Ashley Lake lies not far from Kalispell up a bumpy, thirteen-mile gravel
road. Despite lying in a national forest, many summer homes are found
around the lake, although it is far from being a typical summer hideaway
lake. It is a popular lake both for pleasure boating as well as for fly
fishing, as some very large rainbow trout can be pulled out of this lake.
Ashley Lake is quite large, more than a mile in width and 5 miles in
length, and is very deep in spots. The whole area around Ashley Lake
is heavily forested (and logged). Numerous scars from clear cuts mar
the otherwise scenic setting Ashley Lake lies in.
Rainbow trout and cutthroat trout are the primary fish species found
in Ashley Lake. Some of the rainbows, particularly the hybrid rainbows
that are planted in this lake, can get huge. Fish exceeding five pounds
are fairly common and it is not unheard of taking rainbow trout exceeding
The best fly fishing on Ashley Lake for these trout will be along the
shoreline, particularly in the morning and evening hours, as well as
near the inlets of the various feeder creeks and streams.
Ashley Lake receives quite a bit of use, particularly during the summer
and especially on weekends. Lots of fishermen make their way to Ashley
Lake to chase the large trout that are found here. Due to the lakes large
size and private property that is scattered along the lake, a boat is
really need to successfully fish it. Canoes, motorboats, inflatable
boats and even float
tubes all will work fine for Ashley Lake, as it is generally not
horribly windy on this lake. A boat ramp is on the lake to make launching
motorboats easier. A campground is also on Ashley Lake.
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