Mountain Lake Fishing with Tenkara, Part 1

by Hans S

A nice brookie caught by Will

A nice brookie caught by Will

Several friends of mine and I had planned this trip for months, and I was over the moon when we finally left town. Our destination? The Beaverhead Mountains, in the west Big Hole.

We go there and hiked in, and stopped to fish the stream that drains the first lake we headed to. I caught nothing with my 12' Tenkara USA Iwana rod, but my friends Lukas and Will caught some 6" brookies with their rods (Lukas with a Wetfly 8' rod and floating line). Making it to the lake, we saw many rising fish. Hurriedly stringing up, we were soon into the first of many willing 10" brook trout. We kept a few for dinner, and delicious they were. Beautiful, too. Some were silvery, others dark, with strong vermiculations and haloed spots. The fish were easy to reach with a 14' #3.5 level line and 3-4' of tippet, my standard rig for all the lakes on the trip.

The next day, we caught some more nice brook trout. The star of the show, however, were the goldens in the next lake up, at 9400 feet in elevation. We got up there, and both Lukas and I were lucky enough to tie into several alpine gems with red, orange, and yellow bellies and olive backs, with thick spots on the tail(sorry, no picture, and words don't do justice to these fish). We went back to camp at the lower lake, very satisfied.

The next day, we got up early to scramble up onto the continental divide. It was windy and gray, but no lightning, so we were happy. We scrambled down into the next drainage, with a lake glistening below at 9200 feet.

To be continued...

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