When fishing for lake trout, you have to know the details for better fishing results.
Brook trout, Rainbows and Cutthroats thrive in cold water lakes where there is a satisfactory amount of dissolved oxygen in the water (above 3 parts of oxygen per million of water) and where the food supply is good.
Fishing for lake trout in the East this usually means small lakes and ponds. In the West, most of this type of fishing is in mountain lakes, or in Northern waters like the British Columbia and Pend d’Orielle, Idaho, lakes.
Fishing for trout in pond or lake is much like fishing the still waters and deep, slow-moving pools of a stream. When the trout are near the surface, they’ll take flies or surface lures.
If they are down deep, you have to use some deep fishing method to get them.
The main thing that determines at what depth the trout will be is the water temperature. Barometric pressure has some effect on this, but the thermometer really tells the story. So bring a thermometer when you want to go fishing for lake trout.
Fishing for lake trout tactics
To get back to fishing for lake trout of normal size, if you find them on the shorelines of the pond or lake you are fishing, which you are likely to do in water from 55° to 60° and occasionally up to 65°, then either a dry fly or a wet fly, cast to the shoreline, will give you great sport. The lake trout may be cruising; if not, you’ll find them near under-water logs, rocks, rock ledges or brush cover. Under low, overhanging branches or foliage of any kind is also a good place for shoreline trout. Clear water spaces between weed beds are good spots, too.
Any brooks that flow into the pond or lake are favorite feeding grounds, especially just over and beyond the sand or gravel bar commonly found where the flow of water from the stream spreads out into the lake. Small trout-size bass bugs and popper bugs will usually do very well on shoreline trout.
For fishing at lake trouts, the shore lines, a canoe or boat is much more usable than a raft. If the water is clear and there’s no breeze, you’ll need a long leader, 10 ft. to 18 ft., tapered to 2X or 4X, depending on the size of trout expected and how scary they are.
For this work bucktails and streamer flies, as well as nymphs, are good. Fly sizes for different conditions vary all the way from No. 8 clear to No. 16. Fish the bucktails, streamers and fancy type wet flies by the action retrieve. Nymphs should be fished by a very slow hand twist retrieve, allowing the nymph to settle on the bottom occasionally if there are not too many snags. I hope this helps while fishing for lake trout.