Saturday, October 11, 2014

Part 2 ~ 2014 Fall Road Trip

Well I made my way South on Hwy 395.
HWY 395

Weather was nice with really high wind gust and some scattered showers along the way. Along the high passes the trees were starting to show the fall colors. Although the image below doesn't quite show the colors very well, sucky photo due to user error and tough lighting.
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Stopped for a quick photo of Mono Lake. I noticed the guardrail was covered in stickers from all over the place. I'm not sure what to think of this... I guess if I was younger I might have thought it was cool, now I see it as kind of an eyesore. Maybe I'm just getting old.
Stickers stickers everywhere. Mono Lake

Mono Lake


Destination Mammoth Lakes, with intentions of tubing Crowley Lake, from the reports this lake was either on or off. I had a bit of both. I checked into Motel 6, I was in bad need of a shower and a comfortable bed. I actually got a little to much sleep and got on Crowley a bit later than I originally planned. There were quite a few anglers already on the water. I thought to myself I was already to late for the morning bite and was going to get skunked.
Tooning Crowley Lake

As soon as I was kicking out of Green Banks I hooked a small cookie cutter model rainbow. Woohoo no skunk for me...
Cookie Cutter Crowley Rainbow

Sorry for the bad image of the fish, I had my large DSLR and really didn't want to accidentally drop it in Crowley for such a little dink of a fish.... Well I don't want to drop my camera for no fish really.

I kept fishing two midges under an indicator and quickly C&R another cookie cutter rainbow which was not photographed. About ten or so minutes later I caught a small brown that I took a photo of. Not much size to it but it made up for size with a good fighting spirit.
Crowley Lake Brown

After these few fish the action stopped for a few hours. I watched as guys stripped streamers for no fish. I was lucky to have caught the few fish when I did. No one was doing any catching that I could see.

Made a few adjustments to the indicator and went a bit deeper and that did the trick. I hooked into a big ol rainbow, she was big. I wish I had someone to take a photo of me holding the fish, but it was all good I knew what I had just C&R. This photo does not do her justice.... She really was BIG!
Rainbow Trout, Crowley Lake, California

I kept fishing and that was it for the rest of the day. Weather was beautiful with a very light on and off breeze. The fish did make my day.

Next day I met up with a few online buddies. Curtis, Mike, and Mike. Again we got a late start on the water, got on the water at 9ish or so. Mike had been on the water since early and didn't catch anything. The weather was cold and cloudy with a 50% chance of showers in the forecast. I don't think it got out of the mid 40's the entire day. Curtis and Mike2 got there shortly after I did and quickly started to set up. It was going to be a tough day of fishing for most of the anglers on the water.

Well except for Mike2
Tubers on Crowley Lake
He managed a few cookie cutter rainbows for the day.

Curtis did as well, plus he hooked this very nice rainbow as well.
Crowley Lake Rainbow

Curtis, Crowley Rainbow

Mike and I got the big skunk, I did hook fish but all were LDR or hooked for just a few seconds. The one good fish I did have broke me off on this particular day. We called it a day at about 1:30 or so. I had to get out of the water as I couldn't stop shivering from the cold. It was a pleasure fishing with Curtis, Mike and Mike. Although Mike did spend quite a bit of time sleeping in his car.

Mike and I headed to back to Mammoth for a hot meal. While Curtis and Mike headed back towards Bishop.

Following day I slept in and headed for home. The ride home was slow and I made quite a few stops along the way. Here are a few more photos I took on my Fall Road Trip.

A bit rainy on the way into Bishop.
Rain rain rain....

Fall foliage from the Rock Creek area.
Fall Foliage 2014 Rock Creek

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I had lunch along the way. Bonanza Restaurant, Mexican food is not bad, everything taste fresh which is always good.
Bonanza Family Restaurant, Lone Pine, California

Bonanza Family Restaurant, Lone Pine, California

Made the stop here as well.
Manzanar
Manzanar

It was all in all a good Fall Road Trip. The weather was absolutely Fall like and the fishing was great, although the catching not so much. Still I had a wonderful time and got a bit home sick and wanted to be with family.

Cheers! Thanks for stopping by.
The SoCal FlyFisher


Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 Fall Road Trip

One of my stops along a big loop of a road trip was Burney Falls in Northern California. First off I actually thought Burney Falls would have little to no water. Well apparently this Falls always has water coming over the top because of the Geological underground features. Most of the water comes from underground springs which flow even during this extreme drought we are having in California.

Burney Falls

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There is a very well made trail going down to the falls for easy access. On my way out a BMW motorcycle went down with two riders on it. WTF? Right in front of me on the way out of Burney Falls. I quickly parked my truck got off and asked if they were okay. They were shaken but fine. I helped the guy get the very heavy bike back up. It was leaking oil or some type of fluid from the motor. I asked if they needed help calling anyone and the guy said they were fine. I left but wasn't sure if they were going to be fine.


I was up in Northern Cal for fly fishing the Pit River, known for it's insanely slippery boulders and some very nice sized rainbows. Well Pit #3 below Lake Britton was off limits due to some work being done by PGE. I headed a little further into down the road and tried to fish Pit #4 and felt unsafe with flows at about 425cfs. Well that's good if you're on the river and want to raft down it, but for fly fishing it's not the best of flows. To cut a long story short the fishing was extremely tough and the wading was even tougher. I wore boots with AlumiBite Star Cleats which I say really stick to the slick rocks, coupled with a wading staff I should have been golden. Well the flows on the river are so strong they make you work so much just to keep a foot placement in the fast current. A buddy of mine says it's unfishable... I'm beginning to think the same. I wish I could have taken some video of the flows, photos just don't do justice when capturing the speed of the river.

Not sure if I will try again or just face the reality that it's an extremely dangerous river to try to fly fish alone.


Later that day I worked my way towards Manzanita Lake near Lassen. Unfortunately there was a cold front coming in just in time for the beginning of Fall, yeah just my luck. Well it stormed almost the entire night. Windy, cold, and hailing for most of the night. I slept in my camper shell and quickly discovered that the weather stripping around the rear window had two very large leaks... Awww, now this sucks because I have all kinds of gear in the car that should not be getting wet. Well I tried to adjust things throughout the night to make sure my clothes and sleeping system would not get wet. Next morning it turned out that the storm did make about four of the tent campers pack it up and likely head to a motel room or home.

Manzanita Lake
Manzanita Lake

I spoke to a man who had been floating the lake for two days and said the storm had shut down the bite. I watched as a guy on a raft type toon cast and stripped for nill. I had a long way to drive so I took off on Hwy 89.
HWY 89
There was steam coming off the road where the sun was shining. Lots of downed branches on the road had already been cleared. I continued further until I came up to the road closed sign.
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Apparently this small fall storm had a little more punch to it, enough to close down the road.

That's Mt Lassen in the background shrouded in clouds and what looked like a new layer of snow.
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I had to go backtrack about 35 miles and make my way out through Susanville. It was a long and rainy drive, and there were lots of motorcyclist still riding on the road. I spotted my first ever California Antelope. I wanted to stop and get a photo but there was no shoulder and had to just take the mental picture.

I drove a few hours with extremely high winds that made the Highway patrol shut down the road to all high profile vehicles. I never thought they did that. I always thought it was voluntary. Well I drove and enjoyed the rain and winds as much as I could. The views of the high desert were nice. Reno traffic sucks, that's all I have to say about Reno. Made a quick pit stop along the way. Note I have never fly fished this place but it's on the must fish places before I die list. It was to late in the afternoon to make the one hour trek up to this lake. I just leave a small clue as to where I want to fish.
Leap of Faith

I will fish this lake sooner rather than later...

Cheers,
The SoCal Flyfisher

To be continued.......


Friday, August 1, 2014

THE LBC & THE LAB

Got a very early start this Friday morning. Met up with my buddy Ruben at 5am on the beach. Weather was a balmy 70 degrees. I wet waded in board shorts and a tee shirt. Water was warm as well, but did put a slight chill after about an hour or so. This was more of a casting session than a catching session. I forgot my stripping basket on my front steps, so I was having a grand ol time managing the fly line. Lucky for me the surf was flat with a slight breeze so it wasn't really that bad.

Birds were everywhere. Diving and hovering over the large schools of bait fish. Not sure if because there was so much bait in the water the fishing was tough or if it was just my sucky@ss fly fishing skills. I think I'll blame the large shools of bait fish, as Ruben also had a very unproductive session. I managed on small bait fish that I happened to snag while getting ready to cast.... yup it was tough.

We made a short move down the road to the LAB and found that fishing was tough here as well. I did C&R a small 7 - 8 inch sandbass to save me from the skunk. Ruben went home with the stripes, but he was really not set up very well to be fly fishing the LBC & LAB. He fly fished as best he could with what he had.

We did see quite a few corbina over in the LAB but didn't even get a look from any of them. There was a bait guy who caught a small stingray which I released for him since he was afraid to touch it. He said it looked like it had a human mouth.... It was actually comical to see.

Anyhow I got the line wet and got in some very much needed casting practice and even managed to avoid the skunk. It's likely we will be back at it again tomorrow morning.

Thanks for reading, I may bring the camera along tomorrow.... We'll see.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014