Decided to drive up to the Cascade Lake’s area Monday after work to get in some dry-fly action and to escape the valley heat with the family. The scenery is some of my favorite in the state and the wildflowers are just beginning to bloom. Back country skiers are still in heaven up there too.
I woke up early to beat the “sweeper hatch” and there were a few other angler’s on the water. They seemed to be using dry-flies and streamers with little luck on the dries early on.
The dry-fly action was a little slow to start, but got better as it warmed up throughout the day. I usually use black ants as my fly, but the trout weren’t interested in ants this time.
I got my first take with an Adam’s Hackle-Stacker size 16 after seeing may flies hatching in the early light on the water. When that slowed down I switched to a size 18 Mercer’s Missing Link and the fish seemed to love it. I wish I had a few extra Missing Link’s, because my elk hair eventually got destroyed by the cut-throats smashing it and I ran out. Later in the afternoon I switched to a Pale-Yellow Humpy size 18 and that got the fish’s attention too.
Even though the fish are habituated because of all the people paddling around, I still use longer leaders (9.5′-11′) to get my fly to land delicately and with little splash. If the wind picks up maybe keep it a little shorter so you don’t get tangled-up. If you’re getting fish to rise to your fly, but rejecting it, switch it up. Let the wind move your fly around and every now and then give it a little “twitch” to give it some movement.
Overall it was a great day on the water with fellow anglers, dogs, kayakers, canoes and SUPs. Nymphing seemed to produce more results, but I was there to dry-fly fish and I was rewarded with beautiful cutthroat trout.
Pinch your barbs & Tight Lines!