Jason (my brother in law) was in McCall, and we wanted to go fly fishing. We decided to try Louie Lake.
From the trailhead, the hike is approximately a mile. It is a consistent uphill climb, but if you are in decent shape you will handle it fine. I saw other fisherman hiking in with their float tubes, so it is definitely a doable hike for most.
Unfortunately, for me and Jason we only enjoyed the trail on the way down. Apparently, we did not start on the correct trailhead, and we spent an extra two hours enjoying the foliage.
We arrived at the lake behind schedule. Nonetheless, we had some success in a short amount of time.
I picked up a fish on a hopper pattern, but the wind picked up so we went subsurface. We fished black and olive cone-head wooly buggers. These worked well and most of our hits were near weed lines, drop offs, and boulders.
Next time I fish it I will bring a full sinking intermediate and type 2 or 3 line. We fished it in September, and the water was cool enough that the trout were not holding deep. However, a hot summer day in July or August could drive them deeper, so again take a sinking line just in case.
Overall it seems like a productive lake. It is also a good place to take beginners. Jason is fairly new to fly fishing, and he was able land a couple cutthroats in the short amount of time we had.
Louie Lake Overview:
Fishing Quality: Excellent. Cutthroats were a good size and fought hard.
Skill Level: Good place for beginners
Equipment: 5 or 6 weight. Floating Line and a full sinking line. A float tube would open up more fishing opportunities, but we fished the banks and caught plenty.
Family Friendly: Yes. However, the hike would be challenging for small children. If hiking with kids adults should be prepared to carry them for a good portion of the hike.
Notes: The surrounding area is beautiful and is a great place for fishermen or non-fishermen to enjoy a lunch by the lake.