George Cook is back on the podcast to break down lake fishing with a fly with a focus on Issac’s Ranch out of Washington State.  There are a ton of lakes scattered throughout Washington state that the tips we discuss today apply to.  

We find out why George not only loves red-colored flies for steelhead but also for lake fishing.  We also hear about orange, chartreuse, and other great tips if you want to catch trout off of the bank with a fly.


Click below and listen to George Cook on Lake Fishing with a Fly:

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lake fishing
photo via: Photo by G-R Mottez on Unsplash


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Show Notes on Lake Fishing with a Fly

01:40 – George Cook was on the podcast in episode 131 and talked about the history of NW Spey.

04:30 – George noted Issak’s Ranch and how it all came to be one of the great Kamloops fisheries in the west.  

16:50 – Desert Anglers books the trips with Darcie.

26:20 – Rufus Woods has some of the largest fish in the entire state of Washington.

lake fishing
Rufus Woods Lake – photo via:


27:15 – Phil Rowley was on the podcast in a past episode and broke down chironomid fishing on stillwater. 

**Phil Rowley was back on for his second time sharing his new Orvis book on fishing lakes.


32:30 – Denny Rickards was on the podcast in episode 64 and covered stillwater fishing with a focus on targeting trout.

33:05 – Greg Thomas from Anglers and American Anglers.

37:15 – The Thin mint is super deadly fly that George uses at Isaak’s Ranch.

37:30 – George noted the Jerry Darkes episode #170 where Jerry broke down fly fishing the Great Lakes.


You can find Geroge on Instagram at StateofSpey.


Top Tips for Lake Fishing with a Fly

  1. Floating line for chironomid fishing with 10 foot leader
  2. Intermediate and the camolux by RIO is the best
  3. Type 6 line or 6 inches per second sink rate
  4. Look for flats, points and/or drop offs to find fish
  5. Orange, white and red mid day in a size 8 is killer
  6. The chartreuse Carey Special in the 1-5 pm period
  7. Go with intermediate if you could only pick one line
  8. 3, 2 or 1x are all good for tippet
  9. Fish the fly all the way into the nail knot hitting your rod tip
  10. Cover the water from 10 to 2 systematically across



Videos and/or podcasts Noted in the Show

How to tie the thin mint


“Fish your fly all the way in until the the nail knot hits your rod tip.”

-George Cook


lake fishing with a fly
photo via: lake fishing with a fly

Conclusion with George Cook on Lake Fishing with a Fly

George Cook breaks out the steps to lake fishing with a fly as we focus on eastern Washington lakes.  We find out why scuds are super prevalent but they don’t fish them.

We cover the Thin mint and how you can systematically cover the water fishing from the bank.  There is enough content in this podcast to get you started and into trout on the lake even if you are brand new to stillwater.