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Messages - wshawkins

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26
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 31, 2017, 07:08:11 AM »
Located high in the Hoover Wilderness back-country is a much difficult to reach “Secret Lake”.  Located 5 miles from the trailhead with the last 3 with no trail, this hike will test your endurance.  The last ½ mile you hike alongside a waterfall up a draw so steep that you need to use your hands and feet to climb to this Secret Lake.  California Department of Fish and Wildlife list this as a Brookie lake.  Why would I go to such extremes to go here?

  :hiking2:



If this is a Brookie lake, they are the most beautiful Brookies in the Sierra. :lol2:  The “Secret Lake” is in a bowl surrounded by mountains on three sides, with some as high as 12,000 feet.  California Department of Fish and Wildlife often miss label what fish are in lakes on their fishing guide on-line.  There mistake is to my advantage.  Who would hike 5 hard miles to fish a Brookie lake?


 :fishing3:

27
Anything Goes / Entry into Yosemite could cost up to $70
« on: October 30, 2017, 07:20:13 AM »
Heard this on the news last night: The National Park Service is asking for a steep fee increase at 17 of its most popular parks.  Visitors to Yosemite for example would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the fee of $30 for a weekly pass. 





The 17 parks affected are:

● Acadia National Park (ACAD)
● Arches National Park (ARCH)
● Bryce Canyon National Park (BRCA)
● Canyonlands National Park (CANY)
● Denali National Park (DENA)
● Glacier National Park (GLAC)
● Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA)
● Grand Teton National Park (GRTE)
● Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR)
● Mount Rainier National Park (MORA)
● Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO)
● Olympic National Park (OLYM)
● Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI)
● Shenandoah National Park (SHEN)
● Yellowstone National Park (YELL)

The last fee increase in 2015 was supposed to help chip away at the $12 billion maintenance backlog that plagues the national park system.  So where did the last fee increase go to?  Also they just recently raised the cost of a lifetime Senior National Parks Pass from $10 to $80.

There is a 30-day public comment period if you like to respond to it.  Here is the link for comments:
https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=442&projectID=75576&documentID=83652

28
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 28, 2017, 07:11:54 AM »
Thanks P A C, appreciate your comments.  The snow caves have always been there but during the long recent drought they usually melted and gone by June and not developed due to lack of snow.  But this year with the record snow I knew they would be awesome!  And they were!  Best I’ve ever seen.  Also with no water taxi service this year, very few even glimpsed them. 


Snow Caves come in all sizes and shapes.  This one is very near to Lake Helen and nearly ready to collapse.  This photo was taken in September if you can believe it!



29
One of the great classic trips of the Sierra, visiting some of the most beautiful of Sierra ranges.  I love fishing for goldens in the alpine lakes basins, Dusy, Evolution, and Humphreys.  Lot of traffic on this heavily traveled hike as it follows the JMT for almost half of the trip. Great trip report with beautiful photos.  Thanks for sharing.

30
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 27, 2017, 06:42:55 AM »
Nearby lake Helen are the snow caves.  I saw three in this general area.  The snow caves are the result of avalanches filling the gully with snow due to the steepness of the mountains on both sides of this gully.  The snow, sheltered from direct sunlight persists late into the summer.

The caves are then carved out by meltwater stream that runs under it and are expanded by an inrush of warmer air under the snow.  And that’s where the danger lies.  As ice caves grow, the roof of the ice cave thins and weakens.  That increases the danger of a snow bridge or cave roof collapse, and is compounded by the fact that the water flowing into the snow makes it heavier and even more prone to collapse.  This particular snow cave was maybe 12-15 foot high at the crest; a fall through here could cause serious injury.




31
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 27, 2017, 06:40:17 AM »
It took quite an effort to reach Lake Helen in 20 Lakes Basin.  Was surprised Lake Helen was fishable as Saddlebag Lake was still frozen solid!  But did not come here for the fishing, I came for the "Snow Caves".


Lake Helen

32
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 26, 2017, 06:19:30 AM »
Still ice on one of the upper Conness Lakes in late August



33
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 25, 2017, 11:23:26 AM »
Great photos as usual. Looks like a mean day at Gardisky, the wind can really blow thru there. I assume the lower lakes for cutts were Roosevelt and Lane. How were they this time of year?


Yeah, the Cutts are still biting in the Hoover Wilderness................. :fishing3:



34
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 25, 2017, 06:41:34 AM »
Gardisky Lake with thundershowers in the forecast.....



35
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 25, 2017, 06:17:23 AM »
On a Gardisky Lake Hike during a gorgeous August day.  Flowers were in full plume.  Gardisky Lake is behind me and I'm looking towards the White Mountains.



36
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 25, 2017, 06:13:53 AM »
This has been a bumper fall crop spawning year for the Brown Trout.  Because of the prior drought years, the high country lakes that support Brown Trout could not spawn due to the spawning grounds were dried up.  With our big wet winter, creeks, streams and rivers are all still flowing nicely in October.  I can’t say where their spawning due to prying eyes, but there out there in record numbers and they are Big! 

You won’t see them on that last photo of Ellery Lake due to the fact they don’t spawn in mud.  They prefer slower water (under 70*F) and prosper in freestone streams.  The big ones are more challenging to catch than other trout, no doubt aided by the fact that larger Brown trout feed mostly at night.

It’s been a most unusual year as I have been saying.  I observed Rainbows spawning in July (usually never later than June), Goldens spawning in August (Short season for Goldens).  The Brook Trout are now spawning now with their brilliant in full colors.

37
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 24, 2017, 08:55:13 AM »
Ellery Lake drained down by mid-Oct 2017



38
Eastern Sierra History / Re: The Story of the Pine Creek Tungsten Mine
« on: October 24, 2017, 05:54:27 AM »
Interesting that they call the transportation into the mine "Man-Trains" while on the tour I took they were called ore cars driven by electric mules.  Thanks for the video.

39
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 24, 2017, 05:51:30 AM »
Ellery Lake in Tioga Pass was full in August 2017



40
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 23, 2017, 06:48:46 AM »
I went over to Sonora Pass hoping to fish the golden lakes but they were all still frozen over.  Went instead to the lower lakes that held the Cutthroat Trout.  Lots of snow over and near the pass. 


Sonora Pass

41
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 23, 2017, 06:44:44 AM »
P A C, the lake in question is a back-country unnamed lake according to California Department of Fish & Wildlife.  There are plenty (Hundreds) of these unnamed lakes out there, many with trout in them.  This lake I call “Secret Lake” because you could walk right by it and miss it as it’s hidden by small to medium sized aspen trees around its perimeter plus there is no trail to this lake.  It’s quite a hike to “Secret Lake” but worth it for the beauty, tranquility and especially the special trout that occupy its waters. :hiking2: :fishing3:

42
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 09:04:22 AM »
Mammoth Lakes





Secret Lake




43
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 09:03:02 AM »
Little Walker Lake





Bishop Creek Canyon




44
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 09:01:32 AM »
Gull Lake









45
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:59:41 AM »
June Lake Loop






46
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:58:30 AM »
Silver Lake






47
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:57:21 AM »
Parker lake






48
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:56:04 AM »
Rock Creek






49
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:54:40 AM »
Just back from Eastern Sierra!  Fall colors were great again and the fishing was off the wall good!  My trip ended with several inches of snow falling overnight and the temperature plunging down.  Wow it was beautiful. 

Still time to catch some of the fall colors but hurry it won’t last!  Best places to find it is at Lundy Canyon near the lower campgrounds, Lee Vining Canyon, June Lake Loop, Convict Lake, Lower McGee Canyon, Mono Lake community and Lower Rock Creek.

Fishing was superb this fall with some personal records broke with most backcountry wild Browns caught (and released) this year, largest Brookie ever caught in the Rock Creek area and a record for the books for the Rock Creek area that turned out differently than I thought it would.  Can an “Eastern Sierra Slam” (5 different species of trout caught in the same day) be possible in Rock Creek backcountry?  I’ll share later what I attempted in late October.   

Here is just a sample of the fall colors I seen this trip: 



Rock Creek


50
Strictly Media / Re: 2017 Eastern Sierra Photos
« on: October 07, 2017, 07:14:43 AM »
It’s so quiet here in Rock Creek's Message Board you can hear a pin drop!  Guess this topic is a bust.  It happens so I’ll just end this topic now.  I guess snow is boring!  Here is what you missed: :shoveling:

Some of the highlights were Tioga Pass (which I shared), high snow levels and the damage to the two resorts in the area.  Some of the higher lakes (over 11,000 ft.) were still partial frozen over in September, just incredible!   :yodel:

Mammoth Lakes won the prize for deepest snow; some of the drifts were over 35-40 feet high.  Took a hike over Duck Pass in spring, most of the lakes were frozen but fished for Rainbows in Duck Lake where there was open water.  Visited Mammoth both in winter and spring.

Also visited Rock Creek in last winter and this summer.  Cross-country skiing in winter and great fishing in summer.  Caught my first Cutthroat in the Rock Creek area.  I might just try for the “Sierra Grand Slam” (5 different species of trout), now that I know that’s its possible here.

Some of the other area’s I visited was Sonora Pass (lots of snow), Bridgeport Lakes (more snow), Lundy Canyon (went the back way to 20 lakes basin), June Lake Loop (Horsetail waterfall was incredible!) and down south to Big Pine Lakes (beautiful!).  Lots of gorgeous fish caught (most released) with a few trophy size.  This also makes for one of the shortest fishing seasons on record for me.  So with that last thought, I’m heading up there one more time before the upper lakes freeze on me.  Wish me luck………  :hiking2: :fishing3:

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