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Best Place to Hand Catch an Atlantic Salmon 

Hosmer Lake

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Why hasn't anyone told me about this before? Hosmer Lake, with its shallow, crystal-clear waters and virtually no tourists, is GORGEOUS—one of the Cascades' forgotten gems. Among the reeds is where the thick Atlantic salmon can be found. Shining silver and as long as a man's forearm, they are plentiful but can be tough to catch with traditional fly gear (barbless hooks only). That's why you gotta roll up your trousers and get in there. Go native on those suckers—and bear-paw one of them. (Just don't confuse them for the more timid brook trout.) Once you've tired yourself out fishing, relax at nearby Quinn Creek (on Hosmer's northwestern end). There's an idyllic little waterfall that flows into a narrow, shallow stream good for floating or mellow paddling. The singletrack trails that snake around the creek and lake are also worth exploring. (JW)

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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