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Rock Creek Message Board => Eastern Sierra Fishing => Topic started by: wshawkins on August 09, 2017, 12:59:58 PM

Title: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 09, 2017, 12:59:58 PM
First Golden Trout for 2017


Was finally able to hike back to the backcountry for some Golden Trout fishing.  Still lots of snow on the trails over 10,000 ft. but was able to get to this Golden Trout gem of a lake at over 11,000 ft.  Can’t believe it took it to August before I was able to get up there!  Never seen so much snow in August! 


Be careful out there as it’s still very dangerous with the swift running creeks and snow bridges getting ready to collapse in the high country.  But the hike was worth it with hungry goldens attacking my fly!


This is a test run using “imgur”, a free photo sharing site.



Golden Trout
(http://i.imgur.com/2bSBcOpl.jpg) (http://imgur.com/2bSBcOp)



Golden Trout

(http://i.imgur.com/3YN9HI5l.jpg) (http://imgur.com/3YN9HI5)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: fishdad on August 09, 2017, 01:28:42 PM
Beautiful fish!
I've been trying to post a couple reports from this year but with Photobucket not cooperating I wasn't sure what to do. I played with Imgur but could only get it to include a link not the actual photo on the post. How did you do that? Thanks!
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 09, 2017, 03:43:42 PM
First time for me using imgur so no expert, but this is how I did it:

•   Sign-up for a free account
•   Give a name to your new album (if you wish)
•   Select add images or Upload images to your new album
•   Select image(s) you wish to post
•   Link page comes up on your right
•   Select edit image if you wish to edit photo first, otherwise you may skip this step
•   Select “Large Thumbnail” at bottom right of link page
•   Select “Copy” on “Linked BBCode (message boards)”
•   Paste this to your post on “Rock Creek Message Boards”

You don’t have to name or put images in albums but for organizing your trips I recommend it.  If you don’t select an album name, it will go into your images file.  You can move or copy images to other albums as needed.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: Gary C. on August 10, 2017, 02:31:39 AM

Those goldens are bigger than the ones I've caught so far this year. I've only made it as far as some small streams. Hoping to change that next week.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 10, 2017, 07:52:30 AM
Gary, not all goldens were this size.  You know how fishermen are; we always show our biggest and most colorful ones.  But the truth is the average was somewhere around 10-12”, but all were so beautiful no matter the size.   Heading out soon for the Cottonwoods for more goldens.  Good fishing on your next trip! :fishing3:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: P A C on August 10, 2017, 09:31:49 AM
WSH - out of my normal curiosity, can you please share with us at least the general location of this 'Golden Trout gem of a lake over 11,000ft?'

Based on a couple of your recent posts, I wondered if it might have been in the 20 Lakes Basin or more likely up above that area based on the 11K indication.

The small background visible in the photos and the lush Alpine greenery/groundcover suggest it is a beautiful location.

Thanks for all of your posts and contributions of your knowledge and TRs.  Very enjoyable as well as educational.

All the best!  P A C

Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: bj on August 10, 2017, 11:01:38 AM
Anxious to hear about your Cottonwood trip as we were shut out at 4 and 5 last time. I had wondered if the DFW ( I prefer DFG) had started their plan to restore the lakes to pure goldens only.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 11, 2017, 10:38:53 AM
WSH - out of my normal curiosity, can you please share with us at least the general location of this 'Golden Trout gem of a lake over 11,000ft?'

Based on a couple of your recent posts, I wondered if it might have been in the 20 Lakes Basin or more likely up above that area based on the 11K indication.

The small background visible in the photos and the lush Alpine greenery/groundcover suggest it is a beautiful location.

Thanks for all of your posts and contributions of your knowledge and TRs.  Very enjoyable as well as educational.

All the best!  P A C


PAC, you’re getting too good at guessing or I’m becoming too predictable. :lol2:  Yes, this is in the 20 lakes basin.  There are 9 lakes that have the elusive golden trout in them, 6 with goldens only and 3 others that are mixed with other trout species.  Water water everywhere on the lower elevations and snow everywhere above 10,600 ft.  Very difficult getting around and with no water taxi this year,  add another 3-4 miles to your hike!

Just for everyone’s info, DFW is now stocking Cutts in 20 lakes basin (Steelhead Lake).  It’s just gets better!
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 11, 2017, 10:40:29 AM
Anxious to hear about your Cottonwood trip as we were shut out at 4 and 5 last time. I had wondered if the DFW ( I prefer DFG) had started their plan to restore the lakes to pure goldens only.


Sorry to hear that bj.  Usually Cottonwoods 3 & 4 are productive.  We all have days like that.  Hard to figure them goldens sometimes.  But fishing was excellent for me last year.  Also fished the South Fork Lakes and did fine but smaller goldens.   :fishing3:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 11, 2017, 10:43:12 AM
Typical sized golden caught on my last fishing adventure.  About 11 inches, but still a gorgeous looking golden trout!


(http://i.imgur.com/WNOWQEdl.jpg) (http://imgur.com/WNOWQEd)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: bj on August 11, 2017, 01:27:16 PM

Sorry to hear that bj.  Usually Cottonwoods 3 & 4 are productive.  We all have days like that.  Hard to figure them goldens sometimes.  But fishing was excellent for me last year.  Also fished the South Fork Lakes and did fine but smaller goldens.   :fishing3:

It was 2 years ago October when 4 and 5 were zeros. Did alright in 3 but mostly small. Many ions ago caught first golden ever. It was at South Fork. Caught 39 on one Adams fly  and 1 on a kastmaster. That hooked me on goldens.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: Gary C. on August 14, 2017, 02:55:55 AM
I've read a few reports and talked with some guys I know pretty well and everyone is saying that Cottonwood Lakes has been off so far this year. Lots of speculation as to late spring-wet year- whatever. Everyone still has hope and plans for improvement any day now of course.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: Sierraslam on August 14, 2017, 01:25:25 PM
I recognize that lake! Glad it was ice free for you. I hiked up there some years back the first week of August and it was still iced over. Must be nice with fewer people back that way with the water taxi not running. Adds a few miles walking around Saddlebag but less people is always better in the Sierras. Nice work!
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 28, 2017, 08:18:07 AM
Hears a photo from last year during 4th of July weekend during the drought with little snow on the ground but the golden trout lake was frozen solid.  It was so thick I could of ice skated on it!  Just can't get here too early in the season for fishing! :fishing3:



Frozen Golden Trout Lake
(http://i.imgur.com/7nTzIZKl.jpg) (http://imgur.com/7nTzIZK)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 30, 2017, 07:24:14 AM
One of the upper lakes on this trip.  Lots of snow in the upper elevations this season!



(http://i.imgur.com/ONisA0rl.jpg) (http://imgur.com/ONisA0r)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: Packer on August 30, 2017, 06:04:51 PM
Nice viewpoint....CANNONBALL !!
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on August 31, 2017, 07:08:06 AM
Looking down on another upper lake that's just becoming ice free.  Would estimate that the snow is 4-6 feet deep and this was in early August!


(http://i.imgur.com/d1ynT5cl.jpg) (http://imgur.com/d1ynT5c)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on September 01, 2017, 06:44:13 AM
My mode of operation when playing (Fishing) in the snow.  Without snowshoes, I could be sinking chest deep into the snow. :shoveling:


(http://i.imgur.com/5zl6Xmzl.jpg) (http://imgur.com/5zl6Xmz)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on September 02, 2017, 06:24:27 AM
Caught this hybrid golden trout out of one of the lower lakes (7 lakes total in this group).  less colorful than the others but still gorgeous!


(http://i.imgur.com/OaB9B2ul.jpg) (https://imgur.com/OaB9B2u)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: fishdad on September 02, 2017, 11:58:53 PM
Beautiful fish! Thanks as always for the great pics
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: Goldentroutjp on December 02, 2017, 07:46:31 AM
Thank you for very helpful information.😊😊😊
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 02, 2018, 01:57:54 PM
I went back one last time to Tioga Pass and 20 Lakes Basin in October.  But it was almost too late as the upper lakes were already beginning to freeze over.  This had to be the shortest fishing season ever in the high country!

Mainly I did some hiking and fishing around the nearly deserted 20 Lakes Loop.  But I also had one last shot to catch (and release) some goldens.  Stay tuned if you wish and see if you can guess which lake(s) I caught them in?  I’ll call this post “Last Golden Trout for 2017”.


Last Golden Trout for 2017



At the trailhead and looking out at the Sierra Crest and White Mountain. 
(https://i.imgur.com/m1bIYiH.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 03, 2018, 07:36:29 AM
Without the Water Taxis Service this year, you have to walk the extra 1.5 to 2.0 miles to the end of Saddlebag Lake and begin the 20 Lakes Loop Trail.


(https://i.imgur.com/MNw3pIM.jpg?1)


Greenstone Lake
(https://i.imgur.com/GLYWiGp.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 04, 2018, 07:02:09 AM
Chilly Morning.  20 Lakes Loop


(https://i.imgur.com/Iz90QEc.jpg?1)


20 Lakes Loop
(https://i.imgur.com/76HLYue.jpg)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: vhbcinc on January 04, 2018, 07:06:46 PM
Awesome photos.

Thanks
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 05, 2018, 07:23:59 AM
20 Lakes Loop


(https://i.imgur.com/upUxpIA.jpg)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 05, 2018, 07:27:30 AM
Caught this little trout in 20 Lakes Loop.  Many different types of trout out there.  Can you identify what species of trout this is?


(https://i.imgur.com/9PQ0uiB.jpg)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: P A C on January 05, 2018, 10:36:48 AM
Thanks for sharing WSH!

The plentiful larger black marks (spots) are challenging and combined with the darker olive body could suggest a German Brown or Loch-Leven strain - but based on the altitude and the lack of lighter colored halos around the black spots my geuss is -

Either a young Cutthroat or a Hybrid Cutt-Bow?

Whatever it is, it looks beautiful - I hope they are plentiful and grow to large sizes in the 20 Lakes Basin.

All the best, P A C
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 05, 2018, 02:37:50 PM
Yes, this is a Juvenile Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. :clap:  CDFW planted Lake-Form LCT fingerlings in this lake in the 20 Lakes Basin.  They are considered fully grown at about 3-5 years of age.  Once their older, these cutthroat trout should have a distinguishing red to orange slash mark at the throat.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 06, 2018, 07:04:15 AM
One of the hidden gems of 20 Lakes Loop....


(https://i.imgur.com/8Ge4aqw.jpg)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 08, 2018, 06:55:29 AM
20 Lakes Loop


(https://i.imgur.com/oM54KKf.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/0mOeXKc.jpg)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: RockToad on January 08, 2018, 07:34:56 AM
Thanks so much for these incredible pictures :clap:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 09, 2018, 06:38:38 AM
Thanks RockToad!  20 Lakes Basin Loop is one of my favorites with its remote location and breath-taking views of beautiful lakes and majestic mountains.  Add to that the great fishing and you see why I keep coming back. :hiking2: :fishing3:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 09, 2018, 06:44:20 AM
Their hard to catch but one of the best lakes to catch a large Golden Trout in 20 Lakes Basin Loop.  Use your best stealth fishing at this lake!


(https://i.imgur.com/5mgakvX.jpg)


(https://i.imgur.com/RPAadaM.jpg)


(https://i.imgur.com/guXjLPy.jpg?2)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 10, 2018, 07:04:10 AM
20 Lakes Basin Loop


(https://i.imgur.com/tuPElw5.jpg)


(https://i.imgur.com/tepjcgz.jpg)


(https://i.imgur.com/OACLJoO.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 11, 2018, 07:16:30 AM
This Lake is nameless on Topo maps.  Listed as fishless on the CDFW website.  Nearly invisible until you stubble near it, so is a great place to reflect on life or just take it easy.  A true 20 Lakes Basin hidden golden gem!


(https://i.imgur.com/YB8m75o.jpg?1)


And it's not fishless!
(https://i.imgur.com/S7fRuvJ.jpg?2)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: bj on January 11, 2018, 11:06:12 AM
Is that Hidden lake? Been a long time since I've been in that area.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 11, 2018, 04:36:02 PM
Yes, that’s the one bj. :hiking2: :fishing3:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 12, 2018, 07:02:46 AM
On my way to Conness Lakes Basin hiking on a nearly invisible old trail.  Trail was there for the wooden water flume they built for water transport from Conness Creek to their mining sight.  Water out of Conness Basin was reliable year round water source in the 20 Lakes Basin.  Part of the Conness falls is still diverted today.



(https://i.imgur.com/9bhyI9W.jpg?1)



You can still see the metal spikes in the solid granite rock that supported the wooden water flume.
(https://i.imgur.com/ibhaZ89.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 13, 2018, 07:31:45 AM
If you try following the trail to the mine it disappears completely but following the logical rout this is where the water flume ended.  Located here are two adit’s that were blasted shut by the USFS some years ago and some building ruins are all that’s left.  This mining operation was well over hundred years ago as per dating the old mine ruins.


(https://i.imgur.com/ytP30Cn.jpg)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 15, 2018, 07:03:43 AM
Heading to Conness Basin, plenty of water coming from the North Peak.
(https://i.imgur.com/KuA0vgZ.jpg)



Back route to Hidden Conness Lake and Upper Conness Lakes.  Just be careful when its wet as the granite is dangerously slippery.
(https://i.imgur.com/OEEUCll.jpg?2)


Top of Conness Falls.
(https://i.imgur.com/5UfDPnw.jpg?2)




Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 16, 2018, 07:31:04 AM
Conness Basin


(https://i.imgur.com/cI5Mnbb.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/wiHDXyX.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 17, 2018, 06:49:27 AM
This is the lower Conness Lake and its frozen!  The mornings have been cold (in the teens) so not real surprised but hoped for better weather (warmer).   I hate to say how often this has happened to me this season.   ;D


(https://i.imgur.com/2HPNCTA.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/74h6Jxr.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 18, 2018, 06:45:23 AM
Conness basin


(https://i.imgur.com/SBi3HPR.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/41n0N9U.jpg?1)


Upper Conness Lake
(https://i.imgur.com/wy5iqmx.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: fishdad on January 18, 2018, 01:06:53 PM
Beautiful pictures!! As always thank you for sharing!! I get to live a little vicariously through you everytime I see one of your reports!
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 19, 2018, 07:01:56 AM
Beautiful pictures!! As always thank you for sharing!! I get to live a little vicariously through you everytime I see one of your reports!


Thanks Fishdad!  Glad you’re enjoying them.  I knew I was taking my chances going fishing this late into the season in the high back-country with the potential of the lakes freezing, but good things can happen if your patient! 
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 19, 2018, 07:06:34 AM
Going to the next Upper Lake, this one is ice-free! 


(https://i.imgur.com/zVvTcPz.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/zkGcAha.jpg?1)


But it has some eager goldens!
(https://i.imgur.com/XmAmcQD.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 20, 2018, 06:39:25 AM
Hiking up to the next Lake.  Check out the glacier polishing on the granite rock!
(https://i.imgur.com/Dl5SX3v.jpg?1)



The next lake is 3/4 filled with snow and completely froze over!
(https://i.imgur.com/Cs40lOE.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 22, 2018, 06:51:13 AM
Looking at the Conness Glacier.  The Conness Glacier is the largest glacier in the Sierra Nevada north of Tioga Pass.  In its prime, this glacier was a mile wide, 1500 feet deep and several miles long.  That was one big piece of ice!


(https://i.imgur.com/TVX35dN.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/V6GDDjz.jpg?1)


Close up of the Glacier
(https://i.imgur.com/f7lveZa.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 23, 2018, 06:34:28 AM
More frozen lakes!


(https://i.imgur.com/awcwcoS.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/N8Oz4d0.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: fishdad on January 23, 2018, 11:56:29 AM
Wow lots of ice up there!
What type of bag rating do you take when you're doing a trip at this time of the year?  Hope you were toasty.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 23, 2018, 03:03:12 PM
My sleeping bag is rated for 20*F.  But it comes with a liner and with long johns, wool socks and a base layer on I was toasty as can be even when the temps hit the mid-teens.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 24, 2018, 07:09:42 AM
Finally ice starting to break up!


(https://i.imgur.com/VAL7RHI.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/NfbWkvL.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 25, 2018, 06:54:51 AM
Finally the lake begins to thaw out and the real fishing begins……………….


(https://i.imgur.com/xR71386.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/YBTbNMf.jpg?1)


(https://i.imgur.com/yc0lcNy.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 26, 2018, 06:51:58 AM
My “Last Golden Trout” caught in 2017.  At 3:30 pm the lakes begin to freeze over again on this cold day, so it was time for me to head back to the trailhead.  Great way to end the day with a beautiful Golden Trout.  This also is the last photos for this post.  Thanks for all the nice comments!


(https://i.imgur.com/YxUY8oo.jpg?1)
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: papow on January 26, 2018, 09:10:36 AM
Thanks wshawkins!! :clap:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: Trev Dog on January 26, 2018, 09:32:50 AM
Thank's again for another Great adventure!   :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: 12440 on January 26, 2018, 01:04:14 PM
Beautiful pics, and even more beautiful fish! Thanks for sharing! BTW, is that mine still open on the back side of Saddlebag?
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: bj on January 26, 2018, 02:54:15 PM
Great shots of the Conness area. Thanks. I need to get back up there one of these days. Sure wish the shuttle boat would run again.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 27, 2018, 07:12:01 AM
Thanks again for the nice comments!  It was another great adventure and it’s always nice to reminiscing over some of the best moments of last season.   :hiking2: :fishing3:
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 27, 2018, 07:13:40 AM
Beautiful pics, and even more beautiful fish! Thanks for sharing! BTW, is that mine still open on the back side of Saddlebag?


I believe you’re speaking about the Hess Mine,right?  The tungsten mine was actively mined by the Hess family of Lee Vining until the mine was closed in 1962.  Some of the buildings or parts of these buildings are still in use today.  The Forest Service Wilderness Headquarters at the north end of Saddlebag Lake was one of the living quarters for the mine.  Parts of some of the old buildings are now incorporated into the Saddlebag Lake Resort storage building.

You can still hike to the mine on the old mine road.  And can still see several areas that have significant tailings from the Hess Mine.  The National Forrest Service blasted the mine shut because of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Title: Re: First Golden Trout for 2017
Post by: wshawkins on January 27, 2018, 07:14:57 AM
Great shots of the Conness area. Thanks. I need to get back up there one of these days. Sure wish the shuttle boat would run again.


I miss the shuttle boat too as it added many extra miles to my trips.  I would guess they will be out again this summer too as they have not started any repairs yet.  Saddlebag Lake Resort is still for sale so who knows maybe well have new owners soon.