Brookie advice

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n8r1

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Hi all--looking for a little advice for this weekend. Some friends and I are hiking into the high lakes area of Mt Jefferson and our final destination is a remote lake about 7 miles in from the trailhead. I've checked the write up and it says that there are brook trout in there, mostly ranging from 8-10 inches with the occasional fish in the 12-14 range.

Does anybody have advice on how to catch these? I guess that the lake was stocked decades ago and the fish have managed to keep reproducing in there. I'm sure you can keep them but we are C&R this time.

I know the obvious answer is to fly fish, but I don't have a fly rod, only a spinning setup. Since we are hiking in, I'll have to pack light. So what do you think will work? Nightcrawlers? Lures? Eggs? Crawfish? Something else?

Hope to have a report Monday if things go well.

Thanks!
 
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eggs

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a single egg or a tiny chunk of worm works best for me up there on brookies.. I have also had luck pulling bugs(hopers/beetles/etc) of the grass around the lake and putting them on the hook and tossing it out.. use small hooks and 2-4lb line/leader...
 
troutdude

troutdude

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You can still Fly fish, with spinning gear.

Attach a "torpedo" shaped bobber to your main line. (one end is narrower than the other). Then add 3 - 4' of leader. Tie on your favorite fly. Lastly, crimp on a small "bb" size split-shot onto your leader. You want that small shot on just more than half way from your bobber to the hook. The shot helps to prevent backlash as you cast; and therefore less spider nests to untangle.

Voila! You have a fly set up w/ your spin gear. FISH ON!

P.S. I have caught hundreds of trout (no joke), using this method in my float tube and slowly trolling a woolly bugger. But, I've caught fish from the bank too--using the same terminal rig.
 
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eggs

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too bad they dont make mini sliding bobbers where you could set the stopper at like 8' to get down to the fish more with the nymph
 
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kornphlake

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I've always done well using night crawlers when fishing for brook trout, a small piece on a #12 hook usually does the trick in streams, just drop the hook in the water anywhere the current is slow and as the hook sinks fish will come out of every hiding space imaginable, it's a lot of fun watching the fish take the hook and then pluck them out of the water. All I've ever caught in streams are 5-6" fish, but they're the most fun to C&R in my opinion. If you're fishing streams be sure to bend the barb on the hook back, all the fish will be too small to keep and you'll be able to pull them out of the water before they'd shake off anyway.

In high mountain lakes I've done well with spinners, black with a gold or silver spinner seems to be the best, but I've caught fish with other colors as well. People swear kastmasters work but I've never caught a fish on one personally. I do like the way they swim in the water though and they're easy to cast so I always try them anyway.
 
troutdude

troutdude

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too bad they dont make mini sliding bobbers where you could set the stopper at like 8' to get down to the fish more with the nymph

You might find the size you want here:

I use their slip bobbers for trout in lakes and ponds, and have been VERY effective.
 
troutdude

troutdude

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People swear kastmasters work but I've never caught a fish on one personally. I do like the way they swim in the water though and they're easy to cast so I always try them anyway.

I have caught tons of trout w/ Kastmasters. Give 'em a try.

Also try removing the hook, and adding one foot of leader. Then tie a hook onto the other end of the leader. Thread on a worm and WAM!
 
F

fishbait

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+1 on the kastmaster.

I was fishing up at burnt lake near mt hood last weekend. I was using a kastmaster and hooked two brookies on my first two casts.
 
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beaverfan

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Ya a Kastmaster should work good up there, I would also try a small dark spinner. If you can find the small black rooster tail with yellow spots you should be good to go.
 
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tnffishman

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Marion on Jefferson??? I went up there a few years and caught a handful of brookies on powerbait and flies, as well as a monster rainbow on a rooster tail GOOD LUCK!!!
 
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halibuthitman

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spool up with 2-3 lb line, go buy a couple mepps algia spinners size zero or the smallest they have.. in red and white, also get the same size panther martin yellow body with black or copper blade... tie strait to the spinner with no swivel.. and bam! your a pro! all of the above mentioned bait styles will result in deep hooked fish and deep hooked fish are dead fish. sounds like a very fun trip!
 
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halibuthitman

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too bad they dont make mini sliding bobbers where you could set the stopper at like 8' to get down to the fish more with the nymph
they do, you can buy them at most fly shoppes.
 
N

n8r1

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I want to say thanks to all! Leaving bright and early tomorrow morning, returning Sunday evening. Will let you guys know how we do on Monday.
 
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n8r1

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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.
 
troutdude

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Wow. Sure am glad that you guys found the PC Trail! I was lost once about age 18, for about a 1/2 hour. So, I know--it is NOT a good feeling. It is difficult to stay calm & composed. It also taught me to always have a compass, a good topo map, emergency shelter, extra food and water, etc.

Too bad you didn't catch any fish for all of your efforts.
 
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n8r1

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I forgot to mention that we were well prepared, with everything you mentioned: GPS unit, topo map, shelter, plenty of food, ect. The only problem was our GPS unit which told us where we were and also acted as a compass, for some reason lost it's coordinates and completely stopped working. So never trust technology! I'm buying myself a good old fashioned compass before my next hiking trip.
 
troutdude

troutdude

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You certainly did your best, to be fully prepared. Good for you! It's the folks that think "ahhh...nothing will happen"; that get into serious trouble.

I learned something VERY valuable, while watching the Will Smith alien movie "Independance Day". Do you remember what technology they used, to save the planet from complete destruction?

Answer: "Old School" Morse Code! They had no other way to communicate.

So, taking an "old school" compass w/ you next time out--is a wise choice.

Again, I'm really glad that you aren't still out in the snow (and you were well prepared for the worst case scenario). You guys are here today, because you planned ahead!
 
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kornphlake

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Backcountry hiking above 5000' can be quite an adventure around here, at least until mid July or August. I've had 2 similar experiences where unexpected snow really slowed me down. Fortunately both times I had a good landmark before heading into the snow and I only had to imagine a trail under the snow for about 1 mile. I'm perhaps a little OCD about topo maps, I study them for days before heading out to make sure I know where I'm going and I'll stop at every trail junction or physical feature to check that I'm headed in the right direction. Last time I made a blind scramble through snow made me consider buying a hand held GPS as an aid, I still haven't bought one though, my old map and compass method might be a bit better.

Last time I hiked to a lake covered in ice I was disappointed, but when I returned a few weeks later I did pretty good catching fish. I think the fish somehow know how much effort you've put into getting there, they'll take pity on you next time.
 
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GDBrown

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Tools for the Back country

Tools for the Back country

While I'm not likely to do that intense of backpacking to fish anymore, I never venture out without my Old Tools and the new one with fresh batteries. I leave the GPS OFF until I can't figure it out with the Old Tools.
The old tools work great in daylight but it is hard to determine position from landmarks that are obscured by clouds or darkness of night. I used to travel the back roads at night using a compass and Oregon Recreation book of maps! It is amazing what you see on back roads in the middle of the night.

GD
 
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n8r1

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A Few Pictures

A Few Pictures

Here are a few pictures (no fish, sorry) of the trip:

Mt Jefferson above Olallie Lake

My dog packing through the snow

The snow did serve a purpose, it kept the beer cold! :D
 
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