Fly Fish Sylvan Dale: “Weather Cold – Fishing Hot!”

By Season Member, Glen Colton:

I fished Mother Lake twice this week realizing that the ‘good’ weather was coming to an end but I still had a few days of fishing left before it gets too cold for my liking.

I fished one day with my buddy Dave and one with Frank. On both days the weather was great; 50 degrees or so with little wind (except the wind came up late afternoon one day).

The water temperature was around 43 degrees with no ice on the lake. I tried fishing Island Lake for a short time the second day with no luck, but did not really give it a chance because the fishing was too good on Mother.

The fishing was great both days! If the lake does not freeze over, I would recommend anglers who are looking for a fishing fix to get out to Sylvan Dale soon and wet their lines!

Rainbow Trout Drawing

Rainbow Trout Drawing


We fished both days mostly from pontoon boats/float tubes. There was no hatch to speak of, so fishing from the boats enabled us to reach all areas of the lake. We did have some luck the second day fishing from shore with streamers and meat whistles. We mostly fished the west and south ends of the lake.

We caught a mixture of rainbows and browns — including Dave landing a monstrous 28 x 19 inch reddish colored rainbow (12.5 pounds) that looked like one of the fish you see from the Frying Pan/Taylor Rivers! And Frank landed a huge, but slightly smaller 27 x 16 inch rainbow. I had to settle for the run of the mill 20 – 23 inch fish, but of course, they bend the rod just fine. (Note to self; If I want to catch the biggest fish I should not fish with guys like Dave and Frank who know how to catch really really big fish.)

We caught most of the fish in water 2 – 5′ deep with meat whistles, buggers, slumpbusters and other flies fished slowly. I had particularly good luck with a Big Hole bugger followed by a tangerine egg, catching fish on both. At times, some of the fish moved into the shallows chasing minnows. A vanilla bugger, leech pattern, or small peacock bugger worked well for those fish.

The first evening was windy, so we hung up the rods early. The second night was calm, so we fished after dark for an hour or so (until about 6pm). I was in the pontoon using the Big Hole bug and was getting a hit every 2nd or 3rd cast! Frank was fishing from shore and getting fish as well. We finally hung it up when we started getting ice in the guides and because our fishing appetites were whetted.

Another couple of fabulous days fishing at Sylvan Dale. Why drive to Wyoming or Montana when you can fish close to home for big fish? Thanks to the Sylvan Dale crew, including Kathi, David, and Ted.

Filed under Conditions, Fishing by on #