Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calligan Lake, Hancock Tree Farm

Misty Shoreline

Calligan Lake sits at 2200 feet where the Hancock tree farm borders the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Like most of the lakes in the ALW, Calligan has a late season start -- June 1st. The lake gets some pressure due to a crude but motor accessible boat launch but on many days, even weekends, one can be the only angler there all day.

The Green Shack has Moved

The lake has changed in the last couple of years. This funky fishing shack has migrated a quarter mile east from its original plot and has been commandeered as some kind of floating garden house. There are planter pots with little plants in them on raft that supports the shack. To what purpose??? Fascinating!

Helping the Loons

There's a new sign at the launch -- it says that there are only 15 nesting loons in the state of Washington and not to disturb the birds if you see them. None were seen today, though here is a picture of a nesting platform.

His and Hers Indicators

Calligan contains a mix of self-reproducing rainbows and cutthroats. Mostly coastal cutthroats. Old timers will tell you that you can catch these guys up to 20" or more at Calligan, but I've never seen anything larger than 14 or 15". The fish are wild, feisty, moody and hungry. There isn't a lot of food in this lake so the trout can get very agressive.

Wait a minute, this isn't a cutthroat!

On this sunny Wednesday, early in the Calligan fishing season, the two best fish caught were neither 'cutts nor 'bows, but brook trout! This one, a 15" old timer with black gums, could not resist the Steak Salad and Lobster fly. This exciting fly was recommended by Rex Takasugi, though I don't recall where he got it from.

The Pink Lady fishing

The lady and I were the only people on the lake this day. We fished for six hours and caught 15 fish (she: 8, me: 7). The brook trout and the scenery were the stars today. Props again to our friend Alex who took Casey on a hike to Twin Falls and made this day possible. Thanks Alex!


  1. Hey, I was curious where you purchase a Hancock Tree Farm Permit? Thanks for you help, and really enjoy your blog.

  2. Purchase Online at the Hancock website
    I have a map overlay for the hancock land that works on google earth and you can also use it on your iPhone using google earth. Great for hunting,hiking, and fishing. Email me at for a digital copy for $20.
    Believe me, it's worth the 20 bucks.

  3. No it is not worth 20 bucks as the Hancock roads are available on regular GPS lol moron.

  4. Is the fishing shack usable as shelter?