EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
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December 4, 2016
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NO LAUCHING IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2017 SEASON. NO ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2017. AWAITING A PRESS RELEASE FROM LNF. WE WANT IT IN WRITING. It will be long on promise and short on delivery as usual for LNF. CALL USFS 257-4188 FOR CAMPGROUND INFO.
You can help by donating via PayPal link on eaglelakeguardians.org! We are going on an ONLINE fundraising campaign and need all the help we can get!! YOU’RE SUPPORT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! TOTAL INPUT FOR PINE CREEK RESTORATION TO DATE IS $23,500!!! LETS SEE IF WE CAN DO THAT AGAIN!! I also believe that CDFW's 27% off the top of any donations to the state Fish and Wildlife is too much of the public's money for administrative costs. Perhaps that's why they are in bed with other nonprofits. Had Eagle Lake Guardians donated their $23,500 to CDFW the state would have taken $6345.00 for absolutely nothing.
FREEZE BRANDING IDENTIFICATION:
ALL FISH BEING PLANTED FROM THE HATCHERY ARE NOW FREEZE BRANDED WHEREAS 15-20% WERE IN THE PAST. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR IDENTIFICATION IF WE SEE ANY NATIVE TROUT IN THE COMING YEARS, THAT IS IF WE HAVE A LAKE LEFT. ANY FISH WITH A TRIMMED ADIPOSE FIN (THE RUBBERY ONE ON THE BACK BELOW THE DORSAL FIN) HAVE BEEN PROCESSED THROUGH THE EGG COLLECTION.
DOWNLOAD THIS 72 PAGE FILE. Finally! Eagle Lake Guardians assisted in financing some of the studies that went into this report AND the brook trout eradication this summer through Trout Unlimited!! HELP GUARDIANS CONTINUE TO HELP RESTORE PINE CREEK BY DONATING AT www.eaglelakeguardians.org
We will keep "motivating" those who signed off on this plan to insure it actually gets accomplished
EAGLE LAKE TROUT vs EAGLE LAKE
12-4-16: Surface temps low 40'sF. Fishing has remained slow from shore. A few rouges caught from shore off Wildcat the last couple of days but it's been pretty slow for shore fishermen in most all locations. Still getting a few up north off the Youth Camp and the south side of Pelican Pt still has a few but it's been tough fishing from shore. We are predicted to see some colder temps roll in this week. The chance for snow at 20-30% so we might see some short lived flurries but little to no accumulation....just cold and cloudy. The good news is that when we have a cloud cover, our low temps are a little higher. The clear nights are the cold ones! We do have ice on what is left in the north basins. It has not hit the Youth Camp yet, but we generally see that happen in early December if the temps get cold enough. If we go below zero, only the wind and wave action will keep the water open up north. Generally the south basin has enough wind and water movement to keep the shoreline open water, but anything can happen now.
Trollers are working for them as well. Mostly out over the deeper water and the fish being caught are still close to the surface. I have found fish as deep as 21 to 24ft this time of year so mix it up a little. Mostly only a matter of having some orange, brass or copper for lures. Red-dot brass lures also getting some attention. Sure Catch Red Dogs have also done ok. My buddy is doing well on brass/red dot Zrays. Mostly a faster troll has been getting the attention. For trolling flies: Perch pattern, rusty brown leech, tui chub minnow fly (arctic fox). All in all it's been a little sluggish bite for tubes and yaks. I still have a few good quality fish off the south side of pelican pt and slough point but can only access it by boat or a long walk in. Spotty action off Lake of the Woods ledges and a handful of fish off Shrimp Island. Mostly the trout on the west side have been out over deeper water this week. A few rouges in tight, but the numbers are out over the depths 20 to 45+ft of water the last few days. The trout are pretty scattered in the water column this week. Rusty brown has still be getting a few looks for flies, but it's been a month of throwing the tackle box at them to find a strike. Boats on the water are doing better than those from shore, but it has remained tough fishing for most everyone braving the elements. This is generally the best time of year for catching fish on Eagle Lake, but it's been a historically poor fishing season. In spite of a few larger fish 3 to 5 lbs, they aren't coming in in any big numbers nor every day. Out of 8 of my buddies fishing this week, only 1 fish was caught from shore the last few days. That's pretty much been how it's been fishing for the whole month of Nov. Now with only a few weeks left in the season we are hoping things turn around but so far it hasn't been worth the effort or worth braving the elements and cold temps. But, we are still out there giving it a shot here and there. Getting firewood cut for next year has been a more productive use of time while there isn't much snow on the ground.
The road to Eagle's Nest leaves a little to be desired, there are several eroded areas just getting to the turn off, after that the road is in good shape. Has a grade in so there is a grade to pull getting out...snowfall can make it tough so be prepared and carry chains just in case. The road to the Youth Camp and Biology Station has standing water in places but fairly firm below.
All in all, I would say that the old tried and true Eagle Lake tactics and normal Eagle Lake tackle are still what has been getting attention of a trout. We can still have a day that we are throwing the tackle box at them but sticking to the old tried and true Eagle Lake lures, grubs and flies should always be first. A little attractant is also recommended. ProCure trophy trout has still been working as an attractant and is still my number 1 go to attractant while garlic is my #2. If using minnow pattern softbaits & working the bait balls, Tui Chub flavor is my choice if I have it on hand.
SHORE FISHING: Week of onesies. Shore fishermen are putting some time in right now. Christie to Wildcat has been fishing tough. Pikes Pt has been up and down. Best bet has been The Springs to Eagle's Nest (even though there have been some smallies). The Youth Camp/Biology Station has produced a few the last few days and has remained open water. The shallows further north are starting to ice over although our low temps have only dropped to 12F. Try bottom fishing and inflating your worm or use floating powerbait or marshmallows to float it up 18 to 24 inches above the bottom. Reel in fast to relocate. Doing so will help keep your weight from hanging up on the bottom. Nightcrawlers and powerbait doing the job. Jig fishing has caught a few mostly on rust or burnt orange but wild turkey (dark grey) is also a favorite. Casting lures or small spinners can also do well.
FLY FISHING, FLOAT TUBING/KAYAKING: Brown or rusty leech, toe bitters (flat beetles), white or grey scuds, small beetles, water fleas and towbitter's. It's been a tough week for the fly fishing between Christie and Wildcat as well as other areas. We still have a few fish there, but only a few rouges in tight and shallow this week. One has had to cover a lot of water to find the fish. Even over the depths, the trout were mostly still 2-6ft deep, deepest one was around 12 ft deep. I generally strip slow, but this week seemed that a fast stripl did better at getting a reaction than slow and deliberate. I use a lot of small streamers, leeches, damsels, nymphs and wooly buggers in all different shades and colors. Some caddis, boatman, backswimmers and other nymphs. I catch and release as many fish as I normally want to using that method...at least my arm feels like a wet noodle after a few hours....good pain though. I don’t make any claims of being the best fly fisher person on the lake or memorize the latin names of all the hatching bugs besides the obvious caddis, mayfly, damsels, dragonflies and midges...and a short but seasonal carpenter ant hatch, mostly on the east side for the large ants. I do have fly specialists that I refer people to. For me, it has always been about small wet nymphs, creepy crawlers, leeches and beetles living in the rocks, gravel bars and weeds and catch as many as I want too. #10 and #12 hooks.
Staying warm is critical for tubers now that water temps are in the mid 40's. It's a matter of layers...the right layers. Note that neoprene socks work best over a thin layer (smartwool is a great product) next to your skin. Then two layers of heavy smartwool socks before waders. I will be adding another sock soon. Just be sure your boots aren't too tight. For body, you can't beat III or IV under armor for long johns and under fleece wading pants. This is my set up under breathable as well as neoprene waders. Note that breathable waders can't transpire perspiration as fast when the water temps are in the 40's so moisture can build up as much as in neoprene.
As long as you can pack your gear over 100 yards to the water you are good to go. If not, your only launching will be at the ramp. The handicap walkway at Christie is a disaster waiting to happen. If you aren’t disabled, you may be after you walk down. I stay off to the side and on the grass as there are way too many trip hazards on the walkway and I am already mobility impaired…I certainly don’t want a fall…tripping was bad enough, float tube caught me. As the lake levels drop, the old accesses get further away.
Float tubes, pontoons and kayaks have just as much right to launch at the low water ramps as any other boat. Unfortunately, the fishing isn't always real good for fly fishermen until later in Dec and avoiding the shore fishermen isn't easy...I always try to give them a wide berth, and fish are generally fairly close to shore. I avoid combat fishing, especially on weekends. Other boaters may not like yaks and toons launching, but there is nothing they can do about it, just be ready. (If we don't get any water for next season, boats won't be launching long so kayaks, tubes and toons may be it after a while) Just have everything ready to go to unload. There is room to offload and allow others to launch if you get off to the south side of the turnaround, unless a 40ft motorhome is trying to launch a boat. I generally do all my tube and kayak launching off Christie when I can’t get into the south side of Wildcat which was still a walk of around 250ft walking steps from the legal parking area to the water’s edge & it’s more than one trip back and forth to get my gear down so I allow myself plenty of time. I prefer Wildcat as then I have a choice of which direction I can go which often depends on which way the wind is predicted to come up but it also depends on what condition the road in is in. However, it is illegal to drive a vehicle to the edge of the water to launch. It may cost you a few hundred dollars & you won't see any law enforcement. It’s much easier to drift back to where I launched than it is to buck the wind and waves to get back. These things are overlooked by the agencies and can become a safety issue if one doesn’t have the strength or equipment to get back towards the parking area. We often see people drive right to the water, just know that is illegal & you could be cited...and when they need a quota filled, that's the first place they will start. The ramp area is protected by all but north and west winds.
Content of this website is copyright protected by Valerie Aubrey. Any reuse of the content must simply be authorized by asking. Unauthorized use or lack of crediting content will be considered for legal action. Opinions on this site are not necessarily the opinions of our sponsors or people we work with. Our opinions are based on over 50 years of fishing Eagle Lake and nearly 30 years of living here full time. Through the El Nino's and several droughts. We have been there and done that. But the Lake is now historically low and changing before our eyes. And, not changing for the best.