Many benefits come with being a Hi-Laker, but none greater than meeting the amazing people our club brings together. Getting to know one another in the absence of in-person meetings has been hard. To make it easier, each month we’ll learn more about a fellow club member through a Q&A session. To lead off, I’m proud to introduce my new friend, and one of our newer members, Anson Evans.
Quick Bio: Age 30, Issaquah, married, works in residential solar sales, and his love of fishing the high country and all things Cascades is equaled only by his passion for surfing big waves.
Why did you join the Hi-Lakers?
I joined because I’ve been in love with our alpine environments for the past 4 years I’ve lived in the Seattle area. I spent the majority of my time doing long distance trail runs on multi-day backpacking routes/cross country travel. Basically the further I could get off trail and away from people, the more fun I was having.
I was very into lake bagging but never thought much of fishing until last year when I bought Washington’s Central Cascades fishing guide by Dave Shorett and that opened the door to finding the Hi-Lakers through nwhikers.net and a buddy in the Trailblazers.
What do you want most from your HL membership?
The beta! Haha, I love having access to trip reports and data on every little pot hole in the Cascades. Also the connection amongst members. Obviously its been difficult since I joined the group during the lockdown last spring but interacting with people like Tony and Brian have made being in the group that much more valuable, with the expertise and knowledge on our alpine lakes from great people like them.
What’s your favorite setup for fishing high lakes?
I geek out pretty hard on new gear. I started fishing the high country last year with a 5wt Orvis Clearwater setup strictly throwing dry flies and the occasional wooly bugger.
I got obsessed with fishing since and go a few times a week now so this upcoming summer I’ll be bringing a 7’6” 3wt Moonshine rod with a Redington Zero reel (super light setup) and a 10 ft 2wt Echo Shadow X and sage click reel for small streamers. Kokopelli Hornet lite packraft is a must to bring but I’m always happy to throw some flies from a grassy bank.
What was your first high lake experience like?
I’ll never forget it. It was 6 years ago to lake Blanche in the Wasatch mountains of Utah. I actually asked a gas station attendant if he knew any good hikes nearby since I was in town for work, and he recommended it. At the time I was pretty ignorant to mountain travel but I typed in the hike on my gps and luckily made it to the trailhead and up to the lake with no map or gear other than a backpack with a couple cereal bars and a half drank water bottle.
When I discovered this was a lake at the top of the mountains, my mind was blown. In my 24 years (back then) I never knew places like this existed. I had only lived in Hawaii and Florida up until that point. I loved it so much, I went back up the next two days in a row with friends I had to share it with. Fast forward 2 years later and I’d move to my wife’s hometown of Issaquah and would soon discover the Mecca of alpine lakes in my backyard. Best thing to ever happen to me.
Any thoughts on what we can do to help preserve the high lake environment?
I feel the club does a great job of being extremely informative on etiquette and care for these places in the meetings. I always bring an extra garbage bag for trash and rubber gloves when hiking. Its not my favorite to remove things like wild toilet paper blooms but just taking out more than I brought in feels like a duty I owe to these places that bring me so much joy.
Destroying fire rings is another huge one. I spoke to the lead ranger of the Cle Elum district near Spectacle lake last summer and he recommended disposing of burnt wood from fire rings in nearby water to discourage others from making fires.