowstone CT.

    • #84852
      caveman
      Participant

      Caught this Hog last Saturday. Measured out at 22 in. The other 2 were 18. I caught 7 fish that day let the others go. Smallest being 16, 4-18, 1-19, 1-22.

      22" up in the Alpine

      Here are couple more that measured out at 18"

    • #84853
      Dave Weyrick
      Participant

      Beautiful fish Caveman, congatulations!

    • #84854
      caveman
      Participant

      Thanks, been dream of a Alpine fish like this. Seen them and have caught ones 18 and 19 but nothing this big.

    • #84855
      sooperfly
      Participant

      This year has been exceptional for fishies for some reason.

      Here’s my biggest so far this year, 27.5 inches. Frustration lake was ice free enough to fish. As soon as I get permission, I’ll post my buddies fish – same lake and trip, makes this guy look like a minnow!

    • #84856
      caveman
      Participant

      Nice fish Sooperfly….

    • #84857
      Vigilguy
      Participant

      Here’s some nice brookies that we caught a couple of years ago in Wyoming.They are not spawning, so the fish that were planted in this lake are getting huge off of the scuds. Game and Fish will eventually re-stock this lake with Goldens. The Brookie stock was a mistake. But we have enjoyed it!

    • #84858
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Wow, those are beautiful. Hopefully they won’t start naturally reproducing.

    • #84859
      Tye Groshong
      Participant

      Some nice fish there guys. Well done. Here is a brook from last year.

    • #84860
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Here’s another one from last year.


      Brian Curtis with 20" CT 2012 by brianc9, on Flickr

    • #84861
      Ben Eacker
      Member

      Here is a nice buck that Leif N. caught last evening. It easily shatters the state brook trout record. Nice job Leif ! ! !


    • #84862
      John Corallo
      Participant

      That is the biggest beast ever!! Leif is the king!! I saw you two on the other side of Mason Lake and just could not land it with my Japanese Shiner! Ha!! :caught:
      And Dave W and Mr. Rich O’ thought they might be crowned as repeat winners at the winter social!!

      ..Heading back up there as I type…..

    • #84863
      Rich OConnell
      Keymaster

      Nice fish. Look at the kype on that sucker (the fish, not Leif).

      That Leif really gets around. I need to replace the battery in the GPS locator device that I sewed in his backpack a few years ago.

      ~Rich

    • #84864
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      If my memory serves, the state record is, er, was, over 9 lbs. That is a huge fish! Did you weigh it?

    • #84865
      Ben Eacker
      Member

      This fish was just over 12 lbs, 26 inches long, and 23 inches in girth. It had nearly as much circumference as it did length. Leif did a great job playing it with his ultra light set up.

    • #84866
      Kathy
      Keymaster

      wow, what a fish! but hmm, does Leif hike to high lakes over 2500′ in blue jeans? Maybe Dave W still has a chance at the Kingfish after all… !

    • #84867
      Ben Eacker
      Member

      Kathy, that brookie came out of a lake above 3000 feet. Leif hiked in jeans because he had an issue with his junky camo pants falling apart, so that was all he had. If that one is inadequate, we got some larger ones this summer. I will have to dig out my camera and upload them. Here are some that I have on my phone; more to come later. All these were taken at hike to lakes well above 4000 feet.





    • #84868
      Kathy
      Keymaster

      Holee Cowabunga, I’m speechless! Guess we know who wears the Big Fish pants around here! Sorry Dave, I think you’ve lost this one!

    • #84869
      Ben Eacker
      Member

      This summer never ends! Caught this 26 inch “wet boot” today from a partially frozen lake. The weather was foul and not typical of summertime in the mountains. The fun may soon be over until next year…

    • #84870
      Kathy
      Keymaster

      What a beautiful brown! And here I was thrilled with the 18″ one I caught last week 🙂 Can’t believe all these incredible fish you’ve caught all year.

    • #84871
      Jed Sires
      Participant

      Nice job Ben! Very nice fish!

      Jed

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