Lost Lake

Lost Lake is located in the Northern Oregon Cascades in the Hood River basin.

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Lost Lake is located about thirty miles northeast of Welches ,Oregon and about 20 miles southwest of Hood River , Oregon. The lake is bordered by old growth alpine forest that grows to the waters edge.  The surrounding basin is sleep sided and heavily wooded.  The dramatic north side of Mt. Hood forms a fitting back drop.  The water is very clear and reflective.  The steep-sided bottom turns gray and then very quickly to ultra marine. 

Maria D. McInnis displays a very nice Brook Trout caught from Lost Lake.
Lost Lake grows some good fish!

A nice Rainbow Trout that fell for a Bachmann's Hex Emerger at dark.

You need a float tube or boat to fly fish Lost Lake.  Trees grow right down to the shore.

As you float near shore, over a shoal of gray silt, you pear over the side of your float tube and become aware that the bottom is full of holes.  These are the burrows of the famous Hexaginia mayflies that produce this lake's best known hatch.  These large (1 1/4") insects emerge at dark on certain evenings in July and August.  Evenings when the hatch comes off strong can produce numbers of large fish feeding at the surface.  The next evening might be a light hatch or a no-show.  It's like plying roulette, but definately worth it if you hit the jack pot.

Lost Lake has some trophy size fish, but you better figure on earning them.  Visibility in the water is about 40'.  At times fishing pressure can be intense.  Bag limits are liberal.  The kill is heavy.  In spite of this trout survive to 20" with regularity, and trout to 30" have been reported.  These fish are survivors.  Long leaders and a stealthy approach are needed.  Luck can play a role.

The center of Lost lake is very deep and not easy to fly fish.  Trolling streamers with very fast sinking lines can produce some decent fish.  On the average the best fishing in this lake is fairly close to shore.  All of the aquatic insects emerge from the shallower water.  Terrestrial insects such as ants, beetles, termites and bees continually rain from the surrounding forest.  They too are concentrated along the edges.

There are times when the largest trout in this lake will ball up and feed on juvenile Kokenee Salmon.  The trout seem to prefer first year bait fish that are about 2-3 inches long.  A blue and silver streamer can produce some hard strikes.

There are cabins and boats to rent.  There is a small store.  A very nice U.S. Forest Service camp ground is located on the lake.  Launching a boat or float tubes is easy.


Best: May - early August but also fishes well in the fall

Natural Lake: fairly stable water level

Elevation: 3143'

Area: 231 acres max.

Depth: 175' max.

Fish species: stocked rainbows average 9" to 12", brood trout to 10 lb., self perpetuating brook, cutthroat, rainbow, brown trout & kokenee salmon. Some very large trout are available.

Regulations: general/bait allowed - no motors allowed

Hatches: Lost Lake is noted for prolific hatches Hexaginia may flies. This lake gets terrific terrestrial falls of ants and termites. Crayfish patterns & wooly buggers are also productive
How to get there from our store: Lolo Pass Road (E) to Lolo Pass (paved), then (10) miles (gravel) Dry Run bridge on West fork of Hood river, follow signs to lake (9) miles (paved).

Approximate distance: 40 mi.

The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1 (800) 266-3971

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