Medical Lake - West
5 DAY FORECAST
PRIME FEEDING TIMES
Food-rich West Medical Lake has many times been described as one of Washington's top trout producers, and I've been among those praising it. The lake bottom is alive with freshwater shrimp, dobsonfly larvae, and other creepy crawlers too numerous to mention, and the rainbows gorge on them, growing as fast as an inch a month during certain times of the year. It had some problems with non-trout species until 2000, when it was treated with rotenone and restocked with both rainbows and brown trout. Hefty triploid rainbows were added to the angling menu in 2001 and continue to be stocked every spring, providing even greater opportunity for anglers to hook a trout of 1.5 pounds or better. Tiger trout also have been stocked in the lake periodically over the past few years.
West Medical has so much food in it that the trout don't even have to work at it, and that's why some regulars say trolling isn't all that productive. "Why should the trout go out of their way to chase down a moving lure when there's all this stuff just sitting around for the taking?" they reason. Makes sense. Whatever the reason, stillfishing produces some of the best catches of rainbows, and the bait of choice is a live dobsonfly larva, fished by itself or in conjunction with a salmon egg, worm, or marshmallow.
If you simply can't sit still for stillfishing, some trolling lures seem to work better than others here. They include Luhr Jensen Needlefish in red and rainbow finishes, redhead Triple Teazers, Wedding Ring spinners, red Rooster Tails, and nickel/redhead or fire Super Dupers.
Lots of West Medical anglers do their fishing with flies, either the dry kind that float on the surface or the nymphs that sink toward the bottom and imitate the dobsonflies and other natural inhabitants of the lake upon which the rainbows feed. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that you don't have to be very good at fly-fishing to catch trout here on artificials.
One more important word of advice: The undeveloped west side of the lake always seems to provide better fishing than the east side. You may want to prospect around a little, but chances are you'll end up along the lake's eastern shoreline, like most everybody else.