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Messages - wshawkins

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Eastern Sierra History / Cerro Gordo is for sale!
« on: June 22, 2018, 01:17:23 PM »
Cerro Gordo is for sale

You may have seen this on the news; the Ghost Town of Cerro Gordo is for sale.  Located high in the Inyo Mountains, Cerro Gordo came into existence after the discovery of silver in 1865.  In the 1860s and ’70s, the town saw a murder per week with over 2,000 inhabitants living in this thriving mining town.  So much silver was being taken out of the mountain that there were two steamboats on Owens Lake transporting the ingots from Swansea to Cartago for transport to the port in LA.

Maybe some of you remember the property’s late owner, Michael Patterson or his late wife Jody.  They ran a B&B at the Hotel up to the 1990’s.  The town itself is very well preserved and a fascinating place to visit.  If you do decide to visit I recommend 4-wheel drive and let the caretaker know you’re coming up or soon after you arrive.  The property is already in escrow.  That went fast!  So much for my dreams of owning a ghost town!  I hope the new owners preserve the town.

Strictly Media / Re: 2018 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:27:41 AM »
Tioga Lake was completely full and going over the spillway.

Strictly Media / Re: 2018 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: June 21, 2018, 06:21:46 AM »
Tioga Pass Resort still closed for repairs

Eastern Sierra Trip Reports / Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« on: June 20, 2018, 04:15:46 PM »
Both are good choices but I would pick the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River as you will have miles and miles of river to fish verses a small 2 acre lake.  The Middle Fork of the San Joaquin is a classic freestone river with four species of trout in its waters.  The river has three sections that you can fish.  I’ll give you a little detail of each section and what to expect.

The Upper section is from Agnew Meadows to Upper Soda Springs Campground. This area holds mostly hybrid Golden Trout.  The section has nice pockets of water with deep pools.  It runs through a dense forest with some rock cliffs, so it takes some time and effort to fish this section.  I do best on dry flies, switching to nymphs for the deeper pools or early in the season when flows are up.  There are two bridges that cross the river here, one from below Agnew Meadows and the other at Upper Soda Springs Campground.

The Middle section is from Upper Soda Springs to Minaret Falls. This section consists of deep pools holding Brown trout in the 12-14" range.  Fishing just above Upper Soda Springs is probable your best chance at catching several different species of trout from one location.  The Rainbows and Goldens will be in the faster water while the Browns and Brookies will be in the slower flows.  Try to avoid the area below Soda Springs Campground as this section is heavily fished during the summer months.  A dry fly with nymph dropper is my go to set-up for this section.

The Lower section is from Minaret Falls to Rainbow Falls.  This section holds mostly Browns.  Look for the larger pools holding the larger trout.  This area is fished best nymphing in early season and a very good dry fly section later in summer and fall.

What’s in my fly box?  I suggest fishing small, BWO nymphs, Black Gnats, Midges, Royal Coachman, Parachute Adams and Sculpin imitations.  My go to fly is an Elk Hair Caddis (#14).  Sometimes fishing a dark Streamer (#12) early season does wonders.

If you’ve fished here in the past you know what a fun river this is with a dry fly rig and a light rod.  These fish will hit almost any dry fly that is presented properly. Good luck and hope to hear back from you with great success during your vacation.

Strictly Media / Re: 2018 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: June 20, 2018, 05:51:28 AM »
Upper Lee Vining Creek

Strictly Media / Re: 2018 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: June 19, 2018, 05:59:19 AM »
Ellery Lake at Tioga Pass

Strictly Media / Re: 2018 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: June 18, 2018, 05:53:38 AM »
Very popular lake with planted Rainbows and with wild Brookies and Browns in it waters.

Strictly Media / Re: 2018 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: June 14, 2018, 06:29:05 AM »
Hard to believe this used to be a wagon road at one time.  They called it “The Great Sierra Wagon Road”. 

Strictly Media / 2018 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:01:35 AM »
2018 Eastern Sierra Photos

Thought I’d start another photo college of the Eastern Sierra.  Not quite the snow levels from last spring.   2018 looked more like a more typical spring we had in the last decade.  The photo below I’m standing at the 10,000 ft. elevation looking into some of my favorite fishing destinations, most of them still frozen over.  Enjoy!

 Looking into the Hoover Wilderness

Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: French Camp area report 5/31-6/3
« on: June 11, 2018, 06:33:54 AM »
For your first trip up to the Eastern Sierra, you did pretty well!  Fishing the inlet at Convict Lake is one of my favorite places to fish for spring fishing.  Thanks for sharing! :fishing3:

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Favorite Lure for Rock Creek Lake
« on: June 02, 2018, 07:56:08 AM »
Even though I caught many trout on Supper dupers, Kastmaster’s and Panther Martin’s over the years, a red/gold Thomas Buoyant lands the most trout for me! :fishing3:

Yes, quite a few over the years but usually after Labor Day.  If you want to look what’s possible out of Sotcher Lake, head over to Reds Meadow Resort and check out the large Browns on the wall in the Store/Café.

Sotcher Lake is spring fed and has a nice 1 ½ mile hike around the lake.  On this lake hike you cross several spring fed creeks, one is if you follow the creek a bit you come to what’s known locally as the “Water Cave”.  One of many cool finds in this area of the Eastern Sierra!

Water Cave

Trip Reports from Elsewhere / Re: Hawaii
« on: May 24, 2018, 07:00:43 AM »
Maui – Hawaii

Haleakalā Crater

Driving down to Lahaina

Trip Reports from Elsewhere / Re: Hawaii
« on: May 24, 2018, 06:57:10 AM »
Maui – Hawaii

Haleakalā Crater

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Canyon Weather
« on: May 23, 2018, 04:13:21 PM »
Interesting website, I bookmarked it.  Can anyone explain to me how to use the water flow tables?  Last year the creek was largely unfishable due to super high water.  I'll concentrate on the lake, if that's what to expect.
Also, as to the weather chart for Rock Creek, if you look closer, the reported area is at 12,000 feet.  Colder and windyer for sure.

Owens Valley water flow tables are a useful tool to gauge if the creeks and rivers are fishable.  For instance lower Owens River showing flow of 318, which is fishable but too fast for wading (Your safe wading flows are below 250 cfs).  Lower Owens flows can fluctuate greatly due to the needs for water in L.A.  Rock Creek at current flow of 17.7 is very fishable.  If you remember last year’s flows were 2 to 3 times that at this time last year.   

As for the weather chart, you can customize your own weather page for anywhere in the east side.  Start with the one you bookmarked.  Open Rock Creek weather forecast page.  Go down to the Forecast Area Map.  Switch from topographic to satellite, which allows you to see lakes and creeks better. If your fishing location is by a road, switch from topographic to streets.  Where do you want to fish today?  Say for instance you want to fish Tioga Lake which is in Tioga Pass area.  Hold mouse down and move map until Forecast Area is over Tioga Lake.  Click on Tioga Lake.  Now you have a custom weather forecast for Tioga Lake.  Bookmark it or save it to your computer or smart phone for future use.

I have my own weather page similar to The Trout Fitter with over 20 saved areas I love to fish and camp in the backcountry.  But as Corey Baer said, prepare for anything and everything it’s the Sierra.

Thanks for all the tips! Ill probably go with a clear intermediate for fishing the lakes around the loop. Will also be heading down to sotcher with the float tube to try fly fishing it for the first time. Anyone fish down there often? One of my favorite places in the ES.

I fish Sotcher Lake quite a bit when I’m in Mammoth.  Usually head down after 5pm for a couple of hours after the Park Rangers leave the gate.  Always done good there catching planters. For your info, the road down to Sotcher Lake is closed and not expected to be open until mid-June.  Check the website for updates.

Trip Reports from Elsewhere / Re: Hawaii
« on: May 23, 2018, 06:53:48 AM »
Maui – Hawaii

Haleakalā Crater

Silver Sword

Trip Reports from Elsewhere / Re: Hawaii
« on: May 23, 2018, 06:49:35 AM »
Maui – Hawaii

Haleakalā Crater

In the middle of Maui sits one of the world’s largest dormant volcanoes, Haleakalā Crater which looms at 10,023 feet above sea level.  Spectacular awe-inspiring views from the Haleakalā Crater.

Sinking lines are used to sink your flies down to where the fish are.  I mostly prefer to use full sink lines when in tandem with a streamer and dropper nymph.

My little trick if you want your fly down faster, use split shots on the leader helps greatly.  An alternative I prefer is using a tungsten conehead and let it slide loose on the leader.  The conehead also provides extra flash as well.  Just make sure you check your tippet often because a conehead has a tendency to wear the tippet.

If you do decide to use a sinking line, you need to choose a line that best matches the type of water you are planning to fish on.  Good luck!

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Canyon Weather
« on: May 23, 2018, 06:46:04 AM »
The Trout Fitter has a good one I use.  Rock Creek is the last one under weather.

Trip Reports from Elsewhere / Re: Hawaii
« on: May 22, 2018, 07:03:50 AM »
Maui - Hawaii

Iso Valley State Park

Trip Reports from Elsewhere / Re: Hawaii
« on: May 22, 2018, 07:01:19 AM »
Maui - Hawaii

We started our Maui journey – at the airport.  After picking up our rental car, we took the highway that takes you from Haleakala to the West Maui Mountains, which is a beautiful valley!  On the way is Iao Valley State Park.

Iao Valley State Park

Eastern Sierra Forum / Re: Conditions
« on: May 22, 2018, 06:58:43 AM »
According to the US Forrest Service, Pine Grove Campground is open.  Pine Grove Campground sites are first-come, first-served.

Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Rock Creek lake area
« on: May 21, 2018, 05:25:31 PM »
Streamer is a large fly, like a Woolly Bugger or Matuka.  Streamers are very effective at Rock Creek Lake when trolling.  Set your speed at about 1 mph and add split shots as needed to reach proper depth.

Bubble/fly combo is the preferred way to go for the lakes and streams in the Eastern Sierra.  Also using spinning pole/reel combo allows you to switch easily to lures or plastics.

Several good tackle shops in Bishop.  I usually stop at Reagan’s Sporting Goods if I need anything. :fishing3:

Eastern Sierra Fishing / Re: Rock Creek lake area
« on: May 21, 2018, 11:41:31 AM »
Water is still cold, so fish may still be lethargic.  Slow down your presentations.  For Rock Creek and Convict Lakes, I like to troll using streamers with a trailer midge or nymph behind it.  Also works good is trolling with Lead Core with 4-6 colors, Rapalas, Tasmanian Devils and Needlefish.  For mid-day use Inflated Night Crawlers, Power Eggs or any Power bait.

Catching stocked fish in Rock Creek is very easy.  Salmon Eggs has always worked, or tease them with a dry fly!

For Little Lakes Valley fishing, use light gear and line.  Bubble/fly combo works for me.  Use no more than 4lb line and 2lb leader with #16 fly will get you into the many trout up there. :fishing3:

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