Author Topic: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6  (Read 2509 times)

John Harper

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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.

John
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 10:05:16 AM by John Harper »

Little Hardrock

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 08:34:02 AM »
WOW!!  what a great trip!  you saw some beautiful county, that's for sure...

love the first shots off to the left:)   

I think I would have a heart attack seeing that much smoke not all that far away!
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

John Harper

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #2 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.

John

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 10:56:21 AM »
Looks like a rewarding trip. Tried to find retired's spot, but was unsuccessful. Need to get more precise directions as the spot we ended up using was not as nice as that one. A little tough finding a nice backdrop hill around that area to keep it safe.

So many widow makers following that small creek. I would hike with a hard hat! Although the fishing was not good, at least you know a great deer hunting spot, hehe.
Pack it in, Pack it out...or have a Wrangler do it for you.

John Harper

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #4 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.

John

retired96

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 01:02:54 PM »
Glad you were able to find my shooting site... its a great safe area to shoot and not another person anywhere  I see the Big Springs CG has bear boxes,,the last time I drove thru there they didn't have any..I think I will camp there the next trip since they have the bear boxes and its close to the river...

playingmenace

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2016, 03:19:44 PM »
Looks like a great trip to me, thanks for sharing it here.
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wshawkins

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2016, 07:02:02 AM »
Great Trip!  Congratulations on your first Lahontan Cutthroat trout!  Always nice to get more than one to prove to yourself that it was more than just luck.  That third one is a beauty and good size for that particular lake.  I would also recommend fishing the drop-offs too as the Cutts usually hang in that area.  Really a nice lake to wade in for fly fishing.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

playingmenace

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Re: Five Days in Mammoth 7/31 - 8/6
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2016, 11:31:03 AM »
Looks like there was an avalanche in that Blue Line area.
Life without music, laughter, and an Eastern Slope BBQ would be a mistake.

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