Fish Rap by Roger Phillips: Mountain lakes provide a great escape for anglers

rphillips@idahostatesman.comJuly 17, 2013 

I don't hide the fact I love mountain lakes. There are many reasons, but here's my top three: The fishing is great. This is a fishing report, so that better lead. The fish typically aren't pressured, and the growing season is short, so the fish have to actively feed when conditions are favorable.

They're cool. That's to be taken literally. You can expect warm-to-hot afternoons, but it's cool to the point of chilly in the mornings and evenings (don't forget the bug spray).

They're beautiful. The backdrop is often a granite peak that holds ribbons of snow even during August. They might be thin ribbons this summer, but they're still there. Near the lake it's typically rocky, timbered, or surrounded by a meadow. Either way, it's all scenic.

Getting to a mountain lake is typically more challenging than catching fish there, but not all lakes are created equal. If there's road access, you can expect more fishing pressure, but there's also a good chance it's stocked more often (almost all mountain lakes are stocked). If you hike way back, you may have the whole lake to yourself, but there may not be as many fish.

Mountain lakes are pretty easy to fish, but you still need some tactics. Watch for rising fish, and if you don't see any, find inlets and outlets and coves with lots of structure, either boulders or downed trees.

If it's my first time to a mountain lake, I will often climb up on a bluff and look for clues where fish might congregate, and you can often see them cruising near the shoreline. Once spotted, you have a good chance to catch them, but if you just randomly cast and wait, it may take a while to intercept a fish.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service