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I admittedly have a screw or two loose but I was on a fishing trip of a river near the ALW with a friend when we crossed a bridge on a popular trail over a maybe 20′ x 15′ pool in this creek. My friend had a 9′ 4 weight fly rod, and I had a couple of Tenkara rods. I looked at that little pool and said “I KNOW there are fish in that pool, I want to catch one”. My friend laughed me and sat down to take a drink of water and munch on a Larabar. I took two minutes to string up a level line pre-rigged with a pheasant tail Sakasa fly on a T-rod. On the first cast a small fish went for it but missed. 2nd cast hooked, landed and released a 6″ native Cutthroat. Couple more casts and a 2nd identical fish hooked, landed and released. After looking at a map I think I figured the creek is at about an 11% gradient in and out of that pool.
Most folks with any sense are looking for bigger fish, but fish can be found in pools on some pretty high gradient streams. The question is if your gear can effectively fish the small pools that can hold surprisingly large fish.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Brian.
Thanks for the heads up!! I sure hope they restore the interactive state map on the High Lakes landing page with hot links for each stocked lake’s webpage that showed the stocking history. What a fabulous trip planning tool that was!
No stocking data in the app. It’s an electronic pamphlet that updates with the latest open-close-spcl regs status every time the app is opened if connected to cell/wifi service. If not in cell/wifi coverage it defers to the last update downloaded.
You can find locations on a map display, do a GPS “find me”, or by a name search. Touch the body of water on the map and it gives you the open-close-spcl regs status. On rivers the GPS locator can be pretty handy due to a maze of closures.
However it sure would be nice to be able to search for open waters by county, species, and especially year-round in winter.
If I ever do get pinched because I was offline and didn’t get an update, I’ll take a screenshot to try to get it dismissed in court. But I haven’t seen a WDFW LEO in 50 years of fishing so not likely.
The response I got from the fisheries program Director inferred that the Fish Washington mobile app was the agency’s highest priority for IT development resources (means labor and cash to this retired IT guy). That’s sad because while I use and generally like the app, the search function is so limited for an “application”. I could do more with a pdf and a decent pdf reader on my phone if the file were kept updated with emergency closures and openings.
I like Dilly Wax, believe it’s made in Great Britain, recommended/sold in the States by Doug Swisher and others.
Pages 168 & 169 in the 1938 book “Trout” by Ray Bergman talks about a DIY floatant preparation of two ounces of shaved paraffin to one pint of non-leaded gasolene or benzine; I’ve used white gas. Dip the fly on a tippet into a small bottle of it, put the cap on and shake. The fly comes out covered in wax and the gas quickly evaporates. I would hook the fly onto a rubber band attached to my vest or pack, and holding the fly by the tippet I give the rubber band a few flicks to remove the excess wax, It also dries the fly. The fly will float like a cork for quite a while even after taken by a fish. Very cheap to make. The main reason I haven’t continued to use it is the gas evaporates quickly even in the small sealed bottle so I have to remember to add gas before each trip and it’s hassle. But it’s the best floatant I’ve ever used.
Unfortunately the WDFW High lakes pages have been “updated”.
Gone is the interactive ESRI map with hot link icons for the stocked lakes color coded with when the lakes were stocked that also took you to the individual lake pages that show species and years planted :(.
Gone is is the search function by county and species :(.
That was a most elegant, concise, and feature-rich planning tool.
More’s the pity.
I emailed to ask about it.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Brian.
[quote quote=114476]So rather than posting records WDFW would rather go through the effort to email you data on each lake you are interested in? What if you tell them you are interested in every high lake in WA and share the results [/quote]Hallelujah! I am happy to report checking for some High Lakes data today and finding a stocking report from August 2017 on the Fish Washington High Lakes page.
Hi. Here is my recent exchange with WDFW about the High Lakes webpages’ data
From: Brian Miller
Sent: Sunday, February 4, 2018 3:03 PM
To: Spinelli, Justin P (DFW) <Justin.Spinelli@dfw.wa.gov>
Subject: RE: High Lakes Fish Stocking
Hello again. It’s only February and I am already yearning for high lakes. I was looking at the Fish Washington High Lakes Stocking Info pages again. However the latest High Lakes stocking data I’ve been able to find on the site is 2012, and a search on the Catchable Trout Plant Reports page using a 08/31/2014 to 02/04/2018 search filter only returns plants for January 2018.
The current High Lakes webpages are the finest collection of search tools and data (if kept up to date) an angler could hope to plan daytrips or extended journeys into backcountry regions of Washington State for fishing. In 2016 I used the High Lakes Fish Stocking Map to compare several different areas before ultimately deciding on an extended loop trip through the Indian Heaven Wilderness to visit as many lakes as possible. That data is now too dated to make valid comparisons.
What’s the status on a new website? Will it have the (current) High Lakes Stocking data, with the filtering, and search features of the existing site?
Spinelli, Justin P (DFW) <Justin.Spinelli@dfw.wa.gov>
Not much has changed since September. The new website continues to be developed and is consuming programing resources. The high lakes on Fish Washington are still a viable resource for developing a list of waters to visit as the stocking records are the only thing that are out of date. If you have a list of waters that you are interesting in exploring we will do our best to provide you with updated records.
@Curt Peterson wrote:
…Bob Kayne’s book Fish Don’t Think is dedicated to fishing the fly and bubble technique. It’s not perfect, and I’ve tweaked his methods to my preferences, but it’s the best publication on the subject that I know of. Essentially it’s spin reel, bubble, and fly on a fly rod. I’m still working out the perfect rod, but the system works. Monster casts are possible with this setup, allowing a much, much bigger fishing area. Best thing going for shore-fishers that I know of.
Thank you for the mention of Fish Don’t Think. I read a book about spin fishing with a fly in high lakes back using a spinning rod and reel in the early 70s. It mentioned using a dry fly with a dropper nymph tied in front of the casting bubble in moving water at inlets and outlets. The idea was to hold the fly combination under tension so the dry fly danced on the ripples, and the nymph swirled around in the surface film with the bubble a ways behind. I’ve since chosen to use a fly rod and reel but had success with this dropper technique as well as tying flies on a leader behind the bubble such that I always caught fish; something I cannot claim using a fly rod and reel even when packing in a lightweight float tube and the necessary accoutrements.
I picked up Fish Don’t Think on Amazon in near mint condition for $15 and find myself being drawn to adding a spinning reel and casting bubble to my high lakes kit.
This may border on off-topic but my wife and I are Ham radio operators. I am getting on in years but trying to get up into backcounry remote lakes and streams as long as my heart, lungs, and legs will bear me thither. I fish solo a lot, out of cell coverage. I use the digital Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) to let my wife know where I am. Using the numerous APRS “reflectors” in the region I am able to send a text to my wife’s cell phone from my vehicle before I set out for the day. The text contains a link to a mapping system that shows the exact location where I am parked. I also carry a handheld with me; there are repeaters on a lot of prominent hills in the state and Hams will relay messages. I text her again when I get back to the vehicle with an ETA @ home. I can also tell her what frequency to monitor at home and can call her by connecting to repeaters up to 50 miles away that are within another 50 miles of home a good while before I have cell coverage. Not a Sat phone but we’re using what we have and find it’s pretty handy.
What book do you recommend for a eastside newbie fly fisherman who likes to hike and backpack?Please tell me……
A general book on high lake fly fishing that gets good reviews on Amazon is Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes by Gary LaFontaine . As far as guidebooks to lead you to the gems, I don’t know that there are any. These new(!) WDFW high lakes webpages may give you some info on places to go.
The WTA website can give you trail and lake conditions info;
if not to a specific place you are planning to visit, other destinations near the same elevation, and with a similar sun exposure will be close.
I’d like to get a little more organized. I’ve been looking at chest packs and fishing vests and am leaning toward a chest pack but thought I’d solicit opinions before I made a purchase.
I’ll make an assumption you are talking about backcountry use but you didn’t say whether you’d be using the chest pack or vest for fishing a lake from shore, in a raft or float tube, wading a stream, or all situations.
The discontinued Fishpond Tundra backpack with detachable Deep Creek chest pack system http://thefiberglassmanifesto.blogspot.com/2010/12/fishpond-tundra-tech-pack-review.html is ideal for backcountry day trips. The 1500 cu in backpack easily carries my small 9 liter Wilderness Lite Backpacker Pro float tube package, Redball waders, fins, and the rest of my backcountry fly fishing kit (~9 lbs total), lunch for the day, and 10 essentials. (the slightly smaller and less expensive Bitch Creek Backpack and Savage Creek chest pack system http://www.fishpondusa.com/product/detail/bitch-creek-backpack/2119 replaces the Tundra in the Fishpond line)
Though I am a good swimmer I always wear an inflatable PFD when floating lakes that must be on top to deploy properly and it blocks access to a vest. The pockets on the Outcast Trinity float tube I had were small and not ideally placed so I lashed the chest pack to a side tube. The Backpacker Pro tube has larger and better pockets so now I use a lanyard and put my gear in the float tube pockets. I do lash the chest pack to one of the gunnel tubes on my Water Master Kodiak raft as it has no storage pockets.
However after really trying to make it work, a chest pack is just a little too small to carry everything I want to have at my fingertips in many fishing situations. I use a Fishpond Flint Hills vest http://www.fishpondusa.com/product/detail/flint-hills-vest/1937 and just the Tundra daypack when wading and fishing remote streams.
But as you can see in previous responses, what to carry your fishing tackle in is a personal choice.
For those interested in an ultralight float tube that is much more suitable for backpacking to high mountain lakes than the “ultralight” 10 pounders, there is now one available. Designed similar to the Wood River Summer Breeze (no longer available), yet even lighter at 3.8 pounds, and compresses into a 7″ diameter x 13″ long stuff sack.
I like my Backpacker Pro. On the plus side it’s fairly light and packs down pretty small. I use a small 4 oz pump like one used for filling exercise balls and it takes about 5 minutes to rig out. The only downside, and it may be just a personal thing, is it tips me slightly forward. I really liked how the Outcast Trinity I sold for the BP Pro (and I think my old 1st generation U-Boat) kept me level or angled slightly back like a nice easy chair. But it makes 4-day trips into remote lakes at 8 miles doable again with a tube for a duffer.
@Brian Curtis wrote:
OK, I’ll grant you that hopping was a poor choice of words 🙂 But if you were making your way across some sharp talus, for whatever reason, it there enough protection if you step on top top of a sharp point? I’ve been using old fashioned Nike Aquasox that have a sort of plastic sole back by thin blue foam and they do fine in the sharp talus. Mine weigh in at 9.4 oz for the pair but I’m always looking for ways to shave a few ounces.
The Sockwa shoes very thin foam insoles and look a lot like old Nike Aquasox. My new pair are high tops. I can use them for carefully making my way through talus (ex. at the southeast end of Locket Lake). Thicker Insoles would fit inside the shoes though and could provide a modest level of additional protection. However my feet aren’t punctured by walking over downed branches around our property, angular crushed rock in the driveway causes no problems, and the angular edge of a talus boulder is fine. Maybe I am taking your description of the “sharp point” of a rock too literally. I was a 14-year Mountain Rescue team member many years ago and most of the missions I went on were for lost and/or injured hikers, hunters, and backcountry skiers who encountered unfortunate circumstances so I wouldn’t purposefully step on a sharp branch pointing up, or the “sharp point” of a rock. I could slip and fall causing other injuries besides a punctured foot even if I were wearing sturdy hiking boots. YMMV
@Brian Curtis wrote:
The Sockwa shoes are a great tip. How would they do if you needed to hop across a rockslide made up of sharp granite? Or would you need to put on your hiking shoes/boots in that scenario?
The Sockwa shoes are marketed for barefoot running and sports like beach volleyball. I find the lightweight flexible soles adequately protect my feet from crushed rock around the driveway and sticks in the woods around the property. They work great for ingress and egress in lake bottom silt and wood debris so I use them as a lightweight protective layer over outer layer neoprene socks that go over over coated nylon Redball and Browning UL waders, and as camp shoes. There is no real tread for grip on steep muddy banks and no ankle support but I can use them for carefully making my way through talus (ex. at the southeast end of Locket Lake) that I really don’t often need to do in a float tube 😉 . However a sprained ankle 4+ miles from the car would make for a bad day so if I were “hopping” across a rockslide I’d want more substantial footwear. Hope that helps.