Re: Blue lake / Brainard Lake
If you're going to be up there, I would NOT recommend Brainard Lake. It's not that you can't catch fish out of there, but it's typically fished pretty heavily due to the easy access from the roads. I fish up in that general area about once a month (including last weekend). Here are my favorite spots up there:
- The stream between Long Lake and Brainard Lake. Park at the trailhead for Long lake and hike about 1/4 mile. On your left you'll see the stream through an opening in the trees. There's a large log jam that you'll see and that's where I've caught my biggest fish there -- a 12" cut. Continue further up and there's a bridge just below the outlet of the lake. Below that bridge you can catch lots of brookies on small spinners, or if you fly fish, I've had good luck with about any small beadhead nymph. They're not big, but there are quite a few.
- Mitchell Lake is another great place to fish. Park at the Mitchell Lake trailhead and hike about a mile to the lake. I've caught fish consistently near the outlet of the lake (it's the first section of the lake you see from the trail) using small spinners and spoons. If you look closely, you can see a creek channel -- indicated by a depper blue color. Keep your lure parallel to the channel for your best chances. Near the inlet to the lake I've also done well. I caught a 15" brook trout last weekend there (and several smaller ones) on a rooster tail.
- Blue Lake. If you make the hike up there, you'll most certainly catch fish on any shiny metal lure.
Have a good time, hope this advice helps. Just remember, the further from the parking lots you get, typically the better the fishing will be.