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Name: whorde Date: October 12, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Noon Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
Color: Login to view! Species: Golden Trout  Method: Login to view!
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Since I couldn't find a seat on a boat in Lake Washington, I called the force of nature and laced up the hiking boots. Well, actually my sneakers. But let's not get lost in technicalities.

Basically a trip to Grieder is a 5 star day no matter. But on a scale of F to A+, this was an A. Only thing preventing A+ was full sized golden trout with full golden markings remains elusive.

After thunderstorms yesterday, trail was wet. As in, the trail was an active creek in some spots. Not recommended as it turns out, as especially on the way down this makes it a lot more treacherous. A few times I slipped, and 1 wrong step on that trail can be a 60-100 foot fall, and even if not a fall, hobbling down that hill with a sprained or broken ankle would be brutal.

In any case, today I tried to break the force of nature. We decided to set land speed record, so we jogged from parking lot to trailhead, except steepest uphills on old logging road. Parking lot to Big Grieder was 1 hour 40 minutes, even with the wet trail. And yes, I did manage to break the force of nature. I managed my breathing and didn't talk all the way up, and about 35 minutes into the hill she started fidgeting, and then her walk slowed down about 25%. I was quite pleased. Or would have been, if I wasn't too tired to care haha. I'm pleased in retrospect!

1 hour 40 minutes is absurd. It made for a really unpleasant ascent, but on the other hand, it made for more fishing time!

So in any case, inflated raft, the sun was out periodically, the wind wasn't a huge pain in the butt, and we didn't get rained on all day! That's like a B+ right there even with no bites. But I had about 5-6 bites, landed 3 fish, and landed 1 keeper! See littlest fish in last report for pic of littlest fish today. Very similar, really beautiful markings. And since was some conversation about what I caught last time, this time I'm posting pics of the golden hybrid I released, and the full blood rainbow we had for lunch. The pics of the hybrid really dont give it justice. It was a beautiful, gleaming fish in real life. Really, really gorgeous. But even so, the difference is quite clear between the 2 pics. I'm sticking with my guns, that the lake is full of hybrids, of various genetic makeups, and a few really nice full blood rainbows (maybe stockers from recent past since only 2 I caught in 2 trips were 12 and 12.5 inches?), and maybe, just maybe, a some full blood goldens. That's a dream isn't it? A 10 year old full blood golden stocker? That thing would be mammoth.

Getting to know lake better, what works, where to fish, where the scary snags are underwater, where to launch the boat, etc. And getting to know the hike better. This time I was more with it ... wow, it is SO MUCH more steep going up that hill than I remembered! But, I'm in much better shape day after this week than last. Even with a heavier pack, I have less pain in my shoulders, my back is totally fine, and my legs dont hurt as much.

Thought would be slow going down to be safer, so we didn't push it as it was so wet. Much more dangerous than when it was dry. I think this is my last visit to Grieder this year, as regardless of the hike, I would need a full week of no rain before I even considered it. But for us, since we are so bad ass, "slow" meant 1:45 going down instead of the 1:40 going up hoho!

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Name: whorde Date: October 04, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Afternoon Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Fishing this lake is not for the faint of heart. Or those with heart conditions, haha.

So fresh off Friday's salmon success, Saturday is hike up a mountain to chase unicorns day. My hiking partner is working graveyard so I was hoping to hit the trail at first light, but instead we hit the trail at 9:45. It's a fairly substantial drive out there.

Now my hiking partner doesn't look like she's an athlete ... but she's done triathlons while 75 pounds overweight. She has way more hiking experience than me, so I let her lead. Well, the pace she sets is death march. We hit Bear Creek in 30 minutes, trailhead at 50 minutes, then in 1 hour flat we're up the steep part. That's with stopping to take pictures of mushrooms and a frog probably 8 times, and me demanding a 2 minute break about 5 more times. I'm dying. She's laughing. 8 minutes later we're at Little Grieder, we poke around a bit, see some trout in the water, then pound out to Big Grieder. There is a couple up there camping, other than that we're alone.

My hiking partner is a veritable force of nature, and I am in better shape all around than anyone I know other than my friend who beats people up in a ring for a living, and honestly I'm not sure if even he could have kept up the pace she set. If you attempt this hike, do not plan to make it in 2 hours. Plus, on the lower stretch there are numerous scrambles through ravines, 1 in particular steep enough to be sketchy.

The trail, by my standards, was in awesome shape up to the end of Little Grieder. Then it gets sketchy. We pick our way half way down Big Grieder to where the trail pretty much ends, and there's a pretty large flat rock. Perfect for boat launching. Inflate the raft. We see trout rising. As we're loading the raft one rises 8 feet off the boat, looks at me, gives me the finger, and slowly swims away. Ok trout. It's on.

It's a little cloudy, a touch of wind to provide a solid drift, I start fishing, my hiking partner eats trail mix. About 10 minutes in I get a bite, but no hook set. Then BAM, multiple runs, pole tip pulled into water, really carries on .... no pic as this was not what I was here for and I can only post 2, but a 12.5 inch rainbow. Not skinny. Really solid fish. Time passes, next hookup a sweet 10 inch fish, super yellow, looked like legitimate half and half golden trout / rainbow ... but my hiking partner fumbles with the camera, it pops off the hook, bounces off the raft, lands in the water, I grab the tail but of course that slips out, and it's gone. You'll have to take my word for it, but the golden shine was entrancing. Way more so than the pics, which clearly are mixed fish. Again, a solid, healthy fish. These are not scrawny.

More time passes, I catch ... I think 3 more, one about 8-9 inches not really memorable, another about same size which is in the pic has a nice yellow shine, and another little guy in the pic which was less yellow but you can see the shadows of the big golden trout spots on his side. By this time we've drifted clear to the far end of the lake. Ugly clouds coming. Hiking partner not enthused about getting rained on, so I start rowing. Didn't even come close to beating rain. We're both wet. I let her off at the rock, try to keep fishing, it stops raining, but the wind totally stops and no more drift. I dont want to get too far away as there are clearly bears in the area (scratched trees on way in), no more bites. She yells it's getting late, it's 4:45. I paddle in, wow takes SO LONG to deflate boat through little tiny holes, we depart 5:15. Again at death march speed.

Thirty minutes we're back to the steep spot, 55 minutes down, we jog from trailhead back to bear creek saving 7 minutes, back to car at 7:15 in the dark.

I did better on the way down. Didn't have to stop and rest so much. Still, I couldn't believe she was leading a pace DOWN HILL that was causing me to be out of breath. That pace though, holy cow, hard on the joints going down. My knees were not pleased.

All in all, awesome hike, awesome to catch a fish, let alone more than one, let alone a huge rainbow and some with really solid golden trout markings. But did not get full breed golden, so .... I guess I'll have to go back and try again!

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Name: snowninja Date: August 07, 2011 Rating:
 
Time: All Day Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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I have wanted to hike into this lake since moving to sultan in 2005, finally my friend and i packed our floattubes and bivy's and away we went, hike in was strenuous with 50+lb packs. got there and one other site was occupied picked one down by the logjam at the outlet. we fished for a few hours in the evening and again the next day, saw a bear on the shoreline at the opposite end of the lake. beautiful views, great weather and good fishing, caught several trout on various different flies biggest being about 12" they definately had a golden tone to them so we thought they might be halfbreeds. it was an awesome trip one i'll remember forever.

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Name: Nate Treat Date: July 10, 2010 Rating:
 
Time: All Day Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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So I'm getting married in a week. To a sweet Princess Laura. Anyway, I'm not a fan of strippers or drinking to complete obliteration, so to the great disappointment of my man friends, my brother, the best man, decided the best bachelor party would be to take me fishing. Surprise fishing, where I was not told where we were going until we got there.

So all he told me was that we were going camping fishing, so of course it was obnoxious because I had to pack all of my tackle, because I knew not what or where we were going to target fish of which species. So I've got three tackle boxes and an ultra light overnight pack, on account of I had so much tackle it would be retarded to take any clothes that were unnecessary. Of course I packed six pairs of socks. You can never have too many socks on a backpacking trip.

So we got to the Rd. that goes to Lake Spada, and I figured out where we were going. Because I'd been talking about finding out the truth about golden trout in the grieder lakes. So I cursed the fact that I'd packed so much tackle, and I was going to have to root around and remove so much stuff on account of the hike being 3 miles straight up. We left at about 5 o'clock.

BUT before we got to the trail, we stopped at what will now be our secret fishing spot. We stopped for about 30 minutes, and tossed some Joes Flies spinners, and every cast we got hooked up with some fancy cutthroat trout. It was pretty cool. We caught and released about 15 fish a piece, about half were long distance releases on account of we didn't want to hurt the fish too much so we didn't set the hook on the little ones. They were from six to 12 inches long and wild. Very fun.

Anyways, we went on to the trail head and started unpacking my bag. To get there, you drive on the Spada Lake road and it was gorgeous. I've never fished there on account of I don't have a boat big enough, but I'm going to try on my big raft on a calm day sometime. Jack was really excited, and the sun was just going down over the ridge and the owls were out. There was one guy at the trail head that was really cool looking, and he followed us for a while as we headed out.

It turns out the trail to Grieder Lakes is about 3 miles longer than originally planned because they are tearing out all the culverts from the Spada Lake road, and you have to hike the road through the giant ditches that are there. So it took us about an hour to get to the Grieder Lakes trail head Once we got there, it was pitch dark, which was ridiculous. The trail was so over grown with sticker bushes that I had to hold my flashlight pointed straight down just to see the rocks to not step on them. I'm definitely going to bring a machete the next time I'm there. Although over grown, the trail wasn't hard to find, which was nice, and Jack Bauer knew just where to go, the trail was at his eye level, so we followed him. My Ultra Light Ugly Stick stuck out a ways from the top of my pack and kept snagging on branches, but never broke or even got a scratch. Ugly Sticks are the BEST backpacking rods ever, they never break, no matter how much bushwhacking you have to do. So far the trail was really not that steep, and I was just mentioning that fact to my brother when the switchbacks started. Of course, under the cover of the trees not even the light of the brightest start could get underneath the forest to light the way, and it was pitch black, and slightly creepy because we startled several unseen small animals off the trail on our way.

Had there been light, we would have found that we were hiking up very steep switchbacks nearly straight up a cliff face that was so steep, one wrong step and you're toast. It was such a workout that even Jack Bauer, the tireless Jack Russel Papillion, started to drift back to the point that his leash was no longer tight against his life preserver. When Jack gets tired, you know it's time for a break. It was probably good that it wasn't light out, because we had no idea how far we had to hike, or how steep the cliff was behind us. The trail has been washed out a bit and there are several fallen logs that you must jump/crawl over, but it was pretty solid, no mud or slippery places, which was very nice, considering that one false move and you'll fall to get skewered on some rough branch or stump, or just keep falling until you land smack dab in the reflecting pools a mile below.

So of course we forgot to fill up our water bottles at the trail head, and we were dying of thirst. I had brought some Wired 344x for the morning, because by this time it was about 11:30 and waking up at sunrise was going to really hurt without caffeine My brother was like "we should drink something" and I was like "dude, there is so much caffeine in this you're just going to get more dehydrated and it's really gonna be awful". But after about ten more switchback we decided that we had no other choice but to split a Wired. So we did, and even Jack drank some. He HATES anything caffeinated besides beer, which we don't purposefully give to him of course, but which he has been known to jump up on the kitchen counter to knock over and consume as fast as his tiny puppy tongue can lick.

Long story a little bit shorter, we got to the lake at 1:30, after leaving the car at 9, that made the hike four and a half hours, with about two 20 minute breaks. At the summit, there was a sign that warned of bears that freaked my brother out quit a bit, which eventually kind got to me too. Something along the lines of don't leave food next to your camp site, don't hike with dogs, if you do see a bear walk slowly away, if he follows wave you arms and hoot like a crazy person, if he attacks fight him off ass hard as you can as a last resort and as an even laster resort play dead and pray that the bear will leave you alone and alive, and not so maimed as to not be able to hike back down the giant cliff. I've ran into black bears before, even a mother with cubs, and it was unnerving, but that little picture didn't sit well with us.

So we set up camp and I went to fill up the water jug. The camp sites were really nice, they even had fire grates, tent places and were debris free. We camped at the upper lake and in the light of the fire that we started could make out a bunch of drift wood. So, even though we were dying of thirst, we boiled some water before drinking it, because my brother knew as certain as the sun will rise that Laura would kill him if I got beaver fever a week before the wedding. This was the most torturous thing ever, and the water did not taste that good. I swear, next time we're bringing those pills you put in the water, because drinking warm water with ash in it is just annoying. You never know if the ash is ash or a bug.

Of course my brother couldn't sleep. After the wired. And there were mice scurrying everywhere and other creepy crawlies making noises on all sides. There were several time where I'd be in mid slumber when I jolt awake to my brother bolting straight up and exhaling sharply with a near yelp. "What was that?!?!?!" he'd say. Just a mouse. This time he'd unzip the window, "NO! Not the bear pack!" Which we';d strung up twenty feet in the air, a hundred feet from camp, out of reach of any animal with all our food. Every noise seemed to startle him, which in turn caused me a sleepless night, and both of us were pretty tired in the morning. Of course Jack slept right through it.

In the morning it was a different story. Big Grieder Lake is awesome. Not the kind of awesome where somebody tells you they just ordered pizza and buzz wings and you're like "awesome!". The kind of awesome that can only come from witnessing one of creations finest works of art. The lake sits in a crater, surrounded by cliffs. The cliffs are almost 2,000 above the level of the lake. Fir and Hemlock trees sparsely populate the sides of the cliffs and the rest is covered by brush and flowers and boulder chutes, evidence of winter time avalanches. The outlet of the lake where the campsites are is populated by the outcome of these avalanches with a giant log jam, the perfect hide-out for the fish that inhabit this crystal clear lake. The Lake is deceivingly big, when you're out on it you can lose perspective because the cliffs dwarf the lake in sheer scale, and make it seem like you could almost get to the other side of the lake with a brisk jog. This lake is crystal clear, with about 30 to forty feet of visibility, with little to no aquatic vegetation and is populated by a large population of native trout, that you will see rising and jumping all across the lake as soon as the sun rises. I mean, it was one of the most magnificent things that I've ever witnessed. Straight from a fly fishing magazine. The weather was sunny, and the sky in the morning was lit up orange and red and the cliffs were silhouettes against the cirrus clouds, creating a fiery bowl of fluffy clouds reflected against the mirror of undisturbed water of Big Greider. That is except for the myriad of fish jumping in the water.

Needless to say, I scrapped the idea of carrying in my big Seahawk 400 this time. We had gone out and my brother had gifted me with two little one man rafts, $19 a piece. So that's what we fished from. I used my trusty Kastmasters, and Joes Flies spinners. The fish in this lake, although PLENTIFUL, are wiley smart and almost unfoolable. With my polarized glasses I could see three, sometimes five fish swim ultra fast like up to whatever I was throwing, where they would stop and just look at it. If they did hit it was such a short strike that getting a decent hook-set was so difficult it killed me. I probably got about twenty to thirty long distance releases and three times that amount of super short takes before I landed a fish, the first of which I landed on a live night crawler which the fish promptly ate all of and swallowed the hook.

The whole point of this trip was to try and catch the fabled Golden Trout, which I'm sad to say I don't think we did. Most of the fish that we caught were from 8 to 14 inches, and they did not absolutely glow with that yellow sheen that you see in videos and pictures. But they did have Golden Trout markings, striking white tips on their fins and a golden sheen to their back, which leads me to believe that the Golden's that were planted in this lake have been interbreeding with either the native cutthroats, or other rainbows, and when I got home I looked at pictures of Rainbow Golden hybrids and I now even more firmly believe that this is the case. They were striking fish, wild and crazy strong fighters once you hooked them, but they weren't the Golden Trout that you'd expect. I don't know how long ago they planted this lake with them, but it's possible that some first generation or second generation Golden's are still in the lake, as it is a GIANT and deep lake, and in one day I simply did not have the time to fish it entirely, or learn how to fish it best.

The annoying thing about the lake is that close to shore there are flocks and flocks of biting flies, which I later found to be one of the only things that the fish wanted to eat. Little black guys, followed me on my raft from shore, and their were fish rising like crazy within 2 or 3 feet of the side of the boat. They weren't spooked if I didn't paddle and if I let the wind drift me down the lake, the flies would follow and Jack would try like the Whack a Mole Game to eat the jumping fish all around us. Unfortunately, my brother did not have a fly in his kit that looked like those flies and I as a new recruit to fly fishing couldn't cast very well and just ended up scaring the fish away. If anybody know what those flies are, let me know, because I'm going to buy or tie twenty flies that look like them.

These were pretty much the entirety of what the trout were eating during the day, after we managed to catch about three decent size fish we had lunch. When you're backpacking in to a camping fishing trip, you don't bring that much food on account of sometimes you're just going to have to eat the fish you catch. I don't feel bad about not C&Ring these fish as 1. They tasted so fresh and good grilled on a fire that it made it almost impossible to entertain guilt about keeping it 2. There are literally THOUSANDS of fish in this lake. Lots and Lots and Lots and Lots. 3. On further investigation and dissection, it turns out that these trout were STUFFED with those little black flies. Their stomachs were so full that they were rock solid with hundreds of undigested flies. It was kinda creepy, but now I know that these annoying biting flies are probably the only thing that will catch these fish all day.

We fished from the top of the lake to the bottom all day, until about 7 pm when we left. The very top of the lake has a breathtaking underwater drop off that held so many fish, where I hooked into a quite large fish, that I got to shore and then self released as I bent to pick it up. This was disappointing as it flashed a brighter yellow than any of the other fish, and I feel may have been the closest thing to a true golden I could catch.

We packed up and on the way out fished Little Grieder. Which was the BEST idea EVER. I don't know what it was, but the little lake held the same fish as the bigger lake, only they were desperate. They hit harder than any other trout I've ever caught on anything in my whole life. You could see them from 20 yards away racing each other to get to your Kastmaster. And with my ultralight setup they would double the pole over and scream the line out, dance across the water and come to shore gorgeous. The first cast out I was ready for the subtle takes and follows as on Big Grieder, but when my rods was nearly ripped out of my hands by a hungry Golden Rainbow, it was game on! It may be because the fish get swept down the falls from the big lake into such a small one and have to compete for resources, or it could be that it was just that time of day when they were eating voraciously. It was from about 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm that they absolutely tore into our gear almost every single cast. It was so fun. We worked our way from the outlet down the side of the lake through the several campsites on Little Grieder before we called it a satisfying and totally worth it day.

The hike out took less than half the time it took in, and we made it home safe and sound, sans-bear attack. Jack Bauer has never slept so well in his life.

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Name: Nick Huwe Date: May 30, 2004 Rating:
 
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MY buddy and I thought this would be an ok hike up to the lakes. But about half way up it started to poor like nobody's business. we moved on and in about 2 hrs we made it to the little lake, which we thought was great cuz we had such large bags and all. Make sure when you go hiking to only take what you need. We didn't even fish, once we set up camp we said lets just go on home. It was kind of nice that it only took about an hour to get back....All an All I think I would go back but it would have to be one real nice weekend. Best fishing

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