Brook Trout thrive in some of the more remote waters of Washington State. Yet, if you make your way to their home lakes and streams, you can can find some pretty good fishing.
Brook Trout Basics
Their more formal name is Eastern Brook Trout. Which hints at their natural range, the Eastern United States. Brook Trout are a non-native species in Washington State. Artificial stocking has introduced them to many lakes, now some species have naturalized. They are actually a member of the Char family and are closely related to the Bull Trout and Mackinaw. For the most part, Brook Trout are 8″ to 16″.
How to Identify Brook Trout
Brook Trout are shaped like any other trout, although they have unique characteristics that make them easy to identify. Although Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout have dark spots on a light body background, Brook Trout have light spots on a dark body background. Their bodies are typically olive to dark brown in color. Spots are light yellow or red with a blue outline. They have worm shaped spots on their back that are also usually light yellow in color. Their ventral fins are usually orange with a white stripe.
Where to find Brook Trout in Washington State
Brook Trout can be found in many higher elevation lakes in Washington State. For the most part, the largest concentration of Brook Trout lakes is located in the Cascade Mountain Range. Stocking programs provide many of these lakes with annual plants of fingerlings. They are voracious feeders, and it doesn’t take them long to grow to a catchable size. WDFW’s Brook Trout Page gives more insight into all the lakes that have potential.
Brook Trout Fishing in Washington
I caught my first Brook Trout at the top of White Pass. Leech Lake is a shallow alpine lake within sight of the highway, and it was stuffed with hungry Brook Trout. Like every other time I’ve caught Brook Trout, these were not very selective. Any small streamer or nymph seemed to produce strikes. Since that first trip, I’ve stumbled across a few lakes here in King County that have offered great fishing. My local South Fork Snoqualmie River hosts smaller Brookies in the deeper pools. Although I don’t fish for them often, heading out for Brook Trout adds to the amazing variety of fishing opportunities we have in Washington State.