Lake Trout Fishing--Light Tackle

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by AirMountainMan, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. AirMountainMan

    AirMountainMan

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    I am taking a group of 16-18 years olds and my son who is 8 to Shoshone lake in Yellowstone Park in 2 weeks. Apparently there is an abundance of Lake trout in the lake.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fish for lake trout out of a canoe? Also what kind of tackle do you recomend?

    I have a fly pole I will be taking along with a couple of spinning rods. My son will be using the spinning rod.

    Thanks in advance!!

    Scott
     
  2. Wet Dog

    Wet Dog

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    I fly fish out of a canoe and have spin fished in the past. It's a great way to cover a lot of "ground". I usually anchor near structure in lakes. When I fish Salt Water I usually look for signs Sea-Runs or Salmon are feeding then drift and cast through the area.

    Going to a lake I don't know I usually try to cover my bases with a variety of gear. For spin tackle I would bring some spinners (I like Rooster Tails) in a few different colors, some spoons (FST is my favorite) and maybe some plug type lures. BIG trout seem to go for Buzz Bombs too.

    I've caught trout trolling a fly with spinning tackle. A #8-10 Carey Special or variation works very well. Vary speed but drift a lot. Add weight until you start to get strikes. The largest trout I ever caught in Alaska took a trolled Carey Special.
     

  3. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

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    For sierra mountain lake trout, you need light gear, especially in small secluded lakes. I prefer an ultra light spinning rod and reel with good thin 4lb line. Learn to use your drag, you're going to need it. For rainbows, brookies, and golden trout in the Yosemite/Ansel Adams/Emigrant area, I have great success with Mepps spinners. Smaller is better. Use a size "00" and learn how to cast it well. With practice you can cast it as far as a size "0". I can cast these little lures twice as far as other guys with large rods/reels/lures. I always carry both sizes 00 and 0 in silver and brass colors and I have a few extras as backups. Mepps spinners don't twist your line much at all, unlike other spinners. I've never had much luck with Rooster Tails, and they corrode with time and stop spinning anyways. Yellow Panther Martin with red dots works ok too but they twist your line like crazy. Sometimes a small bead helps get strikes on a plain spinner. Cast in a fan pattern from shore. If you don't get strikes after a few casts, move on. Still no bites? Change lures. Never use a swivel, it messes things up. Bring an extra spool of line, 4lb line tangles easier than heavy stuff, better have it just in case.

    I also use flies with my spinning rod. It works great from shore even when you're casting from the tree line and there wouldn't be room for a fly rod anyways. And on small creeks too. Tie a small clear casting bubble to the end of your 4.b line. Use a 4-5 foot length of 2lb or 3lb leader, and tie on a Yellow Humphy in size 14-16. Add some floatant. Cast from the shore line. Partially fill the casting bubble with water for added weight and further casts. When it hits the water, reel in the slack quickly and pause. Give it a twitch/jig and wait. If the surface is glass and you're standing on an elevated rock or shoreline, you can see what's going on. You might need to let the water settle before you continue. Keep twitching the fly on the surface every 5-6 seconds, just enough to make a small ripple. Keep your eye trained on the fly. Strike quickly when they bite or you'll miss it. If you can see the fish bite, don't try to set the hook too soon. On good lakes, put a trebble hook on the bubble, because they'll attack it too. Bring extra flies, mountain trout have sharp teeth and you'll shred flies after catching a bunch. Change your leader now and then, they shred your line too.

    Here's a look at my trout tackle box. I've done a lot of backpacking and fishing around Yosemite, south of Yosemite in Ansel Adams Wilderness, and north of Yosemite in Emigrant Wilderness and Tahoe National Forest. This is what works best for me. The front of my box is full of Mepps spinners, the back is full of flies. My favorite flies are the yellow humphy, adams (irrisistable and parachuting), blue dunn, black gnat, and deer hair caddis. I have a bunch of assorted flies but those are the ones that work well regularly. I buy half good quality flies, and half cheapie stuff at Walmart when they have the right ones. Suprisingly, a big dark brown/black hairy muddler minnow works very well too a lot of the time, especially on cloudy/cool days. I tried it on recommendation and was suprised at how well it worked. I'll never go up there without a few again.

    Front side of my box:
    [​IMG]

    My all time trout favorites:
    [​IMG]

    I have spares in my shoulder bag. That's all I ever use and I catch MANY fish up there. Don't forget a long pair of needle nose pliers or one of those red de-hookers for removing flies from fish that are hooked deep. Comes in handy, and when you're catching fish left and right, it's bound to happen a few times. Here's what's inside my bag, not much. If I'm gonna eat fish for dinner I throw in a cheap plastic stringer. Doesn't hurt to have a few split shot in there too.
    [​IMG]

    Here's my shoulder bag, it's an old surplus canvas bag with two compartments inside. Not sure what it used to hold but it's about the size of an ammo can or radio. Works very well.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. AirMountainMan

    AirMountainMan

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    Sharpshooter

    I love to fish high mountain lakes and streams. I have a lot of success with both flies and spinners too. I have also been able to walk out in the lake and catch them on a fly rod(lots of fun).

    I have had good success with panther martens. The black bodied ones with the silver blade and the yellow bodied one with the silver blade have worked the best for me.

    Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone part is the largest back country lake in the lower 48. That is the reason for asking here. It is a bit bigger water than I am used to for what I would call a high mountain lake. Also I have not had much opertunity to go after lake trout.

    By the way...What a great post. I agree totally with your selection.

    The picture is not of me. It is a picture of the group I was with last summer in Utah. We had a good hike to this lake but was worth every step!!


    Thanks Again

    Scott
     
  5. Wet Dog

    Wet Dog

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    Sharpshooter said it best.

    Fishing mountain lakes and streams is probably the most enjoyable type of fishing I've done. The fish aren't the biggest but pound for pound I'd say the fight the best.

    There have been times when I couldn't cast without catching a fish. Other times I've thrown everthing I had at em with out success. Occasionally I've gotten lots of hits but no hookups. That is usually remedied by going a size bigger or a size smaller with the same lure.

    Also, mountain cutthroat will sometimes hit the lure to stun it before taking it. If you don't get hookups on the first hit resist the temptation to strike and reel in for another cast and pause just for a moment and then continue with an erratic retrieve. Caught my biggest Cutty last year with that technique.

    Have fun!
     
  6. AirMountainMan

    AirMountainMan

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    Wet Dog

    I have had simular experiences in the mountain streams and lakes. The picture I attached was on one of those fabulous days. We caught A LOT of brookies. We walked back to camp in the dark because we had such a great time on that lake.

    I was again with a group of youth. Most of them had great success. When we returned to camp and gave all our fish stories at breakfast the next morning we figured we caught between 10 of us 180 fish that day and we did not keep one. All the fish were returned for the next time.

    We probably should have each kept one fish. From what I have have learned. It would help the over all health of the fish in that lake.

    Again the question is pointed toward lake trout fishing. I have very little experience going after lake trout. I will try all the standard approaches and some not so standard approaches. I will report back with pictures and stories.

    Scott
     
  7. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

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    I used to carry a jar of power bait as well. If I came across a lake that just wasn't producing, I'd chuck out a ball of power bait on a small trebble hook rigged on a sliding egg sinker and let it soak while cooking dinner, setting up camp, etc. More often than not, I'd catch fish that way for. It's not nearly as fun, but if you're hungry it works. I don't carry it anymore. Bait fishing trout is boring. I'd much rather hike the shoreline actively fishing and catching nothing than just sit there staring at my rod waiting for a strike.

    ;f
     
  8. noway

    noway

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    sharpshooter, have you tried other #4lb lines that offers good casting out of a light or ultralight spining setup? I'm myself use alot of berkerly xt and it works great on my light tackle but it hasn' been all that great when matched with a ultralight reel. I'm getting this problem where the line runs off the bell very unsmoothly and I think it's line twrist.
     
  9. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

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    They used to make 0.006" diameter 4lb line, I think Berkley made it, came with a gray label. Can't find anything that thin anymore. Now all I ever see is 0.008" diameter 4lb line which is a lot thicker it seems. It doesn't cast as well. True, the thin stuff used to get tangles more frequently, but it's part of the game. Carry an extra spool of line in the field in case you have to strip it.

    With thin line, you have to make sure you don't have a loose bird's nest pile of line on your spool or it catches on itself and you can't cast very far. Don't fill the spool up too much and make sure the line is kept wound properly and not loose.

    I wish I could find the thin stuff, they don't carry it in any shops I've looked in the past 5+ years. I think it does make a difference.