Club History
Bringing people together who enjoy high lake fishing

A shared sense of purpose

The Hi-Lakers were founded in 1958, bringing together a group of people who loved the high lakes- the scenery, the challenge, the fishing and the camaraderie.

The Club was small in the early days. Club founder John Higgins typewrote the Washington State Hi-Lakers Requirements in 1966 or earlier, according to Hi-Laker Virg Harder, who remembers being handed a copy in 1966. The laconic document lists fourteen club rules and requirements, including annual backpacking trips to areas over 3,000 feet of elevation, sharing information on routes and fish caught to active members on request, and cleaning up any debris encountered. The spirit of those rules remains with the club today, though not as formal requirements.

The Hi-Lakers Creed, a one-page document from 1991 or possibly a few years earlier, author unknown, describes the club's origins and activities. It begins with the words of poet Robert Service:

The wanderlust has taught me

It has whispered in my heart

Things you stay-at-homes

Will never know

In the 1980's the Club rebuilt and for about 15 years maintained the Granite Mountain lookout near Snoqualmie Pass. More recently, the club initiated efforts to test whether introducing predator fish into overpopulated lakes can reduce the number of stunted fish, and thus improve fishing.

Virg Harder has written a narrative of his experiences of becoming a Hi-Laker and seeing the club evolve from 1964 to 2006. Thank you Virg for the time capsule.

The Hi-Lakers celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2008. Membership numbers have varied greatly over the decades, as has the flavor of the club. Every decade brings its own specificity. But the alpine lakes and mountains remain a constant. Today the club has more members than ever, about 120, with an average of about 25 in attendance at the monthly meetings.

Hi-Lakers' Sponsors

The Club is grateful for the support of local businesses who share our enthusiasm for the outdoors.
John Higgins and Don Cannon
Club founder John Higgins and Don Cannon, September 1965
John Higgins and Jim Lett fishing Upper Falls Lake
Club founder John Higgins with Jim Lett, fishing Upper Falls Lake, August 1966
Granite Mtn Lookout
Granite Mountain Lookout
Fly casting at the summer picnic
The club added a summer picnic and casting contest to its regular activities in 2007
Don Cannon cutting the cake
The Hi-Lakers celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2008. Don Cannon cuts the cake.