Ok, we just got back yesterday. With the incredibly wet and cold May and June that we have had, I have to warn people DON'T GO BACKPACKING ABOVE OLALLIE LAKE INTO THE JEFFERSON WILDERNESS AREA UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING!
The snow is still everywhere up there, even up to 10 feet in some of the deep drifts. You would never guess it if you are standing at Olallie Lake, but once you get up about a mile there's nothing but snow. Furthermore, we were the first ones to hike up there in a long time because there wasn't a footprint to be seen anywhere. Making it more treacherous is that there are a lot of seasonal creeks and ponds that are covered entirely by snow drifts, and you don't know that you are walking on top of them until the snow breaks below your feet and you have fallen through. They aren't deep enough to drown, just deep enough to soak your boots and pants.
Anyhow, after we passed the Timber Lake trail, we got off the beaten path, and trudged through hip-deep snow for several hours, horribly lost. It was nerve-wreaking, not knowing where we were. After about 3 hours of straight bushwacking and hiking through fields of snow, passing several unmarked lakes with no campsites, we finally connected with the Pacific Crest Trail, which we were never supposed to cross to begin with, which told us that we were about a mile off our route at this point. However, it also showed us where we were, and allowed us to finally get back on track.
On to the fishing--once we connected to the Pacific Crest Trail we followed it to the uppper trail that brought us all the way down to the Red Lakes Trail. This too was buried in show but we were able to follow the marks on the trees and lakes to our final destination, a little lake buried high in the Mt Jefferson wilderness, at about 5000 feet. I've heard that there is a substantial population of brookies in there, but they certainly weren't biting anything that I threw at them. Spinners, castmasters, power bait and eggs, and nightcrawlers, over about 5 hours of fishing from different parts of the lake caught nothing.
I think that part of the problem was the lack of insects (there were virtually none, which was nice for not getting eaten alive by mosquitos but not so great when you want hungry fish to feed). The lake's temperature was also very cold, and there was snow all around some parts. In fact, on the south end of the lake there were still icebergs floating around in the shaded spots. I imagine that in a few weeks when the snow is gone and the mosquitos are out, the fishing will be better. In the entire time we were there, I literally saw one fish jump. But I bet that once it warms up, that will be a great spot.
All in all, it was a fun time once we figured out where we were going again, even though the fishing was poor.