Author Topic: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats  (Read 33241 times)

wshawkins

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Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« on: March 05, 2014, 08:48:14 AM »
Just a little late with this fishing trip but Iím sure nobody minds.  My target lakes for this trip was are known for their Lahonton Cutthroats.  This northern Eastern Sierra trip area didnít disappoint.  There are 5-6 lakes within a dayís hike of this area where the trout can grow north of 18Ē and some trophy 20Ē + trout thrown in for good measure.  Even the Brookies can get huge here.  Without any doubt a fun place to toss your line.    Hope you enjoy!



Hoover Wilderness Sign




Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats



Took another late fall season day hike, this time to some good Lahonton Cutthroat lakes.  These lakes are west of Pickel Meadows near the Sonora Pass.  This trip I think fishes best early or late in the season, at least thatís true for me.  These lakes can get too hot in the summer months due to the lower elevations and the fishing suffers.


This 3 Ĺ mile hike from Leavitt Meadow to Lane Lake can be done in less than 2 hours.  Lane Lake and its sister, Roosevelt Lake offers good fishing and comfortable campsites with views of the lakes.  This easy hike would make a great backpacking outing on which to bring children or first timers and introduce them to the wilderness.

"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: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 08:52:31 AM »
My hike begins at the closed Leavitt Meadow campground (Remember the Government Shutdown!) to the bridge and then up the slight hill.  At the trail junction, turn right and follow the trail down into Leavitt Meadow.  Bring some water as water is scarce here in late fall unless you want to scramble down to the West Walker River below in the meadow.



Campground Closed because of Government Shutdown




Closed for Government Shutdown





Bridge over the West Walker River





Even though it was 22*F in the morning at the trail head when I got there, it quickly warmed up and I was shedding layers as I hiked up to the lakes.  The trail pretty much follows the West Walker River as it winds through Leavitt Meadows.



West Walker River Low




Where Iím headed




West Walker River & Leavitt Meadows
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wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 08:56:19 AM »
After about two miles of fairly level hiking up the meadow, the trail swings uphill and climbs about 400 feet to a ridge at 7,500 feet elevation.  At times it is steep, but you soon arrive at the next trail junction, marking the end of the uphill. Turn right there and follow the trail downhill to Roosevelt Lake. 


Fall Leaves on Trail to the Lakes




Trail Junction



Roosevelt Lake



Roosevelt Lake




The trail skirts around Roosevelt Lake and you will quickly arrive at Lane Lake.  Youíll want to try your luck in both lakes if youíre fishing.




Lane Lake




Lane Lake

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wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 09:00:22 AM »
While the bite can be great when it is on, the bite can also be far and few in between sometimes.  You can get a skunk here thatís for sure, but if your patient, it can reward you big-time!  For me it was a learning curve, you keep at it until youíll figure it out.  First time here for me was a big skunk!  Then I started learning its secrets and know itís paying me dividends.



Lahonton Cutthroat out of Lane Lake



Lahonton Cutthroat out of Lane Lake



Also caught 2 Brook trout out of Lane Lake up to about 14Ē and they looked puny compared to the large Lahonton Cutthroats I was catching.  I went over to Roosevelt Lake next also it did not disappoint.  They were also a little bigger in this lake on this particular day.



Lahonton Cutthroat out of Roosevelt Lake



Lahonton Cutthroat out of Roosevelt Lake



Lahonton Cutthroat out of Roosevelt Lake


« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 09:08:36 AM by wshawkins »
"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: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 09:02:46 AM »
Last picture was the biggest Lahonton Cutthroat I ever caught so far at these lakes at 20Ē and 2 lbs or so.  I knew it was a big Cutthroat right off as it made several long runs and all I could do is hold on and let it run and hope my 2 lb. leader would hold up.



Lahonton Cutthroat out of Roosevelt Lake




Lahonton Cutthroat out of Roosevelt Lake




Lahonton Cutthroat out of Roosevelt Lake




Roosevelt and Lane Lakes are part of the DFW Catch & Release program with the State of California with a 2 trout limit.  Seems to be working as the fishing was great on this day trip. 



« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 11:32:54 AM by wshawkins »
"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: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 09:06:17 AM »
It was time to head back as there was not much daylight left in this late fall hike.  On my way back I sometimes swing past Secret Lake or Poore Lake on my return trip and which makes a nice loop trip.  Poore Lake has some trophy size Brook Trout in its waters and Secret has some large trout too.




Trail Junction to Poore and Secret Lakes





Poore Lake





Secret Lake




Turned out to be a great trip with excellent fishing, best Iíve done on these lakes.  What was also very nice was I had the lakes to myself; never saw a single sole all day, which is pretty rare on that usually busy trail.  One of the benefits of taking a late fall fishing trip.  I did see the local Marines flying the V-22 Osprey aircraft overhead a few times, even tipping there wing the last time over.  Turned out to be a pretty cool day!




V-22 Osprey Aircraft


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Gary C.

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 09:55:45 AM »
Looks like a great day for sure. Very nice looking cuts!  I've never been up to any of those lakes but thought they might be a nice backpack for the grandkids. How bad are the crowds in the summer? I assume there are lots of people.

wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 11:15:26 AM »
Looks like a great day for sure. Very nice looking cuts!  I've never been up to any of those lakes but thought they might be a nice backpack for the grandkids. How bad are the crowds in the summer? I assume there are lots of people.



Yes, perfect for families with children.  But very busy during the summer.  Could be hard to find a decent camp spot, though there are several nice hidden ones on the backside of Lane Lake.  Fishing gets hammered in the summer too as you can imagined. 

Swimming is also very popular during the summer.  There are some nice waterfalls that are close by too.
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fishpole

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 10:42:24 PM »
The Marines tipped their wings to let you know you caught them spying on you.  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 06:59:54 AM »
Never saw another person that day, no fishermen or backpackers, a very quiet day.  Until the Marines flew over!  You can hear the V-22 Osprey 5 minutes away before it flew over.  Real noisy machine.  They spotted me as they flew over and hovered over the lake as I waved at them, showed them a recent catch, they dip they wing and took off.  The noisy machine never affected the fishing which was strange enough.

Not the first time I ran into the Marines while fishing.  Last summer I was fishing at Secret lake, another nice Cutthroat lake that does not see that much traffic compared to Lane and Roosevelt Lakes.  I was just landing a nice sized Cutt when 40-50 Marines come jogging by.  Talk about enthusiastic, excited Marines!  They all stopped and jammed around me asking 50 questions until there Sargent came and told them in words I canít say on this Board to get moving!  It was pretty Funny actually!
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

bj

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 02:11:32 PM »
Gary
We ride past those lakes every year in July or August with the mules. Sometimes there's not a soul in sight and sometimes lot's of people. Secret Lake might be a better campsite and then hike down to Roosevelt/Lane for the bigger Cutts.
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Hardrock

wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 07:13:59 AM »
Most people only spend one night on Roosevelt/Lane Lakes as it makes a nice first day stop for those backpacking on to Fremont/Sisters or Dorothy Lakes.  Sometimes if Roosevelt/Lane Lakes are full, I head up trail just a little bit too the beaver dam pond.  Nice spot and still close to the lakes. 

There are some nice camp sites at Secret Lake if you decide set up camp there.  Most people set their tents on the north side of the Lake where the main trail comes in.  I like the more private spots on the east and south side of the lake. Whatever you choose, Iím sure you enjoy your stay.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

SN

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 03:31:24 PM »
thank you for this great post wshawkins.

awesome pictures  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 04:57:59 PM »
Thanks ab-sn.  Was an awesome 4-star day. :D :fishing3:
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bstolton

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 07:57:42 PM »
Looks like a great destination, I`m going to need a bigger bucket !  :lol2:
gone fishn, hope to be catchn soon !

wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2014, 06:37:14 AM »
Looks like a great destination, I`m going to need a bigger bucket !  :lol2:



Maybe a bigger net too!  True for at least for me.  Some of them bad boys barely fit into my net!
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wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2014, 07:28:04 AM »
Nearby Adventures:


Pickel and Leavitt Meadows are a great jumping off points to some great backcountry fishing.  Pull out your map of the Hoover Wilderness and start planning your next trip! Heading south from Leavitt Meadow offers good camping and fishing along the way.  Pushing pass Roosevelt and Lane Lakes a little farther youíll find Fremont Lake where the early season fishing is good for decent sized rainbows.



Fremont Lake




Beyond Fremont Lake lie the Chain of Lakes, Cinco Lake, the Sister Lakes and then Dorothy Lake on the northern edge of Yosemite National Park which are rewarding fishing destinations and take you along very scenic backpacking routes.  This area in Yosemite rarely gets fished and has some of the best fishing you will ever have in the backcountry!



Dorothy Lake
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saudust

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2014, 08:09:07 AM »
Dorothy Lake looks like it is just begging to be fished.  Thanks for this thread, wshawkins.  Inspiring! :clap: :clap:
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.

wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2014, 12:32:44 PM »
Thanks saudust!  Do you know the last time Dorothy Lake was planted was in 1913 with rainbows, and still has a substantial population of bows!  Dorothy Lake fishes like most back-country lakes I visited, where you can catch trout with a dry fly all day, but mornings and evening still bring the best action. 

One end of Dorothy Lake had large numbers of small trout, while the other end had less trout, but larger rainbows at 12-14Ē, with up to 18Ē are not unheard of.  My best during the few visits to this lake is 14Ē.

Dorothy Lake makes a nice base camp to visit the nearby Sister Lakes, just over the Dorothy Lake Pass among other lakes and creeks.  I would get with bj if anybody is planning to visit that way soon as he been up there quite a few times.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 12:34:37 PM by wshawkins »
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wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2014, 07:27:18 AM »
Piute Meadow is another beautiful location to explore.  From the meadow you are nearly at the foot of Tower Peak and surrounding summits.  Beautiful vistas wherever way you look.



Piute Meadow & Tower Peak 

"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: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2014, 07:03:34 AM »
Tower Peak


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wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2014, 07:04:53 AM »
Tower Lake was a beautiful place to set up camp.


Tower Lake
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bj

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2014, 08:34:22 AM »
Great post and Pics Hawk. You're right, that area is great for hiking and fishing. So many lakes within day hike range of each other. We lost a few to the Yellow Legged Frog but there are still plenty of lakes left play with.
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wshawkins

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2014, 02:04:16 PM »
Thanks bj

I believe a couple of the Sisters Lakes were fish-less when I was up there and a couple near Fremont Lake, Red Top  and Hidden Lake, which used to have nice sized trout in them.  Not sure if DFG stopped stocking the lakes or they were taken down for the frogs.
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bj

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Re: Hoover Lahonton Cutthroats
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2014, 02:21:15 PM »
Lake Helen and Lake Ruth were killed off by the DFG. We were there talking to them during the process. Ruth really had some big 'bows in it at the time and I was more than a little upset. I think they killed off Tower also.
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