We decided to take a quick trip to East Lake last week, hoping to find some Brown and Rainbow Trout along the shore. It looked like the last time we’d be fly fishing East Lake in late fall for 2019. Fall is a great time of year to find hungry, opportunistic fish who are bulking up for winter.
It’s also the time of year that Kokanee move from deeper water to the shallows along the shore and spawn. According to the East Lake Resort website, Kokanee reproduction is minimal for these landlocked salmon as they need an inlet creek to supply oxygenated water to the eggs.
We target the deeper water just beyond where the Kokanee swim with our bugger and leech fly patterns and have been able to hook and land Brown and Rainbow Trout using this approach.
And you know me…I always have high expectations.
I had looked at the weather forecast and we were hoping to find non-freezing weather at the 6,400′ elevation lake. After all, a high of 70 degrees at home was welcome and the 10-day forecast showed the highs plummeting. We thought this window was our last chance. As I write this on Tuesday morning, it’s currently 19 degrees!
We arrived and drove to the east side only to find high winds and waves. A few Kokanee sporting their spawning orange bodies were located, but we decided to head back and fish the west side hoping for less wind.
In fact, we did find minimal wind for awhile. Our plan was to walk the shore and target fish we saw swimming the shallows.
I don’t know when it last snowed up there, but the shaded areas had a little remaining. That tells you it’s been cold.
We usually try to fish East Lake in the fall and have experienced good fishing. Here are links to a couple of previous posts:
- Fishing East Lake in the Fall (2016)
- Fall Fishing at East Lake (2017)
This year was similar to 2017 and we only landed one fish apiece. That is my 18″ Brown Trout pictured above. Here is a 16″ Rainbow Trout that dancingtrout landed.
She caught hers on the West side. After fishing and not catching, we returned to the East side and try our luck.
Well, the wind had picked up more and I struggled with double-haul casts on my 6 weight rod and only landed the one. Waves were crashing into me. I had waded to mid-thigh.
I gave up after a short time, happy to land my one beautiful Brown Trout.
Until next year…
Wading along a lee shore I personally would not do. The fish are just like those in the salt, often feeding in the surf line for drowned larva etc. I would cast along the shore and not try to reach out to the deeper water.
Just my experience