Presented by Mercury Marine
This trip to Northern Rockies Lodge was split between two classic Canadian species – Northern Pike and Lake Trout.
As for the Lake Trout fishing, our first stop was back to Long Mountain Lake, a place that has brought great memories to Ang, Nik, and I. Ang and Nik discovered this gem of a lake years ago. Ang and I returned a few years later and were rewarded with an outstanding bunch of big Lakers. This time, Ang and Nik were taking the camera crew with them so I jumped aboard a second boat with Terry Sawchuck, one of the lodge’s guides. We were to stay out of the way of the camera boat and not hit any of the Juice areas. While Ang and Nik did their TV thing, Terry and I looked for new structure and fish-holding areas hoping for a fish of photo quality.
This was an eye-opener for me in that Ang and Nik had the portable Garmin unit on their boat. We had Terry’s basic LCD unit that conked out on us in no time… dead batteries. That meant we were on an old-school mission. In doing so, we still made out OK in that we used our eyes to find somewhat visible structure like points and break lines (the water is very clear there).
NRL guide Terry Sawchuck with a very respectable Lake Trout taken on a fly
Terry caught the largest fish of our day while fishing a point off of an island that I spotted from the float plane. I said to him that it looked to me like the best single piece of visible structure on the entire lake and he agreed. His fish was a healthy mid to upper teens Laker that took a fly. Yup, like other trout species, Lakers like flies as well!
I also did extremely well casting and working a lift-drop technique with Yo-Zuri and Hardcore Rattle baits. While drifting along a 10-foot break line which dropped into deep water, I drove a bunch of smaller Lakers insane with my “jigging” rattle bait technique.
By the way, I used silver/blue but I don’t think it mattered.
Believe it or not, a lipless crankbait like this Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe One Knock can at times be super effective on Lakers.
Later into the trip, Ang’s grandson Nik and I got to share a small Princecraft in a lake called Netson. Northern Rockies Lodge has an outpost cabin there and it truly is quite a setup and needs to be seen to be appreciated.
Nik and I started directly in front of the outpost cabin site as there was a small incoming river along the shore. It’s the perfect place for Arctic Grayling to hang around.
Current = food = Grayling.
We immediately picked up a gorgeous Grayling but then things started to slow down. I’m sure this river mouth gets a ton of pressure throughout the fishing season as it’s so easy to access.
Nik caught lots of these on this trip
From there we went trolling for Lake Trout. Netson is very different from Long Mountain Lake in that the numbers are incredible, but the size can’t compete with Long Mountain. That was fine with me as I simply wanted to get Nik into anything that would bite.
We ran light spinning rigs with either 10lb test braid to an 8lb fluorocarbon leader or straight 8lb fluoro. Both worked equally as well.
For baits, we went small as Ang and I have been wanting to try out the Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow along with the Hardcore Minnow Flat 70SP Now, I guarantee that if I showed you these two baits and said I was going for Lake Trout, many of you would shake your heads. However, hear me out, I said I wanted Nik to catch fish. I didn’t say giant fish, just fish, and the more the merrier.
Well, it just so happened that Nik and I did connect with loads of small Lakers. We simply trolled these tiny minnowbaits along the shoreline and almost like clockwork, smash… these Lakers were all over it.
The only weird part of the day was the deeper we went, the less fish we’d encounter. We literally had to be in 8 feet or shallower water to connect.
Extra Lake Trout Fishing Info:
For connecting our 10 braid to 8 fluoro, I tied FG Knots. It isn’t the easiest knot to tie but it sure is compact to fire through guides. I’ve lately been experimenting with the Alberto knot. Both are excellent.
Watch the full episode here!
Excellent article Pete.
As we both know, adaptation is the key in many situations, no matter the water body. Having the good sense to not always rely on your electronics and being prepare for the unexpected, has caused the least frustration. Fish like all other animals exist on a feast o famine lifestyle which means when the opportunity arises they will take the bait no matter what is offered. giving these lakers a sniff of the Hardcore Minnow Flat 70SP and Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow baits is just one example. We should never underestimate a fish’s appetite for sustainence.
As for the preferred depth that you found the Lake Trout, temperature wise, these fish were likely in their comfort zone. Oxygen levels were prime.
Thanks again for the the great information.