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KJC

Fly Patterns for May Lake Trout?

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KJC

Hey all,

I'll be heading up to the BWCA May 18 to fish for Lake Trout and maybe some Rainbows. I plan to bring some wooly buggers, streamers, and clouser minnows, etc for strip retrieving.

But I'm hoping to get some insight into what "fly" (versus leech/bait fish) patterns I could use. What may be hatching this time of year? In particular, what dry fly patterns could I use.

I was in the same area last year and we caught trout in 5-15 ft of water on spoons/spinners mostly. However, I noticed trout hitting the surface in the mornings and evenings, but wasn't contemplating getting into fly fishing at the time and don't know what they were chomping on. I'll pay more attention this year, but would hope to have some patterns along this year that generally work or specific patterns that should produce in mid-May.

Thanks for any insight/discussion.

Karl

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macgruber

i don't know latin or proper names for the bugs, but i know we've run into some monster hatches of large brown mayflies that time of year up there...... big enough that i tied up a whole batch of nymphs and dries in case we find 'em again...... these mayflies were at least size twelve, perhaps ten...... so some emergers and nymphs that size along with some dries should do the trick...... you might also pick up some walleye or bass with 'em....... (prolly no wallys on the dry, but i've had pods of smallmouth working the surface before.....) they'll both eat nymphs on occasion.....

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Quickstrike

there was a pretty good discussion on this a month ago or so, do a search or look back a few pages and you'll find some good info.

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KJC

Quickstrike,

I searched back a year for "Lake Trout" in the fly fishing forum and only stumbled across this appropriate, but short thread . Any help in finding the thread your talking about would be great.

I tried looking before I posted too.

Karl

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thistlekicker

Hey that was me!

We were on a good-sized lake trout lake (BWCA) in mid May of last year.

Someone mentioned big brown mayflies. I definitely saw these, but only near shore and on the protected sides of points/islands. There were also some prolific midge hatches in these same areas. Both the mayflies & midges were in the size 10-14 range, so pretty good sized bugs.

We had a fair amount of wind, and maybe things would be different under calm conditions, but I didn't see a single fish rising. We got our lakers on Cleos and Raps trolled shallow.

sorry I can't help more but I've never caught a laker on the fly. I still think that stripping streamers should work, at least early in the season. I may bring an intermediate line next time.

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Quickstrike

I'm leaving for quetico for a laker trip on the fly in a couple days and am bringing a floating, intermediate, and full sink line. I will be using an assortment of strip leeches, decievers, clousers, and a bunch of flashy salt water patterns. Also bring some weighted wooly buggers, and maybe even some smaller soft hackle wet flies and possibly some nymphs. A lot of BWCA lakers are bug eaters so going small isn't a dumb idea sometimes. White seems to be the go to color, but i will be prepared with a bunch of blues, reds, oranges, and natural colors as well. I'll let everyone know what worked best when i get back.

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macgruber

i'd go with lots of silver flash...... though i haven't hit 'em real shallow, we've nailed 'em in 30-15 ft. of water, and the all time best lure i've used is a simple sutton spoon (basically a thin silver spoon- real "old timey")..... also little cleo's, raps, and rooster tails are good...... and all these had silver in 'em...... so tie up some decent sized clousers with lots of silver krystal flash in 'em and let us know how it goes.....

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Quickstrike

Well i just got back from quetico and we didn't do nearly as well as expected. Overall we got 2 lakers around 5 to 6 lbs. What kept us busy were all the monster smallies and pike. The trout did come on a blue surf candy fly and a blue deciever. We fished with floating line, intermediate, sink tip, and full sink. The wind was whipping the whole time we were there which prevented us from fishing the areas we wanted to. Oh well, still 9 months of open water left this season, it just felt good to be out again.

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KJC

Well, I was headed to a Lake trout only lake (with some Rainbows nearby), but with all the gunflint entry sites to the BWCA closing, my plans got changed for me. So maybe I be broadening my fishing a little. I'm now heading in on Moose lake and heading up towards Ensign and points beyond.

If things don't change I'll be up there next Thursday. I'm bringing my fly rod and will report back. I've found some Lakers, rainbows, and brookies along the way... not to mention walleyes, bass, and pike.

Karl

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KJC

Well, I've now christened my 8-wt fly rod. After using my spinning rod on the way catching some pike and a couple of walleyes, we traveled to a brook trout lake and I managed to catch a pair of brookies in the 16-18 inch range on a brown and white Clouser minnow. It was quite windy and the fish were hanging near the bottom. It turned out that some twitchy jigging while drifting across the lake was the ticket.

After that I used the fly rod to land a 3-4lb smallmouth and even pulled a nice 14 inch walleye up from 15 ft of water.

On the way out, there were some larger Suckers spawning between Newfound Lake and Splash in the rapids. I tried to hook into one of those with a littly nymph, but only managed to foul hook one. With a travel day of complete rain the rest of the group was impatient, so homeward bound we went without more fishing. I can see that the fly rod will be a fun and useful addition to my fishing trips.

On this trip the wind prevented a lot of casting, but I drift fished the fly rod with a fast sink tip line to get my lures down- as a novice I'd say it worked good. There were some mayflies about and a huge cloud of midges over our campsite on Vera on Friday before the weather turned cold and windy. The hum was audible from 50 yds away and we couldn't not hear them at camp. Also, saw black flies taking off from the water, so had it been a little less windy dry flies would have been fun.

Karl

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macgruber

nice work...... i've only landed a handful of walleyes on the flyrod..... some good yucks when you can find some active ones...... still don't have my lake trout yet.....

i'm heading up there in about an hour..... near sawbill...... we're also hitting a brookie lake and perhaps some lakers and definitely bass, walleyes, and pike...... report to follow on tues......

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