Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eastern Sierra Trout Season

You can say what you want about Kalifornia. But there is one fact that can never be denied - we have some of them most beautiful back country anyone could ever imagine. It's just too damn bad this lovely State is so full of ... of ... of ... Kalifornians!

Anyway - it looks like I'm gonna miss another year up in the Eastern Sierra. I haven't been up North for the Trout season since 2006. Then again, the season just began and I've got until the end of October. I'll just have to wait and see. But for anyone who wants a vicarious thrill here's a link with some great photos.

I've fished most of the major and many of the smaller lakes and streams in the Sierras over the last thirty-five years and had very good success. As a young man I used to backpack on my vacations and spent time in the back country of Yosemite. In 1978 a good friend and I hiked into Merced and then Washburn lakes and absolutely killed it catching Brooks. Click here to see some nice photos of the Merced and Washburn area trails. Here's a slideshow I made of my last trip in 2006 with my Son and my Buddy Kevin (RIP)

At one time (1992) I had my picture on the "Wall Of Fame" at the Fern Creek Lodge in the June Lake Loop holding a five pound Rainbow brooder I caught with a Rapala floating minnow. Great looking fish - lousy eating. I should have released it. I'm not one of those guys who preach "catch n release". That's up to the individual. I fish because I enjoy being in the mountain environment and I love the taste of Trout. But I'll never keep anything over pan-size again. The brooder I caught had flesh with the consistency of mushrooms. I guess that's the trade-off for catching and eating hatchery raised Trout as opposed to wild. I'll take the wild fish anytime. Anyway, check out some nice fishing links below.

Washburn Lake in the Yosemite Back Country (Short YouTube video)
Eastern Sierra Trout Fishing
Fly Fishing in the Mammoth Hot Creek Area (great fish photos)
Hatch Report  for all you catch n release folks (what's hot right now)
Western Outdoor News: information for all of Kalifornia fishing


CharlieDelta said...

Well gotdamn, I knew there was something I liked about you. I've been fishin' the Eastern Sierra's with my dad for close to 30 years now. Last time I was there was almost exactly a year ago for Opening Day. Damn it's beautiful up there. I've fished all over up there from Lone Pine all the way up to Saddlebag Lake and most everything in between. My dad's buddy has a place on June Lake and he lets us stay at his place most of the time, but I would rather camp and "rough it" with a tent, a campfire, a shit ton of beer, a guitar, rod and reel and some wildlife at Pleasant Valley or somewhere like that. The entire area has changed so much from what I remember it being when my dad first started taking me, but still beautiful never the less.

Sorry you weren't able to make it up there this time. Give me a week in the Eastern Sierras and I don't care what was bothering or troubling me before then; after the first day whatever is was is usually gone. Sometimes even before I get my line wet. Great place for a man to relax and catch some nice Rainbows and Browns, and of course a great buzz! Me and God do a lot of talking when I'm up there too. It's too beautiful up there for it to not be created by some higher power. Shit, I gotta get back up there one of these days soon.

Hope you can too, Rich B. Guys like us deserve a little R&R after dealing with the majority douchbag Commiefornian on a daily basis. We've earned it!

Thanks for bringing back some fond memories of me and my dad for me.

Greasywrench AKA rich b said...

I've been promising my Son another trip back the second we left Oh Ridge at June Lake in 2006. I actually drove the eight-hundred plus miles up and back from here in San Pedro just for a couple of hours of sitting on my ass and doing NOTHING.

I usually fish the June Lake Loop (Gull Lake and Oh Ridge) but I'm like dog shit when it comes to the Sierras - I'm all over. And I have been to Saddlebag Lake too, but it was twenty-five years ago. If I remember, it's pretty close to Tioga Lake.

I've also stayed at Tioga Pass Resort, Fern Creek Lodge, Convict Lake, Mammoth Lakes, all over the damn place. Now days I gotta consider my Wife when it comes to the great outdoors. I can sleep on a rock but she's no spring chicken anymore (if she reads this comment she'll shit).

I used to go up North at least once every year but it's getting tougher as time goes by. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna make it again this year. It just depends on my Wife and her schedule. Hell, the drive up through the Owens Valley is worth the travel time by itself.

I had a nice slide-show I made of our last trip on Facebook but I changed my settings there. Too much bullshit from people I didn't know and spammers. I haven't been doing too much lately on the Facebook account since all I hear is bad shit about them.

BTW, I've got a nice picture of the Brooder I caught at Gull lake back in 1992 if you wanna check it out. It's old and worn out but you can still see the big Rainbow in it. In fact I've got a shitload of pics from years gone past buried somewhere in my garage. One of these days I'm gonna dig em out and make another slide show for my blog.

It's good to know not everyone in Kali is a bleeding heart nut. Helps me keep my faith. God willing, maybe we'll run into each other up there. Anyway, take care CharlieDelta.

CharlieDelta said...

"Hell, the drive up through the Owens Valley is worth the travel time by itself."
No argument from me on that one. Just make sure you don't do even one mph over the posted limit because the CHP that patrol Inyo County are assholes and show no mercy. No kidding, my buddy got a speeding ticket coming back home after a week of heavenly fishing for doing 46 mph in a posted 45 mph zone just outside of Bishop. The judge dismissed it in court a month later, but those cops up there are looking for any reason to pull someone over.

I know what you mean when you say it's getting harder to get up there as time passes. I used to go every year with my dad and his group until dad had his heart attack. Since then it's been few and far between, but I've posted about some of our trips a few years back. My brother and I took him up there for Father's Day in '08 and that was a blast! It doesn't feel right when I'm up there without my pops. He knows that entire area like the back of his hand.

I would love to see the lunker Rainbow you caught in '92. A slide show would be cool too. I never get tired of looking at pictures like that.

That would be really something to bump into you up there some time. Just keep your eyes out for the drunk guy stumbling over a stringer full of fish, or cussing out his crickets for breaking out of the cricket keeper, and you'll know it's me. HA!

Greasywrench AKA rich b said...

Check the original post again CharlieDelta. I linked to my old Brooder picture and my slideshow. They're there now.

I know what you mean about the CHP up on 395. When it says 25MPH it MEANS 25MPH. I've never gotten cited going up or back but when traveling with some of the guys from work a few years back three of em got tickets. We went up in two vans and a truck and everyone got tickets.

Man that was a party. Poker, Shooters of Jack, and Beer all night long with hangovers for breakfast. We actually got banned from the Fern Creek lodge because of all the cigar smoke. We all got limits that weekend too.

Anyway, check the post again - the links are there. The slideshow is in a kind of crappy format but I need to re-up the images to Photobucket and change the settings.

CharlieDelta said...

Wow that's a nice fish you had there in '92. My dad caught one that big a few years back at June Lake, but like you said, Hachery fish just don't taste the same.

I checked out your slideshow link but my eyes aren't what they used to be and I couldn't get the pictures to come up full screen or even half screen. Looked like you were enjoying yourself though.

Greasywrench AKA rich b said...

The slideshow more or less sucks I know. I made the mistake of using that silly-ass camera format. I have to re-do it in a full screen option. I isn't you not being able to get it full screen, I can't do it either.

My poor ole green eyes can't see a damn thing anymore. Too many years and too many beers. Diabetes sure as hell doesn't help either.

I don't know where you fish on June Lake, but at Gull Lake where the boat launch is there's a bunch of rocks not to far away. There's a little walking path and it leads to a real deep spot on the Lake by those rocks. That's where I often fish. You can sit there and watch the fish and game dump the hatchery fish right by the boat launch. There's a real nice trailer/tent campground there too.

I might give it a shot there again if Michael (my Son) and I go this year. Either that or we'll just get a room in Mammoth and drive back n forth. If I go up this year it will most likely be in October when the Summer vacationers and school kids head back home.

CharlieDelta said...

We usually go out on June Lake in my dad's buddy's pontoon boat, but I'm more into stream fishing so when they go out on the boat I take off on my own and fish a stream for a few hours. I have just as much fun putting my truck into 4WD and hitting some muddy dirt roads that the average douchebag vacationer won't even think about too.

When we were up there a year ago today, we camped at Pleasant Valley and spent a full day drinkin' beers, off roadin' and looking for some new places that were close to the fishin' but off the beaten path and away from the crowds that usually fill up Pleasant Valley that time of year. In June of '04, my brother had his bachelor party at Pleasant Valley by the reservoir and we were surrounded by douchebags from all over the country who were camping there for Mule Days in Bishop. What a nightmare! We will never make that mistake again.

October is a good time to go. It's a bitch trying to tie a fishing knot when your hands are wet and numb at 5am, but other than that I love it! Virginia Lake has treated me well in the later months on the north west end, but again, I would rather go fish the upper or lower Owens River than lake fish. But, to each his own, right? Sounds like you've got the June Lake Loop dialed in, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

You and I have definitely pulled fish out of the same spots that for sure. If I'm settled into my new life in AZ by October, I'll probably head up there with my dad when he goes. There aren't too many more trips he's going to be able to go on, so I want to fit as many in with him as possible.

That would be really cool if we were up there at the same time and could meet up for some fish stories. First couple rounds are on me...

Greasywrench AKA rich b said...

Remember the old saying "The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work".

From what I hear and read about AZ you may just love it there. Good luck CharlieDelta.