Lake Trout in the Spring
Locating in the spring: A temperature gauge is a necessity, for when the water temperature changes so does the lake trout’s body temperature. Even a two degree change will send them back in to the depths. The best areas are preferably rocky bays, where the ice is still there but about 30 yards of open water. (No boats) they tend to school in to these bays looking for grayling, ciscoes, white fish, and small pike or trout. Prime surface temperature in fly fishing for Lakers is 42 degrees Fahrenheit (or around there). At that temperature Lakers are averaging in about ten feet of water and the deepest usually hitting the 20 foot mark and will stay there all day, not needing to go any deeper. In late spring they tend to be deeper and usually now accessible by boat and they average at about 25 feet of water with some still being at ten feet or so but only in early morning. The warmest they will stay is a surface temperature regularly at around 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Another great spot is near river mouths that are opening.
Techniques: Once you have found and area selected and has the right surface temperature readings, I will tie on a fly and if it is early spring I can cast it out, almost hitting the ice. Then slowly strip in as they still have a slow metabolism and don’t always race to the flies. If you have caught one then you are usually to catch more as they school in the spring. I like to let the fly sink for 7 seconds first so it can get down close to the bottom. If Lakers just aren't biting it might be time to size down because in the spring you can catch them on very small flies and sometimes have to. In later spring when they have faster metabolisms and are deeper you can upsize your flies and be sure to have a well weighted fly as sometimes they can be rather deep. But, other than that the techniques are the same as early spring other than a little deeper water and faster strips.
Rods and Reels: For Lakers, always come prepared with a 9 or 10 weight rod and reel as anything over 35 pounds (which are sometimes caught) can break an 8 weight or 9 weight rod. I prefer the Streamside Tranquility 9 foot, 9 weight rod and Streamside 9/10 Legacy reel because on these lakers you need to pick up line fast and the legacy does that great.
Flies: In early spring you can get away with a 4 inch fly. For later spring a 6 to 7 inch fly replicating a ciscoe is best.
Tight lines to all, and thanks for reading.