Updated: May 22
It was late October in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather was still mild so I figured now was the time to catch a beautiful brook trout in its fall colors. I did some research and found that some of the high mountain Cascade lakes in Washington State have a a small brook trout population, so I decided to give it a try.
I made the drive up into the Cascades and arrived at a remote lake with a small boat ramp. As I pulled into the parking lot there was only one other truck there with a trailer. I go out of my truck, and walked down to the ramp to get a lay of the land. I scanned the lake and assessed that it should be fairly easy to wade the bank, I also I saw a drift boat fishing not very far away, and figured this had to be the one belonging to the truck in the parking lot.
I went back to my truck, put on my compass 360 waders and headed back down to the lake. When I got there, I noticed that the drift boat was much closer now, so I shouted out to them to ask how the fishing was. They said that they had caught a few, then I asked if they minded if I headed left, up the bank, and the answer I got back startled me. Expecting to hear, “Sure no problem.” I instead heard……”BILL?” I squinted my eyes and looked closely at the angler in the back of the drift boat and slowly said….”BG?” To my amazement he responded ‘YES!” “What are you dong here?” As it turns out the only other guys on the lake were none other that BG and Jimmy, two of my great friends from inside the fishing industry.
We laughed for a minute, and I told them I was gonna head down the bank, and they said that they would meet me there after they were done fishing the hole. I worked down the bank without much success, but every time I looked towards BG and Jimmy at least one of them was fighting a fish.
Soon enough BG maneuvered his drift boat over to me and we had a good laugh. Jimmy was kind enough to give me an Arturo Fuente cigar, and BG offered me a sip of some of the finest gin I have ever tasted. Absolutely amazing to find this type of hospitality in the middle of nowhere! To make things even better, they set me up with one of their secret flies, and showed me how to fish it under an indicator.
Turns out that BG and Jimmy had been having a great day. They caught one big Brown and many costal cutthroats. After a great time catching up, they had to get going, so I thanked them again and headed a little further down the bank.
It was not easy casting the indicator with my 7’ Eagle Claw Feather Light Fly Rod, a longer graphite rod would have been much easier to cast. After some trial and error, I was able to make it work and was soon able to cast far enough to get the fly where I
wanted it. Once I had my cast figured out it did not take long for the action to start. I made a cast to the deep edge of a weed line and I watched as my indicator shot straight down, I lifted my rod and I set the hook on a heathy 13” coastal cutthroat trout. Even though it was not the brook trout I was looking for, I could not have been happier with catching a beautiful costal cutthroat - it made my day complete.
I spent the next couple of hours working back to the launch and caught 5 more cutthroats and lost just as many. It was such a glorious fall day in the Pacific NW, made even better by seeing friends on the water and catching some beautiful fish. Fishing is
always an adventure, and this is one I will never forget!