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Messages - John Harper

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Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: INYO County - 'Pleasant' (Valley) Fire
« on: February 20, 2018, 10:59:42 AM »
good to hear... while I doubt a brush fire going thru there would hurt the engines themselves... there are all kinds of old photos and such not that could be lost...

Not to mention all the wonderful old structures.


Anything Goes / Re: Entry into Yosemite could cost up to $70
« on: October 30, 2017, 06:24:05 PM »
It's more important to give tax breaks to the 1%, and also go further in to national debt???  Basic economics says you need tax breaks during a "full employment" level economy to spur further growth???  NOT!!! 

Or, we could invest in infrastructure upgrades and properly fund our parks and wildland programs.  Favorable interest rates and good economic numbers are perfect times to invest in our country!!! 

Like my dad said.  Wish in one hand, and s**t in the other.  Which will get fulfilled first?


Anything Goes / Re: Good Shooting Areas?
« on: June 11, 2017, 10:17:20 AM »
The only place I shoot is where John posted the photo...There is no hazard for anything in that area and in all the times I have shot there I have never seen another person.. Shooting into those high dirt banks eliminates any danger of a fire hazard...  If you do shoot there please remember to pick up your empty casings...

Yes, there were lots of .223 cases and .40 pistol cases.  I picked up most the ones I saw in my area, but people shoot from several spots out there.  I picked up  some of the trash/old targets out there too, but there was an old table and some plywood that was too big to take.


Anything Goes / Re: Good Shooting Areas?
« on: June 10, 2017, 09:08:15 AM »
There is a spot off Owens River Road, it is an excellent spot to shoot.  An old borrow pit that lots of people use.  It's 4.3 miles east of Big Springs Campground.  It's on the right side as you head east on ORR.  You can easily find/see it if you use the satellite view on Google Maps.,-118.8590401,1051m/data=!3m1!1e3

Here it is, there are shell casings littered all around, a popular spot:


Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Ideas on water fill
« on: June 05, 2017, 04:51:55 PM »
Also, I am considering solar for the trailer. It is already wired for it by the batteries. Any ideas on the wattage of the panels needed to supply sufficient charge for 2 batteries? I have a 5000 watt generator for the trailer, and a Honda 2000 watt generator to charge the batteries, but would rather not use them if possible. I am there for the peace and quiet, not to hear my generator running for hours.

You need to figure out how many watts you draw when sitting, what you are using (TV, fridge, lights,sat receiver, etc.) when all is on.  Then you can figure out how many watts of panel generation to get.  There really is no magic number for every application.  Deep cycle batteries normally don't charge more than 2-10 amps/hour, which at 12 volts, is only 120 watts max needed to recharge just the batteries.  Watts = Amps X Volts.

This way, you can run off the panels and batteries, like my roommates place in Baja.  She has enough to run a TV, refrigerator, and LED lights (which draw nothing!!) as well as a WiFi antenna and some spare wattage.  I think she has a 4000 watt inverter IIRC.  Refrigerators draw the most.  TV is minimal, as are LED lights if you retrofit that direction.  She has propane stove and water heater.

P.S.  Those of us who still tent camp really appreciate your keeping the generators off unless absolutely necessary. 

Good luck and have fun!


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Fishing the Sierra San Pedro Martir
« on: April 13, 2017, 03:54:08 PM »
A few hours out from the seaport town of Ensenada, but I bet it seemed a world away.  Not many trout streams in Baja California that yield Rainbow Trout (Nelsonís Trout).  Well you knocked that off your bucket list!

Nice trip report John.  I expected the road into Mikeís Ranch to be bit rougher!  You must have lucked out.  You also smart enough to bring your fishing gear.  Nice catches, especially the second one.  Thatís decent size for up there. :fishing3:

I went in search of those trout, a small adventure. Thanks for reading!  I appreciate it.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Fishing the Sierra San Pedro Martir
« on: April 13, 2017, 07:27:54 AM »
This is for you, Warren!

Left for Mexico early on Palm Sunday.  Stopped to get my FMM (Mexican tourist visa) just before crossing, I was the only person at the border at 6:15 AM.  When I picked up my FMM and left, there were two cars in front of me, and two Mexican cops at the secondary.  They each grabbed one of those cars for inspection and I just sailed through with a smile and a wave.  Nice to be third in line at that time.

We left from my friend Cathy's place at K55, Campo Lopez.  Just below the Halfway House on Hwy 1

After going in circles in Ensenada for about an hour, we finally found Hwy 3 east toward San Felipe.  A couple hours later we arrived at the turnoff to Mike's Sky Rancho.  I stopped to drop the air pressure in my tires (to 25 psi) for the 20 mile dirt road into Mike's.  Pretty easy and lowering tire pressure really made the ride smoother, for sure.

Found some interesting plants, not sure their botanical name, Beercanus Yuccai, I think. This is the entrance to a small rancho (San Javier) on the way to Mike's.  Looks like a fun place to me.  I wish those beer plants grew in my yard.

An abandoned rancho further along the road, built of stone.

Not sure what they used to grow, but Cathy called it "cattle corn" but it looks like mule ears or something like that to me.  Maybe someone can identify?

Arriving at Mike's Sky Rancho, after 18 miles on my odometer.  No one here but us at 1 PM Monday.

This place is a very famous stopover for offroaders, racers, and adventure riders.  Soon after a group of Razors, some moto tour group with KTMs,  a couple guys on Huskies, and some Jeeps showed up.  It went from two guests to about 40 within hours.

This place can handle 70 guests.  It's $70 a night for a room, dinner and breakfast.  I was going to camp out, but it would have saved me $10, so I got a room of my own.  They let us drink the beer we brought, and even offered to let us use the refrigerator.  How cool is that?  I love Mexico!  Here's the pool/patio area.  Pool not used until summer so it's left low.

Okay, so here's the part you all waited for.  It's a long hike to get the the "cascada" probably 3 miles.  I left at about 6:30 and got back at noon.  I tried nymphs and had no luck, was about accept the skunk.  Then, I tied on a parachute black ant and got some interest.  Got a small fish to at least give me some hope. 

I backtracked and tried to get above the falls, but as you can see, it was pretty brutal.  I was by myself, no one can help me, and I'm no fool.  I'll save it for the next trip.

Found this bigger model on the way back down, which gave me at least two Nelson's trout, good enough for me.

(Oncorhynchus mykiss nelsoni)

I'm going back next year, anyone interested let me know.  I'm backpacking above the falls from the old dirt road.


Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: meanwhile, back in Bodie..
« on: March 16, 2017, 06:02:24 AM »
That is really incredible!  Thank you for sharing.


Strictly Media / Re: Eastern Sierra Fall Colors 2016
« on: January 20, 2017, 09:44:07 AM »
#2 has to be George Lake, and you're on the trail to Crystal Lake above it, home of golden trout.

I keep thinking Gardisky Lake for #4, but it's only got brookies and is outside Yosemite, but it sure looks like that lake.


Strictly Media / Re: Eastern Sierra Fall Colors 2016
« on: January 18, 2017, 08:01:43 AM »
I'm gonna go with Middle Gaylor Lake for #4, and Arrowhead Lake for #5.


Strictly Media / Re: Eastern Sierra Fall Colors 2016
« on: January 16, 2017, 01:06:23 PM »
Such excellent photos, as always.

#1 through #4 have me stumped, but I'm gonna say Little Walker Lake for #5?   The isolated pine trees on the far shore look familiar, as do the hills in the background.  But, I could be wrong, once again.


Strictly Media / Re: Eastern Sierra Fall Colors 2016
« on: December 24, 2016, 12:41:36 PM »
Sherwin Creek

Looks like the same photo I took back in early August:

Great photos as always, Warren!

Merry Christmas.


Strictly Media / Re: Eastern Sierra Fall Colors 2016
« on: November 15, 2016, 05:50:36 PM »

What can be said?  Spectacular photos.  You are the man!!!

I drove up Lundy Canyon last year (?), wish I'd hiked up the trail.  Did check out the cabins and a collapse grinding shed.   How's the creek fishing up the trail?  It was tough access most everywhere I tried.

I figured Lundy Canyon would be spectacular in the fall, and it is!!!


Anything Goes / Re: French Drains?
« on: September 21, 2016, 08:22:25 AM »
As I recall from helping my landscaping buddy, french drains are usually perforated drainpipe, bedded in gravel, sometime with a barrier sock to keep sediments from intruding on the pipe.   They work well for draining low spots in your yard, since the water can percolate into the pipe.  They can also be used like "leach lines" to diffuse water away into well draining soil.


Trip Reports from Elsewhere / Re: Great Britain Trip
« on: September 20, 2016, 07:57:56 AM »
I visited Stonehenge as a kid in the 1970's.  Back then, you could walk around the stones, touch them, sit on them.  Looks like they stopped people from doing that, since it looks like all grass grown in around them now.  Used to be decomposed granite around them.   Thanks for sharing.


Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Another fire!
« on: September 19, 2016, 02:18:43 PM »
I was just camping at Big Springs a month ago, and the Clark Fire broke out north of me.  This one looks a lot closer to the campground itself.  Please let us know what you see if you travel up there.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Cottonwood Lakles
« on: September 10, 2016, 06:58:36 AM »
Yes, I have friend and his buddies that go up in October, they hardly ever catch a thing.  I keep telling him you have to go in July, when the damselflies are swarming, and the fish are in a frenzy. 

I got a really nice fish from the outlet creek/pond from Lake 4.  I snuck up on them, and got a nice 15" golden.  There were several other large fish in there as well.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Cottonwood Lakles
« on: September 09, 2016, 10:49:44 AM »
I was up there for the opening of the season on July 1.  Fishing was fantastic at both South Fork Lakes, as well as Cottonwoods 1, 2, 3, and 4.  The six of us in our group caught (and released) close to 500 fish over two days.  My buddy got one close to 19" out of lake 4.

Blue damselfly is the hot ticket!  Parachute Adams, and Sierra Bright Dots work too.  The blue damselfly hatch was going off, and the fish fly out of the water to attack them.

Fishing was way better than last year, but we had two days of rain last July 1.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« on: August 07, 2016, 11:03:30 AM »
I'll PM you the spot, I used my odometer to make sure.

Yes, there were a lot of fresh tracks on these trails, and there was even a intersection.   If I were to maybe set up somewhere for deer season, I'd reckon that intersection would be a good spot.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« on: August 07, 2016, 10:03:52 AM »
Yes, there was a strong breeze from the south, so I was not that worried about it heading my direction.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« on: August 07, 2016, 08:26:42 AM »
Headed north on Sunday 7/31, light traffic, got real lucky and scored the prime campsite at Big Springs CG!

Got things settled in and ready for five days of activity.

Monday - I decided to check out McCloud Lake.  I've been there only once before, on my very first fly fishing attempt.  Obviously I was completely clueless at the time, and as some would say, not much improved since then.  I was told to fish the dropoffs, but having forgotten my surf fishing booties, was left trying from shore.   I fished off the small promontory to the left as you reach the lake for a few minutes and got a surprise!
My very first Lahontan Cutthroat trout!  As I worked my way around the lake, I saw that there were many fish feeding right up near shore at the back of the lake.  I could actually sight fish to them, no wading or dropoff fishing.
Here's Lahontan #2:
And, a really nice one to complete the hat trick:
I returned to my truck about noon, and decided to check out a "blue line" between Laurel Creek and Sherwin Creek that the DFW webmap says harbors golden trout.  We'll see.  I found the creek running through the YMCA camp, so I walked a little ways up and down, such small water!  Unbelievably, I spooked one tiny fish!  Hmm, I need to come back and do a little more exploring.  But, time for lunch and an afternoon siesta.

Day Two - I decided to fish the outlet creek for Parker Lake.  Left the trailhead at 7AM and I was already in a tee shirt, it was gonna be hot.
Fished the creek from just before it drops all the way to the mouth of Parker Lake.  Caught 10 small browns, biggest was probably 9" or so.  I was worried about dropping my cellphone in the creek while trying to handle everything in tight quarters, so no pics.  Befriended a single mom with two kids, and I had her eating out of my hand in minutes!
Got back to the truck about 1PM, and was amazed a the number of people hiking up to the lake in brutal heat, with barely any water to boot!  Who are these people?

Day Three - Decided to finally sight in my new Ruger 10/22 Takedown, which I've had for almost a year but had yet to even fire one round.    I found a well used shooting area I was told about by Retired96.  Thanks for the information, a great spot to shoot!

Here's my new toy:

Please note that I am using iron sights, and I can barely see the sights at all at age 58.  Just tried to hold the rifle steady on the truck, exhale, and squeeze the trigger.  Fundamentals.

First 10 shots:A little to the left and high.  Note the "flyer" off the target, I assume that was the first round fired from a new rifle.

After moving the sight to the right a bit, I left the elevation alone.  I can live with it shooting a inch high.  Here's the next 40 rounds.

Used up another 150 rounds firing at different targets, then headed for the Upper Owens, below Benton Crossing to a spot a fellow camper told me was really good.  Meh.  I caught two small rainbows on what I saw flying around, yep, the good old blue damsel fly.  Forgot the cellphone in the truck, but they were only about 6-8" each, nothing special.

Day Four -  I decided to return to the "blue line" and see if I could find something worth catching.  Here's the creek just above the YMCA camp, not real promising.  You  can see a little water just right of center in this picture.Here's the really nice terrain I had to cover following the creek. A little further up, the creek is going subterranean on me. I cross over on a well used game trail, and find this up ahead.Brutal and seemingly futile.  I decided to head back down on the heavily used game trail, and crossed paths with a really healthy 6 point buck coming up the trail.  He sure startled me.

I then decided to fish Sherwin Creek and lower Laurel Creek. 

Perhaps I could pick up a golden trout from Laurel and a brook trout from Sherwin.  Well, all I got was another half dozen of these little rainbows! 
It was especially nice that Thursday was overcast and kept the temps along Sherwin Creek reasonable.  But, my day was gonna finish on fire!

After returning to camp, I took a short siesta, came out of the tent to see this just north of me.  Yep, the Clark Fire in all it's glory!

Here's another pic a few minutes later.

Then, the Forest Service put on a spectacular air show, right above my campsite.   
CH-46 Chinook, Sikorsky Skycrane, two big jet firetankers, air controller aircraft, etc.  They were attacking from midafternoon until dark, what an awesome display.

Day Five - Long Ears section of the Upper Owens.  I really like this spot, so beautiful and serene.

Fished for about four hours, until it got too damned hot.  Caught probably a dozen fish, a mix of small browns and rainbows.  Most about this size.

Broke camp early Saturday and headed home, traffic was ugly from Elsinore all the way into San Diego County.


Strictly Media / Re: 2016 Sierra Nevada Pictures
« on: June 18, 2016, 08:48:55 AM »
Great so see some white stuff in the mountains.  I was headed to the South Sierra, but got info that Fish Creek is virtually dry!  Looks like the mountains north got a lot more snow.  Thanks for the photo reconnaissance mission.   I got a message the Mammoth area creeks are in full runoff mode.

Heading up to the Cottonwoods on June 30, then I guess I'll hold off a bit for a Mammoth trip until runoff and more melt happens.  I'd imagine Gardisky and the Gaylors are still frozen solid.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Rock Creek
« on: June 12, 2016, 07:15:08 AM »
Yes, and it's one of the best hikes up the trail in the entire Eastern Sierra.  Fish in all the lakes and creeks up the trail.


For tossing lures, 1/8 oz to 1/4 oz, gold Kastmasters, Fiord Jr., Thomas Buoyant, Rapalas

Flies: Olive Woolly Buggers, Black Woolly Buggers, Ants, Adams, hoppers, etc.   You can rig with a clear Cast-a-bubble and leader, retrieve slowly.
You can also learn to flyfish and enjoy the creeks and rivers as well.  Size 10 to 18 depending on the fly.

Overall experience:  Fishing for wild (or stocked) trout in God's Country, what else can be said.  Tale your pick of Goldens, Rainbows, Browns, Cutthroats, or Brookies.  It's all there waiting for you.


Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Favorite Lake Lure & Favorite Creek Fly
« on: April 26, 2016, 09:04:32 AM »
Lake Lure:  1/8oz or 1/4oz Gold Fiord Jr., 1/8 or 1/4 Gold Kastmaster

Creek Fly:  Parachute Adams, Black Ant, Prince Nymph

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