Mastering the Art of Fishing at Letts Lake: Your Ultimate Guide to a Rewarding Angling Experience

Letts Lake, situated amidst the serene embrace of the Mendocino National Forest, beckons anglers with the promise of an idyllic fishing retreat in the heart of nature’s splendor. As you embark on your angling adventure at Letts Lake, prepare to be enchanted by the tranquil waters and abundant fish species that await you. Here’s your comprehensive guide to making the most of your fishing expedition at Letts Lake.

When it comes to fishing at Letts Lake, you can expect an array of fish species to test your angling skills and provide ample excitement. From the shimmering rainbow trout to the elusive brown trout, and the spirited largemouth bass to the resilient kokanee salmon, Letts Lake offers a diverse ecosystem that caters to anglers of all preferences and abilities. Whether you’re aiming for a trophy-sized catch or simply seeking the thrill of reeling in your next meal, Letts Lake has something for everyone.

Despite its remote location and challenging access, Letts Lake boasts a rich history as a cherished fishing destination within the Mendocino National Forest. Spanning 35 acres and nestled at an elevation of 4,500 feet, Letts Lake offers a secluded haven for camping and fishing enthusiasts alike. Stocked with trout in early summer and teeming with opportunities for bass and catfish, Letts Lake invites you to immerse yourself in its natural beauty and tranquil surroundings.

For first-time anglers venturing to Letts Lake, strategic planning and informed tactics can make all the difference in ensuring a successful fishing experience. From timing your fishing trips to exploring diverse depths and staying informed about local insights and regulations, there are several key strategies to maximize your chances of landing the perfect catch. Equipped with versatile rods, smooth reels, and an assortment of lures and live bait, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the challenges and rewards of fishing at Letts Lake.

So, whether you’re casting your line at the break of dawn or enjoying the peaceful solitude of a late evening fishing excursion, Letts Lake invites you to discover the joys of angling amidst breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. As you embark on your fishing journey at Letts Lake, remember to embrace the beauty of nature, respect the environment, and savor every moment spent in pursuit of your next great catch. Get ready to reel in memories that will last a lifetime at Letts Lake, where every cast holds the promise of adventure and discovery.

Types of Fish You Can Expect to Catch Here

  1. Rainbow Trout:
    • Abundant in the cool and clear waters of Letts Lake.
    • Sizes range from 12 to 18 inches, with trophy-sized trout exceeding 20 inches.
    • Best fishing season: Throughout the year, especially in spring and fall.
  2. Brown Trout:
    • Less common but offering a more challenging catch.
    • Averages 14-20 inches, with some exceeding 24 inches.
    • Best fishing season: Year-round, with a focus on late fall and winter.
  3. Largemouth Bass:
    • Abundant in shallow areas near submerged vegetation.
    • Sizes range from 1 to 5 pounds, with some reaching 8 pounds or more.
    • Best fishing season: Summer months.
  4. Kokanee Salmon:
    • Thrives in deeper waters, particularly near the dam.
    • Sizes range from 10 to 14 inches, with some reaching 18 inches.
    • Best fishing season: Spring and summer.

History of Letts Lake

Accessing Letts Lake may present challenges, but the reward lies in discovering a small lake set at an elevation of 4,500 feet in the heart of the Mendocino National Forest. The lake spans 35 acres and features a few campgrounds on the north shore, providing a peaceful camping/fishing destination. With trout reaching up to 12 inches, Letts Lake is ideal for those who relish ending the day with a trout fry. It is spring-fed, stocked with trout in early summer, and offers opportunities for largemouth bass and catfish. The surrounding area is picturesque, boasting excellent views and opportunities for hiking.

Top 5 Tips for First-Time Anglers

  • Strategic Timing: Plan your fishing trip early in the morning or late in the evening for optimal productivity.
  • Light Tackle: Opt for lightweight tackle, especially for rainbow and brown trout, as they respond well to delicate presentations.
  • Dam Area Exploration: The dam area is a hotspot for kokanee salmon fishing, particularly in the spring and summer.
  • Trolling and Bait Fishing: Utilize trolling with small spoons or jigs for kokanee and bait fishing with worms or nightcrawlers for rainbow and brown trout.
  • Research Local Insights: Gather insights from locals regarding specific fishing locations and preferred methods.

Top 5 Strategies and Tactics

  • Seasonal Planning: Visit Letts Lake throughout the year, adjusting your tactics based on the targeted species and their seasonal behavior.
  • Early Mornings and Late Evenings: Optimal fishing times often coincide with early mornings and late evenings, especially during warmer months.
  • Diverse Depths: Explore different depths for various fish species, adjusting your techniques accordingly.
  • Bank Fishing: Take advantage of accessible bank fishing points around the lake for a diverse angling experience.
  • Stay Informed: Regularly check and adhere to the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements.

Top 5 Recommendations on Fishing Gear

  • Versatile Rods: Choose a versatile spinning rod for varied fishing experiences.
  • Smooth Reels: Opt for a reel with a smooth drag system suitable for the targeted species.
  • Assorted Lures: Include an assortment of crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, spoons, and small flies for diverse fishing conditions.
  • Live Bait Supply: Ensure you have a supply of worms, minnows, and nightcrawlers for effective bait fishing.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check out our Gearlist account for specific gear recommendations to maximize your fishing experience at Letts Lake.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.


Letts Lake, nestled within the tranquil embrace of the Mendocino National Forest, stands as a testament to the timeless allure of fishing amidst nature’s beauty. As you conclude your angling adventure at Letts Lake, take a moment to reflect on the memories made and the experiences shared in this picturesque wilderness setting.

Throughout your time at Letts Lake, you’ve had the opportunity to connect with nature in its purest form, casting your line into crystal-clear waters and immersing yourself in the serene ambiance of the forest surroundings. Whether you’ve reeled in a trophy-sized trout or simply enjoyed the peaceful solitude of a quiet morning by the lake, each moment spent at Letts Lake has been a cherished reminder of the joys of angling.

As you prepare to depart from Letts Lake and return to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, carry with you the memories of tranquil sunsets, the thrill of a biting fish, and the camaraderie shared with fellow anglers. Letts Lake may be a remote destination, but its beauty and serenity have left an indelible mark on your heart, reminding you of the importance of preserving and protecting our natural landscapes for future generations to enjoy.

In the days and weeks ahead, as you reminisce about your time at Letts Lake, may you find yourself inspired to seek out new fishing adventures and explore the wonders of other wilderness destinations. Whether you’re planning your next fishing trip or simply daydreaming about the tranquil shores of Letts Lake, remember that the beauty of nature is always waiting to be discovered, just beyond the horizon.

So, as you bid farewell to Letts Lake and embark on the journey homeward, take solace in knowing that this enchanting wilderness retreat will always hold a special place in your heart. Until we meet again, may the memories of Letts Lake continue to inspire and uplift you, reminding you of the timeless joy found in the simple pleasures of fishing amidst nature’s grandeur.