Hilltop Bass Jon Luke
giant bass on hilltop lake
Hilltop overview

We offer trips for both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass in Central and Eastern Washington, but our main focus and the "bread and butter" of our Bass program is Hilltop Lake. Hilltop Lake is a private fly fishing only lake located about 45 minutes east of our shop near the Gorge amphitheater. The high population of Largemouth bass in the lake along with the respectable size of these fish have led many to refer to Hilltop Lake as "The Disneyland of Largemouth fishing."

big bass on hilltop lake fly fishing

Trophy Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing Flies and Resources

At 35 acres in size, Hilltop is just the right size for a small craft Do It Yourself fishery.  The lake itself is long and relatively skinny with great Bass habitat including cattails, Russian olive trees, and weed beds surrounding the entire shoreline.  This creates an unlimited number of pockets and undercuts to probe with a variety of flies as you work the edges from a drift boat, pontoon, or float tube.  Hilltop Lake provides a quality Largemouth experience and offers a legitimate opportunity to land a 5+ pound trophy Bucketmouth on the fly.

While fishing is fishing, and they can inexplicably become lock-jawed at anytime, the fact that we restrict angler days and allow fly fishing only on Hilltop Lake gives anglers a "better than average" chance at experiencing something special.  Most days the fishing is anything but technical.  Largemouth bass are predators and when they set their sights on eating something, they're going to get it done!  Given the dense riparian foliage surrounding the entire lake and soft mud bottom throughout, bank angling is simply not an option.  Pontoon boats, drift boats,prams,  float tubes, and even small rowable sleds work well and are necessary to effectively fish the lake.

Two Options for Fishing Hilltop Lake:

1.  Do It Yourself Hilltop Lake rod fee:  All appropriate intel and directions are provided in advance.  We'll discuss areas of the lake, flies, gear, and techniques.  Bring your own gear including boat and flies and have at it!  To maintain a quality fishing experience, mixed groups (anglers who don't know each other in advance) are limited to 4 anglers per day, and exclusive groups (all anglers in one party) to 6, which is the maximum group size allowed.

2.  Red's Guided Hilltop Lake trip:  We offer half day guided trips on Hilltop Lake.  Included in this package is appropriate rods, reels, lines and flies as well as non alcoholic drinks and a meal.  Fishing is done from drift boats and trip times are scheduled around the most productive fishing window that your schedule will allow.  This often means the afternoon in the Spring months or evening in the Summer months.

jensen rotter fly casting poppers

Cost and Details

Anglers should consider time of day as they plan their trip. In the early spring we tend to encourage fishing during the warmest part of the afternoon into the early evening, but not until dark.  In the late spring - summer, dusk provides the greatest frequency of action assuming we don't have high winds or a cold front. In July and August, early morning trips and hitting the lake at dawn for the first few hours of the day can be a huge advantage!

Guided Trips vs. DIY

  • Non Guided Trips: $150 Per Angler/Day
  • Guided Trips:  $495 per day (1 or 2 clients - 4+ hours ).

Guided Trips Include:

  • All Bass Flies and Accessories (leader, tippet, etc.)
  • Any Needed Equipment (7-8 weight rods, bass taper lines, waders, etc.)
  • Lunch on the water
  • Non-alcoholic Drinks

Deposit and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made by the customer less than 72 hours from the start time, will forfeit 50% of the total cost.  If you cancel more than 72 hours from the start time, you may reschedule or request a refund minus 5%.  Cancellations within 24 hours or failure to show will forfeit 100% of the trip cost.  If Red's decides to cancel the event due to adverse conditions the customer may request a full refund.