Blackstone Lake Washington

Blackstone Lake Washington

Blackstone Lake--At first sight, this small lake, nestled on the west bank of the Yakima River, looks more like a gravel pit than your typical eastern Washington desert impoundment. But put your U-Boat in the water and suddenly everything changes. The tall old cottonwood trees along the river are a scenic backdrop, and when a trout rises, you're in another world.

Blackstone Lake was dug as a gravel source for local road construction, but when water began to fill the lake, the owners discovered that it was the perfect temperature for trout. The digging operation continues, and the lake is now about five acres.

Initial stocks were Kamloops rainbows, but subsequent plantings were more aggressive hybrids that have some Skamania steelhead stock mixed with the Kamloops. Almost immediately, great numbers of freshwater shrimp and other aquatic life provided high-calorie food, and the fish have thrived beyond the managers' wildest dreams.

I fished the lake in late April, taking numerous 4- to 7-pound fish with an occasional 8- or 9-pounder. The largest caught by our party was a fat, yet beautifully proportioned, 11-pound hen. All were healthy and full of fight and were released unharmed.


The lake is open from mid-March through mid-June and closed during the summer to avoid stress on the trout due to warmer water temperatures. Blackstone booking agent Ryan Lampers reopens fishing in mid-September, and fishing continues into November. He only books two to three days per week, to give the fish a rest and to provide all anglers shots at happy fish. Lampers prefers small groups of from four to six anglers, priced at $170 per angler per day. Blackstone is a unique fishery, an unusual opportunity for a true trophy trout.


You'll need at least a 6-weight rod, with good reserve power in the butt, to handle the extreme winds that blow in the spring and to fight the large fish (fall has more reliable weather). Anything lighter than a 6-weight puts too much stress on the fish because it takes too long to land them.

Most anglers fish either a floating line with an extra-long leader with a 4- to 6-pound-test tippet or a sinking-tip with a standard 7- to 9-foot leader. Teeny 130-grain shooting-taper or Teeny 5-foot Mini Tip lines work extremely well for nymph and streamer fishing, but a full-sinking line also works well. You should take a second rod for dry-fly fishing at those times during the day when numerous hatches emerge and the fish feed greedily. It's a sight to see an 8-pound rainbow nonchalantly swim up and inhale a #16 Adams in the shallows.

A number of different fly patterns work on this little lake, especially nymphs ranging from a #10 or #12 Bead-head Prince to a #12 or #14 green scud with a cellophane back. Late May through mid-June is prime time for damselflies, and #14 to #18 burgundy Chironomid pupa imitations are a good bet in March and April and again in October. Black or olive leech patterns and black or olive Woolly Buggers work throughout the season.

The lake is 18 to 20 feet deep with lots of shallows, but weeds are not a problem and you can fish from the shore or wade. These large trout cruise onto the shallow flats and take #12 to #16 Adams or Parachutes Adams patterns. A kick-boat provides the best platform for this fishing.


You can expect to catch from 30 to 50 trout per day on Blackstone Lake, with two up to 10 pounds and lots of 8- to 10-pound fishthey often break you off. The average trout size is six pounds and the largest fish ever caught on the lake weighed around 17 pounds. I caught two 14-pounders in one afternoon on a #8 Black Teeny Nymph. The Bead-head Prince Nymph is by far the best pattern, because it gets down to the bottom fast, but any nymph pattern works.

Blackstone Lake is located about a mile north of the Ellensburg exit off Interstate 90, about 30 miles from Yakima. Blackstone supplies no gear or lunches, but has a few loaner float tubes and one rowboat. For more information on bookings, contact Ryan Lampers, (360) 691-6706. Anglers can stay at one of four motels at the Ellensburg exit off Interstate 90.

Bruce Holt is Director of Public Relations for the G. Loomis rod company. He lives in Kalama, Washington. Fly Fishing Washington


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

All these tricks can be put to use on poppers or sliders for anything with fins, from panfish to billfish.

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa's Todd Barker reveals the features of the new Costa Ferg sunglasses, a best-of-category winner at ICAST 2020.

New Gloves from Fish Monkey

New Gloves from Fish Monkey

Quick look at Stealth, Half-Fingered & Stubby gloves; 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

What

What's Next for ASA & ICAST?

American Sportfishing Association president talks ICAST, coronavirus and the fishing industry.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Here are seven important strategies from some of the world's best nymph fishermen. Beginners

7 Tips for Rigging Your Nymphs like a Pro

George Daniel - March 11, 2019

Here are seven important strategies from some of the world's best nymph fishermen.

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones are brightly colored treasures. Trout

Alpine Lakes for Remote Monsters

Landon Mayer - April 18, 2018

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones...

Best Panfish Flies Flies

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris

Best Panfish Flies

The top eight spots for lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. Beginners

Locating Stillwater Trout

Ross Purnell

The top eight spots for lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

See More Trending Articles

More United States

How the Lackawanna went from lackluster to a Class A trout stream. United States

Pennsylvania's Waking Giant: The Lackawanna River

Adam Nidoh - December 10, 2018

How the Lackawanna went from lackluster to a Class A trout stream.

Elk Creek, a tributary of the Conejos River, offers diverse water types in a pristine setting. United States

Colorado's Elk Creek

Landon Mayer - August 21, 2018

Elk Creek, a tributary of the Conejos River, offers diverse water types in a pristine setting.

Lake Almanor is all about big smiles, big fish, and bigger experiences. United States

Lake Almanor: Seasonal Strategies for Trophy Trout and Bass

Lance Gray - April 17, 2020

Lake Almanor is all about big smiles, big fish, and bigger experiences.

See More United States

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now