Author Topic: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes  (Read 11773 times)

bj

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2018, 11:14:39 AM »
I was wrong, thought you were for the lower lake. How is the hike from Red Lake. I've been to been to the target from the lower one but not cross country. Any Fish?
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wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2018, 07:26:20 AM »
As bj knows, the “Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes” is Upper Woods Lake.  There is also a Lower Woods Lake, where you usually hike from to get up to Upper Woods Lake.  The cross country route to Upper Woods Lake can be difficult because you cannot see the lake until you’re within 20 feet of it, so it is quite hidden.


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wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2018, 07:27:28 AM »
Upper Woods Lake is a pristine back-country lake, so clear you can see to the bottom of the lake.  With no wind today, that makes fishing a bit harder.  Perfect lake to practice fly fishing with a dry fly.


"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2018, 07:29:20 AM »
Upper Woods Lake has a surprising heathy population of Rainbow Trout.  This tiny 2 acre lake will amaze you with acrobatic Rainbows on your line.  How they stock this lake is beyond me as it’s surrounded by mountains on three sides.





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wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2018, 06:41:43 AM »
Beautiful Upper Woods Lake


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wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2018, 06:52:52 AM »
Beautiful healthy Rainbow Trout, and boy do they fight.  All were sight casted to as this lake is super clear.  Use your best stealth fishing tactics for this lake as they spook easily if they see or hear you.  All Rainbows caught in this back-country lake were released back to the lake.





"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2018, 06:55:19 AM »
Heading cross-country back to the Duck Pass Trail and Barney Lake.  Couple of lakes coming into view.


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wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2018, 06:53:24 AM »
Back to Barney Lake and still looking icy!


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wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2018, 06:54:15 AM »
About 3 pm and at the heat of the day but the lake is still frozen.  No open water anywhere, lake is solid ice!  Fishing Barney Lake is over for this season! 


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wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2018, 06:50:25 AM »
Last post for this Trip Report!  On my way back to the trailhead, stopped at Skelton Lake for some excellent Brookie fishing. 

Remember that Skelton Lake is a special Brook Trout bag and possession limit lake.  So take advantage of that if you’re up there, or not your choice!

Happy fishing!!!


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charlie

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2018, 05:40:25 PM »
 :clap:   Gorgeous.

Newportirish

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2018, 11:17:35 AM »
Hello,  I have been a lurker on this board for a year or so.  It's a fantastic resource.  I am interested in this particular trip as I am heading up to Mammoth this weekend with my 15 year old son.  We have gone as far as Arrowhead Lake on the Duck Pass trail but never any further.  This trip looks like a lot of fun.  From a fishing success standpoint, if you had one day to spend hiking/fishing with a 15 year old fly fishing intermediate level angler, would you do this Woods Lake trip or go to the  middle fork San Joaquin out of Agnew Meadows?  Any strategy or tactics advice would be appreciated as well.  Thank you.   

wshawkins

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Re: A Hidden Gem in Mammoth Lakes
« Reply #37 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.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."