Flys for mountain lakes

Posted by: wsu

Flys for mountain lakes - 04/24/19 01:15 PM

I'm camping in the Little Naches area over memorial weekend. I'd like to fish both the rivers and some small mountain lakes. I plan to bring a spinning rod with a casting bubble for my kids. If I can scrounge up a fly rod, I may bring that too. I've been wanting to get into that and do more camping as my kids get older. It seems a lot more feasible than dragging the crew 60 miles offshore for tuna!

Anyway, what flies do I need? I assume something that resembles a skeeter is a good bet on mountain lakes? I'd like to get a bunch to have with me when I go. Any recommendations on a cheapish, but not junk, fly setup?
Posted by: SpoonFed

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/24/19 03:04 PM

dragonfly or damselfly nymphs for the lakes.
My go to is always a copper John or my favorite the Christmas tree fly for those mountain streams.
I couldn't tell you how many different species will hit a Christmas tree.

What kind of fly fishing are you trying to do?
I have a single hand 9' 5wt reddington crosswater that goes just about everywhere with me. Great rod that won't break the bank. Handles bluegill to steelhead no problem.

One thing with fly fishing is you need an array of different bugs,sizes and colors.
Sink tips, floating lines, to compensate for water conditions.
There is no better feeling hooking a fish on a fly, except swinging up a fish on a spoon of course.

If you can't get ahold of a fly rod take a handful of rooster tails or kastmasters.
You can never go wrong with those. Rainbow trout pattern with the gold blade is money.
Posted by: stonefish

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/24/19 03:07 PM

May be just a bit early, but in the summer beetles and ants are good choices.
Standard nymphs like hares ear will work as will streamers like Wooly Buggers.
Soft hackles would be another choice.
Under a bubble, chironomid pupa or balanced leeches will work. Kids will like watching the bubble dive when a fish hits.

As far as beginner outfits go, I'd look at Redington, Echo or TFO.
They all offer outfits that won't break the bank.

Have fun.
Posted by: wsu

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/24/19 03:30 PM

I see my fly fishing being trout in lakes and streams. I don't see myself steelhead fishing.

I'm looking at fishing the American, Bumping, Naches, and/or Little Naches during this particular trip. I also am hoping to hike into a lake that isn't too far of a hike.
Posted by: SpoonFed

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/24/19 03:52 PM

This should be plenty of info, I wish you luck.
I love that country out there. Solitude at its finest.
Let us know how it goes.
Posted by: SpoonFed

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/24/19 03:55 PM

Stonefish, you fish for sea runs much?
Posted by: stonefish

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/25/19 11:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Spoonfedhead
Stonefish, you fish for sea runs much?

Yes, mainly in the fall in the salt but have been catching some recently as well that are eating chum fry, sandlance and shrimp patterns.
Posted by: wsu

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/25/19 03:10 PM

I was looking at rods and rod/reel combos. Looks like for $200 I can get a reddington combo. Are those decent? Can I spend less and not regret it? Is a 5 wt what I'm looking for or should I go smaller if I'm only fishing for trout?
Posted by: stonefish

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/25/19 03:49 PM

Redington is owned by Far Bank Enterprises.
They are the holding company for Redington, Sage and Rio.
Redington is based on Bainbridge, so easy to deal with warranty service if needed.

Redington makes good equipment at a value price with most having a lifetime warranty except some of their very low end rods. Some of the lower end stuff only has a one year warranty.

Since your target is mainly trout, consider a 9' 5 wt as a good starter rod.
You could also build your own outfit. The Redington Classic Trout series are super nice rods for the money. By a cheap reel, which is all that is needed for trout and a decent line and you'd have a nice starter outfit.

There is tons of good used stuff out on the market as well.

Any of the starter outfit from Redington, Echo or TFO will fit the bill.

Posted by: SpoonFed

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/25/19 07:38 PM

I'm still kind of new to the salt fly fishing but have caught a couple nice cutties and even a few coho in the mix. I need to get out there soon.
Posted by: Capt Downriggin'

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/25/19 08:50 PM

Surprised no one mentioned mosquito patterns... They would be my first choice for mountain lakes in May. Followed by damsels.
Posted by: NickD90

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/25/19 08:52 PM

Casting bubbles pre-rigged with 6 - 8" heavy mono between two swivels. Bubbles filled 1/2 to 3/4 full with water. 4 - 6' 6 lb mono leader. If your flies are not weighted, add small split shot 1' above fly. Cast out as far as you can and let the bubble sit until splash rings disappear. Then reel as slowly as you can. If you have wake on the bubble, you are reeling much to fast. Don't set the hook on a strike, just reel down. It's already in their mouths and they are turning away by the time your bubble moves on a visual strike. Just reel down.

Flies behind your bubble: Wooly buggers size 8 - 12 2x long shank. Colors: black, brown, green & purple. Weighted if possible.

Wooly worms size 8 - 12 2x long shank. Colors: yellow, black and brown - all with red butts. Weighted if possible.

Flyrod: 9' 4x leaders. Adams size 12, Humpy Size 12, Elk Wing Caddis size 12, Renegade size 8 - 12, small foam beetles, spiders, ants and hoppers of various sizes. Maybe a handful of Chiros in the mix.

I can carry all of the gear I need for an entire weekend in a Crown Royal bag. You don't need a lot. Just the basics. Trout are dumb and hungry.
Posted by: NickD90

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/25/19 08:56 PM

Adams covers mosquitos. Green wooly buggers covers damsels. Black woolly buggers cover leeches. Humpy's cover beetles. Caddis covers moths. You don't need to match the hatch. You need to represent food. Mountain lakes are covered in ice about 9 months out of the year. They have about 3 months to feed and are not picky.
Posted by: Driftin'

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 04/28/19 11:56 AM

Have packed in to and flogged numerous alpine lakes. Just after the ice comes off the higher lakes, the local inhabitants are hungry for max calories. Accordingly, don't forget to offer some soft hackle bugs like dubbed flymphs, svelte chenille or peacock herl Carey Specials. Splat them down hard, let them soak for a short spell, then strip erratically so they wake just below the surface and hang on!

For youngsters, you can cast for them and let them strip the offerings back in or watch an indicator for chironomid/nymph takes. A savvy bug-rodder will easily have more success than a light spinning outfit. Just ask the guys that have crowded in on my fun.

For early eastside streams, most love will come from nymphs below an indicator drifted in seams/rock gardens with a slow rise at the end of a drift. Give Red's a call to discuss your bug options.

Check out Craigslist for rod and reel deals. A 3-piece, 9' 5 wt will cover most bases. There's a beautiful heirloom Winston for $375 and lots of cheaper options too....
Posted by: Salmo g.

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 05/01/19 03:17 PM

Small mountain lakes, of the alpine or high country variety, usually remain ice covered well beyond Memorial Day weekend. They might be hard to fish unless you pack along an ice auger.

As one who might have more fly rods than I can possibly use, I'll vouch for the Reddington Classic Trout as a real sleeper in new graphite fly rod values. They retail for $149 or more, but Cabela's has offered them on sale for the $89 I paid for my 3 and 5 wt rods. And don't overlook good quality used tackle on Ebay and Craigslist, often at cheap prices. Perfectly serviceable trout reels can be had for $35 or less, but they don't come with the bragging rights of modern name brand products. I would never visit a high lake without some olive and black wooley buggers in my fly box, and some small (sz 12) Hare's Ears and or pheasant tail nymphs.
Posted by: WDFW X 1 = 0

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 05/01/19 03:53 PM

Carey Specials???????

Chit Oh Dear.
I thought I was the only one that talked that talk.

That's some old school zing there my friend.
Posted by: OceanSun

Re: Flys for mountain lakes - 05/07/19 01:24 PM

Caught more lake trout on a carey special than any other fly.

Mountain lakes like a mosquito/adams and don't overlook a black gnat along with the afore mentioned nymphs and wooly buggers.