Fly Fishing Techniques for Lake Trout
We get asked about fly fishing for lake trout all the time. Visitors to our website are surprised to see these trips offered. Most think lake trout fishing consists of slow trolling heavy lures at great depths. They are amazed to find out that we offer fly fishing trips geared towards this hard fighting species. When I tell them they can expect to catch and release 40 to 50 fish a day, on a fly rod; they settle down and start asking questions.
Lake Trout Habitat
I’m not a salesman. Never have been and never will be, its just not in my DNA. Instead of trying to ‘sell’ our trips, I try to give out honest information. Information that I hope will help flyfishers be more successful. Wherever they end up fishing. The first thing I like to explain is how important water temperatures are. Lake trout prefer water temperatures between 48F and 52F. Period. Can they survive in cooler or warmer temperatures ? Sure they can. You might even catch a few in warmer temperatures. But the fact is, they prefer cooler water. Locate their preffered temperatures, and you will find lake trout. I guarantee it.
Here in the Yukon our water temperatures remain relativley cool throughout the season. At Grizzly Creek Lodge we fish the top 10-feet of the water colum throughout June, and into July. During this time lake trout are extremely active. One of my favorite tactics is to sight cast big streamers to feeding fish on calm evenings.
Fly Rods, Reels & Patterns
My favorite lake trout rig is Visions Big Mama. This 9wt rod is the perfect choice for casting those big air resistant flies. Designed for big pike by Niklaus Bauer, this rod has plenty of power to handle the largest lakers. Coupled with their ‘Deep’ reel series, this combo will handle anything you can throw at it.
Lake trout are predators. They feed on a number of different native species. The best patterns will closely resemble their local food preferences. In the Yukon Territory that means Ciscoes. Also known as ‘lake herring’, ciscoes are an important food source.
Dark colored patterns with a bit of silver tinsel are hard to beat. Rabbit strip streamers are another good choice. Rabbit fur has an excellent undulating quality that comes alive under water.
Few fishing experiences can rival a day of sight casting to schools of lake trout. These hard fighting fish will test you and your equipment to the limit. Dont for a second believe the myth that the only way to catch lake trout is by trolling big heavy lures in deep water.