Lake Trout

by Fly Fisherman

Lake trout (Cristivomer namaycush) are like Land-locked salmon as to fly fishing—only more so. In the summer, they
are found so deep in the lakes they inhabit that deep trolling with copper line is needed to catch them.
For about two weeks after the ice goes out of the lakes—with a water temperature of 35° to 45° F.—lake trout come into shallow water from 3 ft. to 12 ft. deep. They like 40° to 45° water and will be found wherever that temperature prevails.
The fact that water temperatures rather than calendar dates are the governing factors in fish habits is nicely illustrated by the shallow water fishing for lake trout in Great Slave Lake, North West Territory, Canada. In water flowing into this far northern lake from the Barrens, C. C. Plummer and his fishing companions have been catching big lakers and entering them in Field and Stream’s Fishing Contests each year. These fish were caught around the first of August. Water temperatures, however, were from 35° to 45° F., the same as are found in lakes farther south in the early spring.
Lake trout, when in shallow water, like boulder-strewn shoals close to the deep water where they live in the summer. Rocky shoals along islands with lots of boulders and rocky pockets, close to deep water, are ideal places.
Streamers and bucktails and regular wet flies, fished by the action method, are most successful for lake trout. A spinnerand-fly works very well, too. A wobbling spoon Is good if you can use it on your fly rod.
In this condition, bait casting, with medium-depth and deep-running bait casting lures, is a very effective and sporting method of taking lakers. A wobbling spoon is usually the most effective bait, probably because it looks like a wounded minnow to the trout. This is entirely natural because the major food of lake trout is a form of minnow, called Lake herring or Ciscoe.

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