Late July and parts
of August can be a very tough call.
Agricultural demand for water is high and the high temperatures
effects the fishing on this river greatly. Sometimes
temperatures drop well below normal during this
period and the good fishing is resurrected.
Traditionally caddis are the primary hatch, with
some stoneflies and a variety of mayflies during
One of the
many lakes near the timber line in the Lost River Range .
However fishing the
Big Lost river or the streams around it are not your only
options. There are over 100 mountains lakes in
the area with more than 30 stocked with fish. Fish
were not present in any lakes prior
to being introduced by man. They were first
stocked in the lakes in the late 1800's or early
1900's during the historic copper and gold-mining
era. About five lakes have developed self
sustaining populations and are no longer stocked.
However, natural reproduction does not occur in most
lakes due to a lack of spawning habitat or
reproduction is not sufficient to maintain desired
Access to the lakes varies. Some
lakes are accessible by trail while others require
cross-country travel. The distance from access
roads to the lakes varies from about a half a mile to
several miles. Most of the lakes are located
at elevations between 9,000 and 10,500 feet.
Ice leaves the lakes between May and August
depending on the particular lake and year. It's
important to remember the climate on the ranges and
change rapidly, in some cases dropping 30-40 degrees
within hours. In a nutshell, dress appropriately and
dress in layers.
Autumn may be the best time to fish in the Lost
River Valley. Temperatures are comfortable,
few anglers are about and the bold colors of autumn
are among you. Needless to say a heavier tippet is
recommended. The fish tend to be more
aggressive this time of year. Anglers should
do well using Blue Wing Olives and Black Baetis as
mayflies are normally present during the warmest
part of the day. If you happen upon a pool,
nymphs work well and if all else fails, casting a
streamer is enough to tout some of those autumn
The bar supposedly was won in a gambling game and
brought from Cape of Good Horn in 1917.
Overall the Lost River Valley is quite a good
fishery with bold and beautiful scenery.
two larger towns, Arco and Mackay have very
interesting histories dating back to the 1800's and
it would be of good educational value to stop and
visit these two communities.
Season: Big Lost River, Memorial Day
Weekend thru- October 31st, November 1st- March 31st
catch & release only.
Mackay Reservoir, Open Year Round - 6 Fish Limit
Rainbow Trout, Brook
Trout, Bull Trout, Kokanee, Cutthroat Trout, Golden Trout,
Mountain Whitefish, and Grayling.
7½- to 8½-foot rods for 3-
to 5-weight line, Spinning
Rods with 4-6# test. Hip waders
in the cooler months.