BLUE / ELBOW / DOREEN / SLIDE / ASHLAND / BOARDMAN LAKES / INDEPENDENCE / COAL LAKES

7/17/2006
        
Blue Lake W/Martin.  Packed float tube.  Trail mostly clear of snow, just a few short areas of snow easily crossed.  Lake still covered with ice/snow.  Didn't fish.  Went on to South Fork Nooksak, Pioneer Camp Area caught a couple of 8" Rainbows, Bridge area Martin got 3.  NOTE:  river is closed July-October.   

10/6/2006  w/Martin
Blue Lake.  Morning.  Chilly and overcast.  Fog blew in around noon.  Water 50°.  Very few fish seen on surface.  Carried float tubes in.  No strikes.  Beautiful colors.  Nice hike.  Ate lunch 1300 and decided to go on  up to Elbow Lake. Hiked to Doreen and Elbow Lakes.  About 30 minute.  Didn't carry float tubes but did take rods.  Walked to end of Elbow Lake but saw no activity.  Several fish rising in Doreen so fished far side and caught several pretty 7 to 8" Rainbow.  Fished about an hour and a half.











10/8/2006  w/Martin
Hiked with float tubes to Elbow Lake.  Fished from about 1100 to 1500.  Water 48°.  Very calm most of day, overcast and cool, air about 60°.  Occasional fish seen rising.  Each of us caught quite a few 7-9", several 9-11", and I got two very nice 13" Rainbows.  All fat and healthy.  Most fish caught at far end of lake.  Martin did well casting along shore.  I got most and biggest in mid lake near far end.  Black Muddler, white wing wet fly, Brown Carey Special, Royal Humpy dry, Royal Coachman dry all worked well, all on dry line. 
About 1500 cleaned fish and then walked over to Doreen Lake.  Martin caught several more fish, including one nice RB 11" fishing from tube.  I just walked along far shore and got a couple using a Royal Coachman dry.

10/21/2006 w/Martin
Hiked with float tubes.  Fished from 1100 til 1500.  First two hours very slow - I got only one fish.  Then picked up after lunch.  Got some very nice RB along shore just north of launching spot.  Several  11-13" Cutthroat on variety of dry and nyphs.  Good day.  Both of us brought 5 nice fish home for dinners.  Fished Doreen about half an hour or so on way out from shore.  Got a couple of small RB.


8/31/2007 w/Martin

Fished Elbow Lake from 1100 til 1530.  Cloudy til after lunch about 1300, then light rain and breezy rest of afternoon.   Both caught quite a few fish before lunch, mostly on drys.  Fish were larger than last year, almost all in 12 - 13 inch range.  After lunch fishing was very slow with rain and breeze.


8/14/2008  w/Matin
  
Slide Lake.  About 45 minute hike from trailhead.  Packed in float tubes.  I used pack frame to carry mine.  Fished from about 1030 til 1530.  Caught many 7" to 12" Cutthroat on drys, streamers, etc.  Most caught along north side and south side toward west end.  Beautiful day, lots of fish.

6/20/2009        Ashland Lakes w/Martin

Hiked to Lower Ashland Lake, about 2 hours.  Good trail, lots of plank sections.  Cool overcast day.  Caught quite a few Cuthroat and Brook Trout 10-12", largest 14".  Beautiful fish.  Used small streamers and various drys.  Caught most fish from 1100 to 1330.  After lunch fish went to sleep. 


Free counters provided by Andale.
10/30/2009  Elbow Lake w/ Martin

The road is now closed at Pioneer Camp so we hiked the trail from there, about 4 1/2 miles from Pioneer Camp to upper end of Elbow Lake.  It is VERY steep between Pioneer Camp and the junction with the other trail above the old parking area.  Shortly after crossing Bell Creek the trail switchbacks directly up the contours gaining 1000+ feet in about a mile distance.  2+30 up, 2+20 down.  Go very slow, it's a long climb up and a long climb down.  It's a worthwhile hike, though, through beautiful forest the entire route.

Fished from 1300 to 1530.  Got quite a few nice Cutthroat and RB.  Most 11-13", a few larger.  Fish noticeably larger and fatter than previous years.   Hard muscles are evident when holding the fish.  Must be a good year for them.

08/27/2011 Trout Lake off HWY 2 at MP 50.5 on Foss River Road.  Just east of Skykomish.  1+10 in, 1+00 out.  Moderate climb on the way in.  Bridge and part of trail washed out.  Detour marked with yellow tape, Large log to cross river in place of bridge.  Fished from 1100 to 1430.  Caught quite a few RB, most 5 - 8 inches, largest 11.  Foss River fairly large coming into lake and leaving.  Extra clear water.  Mid-Small size round lake.

07/29/2012        Coal Lake w/ Martin
Note: Home to Granite Falls 1+30

Cool overcast day.  Fished 1000 -1400.  Caught a few 7-8" Brook Trout on bead head bugger.  Water still quite cold.  Most fish caught on west side of lake and at far end, near shoreline.

11/09/2013  Slide Lake w/ Martin

Quite cool day, about 35 degrees in morning.  Freezing level 3,000 ft during week and forecast.  Lake is at 3,100 ft.  Trail has one new pile of fallen trees.  Must climb over and around following route identified by orange tapes.  Rest of trail in ok condition.  We were surprised to find first half of lake completely frozen.  The lake is also VERY low.  Walked shoreline from end to end.  Fished the open water and around inlet.  Got quite a few very nice Cutthroat.  Fish were extremely bright with red strip all down lower side, very bright orange throat slash, and dark purple cheeks.  Beautiful.

08/02/2014  Slide Lake W/ Martin

Trail has been cleared of many blown down trees.  No significant obstacles left.  Nice warm sunny day, about high 70 at lake.  Best fishing ever.  Caught 50 - 75 fish each.  Constant hits on dry flys - used up 3 elk hair caddis, then same results on green drake and stimulator.  Fish larger than in past average in 9-10 inch, several 11 - 12.  Martin got one 14 1/2.  Stopped for lunch and fished shallows along far shore while wading.  Many fish there among rocks and grass.  Fished from about 1130 to 1630.  Nice hike, beautiful day on pretty lake, max fish = perfect.

08/08/ 2014  Slide Lake w/ Martin

Similar to last week.  About 10 degrees cooler, still nice and warm day.  Fishing a bit slower, not nearly as constant as last week.  Still an outstanding day bay any reasonable standard.  Caught many fish.  Initially fished black streamer and got fish steadily but not fast.  Later at the shallow area while wading got quite a few skating large (# 8?) tom thumb.  Then skating other drys.  Fishing picked up in afternoon.  Came back along near shore and got quite a few fish along trees, etc.  Fished from about 1100 til 1430.  Another super nice day.

12/06/2014  Coal Lake w/ Martin

Nice  breakfast at Zekes but had heavy rain for several days.  Rivers and streams very high.  Water running over Coal Lake road in several places.  One place looked like it could wash out so we turned around and drove back down to the Mountain Loop Highway and went around to Darrington.  Nice drive but no fishing.

12/14/2014  Coal Lake w/ Martin

Sunny and cold day.  Another good breakfast at Zekes.  Put on waders at car before packing tube and gear to lake.  About 30 degrees but nice sun and only a little occasional breeze.  Very pretty day but no fish.  Martin saw a couple surface but neither of us had any action.  Fished about 1000 til noon.  Home by 1500 for second half of Seahawks game.
11/02/2015  Slide Lake w/ Martin

This is Martin's post on WFF following our trip:
I had the opportunity to go fishing with my father on Monday. This was the first time out since the birth of my daughter in August and probably only the third time out this year. We had postponed from the previous Friday due to the heavy rain in the mountains. We agreed to meet at Mr. T's (I do recommend the bacon and eggs breakfast as they do not skimp on the bacon) in Mount Vernon and then drive up to one of our favorite mountain lakes. It is about an hour from Mr. T's to the dirt road leading to the lake and usually another hour on the dirt road to get to the trail head. I say usually because after about 40 minutes (2.5 hours of drive time from my house) on the dirt road we came to a tree across the road. Of course we could not let this stop us so we pulled out the hand saw and went to work. After taking turns cutting a section of the tree out of the road we were back on track. Upon arrival at the trail head we got out of the truck, grabbed our backpacks (loaded with float tubes etc.) and then I realized … BA BA BAAAA I left my fly rod in my rig back in Mount Vernon. Just great. I am going to blame it on father of a new baby brain. Of course assigning blame to this didn't fix the problem. My first thought while extremely frustrated was simply to hike up to the lake and sit in my float tube giving my father moral support. I said let's just start hiking. After calming down a little I realized I could just drag a fly behind me by hand if needed so up the trail we went. On the way we were confronted by several new trees down across the trail. Eventually we made it to the lake. Wow was it full of water. The lake in July was WAY down, but now it was up to the bush line. Amazing amount of water we had in the Cascades last weekend. We pumped up our float tubes, put our waders on and then I went stick hunting. After a little searching I was able to craft a new "fly rod" out of a nice fresh branch (minus a small chunk of my thumb I left on the tree that I had to duct tape the wound shut to keep from bleeding all over everything) we headed out on the lake. I was not able to throw dry flies with my make shift rod, but I was able to drag an Olive Wooley Bugger (picked this because I have been reading the Olive the Wooley Bugger series of books to my 5 year old son recently) behind and had pretty good success. I leaned pretty quick that I had to be much more subtle with my hook set than I normally might be as the stick had zero flex (see pic below.) I probably finished with 8 fish to hand and long line released a couple of others. Ended up having a great time with my dad and with the bonus of being in extremely beautiful country and finding a few willing fish.

I did spend a little time on the hike out wondering about how much time and money I have spent on buying and making fly rods and if they were any more effective than the stick I used. Of course the purchased and made rods are much prettier to my eyes regardless of what the fish think.
6/26/2009   Boardman Lake w/Martin

Hiked about 1 hour to Boardman Lake.  Very good trail.  Cool cloudy day.  Caught quite a few 8-11" Brook Trout.  All fish were quite thin.  Occasional surface feeding action.  Got most fish on #12 Elk Caddis.  Fish would hit surface fly even when no surface feeding was visible. 
7/03/2009  Independence and Coal Lakes w/ Martin

Hiked about 30 minutes to Independence Lake.  Several areas of snow at shores of lake, water quite cold.  Fished from about 0900 to 09045 with no sign of fish - water too cold, no fish???  Hiked back down and went to Coal Lake.  Fished 1100 to 1400.  Got quite a few 6-7" RB and 7 - 9" Brook Trout.  Brook Trout had dramatic bright red color along entire belly lengty.  Two beautiful lakes, beautiful hikes.

We did not fish Upper Ashland Lake.
Lower Ashland Lake
INDEPENDENCE LAKE
COAL LAKE
Bridge about ¼ mile from Pioneer Camp.  Trail splits here, take right fork across bridge.  My pack with float tube, fins, waders, and gear weighs 28 pounds.

Creek just before joining the trail to the old parking area.  About 2 hours from Pioneer Camp.  This is a nice stop to rest, wash off with cold water, and get a drink.