Author Topic: Duck Lake  (Read 14217 times)

wshawkins

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Duck Lake
« on: February 15, 2013, 07:55:32 AM »
How about a trip report from last October!  February can be slow for us Eastern Sierra types.  I love this hike and I do this long day trip maybe 1-2 times every year.  Im sure many of you have been on the Duck Pass Trail and know the beauty of this hike.  Enjoy!





Duck Lake




Decided to head up to Duck Lake for a quick fishing trip in late fall.  It was a cool fall day with the typical afternoon showers in the forecast.  The hike starts from the back of Lake Mary Campground near the town of Mammoth Lakes at the Duck Pass Trailhead.  On this hike you will pass a string of lakes on your way leading up to Duck Pass, including Arrowhead Lake, Skelton Lake, Red Lake, and Barney Lake, which is immediately below Duck Pass.  The Duck Pass Trail is a very popular hiking destination, even in the late fall season.


Arrowhead Lake



Skelton Lake



Red Lake



Barney Lake




Duck Pass is I believe one of the easier passes to cross in the Sierra and I arrive at the pass at 10,797 feet elevation.  Once you crest the top you are immediately hit with deep blue waters of Duck Lake.  Duck Lake is a large natural alpine lake for a backcountry lake, but a beautiful sight when you crest over the pass.


Duck Lake



I usually fish the outlet of Duck Lake and down Duck Creek, but because of the drought, Duck Creek has mostly dried up this year.  So instead I head for Pika Lake and the inlet to Duck Lake.  To get there you need to take the spur trail to the left down to the north end of Duck Lake to reach Pika Lake. 


Spur Trail to Pika Lake




Pika Lake fishing came alive on flies served dry for festive Brookies and Bows in the 8 to 12 size range.  Pika Lake does have some good campsites on the small ridge that flanks the lake, much better than steep sides around Duck Lake near the inlet side of the Lake.


Pika Lake



I headed next to the Inlet of Duck Lake and really hit pay dirt.  The larger bows started hitting my chosen flies hard with trout up to 16 inches. 


Duck Lake Inlet



Wild Rainbow Trout




Once I fished out the inlet I started working my way around Duck Lake and started catching mostly brookies with an occasional bow showing up.  Fishing was excellent, with double figures for both bows and brooks caught and released in Duck Lake.  I did take a few bows back to camp for barbecuing and they were rummy, and they had the pink salmon colored meat that I love.  Fished most of back part of the lake, from the inlet to about halfway to the outlet when it was time to hit the trail back to camp.


A Nice Brook Trout




Another Brook Trout out of Duck Lake




Some really great views on the hike home too!  Turned out to be a great day!  Good fishing, great vistas, and the weather not too bad (some showers).  See you next year Duck Lake!


View from Duck Pass on the Hike home
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 08:29:23 AM by wshawkins »
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Trev Dog

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Re: Duck Lake
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 08:16:40 AM »
As usual wshawkins aw some report! :clap:

charlie

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Re: Duck Lake
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 09:38:01 AM »
WOW!  Double digit dries and views. How can it get any better?   Thanks again, WS.   :clap: :clap: :clap: 

Charlie




bj

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Re: Duck Lake
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 11:14:34 AM »
Great shot of Barney. I hooked a whale there once on a live frog (Yellow legged I hope) as a kid.
" Rock on..........Rock the Creek"
Hardrock

wshawkins

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Re: Duck Lake
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 12:27:23 PM »
WOW!  Double digit dries and views. How can it get any better?   Thanks again, WS.   :clap: :clap: :clap: 

Charlie


To get at the big bows in Duck Lake, had to go to a wet fly and add a split-shot to get down where they were.  Then the fun started!
"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: Duck Lake
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 12:29:48 PM »
Great shot of Barney. I hooked a whale there once on a live frog (Yellow legged I hope) as a kid.


Barney still has the largest fish!
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

saudust

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Re: Duck Lake
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 04:46:08 PM »
Great trip report, wshawkins, full of the kinds of pictures I now almost always expect from you, lakes, trails and FISH.  Good times, especially for mid-February in LA.  Thanks!
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.

wshawkins

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Re: Duck Lake
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 07:56:02 AM »
As usual wshawkins aw some report! :clap:

Thanks Trev Dog for the kind words!
"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: Duck Lake
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 07:57:21 AM »
Great trip report, wshawkins, full of the kinds of pictures I now almost always expect from you, lakes, trails and FISH.  Good times, especially for mid-February in LA.  Thanks!

Good times for sure saudust!
"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: Duck Lake
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 07:51:43 AM »
South side of Duck Lake is where the Brookie fishing was hot.  Just needed to be able to cast to or past where lake drops off.

"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: Duck Lake
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 07:54:52 AM »
Thundershowers were a brewing and the wind kicked-up and the temperature dropped like a rock but fishing was still great at Duck 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: Duck Lake
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 07:50:36 AM »
This is why the lake is called Duck Lake (True Story).

"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: Duck Lake
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 03:47:14 PM »
Another photo of Duck Lake facing north from the spur trail. 

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