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BIG HEART

The lake can be reached by hiking 11 kilometers (6.84 miles) on Trail #1064, The West Foss River Trail, up Forest Road 68 off Highway 2 a mile or two east of Skykomish. The trail begins at an elevation of 500 meters (1,640 feet) for a total net elevation gain of 2,904 feet. Most of this is gained between Trout Lake (616 meters) and Copper Lake (1207 meters), a difference of 591 meters (1,939 feet) gained in roughly 2.5 miles. (Elevation and distances per the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Map, Second Edition, 1989) It was reported to my by various hikers and fishermen during my trip that fish in excess of 20 inches inhabited this lake. One hiker told me that a flatfish worked well for these lunkers. If indeed there are large trout in the lake, they would require either a diet of forage fishes or some other high calorie source. I fished with a trustworthy leech imitation but without success on this lake. Moreover, there is no significant inlet for spawning; so it’s speculative how the cutthroat successfully spawn in and for this lake. In summary, catching fish larger than nine inches is a challenge in this lake. Since the hike is challenging, it is recommended you pack as light as possible. Although the mosquitoes were not a surprise, the biting flies were. Plan accordingly. Mike MacGregor