The trail to Eagle Lake starts at the Eagle Falls
trailhead which is located at the southwestern corner of Lake Tahoe near Emerald Bay. It is a popular trailhead for overnight
backpackers and more importantly, day hikers who wish to see Eagle falls. My advice is to arrive early in the morning to find a
decent parking spot.
The hike is short, being only one mile in distance, but it is also a moderate to strenuous hike in terms of elevation gain. So,
essentially it is short and sweet. The trail generally follows Eagle Creek all the way up to the lake including one stream crossing
on a nice wooden bridge so do not worry about crossing this stream. In late May, when I went, the snow pack was abundant and the
creek was running high and hard. Upon arrival, I noticed that there were not many good campsites at Eagle Lake so I settled for an
area in the trees on the south side of the lake. Steep rock walls prohibit camping on the north side, leaving the south side
and inlet area the only areas suitable to pitch a tent. In terms of people, I heard other hikers walk by all day and various
groups of day hikers who made it to Eagle Lake itself and then turned around.
Eagle Lake has some properties that hamper fishing like brush around the shores' edge and steep cliff walls on the north side
which cannot be accessed on foot.
I started to fish Eagle Lake walking and casting a Panther Martin with a yellow body around the south and west shores without any
luck. I inflated my raft and rowed out to the inlet area where I managed to hook up with a chunky Rainbow which was dawning it's
spawning colors. The bright red band and tiny dark speckles were the last thing I saw before my line broke
and my excitement waned. I worked the inlet area a while longer using Wooly Buggers and an Olive Matuka.
After receiving no further attention in this area, I rowed over to the small island to rest and try out some different flies in
my flybox. After tying on a chartreuse grasshopper, I managed to hook into one more red-banded Rainbow with enough attitude to
buck my hook and escape. So, needless to say, I released all fish I hooked into at Eagle Lake. In conclusion, the fish are wary
and can be difficult to hook into and can be even harder to bring into your net.