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Topics - Scout

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Eastern Sierra Forum / Lots of snow, part 2
« on: January 19, 2017, 08:01:52 AM »
Another foot of snow in Crowley this morning, at least it's powder this time, nice and light. We'll have lots of water this year....and mosquitoes.

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Eastern Sierra Forum / Big Springs after the fire
« on: October 07, 2016, 02:25:09 PM »
I was finally able to drive out to Big Springs this week, almost afraid of what I'd find, but I had to go. It's been one of my favorite spots since I was a kid (a long time!). The drive out the River Road was encouraging, not much burned until you got closer to the River. The campground is still closed, it doesn't look like the fire got in there. The River upstream from the culvert is not burned either...one of the local papers said it was, the main reason I went out, to see if they were right...they weren't. That's where the "Big Springs" are, I was worried.
Downstream from the campground is another story. Fire on both sides of the River, but not the moonscape I had dreaded.  A lot of the big pines were just scorched a little, not incinerated, but some were a total loss. Both sides of the River are in pretty good shape, for the most part, the fire didn't get right to the banks, still green willows and trees, the water is still clear, watercress still growing.
Farther down, the east side got badly burned, west side not so bad. I only walked a half mile or so, just enough to see that it wasn't total obliteration...in a few years it might look okay.
Then I drove down toward Alpers and Arcularius, pretty scary. Alpers lost some historic cabins, but a lot were left intact. Fire burned both sides of the River there, the moonscape I had feared upstream. Arcularius is pretty intact, but burned all around. Forest to the west is burned. The west side of Bald Mt is black.
I'd seen enough, turned around and came home.



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Eastern Sierra Forum / the way things are, 03/28/16
« on: April 28, 2016, 02:46:27 PM »
I just drove up to the Pack Station (as far as you can drive) to check things out for everybody. Here goes...
The road is open and dry to the Pack Station. The Lake is still frozen, a little open water at the inlet, outlet, the shore from the boat docks to the group camp, a little in the NE corner of Rainbow Bay. The gate to the upper end of the lake is closed, the road to the docks has snow on it.
French and Tuff are open, nothing else. I walked the creek through Tuff, no signs of fresh stocked trout. Stream fishing should be okay up to East Fork, above that you'd run into snow. Water levels look about the way they did last fall....runoff had started until this latest cold spell came in, now it's slowed down.
It was cold, windy, and trying to snow while I was up there, who knows about the weekend. Come prepared for anything.

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Eastern Sierra Fishing / Creel Surveys
« on: August 30, 2015, 02:07:22 PM »
I mentioned "Creel Surveys" under the "Fred the Baker" post, Packer asked about them, instead of burying this in the other category, I thought I'd answer him here.
Sometime mid-summer, the Fish and Game biologist that usually comes to the Fish Commission meetings mentioned that he was thinking about starting up a creel survey program, having somebody walk around and asking fishermen and women about their fishing experience that day, a few simple questions, no law enforcement involved, just collecting information.
I volunteered to do some surveys in Rock Creek Canyon, it sounded like fun. It took a while for him to get the forms figured out, and printed up, I finally got them a couple of weeks ago, and have done two surveys around Rock Creek Lake, last Sunday, and yesterday.
I was right, it is fun, and interesting. I just walk around, find people who are actively fishing, ask them how many are fishing, how long they've been there, what they've caught, what kind of fish...pretty simple.
The interesting part....I can talk to one party who has a stringer full of fish, go 50 feet and talk to someone who is getting skunked. I've always known that a small thing wrong in a person's set up can make a world of difference, so I asked the biologist if it was okay to give people helpful tips so they may catch more fish. I'm still figuring out how to be tactful when I do something like that, I think I'm gaining on it.
This summer I've helped at a couple of kid's fishing events, one at Hot Creek Hatchery (it is just as easy to catch a fish in a hatchery as you might think it is, but the kids loved it), the other one was at Snowcreek, a whole bunch of Desert Springs fish had been dumped into a couple of ponds, some up to 5 pounds...this one was different, a lot of Dads showed up with their kids, most were open to suggestions if I saw something they could do different and better, but....I also had to deal with a lot of guys who really had no clue as to what they were doing, and refused any help...I watched one father with a little girl and boy who flat out wouldn't accept any ideas, his kids both watched other kids catch fish while they didn't due to their father's ego...they were there for hours, and left empty stringered.
That's why I have to be tactful, I don't want to p*** anyone off.
To answer your question, Packer, there's not a whole lot going on up there...unless you know what you're doing. I find people who have full stringers of fish in a few hours, then some who have been skunked for hours. In two weeks I've only seen rainbows, no brooks or browns, nothing over 12", although we all know there are big fish in there. I'll keep doing it weekly until it snows or the season ends. Really looking forwqard to next season, I can start early and hopefully get some good results.

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Eastern Sierra Forum / The bears in Rock Creek
« on: July 27, 2015, 02:29:15 PM »
There is some discussion on the "Club 2015 Bear" thread, but I thought this topic needed it's own heading.
My family and I just spent 5 days in East Fork. There is a Mom bear with two cubs wandering around now, everybody thought she was the only one....wrong. We saw bears every day, lots mid-day, pretty much unafraid of humans. We heard reports of cars being broken into, as well as anything the campers were lax enough to leave laying around. One of them broke into a container my niece left out, it didn't even have food in it.
Mid week the DFW Wardens started coming by, looking things over. I had the chance to talk with the one warden I know, got a lot of good information. There are now 6 (yes, six) bears in the immediate area, and it seems they are all problem bears. Two sows, one with one cub, and the one we saw with two cubs, the rest seem to be males.
The warden told me that their hands are tied right now, they really can't do anything until one, or more, of the bears becomes aggressive toward humans, even then they can only do so much. His biggest hope was that they could be harvested when the bear season opens. A sad situation, but something has to be done.
The camp hosts are doing a good job of talking to all the campers, telling them what they should be doing....but, we all know about tourists....you can lead a horse to water......
So, if you come up, be prepared, follow the rules, you should be all right.
I will say that it was a little eerie laying in a tent on the ground, imagining that the bears were cruising all around me all night, I felt kind of like a sandwich.
And, the cubs are unbelievably cute, bring your cameras.

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Eastern Sierra Forum / Rock Creek Road
« on: April 15, 2015, 02:47:50 PM »
I drove up the hill today, thought I'd let people know what's happening, at least for right now.
The constuction crew has the first bridge above French Camp all torn up, one lane only...there was no traffic on the road, and I had to wait 15 minutes...be prepared. A couple more slow downs for survey crews (7 guys standing around a transit...efficient)."No Parking" signs all along the road until you get to East Fork, they have dates of "05/04 to 06/19"...be prepared.
Above East Fork there are no problems. Drove all the way to Mosquito Flats,  This is by far the earliest I've been able to drive there in the thirty years I've lived here. The creek at MF is real scary. looks like November flows instead of April. Rock Creek Lake is totally free of ice, no snow either....sorry ice fishers...
Camp hosts are in Tuff, looked like they were pulling into French too. As far as the opening dates for the rest of the campgrounds, your guess is as good as mine...in my experience, that's usually up to the hosts.
This season should be real interesting, in many ways.

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Eastern Sierra Forum / Holiday
« on: October 19, 2013, 01:33:39 PM »
I just got back from a walk through Tuff, it's nice to be able to do it legally again. Last week they could have cited and fined me for trespassing, to the tune of $5000.00.,,,I did it last week anyway... Ran into the camp host, washing his RV, getting ready to leave. I'm pretty sure he's the last one, he spent the last couple of weeks closing everything else down. He told me that he opened Holiday camp yesterday, but wasn't completely sure that it would stay open, for unknown reasons. If all goes as it should, Holiday should remain open all Winter, but all the rest are shut down until next Spring.
So, there's finally someplace to camp in Rock Creek Canyon. I go up the hill at least once a week, if anyone needs or wants to know if Holiday is still open, I can let you know.
Fall colors are still pretty strong below East Fork, Tuff was beautiful.

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Eastern Sierra History / CCC Camp
« on: December 08, 2012, 02:46:05 PM »
Another beautiful day in the Sierra, clear, warm and calm. I waited a few days after the last "storm", not much to write home about, but I wanted to wait until the road was dry going up the Canyon to go look for the CCC Camp. Using RCGirl's picture as my guide, I think I found where it was...so, RCGirl, if you want to search for yourself, don't read any farther....
Just before you get to Big Meadow, there's a sort of a driveway on the left, a few years ago the Forest Service (nobody else would have done this) put some boulders across the entrance to a large, flat expanse of dirt...there's a bunch of old campground signs stacked back there, piles of dirt that have been put there over the years...the whole thing is shielded from the road by a grove of aspens, you can only see the driveway.
I think that might be the spot. I walked back there, climbed the hill a little ways, started comparing the skyline in the picture to what I saw. I couldn't find the exact spot where the picture was taken, but it's the only place that lines up right....it just makes sense. It's a large space. lots of room for the various buildings they may have had in the camp. I'll have to go back next summer whan the snow is gone (not much there, but enough to make it a pain in the ***), with the picture in hand, and find the right spot....I hope.
An interesting aside...in the 50's, my Grandfather (after Tom died in 1940, my Grandmother remarried, on Tom's recommendation, another story in itself) use to go to this spot to dig up worms for fishing...the CCC cook's garden?
I love this stuff, it keeps me busy.

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Eastern Sierra Fishing / Scouting the backcountry
« on: June 28, 2012, 02:11:08 PM »
Like the play on words? A friend and I went up the Canyon yesterday on a recon trip. We hiked up to the inlet of Box Lake, then crossed the creek and fished the east side, through the Hidden Lakes, back to the outlet of Box, down to the inlet of Heart, stayed on the far side to the inlet and outlet of Marsh, crossed the creek between Marsh and Mack, fished down to the inlet of Mack, then jumped up to the trail to hike out. Flyfishing all the way, the little brookies, and a few small rainbows, were very cooperative everywhere.  Mosuitoes were taken readily ( the fishing kind, not the biters), as well as Adams, Caddis, almost everything we threw at them. Stream crossings were easy, considering the lack of runoff. Biting mosquitoes were at a minimum, but be prepared for them.
This is where I'll be teaching and guiding. Anyone interested in taking an afternoon trip to catch some of these little guys can contact me through this board.

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Eastern Sierra Fishing / Guiding again
« on: April 01, 2012, 10:21:24 AM »
Well, I finally decided to start having some fun again up here, so I'm renewing my Guide's License, after a lapse of almost twenty years. I'll be operating by myself, primarily in the Canyon, mainly fly fishing. I can teach you how to cast a fly, refine your casting,  show you where the fish are, and how to catch them. I teach the easy way to do it, try not to get too technical about things....the simpler the better.
I've fly fished the Canyon all of my life (that's a long time!), and feel it's one of the best places to teach. Beginners can usually hook into something, even if they're small. I consider that to be an important factor, catching something the first (or second, or third) time out, it lets you know that you're doing something right.
I'm in the process of getting everything together right now, should be ready to go by the time we can access the backcountry. I'm definitely cheaper than other guides in the area, only because I think they charge too much. If you're interested, you can contact me through  this board for now.
Thank you.
P.S. I did get permission to put this "solicitation" on the Board. I hope it's OK with everybody.

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