Thanks for the link and thanks for the report on the 23rd. I hope to fish Hattie again this weekend, so want as much info as I can get between now and Saturday the 28th. Since the 10/23 report also includes the Plains Lakes, is Twin Buttes as full of chunky trout as Hattie? I'd never fished Twin Buttes until last Saturday, and then only for twenty minutes or so because it was getting to be "the bewitching time" and I wanted to go try my usual Hattie hotspots before dark. I fished about 100 yards past the gate in the southern parking lot of Twin Buttes. Water seemed very clear and the wind didn't seem as bad. Caught nothing but it was evident that there is a LOT of underwater forage for trout as the moss beds in Twin Buttes were still attached and seemed productive.
Didn't want to interrupt the written report from November 5th by overwriting it with another one, so I'll just use the reply feature in this strand from October 23rd. I fished Hattie on Sunday, November 5th as well and had a great day with the red spawning kokanee males. I was surprised how willing they were to attack the spoons and small crankbaits I was using, and I was also surprised at their size -- none of them under 16" and one over 18" - as well as how vigorously they fought once hooked. Though most were of the deep red color like the one I photographed and attached here, they all seemed very much in pre rather than post spawn condition.
I also caught a very nice 21" female brown trout which was clearly gravid - you can see the distended belly in the photo I could take on the shore. It is VERY difficult to get decent shots of live trout when I'm by myself, so I was lucky to get the one picture while the fish stayed relaxed for a moment on the net which provides a reference as to size. Very nice fish -- very healthy, very lively fighter on the line. All fish I caught (four nice salmon and the single brown) were between the dam and the boat ramp between the hours of 1:30 and 4:00. It was windy and spitting light snow off and on all day, but just before 4:00 o'clock the storm that had been settling on the Snowies all day finally came over the lake. It succeeded in shooing most of the remaining die hard fisherman (about five of us in total) off the lake for good! Odd day as there were moments of complete breaks in the wind and occasional sunshine, but overall we were fishing in near storm-like conditions all day.
Curious: Though this is only my second year fishing Lake Hattie, I've caught only two brown trout, many rainbows, cutbows and cutthroats. I've never caught, nor have I seen anyone catch, a lake trout or a yellow perch. Are there any recent reports with photos and verification of those two species coming out of Hattie in the last two years? The FishExplorer Lake Hattie description says the lake is known for its big browns, but I've found the rainbows, cutthroats and cutbows are by far the more prevalent species I catch as far as larger trout over 2 pounds. Would be nice to see some pics and hear recent reports of lake trout and perch being caught in the last two years.
Wow! Flaming Gorge sized lakers? That's large! Must be particular places they hang out. I did hear about one of my fly fishermen friends who fought a very large trout near the dam wading close to shore. He said he fought the fish all the way up until it darted between his legs and broke his tippet. His estimate was that it was a 30" plus fish and it had lower set triangular and very large pectoral fins. He thought it might be a lake trout but he never netted it or photographed it for obvious reasons. I'd love to hear what fisherfolk who have caught lake trout in Hattie say about how, when, and where. Judging from some of the 6 to 8 pound cuttrhoats, cutbows and rainbows I've caught out of Hattie, I can believe that fish half again or even twice that size dwell somewhere in the waters. The biology of that lake is incredibly rich and even one year stocker rainbows get very fat in just one season. I've caught dull colored stocker rainbows that weren't even 14" that were already over a solid pound to a pound and a half. Let's hope the lake stays fertile and continues to be managed well.