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The fishin' thread (NWexplorers)

OOps, I was clearing my camera's memory when I realized that I had never posted my last few trip reports. I suppose since this is the fishin' thread I will try to edit out part of my journies.

Drift back to the last week in June, and Albino and I were to be found with his son, up on the side of Kelcema Lake. We hiked the short little trail on Friday evening and spent that night at the lake. Sadly the bugs were thick and nearly unbearable. The only partially safe zones were on the rock fields on the other side of the lake, or up on the top of mushroom rock (the breeze helps).


I wet my line a bit on Friday Evening to no avail. Getting up with the sun on Saturday. I fished my way around a good part of the lake while Albino and Travis worked another part of shore. The bugs finally provided the incentive to pull out around the noon hour without any fish or even a bite. I could however sit and watch the 1" to 4" crowd swimming around and slurping up bugs.

As Albino and his son headed for the comforts of home, I got an inkling tha I was not going home without a catch. I headed up the short (1.9 mi.) but BRUTAL trail to Pinnacle lake. There was still a couple heavy snowfields on the side hills making it a bit tricky to get all around the lake.


I love this little lake, and never walk away empty handed. However there is a first to everything, and I caught not a thing. Though I fished untill dark and hiked out via flashlight. Again the bugs were thick, and the fish hated me. They were rising all over the lake, but oh well most were in that same 1" to 4" range. Maybe I just need to give 'em a month to grow up a little.

The fourth of july weekend was a rather quiet one for me, but I did manage to make it up to one of my mountain lakes. I only got to spend about an hour fishing Coal lake, but was graced with a five inch brookie, shortly followed by a 7-8" brookie. The lake was hoppin with rises, but time was limited, so I let the buggers go eat more bugs and headed home. I did not take my camera, but then again all I did take was a bottle of water and a fishing pole. Talk about a last minute excursion.

We are leaving today on a 6 day trip, so I should have a lot of reports on lakes that are new to me next weekend.

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Well now, I come to give a report on a few new lakes but I wonder. Should I bother? There are no good fish tails in this post for I seem unable to find where it is they are hiding from me at the presesnt time.

5 days we spent in a row up there in them hills around Silverton. 9 mountain lakes we visited and nearly 30 miles of trails yet for all of it I never even got a bite.

Sunday found us setting up camp and then going down to the Big Four Ice Caves. I have always been curious of this area, but the ice caves were truly not what I was expecting. In Idaho I know of 2 seperate cave systems that are considered ice vaves. One is a true cave of rock, but there is a large river and waterfalls, a small lake inside and it is very very deep. But it is cold and all that previously mentioned water is solid, crystal clear ice. I have no idea how far the cave goes, but we stopped at the third waterfall for it was just to big to climb back up with limited ice gear. The other is on the Idaho side of the Tetons and they are caves in the base of a half mile thick glacier.
Big Four was merely the seasonal snow pile at the base from all the spring avalanches. There were three holes in this ice pile 2 big enough to enter crouching. Of course to enter what is basicly a opening crack in the snow field
would be foolish indeed. How Lame. Maybe I've just wandered past too many glaciers to be impresed by something we would have built next to our house to play in back in idaho. Any way my point in posting this here is to mention that htere is a lot of trout activity in the knee deep section of the Stilly river that runs by here.

We then ran up to Coal Lake and had a go. Neither Shiloh or I got a bite in the three hours, though they were occasionally jumping. Me I got frustrated and bushwacked clear around the lake searching for the right hole. With no luck I headed up the next little canyon to a completely bug infested mess called Pass lake. I do not know if there was fish I was to busy slapping mosquitoes and darting back down to Coal Lake.

Monday found us on the trail up to the Cutthroat lakes. We were the first people in and likely to be the only that day at this remote trail head. At the head there was a very different sign from the ones we usually see. It warned us that we were in a active bear area and that we should pass through quickly. It went on to give very in depth information compared to all the other FS Bear signs. Odd. But the truth I needed was only a few feet up the trail where there lay a very large paw print in the mud beside a stream. It was quite obvious that this truly was a active bear area. The true motivation to turn back was that there was not a single leaf or pine needle in that track. Don't know how much you know of wood lore, but that was one very recent print. There were easily a half dozen needles in there by the time we walked on.

Hmm that journey ruined, we wandered in a mile to Independence Lake who's gorgeous turqouise waters proved to be quite enchanting. Sadly we got to the lake and could see the fish jumping all around. I was excited and dropped my pack to discover........My rod was still in the damn truck. We relaxed and made dinner while we admired the lake and charted a course over the ridge above to North Lake.

Tuesday we woke a bit late and headed right back up to Independence Lake. The sun was just starting to burn off the morning clouds so we did not even stop. The climb up the ridge to drop into North Lake was one of the most brutal and steep miles I have walked this season. Though the view from 4900 feet is rather awe inspiring. We were exhausted and did not drop down to North Lake at the same elevation as the lake we had originally climbed from. instead we dropped into Independence and fished for a few hours. I lied earlier, for I did get a couplke bites on brass and red kastmaster, but no hook ups. We left and went skinny dipping in a COLD!!!! mountain stream up the way then called it a night and went back to camp.

Wednesday found us on the Ashland Lakes trail. We flew in passing everyone ahead of us and didn't pause till we were 4.5 miles in at the beautiful little Moody Twin Falls Lake, we spent several hopurs here, fishing and enjoying the shaded mosquito free lake. No Fish, but I really don't think there is any in there any way.

We left Twin Falls Lake and scooted back up to the lower Ashland Lakes and fished around the shore with no luck.

Ate Lunch and headed to Upper Ashland Lake Now I worked this lake with every lure in the box and from every exposed piece of shore. Nothing! Here's a inlet area pic of it for ya.

Beaver Plant Lkae on the way out is not worth mentioning

Thursday was our last day and we needed to be home by five. To Me that meant get up at 5 a.m make breakfast and go fishing. We hit Kelcema Lake as the mist was just starting to lift off the lake. One thing that really concerned me was the fact that the whole way in I had been seeing fair sized cat tracks. Doubtfully big enough for Mountain Lion, but large enough for thoughts about our smaller wild cats. We fished the lake all morning with no luck. I managed to fight and claw my way through the blue and raspberry bushes to thoroughly fish the whole shore. Somewhere while crossing the inlet I jumped something big that ran like hell through the bushes, but I never saw it. Meanwhile my G/F is starting in from the oposite side. I can see her from the rocks , and am surprised to see her run out of the trees and across the outlet log jam without a pause. Seems as she was walking back into those bushes something started growling very loudly. Me thinks she probably found a lone bobcat or lynx judging by the tracks I found as I stomped through the very patch of bush 20 minutes later. The previous campers had left a lot of food waste just lying around, and I am sure they just attracted a few scavengers.
Any way, enough chatter.

And to you All I want to catch a fish, where should I try next?

Where blue creek meets the cowlitz river, Steelhead.
And I know it is only the middle of summer but fall run starts 1 1/2-2 months I am already getting ready, if you guys wants to try for salmon down here let me know and I can take you to where I rip lips. I have a few extra poles and etc if you don't have the gear for larger fish.

I would like to go but I have never fished fresh water.

Lip Rippin, yeah!


I'm in. just say when.

When the bite is on, I head to the river every night after work which is from 2:30-4:30 depending on if we are working overtime or not, and Saturdays you have to get there early to get a good spot or go towards evening hoping there will not be to many people.
This is for the north fork toutle and green river(cowlitz county) by the spirit lake hwy that heads to Mt.St. Helens
About when that run stops, the run on the Cowlitz river starts and then a popular place to be is the barrier dam and often you can fish at night, which is done by feel, also about this time there is a run on the satsop, which last year when I went was incrediable.
But as with all fishing sometimes they are not there,the main thing with the salmon runs is the weather, if the rivers are too low they will wait before coming upstream, it normallytakes 2-3 days of rain to get them moving up,and then they all come sometimes.
So when the time comes we will have to work out a time and we can meeting up, if the timing is bad maybe I will take a day off in the middle of the week?

JR I am very interested in catching something considerably larger than a rainbow!!! Well I suppose a steelhead is basicly a sea ran rainbow, but still. Keep us posted as the season grows closer.

Alrighty then. I was getting sick of not catching fish in Snohomish county, so I decided I was spending this weekend in Whatcom county. No one chose to join me, so I stayed at a walk-in site at Larrabee State Park. What a zoo of city folk. It was kinda fun to sit on the ridge above them at night and watch the goings on of a 100 paranoid people. Lancing the darkness with their lights at the slightest sound in the bush. I wonder How many would have been pleased to know I had ben sitting in the dark watching the raccoons stalk there garbage bags and foods left out. Extremely amusing stuff I assure you :rolleyes:

Anyway, I headed up here to fish knowing that their are always fish at pine lake. Truly I ended up spending more time on the beach catching other kinds fish and stuff in the tide pools. but it is hard to get a good string of fish when it is so hot by noon. I hit all the lakes early and the beach in the evening till sunset. Nice!!! Here's a fish from the beach for ya.


Day 1 found me trotting up the steep trail to Pine Lake by flashlight. The sun never really lit the sky up till I had arrived at the mist covered lake. The time was about 6:20 so I got some coffee perking while my gear and I got ready for the fish. The lake was placid and still as an amber mirror. It could almost make me forget that the dept. of fish and wildlife takes special care of these lakes. The morning was crisp and beautiful. On the third cast I felt a tremendous weight hit my line, and ended up reeling in a 10 foot sapling on 6 pound test. The hole now cleaned out I started working the water with everything in my box to no avail. Finally I tried my least likely pick for a lure and nailed a fair hybrid on the first cast. About 20 minutes later a pretty mid- size rainbow came out to visit for a picture. I took a smoke break and decided to wander to a shadier part of the shore, as it was nearing on 10, and the sun was getting warm. I fished a bit on different lures in different holes with no luck till about 11:30. Finally I wised up and went back to the old reliable. Second cast and the largest hybrid of the day came up for a visit. By now it was getting hot, so I had lunch and headed for the beach a couple thousand feet below. Here's the fish from pine.




Day 2 found me once again heading up the trail with the reliable mini-mag.
Today my destination was Fragrance Lake, right above Larrabe State Park. It was a smooth couple miles in, and a beautiful if over used lake.


I really didn't fish that hard, as I was busy exploring the area. But after a lake loop And breakfast the fish started rising. Me, how could I resist so I grabbed the good ol' lure from yesterday and caught me a pretty little rainbow. I only manged a couple more bites without a landing when suddenly, I was snagged. I waded out and drug a large tree out that I though I was snagged on. But, as it was snagged elsewhere, I lost my lure. Again I hit the trail at noon when the sun got warm. Sadly the only lure they liked all weekend had to be sacrificed to the spirit of the Chuckanut's.


Have you ever wondered what the bottom of a popular lake would look like if it were drained. Think of all the lead and rusting steel in those waters. Gross ehh. Is there such a thing as acceptable litter.

Wait why the hell am I wondering. After all I have no intentions of quitting the process. Take care everyone

Well I suppose I should avoid telling you of this last weekends play time. So I'll keep it simple. I have avoided Mt. Ranier like the plague due to 2 million visitors a year. While the mountain and the terrain is magnificent it is definately over used. Luckily most visitors don't travel off trail so we did find a bit of solitude. There are several beautiful lakes I should have tried, but it was more of a weekend drive with a couple hikes than a fishing trip.

What intrigued me more was that on the drive down we went in the southwest entrance by Elbe. Along the route I became very nostalgic for the mountain plains of Idaho. Some of those creeks and streams run deep and look like really good pocket water for brookies.

Any one know a good place to take my daughter and her grandpa where they can easily catch a couple fish. My problem is I always hike in, and my dad really shouldn't try to follow me, if he truly wanted to. To many knee surgeries for granite piles.

Anyway I'll leave you for a time with a picture of the south face (well mostly south from down on the river)


Good night all

The first of the Chinook salmon could start showing up as soon as two weeks from now, are you available in the afternoons or week ends your time to fish.
About the beginning of September if the rains come is when it get hot, tonight after dropping off my manifold, I am going to go buy this seasons fishing gear.

jrgaylor said:
The first of the Chinook salmon could start showing up as soon as two weeks from now, tonight after dropping off my manifold, I am going to go buy this seasons fishing gear.

Post a list of what you're buying so we can clean out the stores and no-one else can get the good stuff!

they are running in my neck of the sound I just caught a 5lbs. salmon by the narrows bridge and a 2 1/2lbs right in front of my house at wollechet bay. From what i heard the really big ones should be rolling soon.

This is getting to be a long thread, I am starting a new thread PNW Salmon see you there :burnout:

mmm Salmon

None for me though I supose, cause I spend to much time up where they can't seem to go.

There have been a coule trips up since I last logged in to this web site, but that was then.

The real reason I enter a new post was to clear up the bad name I have given Lake 22 in some of my previous posts.
Saturday the 14th I left at 5 a.m. for the lake. After a beautiful day on the lake I headed down at noon.
The days catch ? 8 rainbow varying in size from about 6" to my lunker, measured from my wrist to the top of my bicept( I was so excited :rolleyes: ). I also caught one fish I had never gotten before. It was later Identified as a Kokanee.
Fun times!!!! And there was a bonus. I was so sweat drenched when I got to the lake that I peeled my shirt off and never put it back on. Not one single mosquito or biting fly touched me. What bliss.

Now to go visist JR's Salmon thread

No pictures?

:thumbdwn: I don't believe a word unless I see the pictures! :o

That's all right, you don't need to believe me, for I get the joy of my memories. That is the biggest rainbow I have ever caught in this state. It was exciting enough that if I had the camera it probably would have been released to the lake rather than the fish.

P.S. If ya realy need pics you should come and take some :) I haven't been on here lately much due to the dying computer, but I'll try to check back with you. we should hike in to pine lake for a evening or two. It is not the best lake around for shore access, but ya always catch a few. Unfortunately Lake 22 is no camping. But as fall approaches and the weather cools the mountain trout tend to bite much more readily. What I really need is someone willing to make the trek into the Foss Lakes with me for a weekend. It's only about 3.5 mile to the beginning of a basin of many fishy lakes, however it is a strenous last couple.

I lost an hours worth of typing when my daughter decided to close the window to use paint :fire:

What you get for an update then is just a brief overview of my fishing since the last post. I really don't want to type all the details again.

8-21-04--Independence Lake-- Caught five rainbow all around 6" and got to watch a massive rockslide

9-2--Kelcema Lake-- Fished for 4 hours no luck

9-4-- Independence Lake again-- 1 Rainbow about 5"

9-6-- Canyon Lake-- 2 brookies 4-5" range

9-27--Trout Lake-- No Luck though they were swimming around everywhere. I probably spotted 2 to 3 dozen

10-3-- Evans Lake(the skykomish one) -- No luck though again we spotted several

10-10 Pinnacle Lake-- 5 rainbow largest at 8" and one red finned Brookie.
I got to watch dozens of these red finned and bellied brookies crowd into the inlets as they spawn.

Sorry no fishing pics as the CPU was down during this time, so I didn't take any having nowhere to upload them too.

11-25 Heather Lake-- still no snow but no fish either

I got cold at the lake so I decided to drive around a bit. I love late fall and early spring for all of the secondary forest roads and fire roads get washed out, or aquire big sections of gooey mud being washed down from above.
It makes for a good time and gives the truck some exercise. Mind you this is no serious wheeling experience merely entertaining for me.

Going up to a favorite meditation spot

The glamour shot at the end of the road

Coming down

It is odd how you can go for a drive and encounter several sections of road that are a bit hairy and a few down right intimidating, yet when you review the trip phots they reflect little to none of this. I guess when your alone and the going gets rough you drive and forget the photos. All I know is I have to somehow dry out my carpet after discovering the puddle was a lot deeper than it looked(more like a lake), and I have a pretty good mess to clean up on the outside.

8 months till the fall run waaho

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Want to borrow my snowshoes? Oh wait there's NO SNOW :fire:

What is holdong you back? the weather out there now, is just like a normal June :D