Drew and I were at it again, trying to catch some fat Lake Superior rainbows on our fly rods. The lake was flat and the sun was bright. Looking into the water we could see some fish cruising but not interested in anything we had to offer. I took notice behind me as the local hatchery began stocking the little rainbows they dump in the lake each year.
Dumping a pile of little silvery fish into Lake Superior is like ringing a dinner bell for some of the bigger fish that typically hang deep – but they will come shallow if there is food there. Once a truckload of fish was dumped, you could see the schools of little rainbows jumping all over the surface as they migrated around the shoreline in a tight pod. I decided to switch over to a large streamer pattern. As these pods of small rainbows came near I cast my streamer around them to see if anything big was lurking near. Sure enough first cast out I get a hard take on my 7 weight and can’t budge it. The fish takes out line and soon I’m into my backing. I knew it couldn’t be the rainbows we were used to catching. This fish was staying deep and head pounding hard. Drew went back to the car to get the net while I fought the fish. About the time he returned the fish was coming within reach and Drew was quick to get it in the net. We were both elated to have experienced a fly-caught lake trout.
Measuring at 29″ this fish weighed between 8 and 9 pounds.
We did not catch any rainbows this time but this one fish made the day.
Interestingly enough, the stomach of this fish did not have any smaller fish in it. Instead, it was packed with thousands of bugs it had been skimming off the surface of the water. Next up, lake trout on a dry fly?
Perhaps I saved a few rainbows and gave them a chance to grow to adult size. But then again, there are thousands more lake trout out there…