Finally the ice is off our local lakes and the fish are hungry! May 3rd marked the first day trip for fun to a local lake in Alice Lake Provincial Park called Stump Lake. Stump lake is easy to get to with a short 5 minute hike in from the paid parking lot in the Park. It is the first lake you come to when walking the Four Lakes Loop. Once you reach the lake you can fish from shore, however, the lake is much better fished from a float tube or pontoon boat.
Stump lake is stocked with nice little cutthroat trout as a measure to try and control the pumkinseed (sunfish) that were illegally introduced to the lake years ago. Although we did not see any pumkinseed, we did catch quite a few cutthroat in the 8-12 inch range. The day started a little slow with not much action while trolling to the north end of the lake. One of us hooked the first fish just as we reached the far end of the lake from the put-in. Fishing remained fairly slow between takes until I stripped in quickly to re-cast and wham I hooked a fish! So I remarked to my partners that the fish took the fly on a fast retrieve. From that point forward the fishing was great!
We actually caught most of the little guys on micro leeches and a great Bob Sheedy pattern first shown to me at the 5th National Fly Fishing Championships in Grande Prairie Alberta back in September of 2007. The fly is basically a leech pattern with a bright orange head and a slightly darker orange body. It was tied specifically for a tannin-coloured lake. Stump Lake is tannin stained. Anyway, the fly worked with a very quick strip 3 strip 2 strip 3 pause presentation.
We ended up retaining two of the fish due to a deep hookset. The stomach contents showed that the trout had been eating leeches, chironomids, and black ants. Daphnia were collected from a throat sample from another fish. Unfortunately, there were no pumpkinseed in these fish but they may be just too small to have been feeding on them.
Stump lake is a great place to get slightly remote and catch a few when you only have a few hours to fish! Good luck out there!