Author Topic: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25  (Read 6520 times)

trouter

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Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« on: June 05, 2012, 03:16:55 PM »
I'm sorry for taking so long to post this but I have been like a one armed paper hanger in a one legged butt kicking contest since I got back.

I had to schedule my trip earlier than desired and I heard they would open the campground at the lake (where I like to camp) on the 20th. I arrived Friday May 18 in the afternoon after a 7 1/2 hour drive from Havasu and set up camp in site #55 at East Fork. After setting up my tent I went up to the lake and walked back to the creek where I caught 5 fish. Went back to camp and turned the bbq device in the campsite into a smoker and after soaking the trout in brine for a couple hours proceeded to smoke them. They were yummy!

The week before going on the trip I ripped an entire staples paper box full of CD's onto a new 8 GB mp3 player. This enabled me to listen to all of the music I like which is very eclectic (I guess that is the right word?). Asleep at the Wheel, Marshal Tucker, Diana Krall, Led Zeppelin, Eva Cassidy, John Mayal, Willie Nelson, John Lee Hooker, Garth Brooks, Bob Dilan, Vince Gil, Van Halen, Patsy Cline, Grover Washington Jr, AC/DC, BB King, Johnny Cash, etc. No Rap! It is amazing that probably 100 albums fit in this tiny little device and I didn't have to choose which 10 or 15 CD's to take. 

They finally opened the lake campground on Monday the 21st so I broke camp and moved to my favorite walk in site. I was the only one in that area the first night. The weather was warm, maybe high 30's at night and at least low 70's during the day. It was very windy off and on all week though but where my camp was is well protected and I even got a reading of 100 degrees in the sun on my little thermometer compass I keep on my backpack.

There were hundreds of trout in the lake everywhere I went I could see them but only caught a couple on lures and did catch a handful on fly and bubble. Bait fishermen were catching quite a bit using power bait but I can't sit in one place that long. Knowledgeable fly fishermen were doing very well but most of the tubers and fly rod fishermen were not catching very many. It really helps to know what you are doing. I caught quite a few fish in the creek with worms and even had the creek above the lake to myself a couple times which I have only experience 2 or 3 times in 35 years.

I like to catch and release most of the time but since I don't fly fish and ended up using worms in the creek I ended up keeping a lot of fish. So I tried different methods of cooking them like smoking and just dropping them into the hot coals. I ate lots of trout and came home with three for later.

One day day I hiked up the creek from the lake and ended up at Mosquito Flats then climbed up the mountain to Serene Lake (there are definitely no fish there but it is a beautiful lake). It is the first time I have taken the time to see it. One of the young guys at the store said they use it to swim since there is no intake the water warms up a lot warmer than the other lakes. After coming down from Serene I walked down the road and when I got to a spot where I could see the lake I decided to climb down the side of the mountain to the trail around the lake. I ended up bush whacking my way through a very dense area of small aspens and some other bushes and stickers. I would have traded my fishing pole for a machete! I won't do that again!

I think it was Wednesday in the afternoon I was sitting there in camp listening on my mp3 to Led Zeppelin Dazed and Confused from the Song Remains the Same album when a very large coyote comes walking up the trail toward me then turn and walked through the trees, jumped up on a boulder, yawned at me and walked away. At first glance I thought it was a wolf because it was about 75 to 100 lbs (others who saw it thought it was part German Shepard or some kind of hybrid). If you are familiar with the music I was listening to you will appreciate how this must have felt to me. It was very eerie. In the movie Song Remains the same they show lots of strange images and Jimmie page uses a violin bow on his guitar for a really strange sound. I see coyotes all the time where I live but his one was a lot bigger and I have never seen a coyote at Rock Creek before. It was a moment I will never forget. Very cool!

Before I left home I saw a post that there would pie on Friday the 25th so I figured I would get at least one piece before heading home. I packed up the car and headed for the store and a shower before going home at about 7:30 AM. After showering went to get my pie and found out they had the pie but were not releasing pie until 10:00 AM. I couldn't wait 2 hours as I had to get my rental car back so I was denied pie.  :pie2: I was very sad :lightning: I almost gave them money for a piece of pie to give to someone else at 10:00 but decided I would look like a big cry baby if I did that.   

It was a very good trip.  :fishing3:

840 miles - 15 hours round trip

See more in the slide show
http://s770.photobucket.com/albums/xx350/havasujon/Rock%20Creek%20Lake%202012/?albumview=slideshow

Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5552064502117286967

A rare view of the the lake with nobody fishing the intake


One of my favorite spots to catch 2 or 3 fish every time. Some will probably recognize it



My makeshift smoker using the bbq device in the campsite at East Fork


Smoked trout


The results - they didn't have a chance!


My bush whacking episode



Trout cooked directly on the coals worked awesome


Serene Lake


Camp



RCL



The creek above the waterfall



Fish






Coyote - picture taken by another camper and emailed to me











« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 06:16:19 PM by trouter »

Topwater Terry

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 03:24:13 PM »
Great report John!  That is a hell of a drive from AZ but worth it!  Those pics are giving me the Sierra fever!!
Once I arrive at Tom's Place...well,  you know...nothing else matters...

Trev Dog

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 04:18:24 PM »
Great report trouter! Loved your smoker! very innovative. Those walk-ins above the lake are aw some! Glad you had a great time definitely Worth your drive. Too bad about the pie.

Gary C.

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 04:42:08 PM »
Great report and pics! That's the way to spend a few day for sure. I would imagine a big part of the reason the coyote looked so much bigger that you are used to was his winter coat. A yote coming out of winter at that altitude would have a lot longer and thicker coat of hair.

wshawkins

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 05:32:34 PM »
Excellent trip report and pictures Trouter!  The fish look yummy!  I always wrap my fish in foil and add butter, garlic salt, onions and my secret sauce then add to coals.  I can count on one hand how many times I seen the inlet with nobody fishing it in the last 30 years!  Rare indeed!

I caught browns in Serene Lake like maybe 3 years ago.  They were all stunted but they were there!  Sorry to see it go fishless.  Iíve bush whacked many a time, thatís how I discovery the history of the area.

Thanks for the update of the Rock Creek Lake area.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

High Sierra

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 05:35:25 PM »
Nice trip Report!  Long drive but I'm sure it was worth it. 

fishpole

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 06:13:16 PM »
Great report and pics. Thanks for posting  :clap:  :clap:  :goodpost:

bstolton

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 09:01:29 PM »
Trouter,    Very nice report and pics.

Like your custom smoker, looks like it worked great !
 You didn`t mention what sort of libation you were enjoying while listening to dazed and confused  :lol2:

I was up there last november before closing and there were 2 coyotes cruising around the lake and watching us fish.
gone fishn, hope to be catchn soon !

Sierra Girl

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 10:10:21 PM »
Got to love a man that can cook! :campfire2:  Looks like you had a great time.  Thanks for sharing.

saudust

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2012, 07:16:20 AM »
Great trip report, Trouter!  Smoked trout are to die for and you just made me promise myself to do that this weekend.  Like Topwater said, you gave me the Sierra fever with those pics.
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.

Fredb

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2012, 08:12:55 AM »
Thanks Trouter I'm also going to try the smoked trout, hopefully sooner than later

incrediblehuck

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2012, 08:23:44 AM »
Thanks for sharing and great pictures!

Scott

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2012, 08:27:04 AM »
Thanks Trouter, nice report and pictures.  The smoked fish was a good ideal!  Yum...

flyGirl

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2012, 08:38:19 AM »
Nice report and pictures Trouter!  Did you take a bath with the smoker too? :rotflmao:

SN

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Re: Rock Creek Lake - May 18 - 25
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2012, 09:32:47 AM »
Nice report and pictures.
  now it is time for Sierra smoked trout