We headed up to the cabin last Thursday…it was nice to make the drive during the week and avoid traffic! My nephew Nick was attending summer camp in Twain Harte, so, since my sister would be in town, I offered a chance to stay a few days. I met Luci and her youngest son, Nathan, at the Tracy In-N-Out, a favorite lunchtime stop, about [singlepic=119,150,,right]noon Thursday. We parted ways but soon joined up again at the cabin. After I quickly whacked the weeds, we headed to Twain Harte Lake, where the weather and water were great. Truthfully, the water wasn’t that great. Water weeds — one of Luci’s least favorite aspects of lake swimming — were quite high. The lake had recently been treated for the infernal vegetation, but the affects were not yet evident.
A decision was made on Friday that I would take my nephews to Moccasin Creek, so after a morning of playing games and generally being lazy, we headed west on Hwy 108, then south on Hwy 120. We arrived just before the hatchery was to close, but did get to ogle some of the brood fish and the mass quantities of trout ready for stocking. We first wetted our lines at the base of the dam, but the fish were running deep and not interested in what we had to offer. While Nathan and his mom played in the water and chased crayfish, Nick and I ventured through the blackberries and bugs to my favorite spot. Using PowerBait, Nick got one nibble. I was lucky enough to hook three decent-sized rainbows using my favorite Panther Martin (red body/gold blade). Then it was back to the dam, where the boys splashed around and skipped rocks…including the biggest boy.
I left the cabin mid-morning Saturday to head to Modesto, where I picked up Chris after lunch at Garcia Jo Jo’s. On our ride back to the cabin, we stopped at Moccasin Creek, where the catching was again a bit slow. I landed one rainbow after my fist cast, but that was about it. It was back to the cabin and to the lake, where we had a great 4th of July hamburger dinner, even if the wait was a bit long. As the sun set, Chris, Nick and Nathan headed to the lake inlet with fishing poles in hand. Chris did catch some fish. However, they were a bit difficult to see…none were longer than my pinkie finger. (Big-mouthed baby bass.)
Sunday started early, with Chris and I out the door by 6:30 a.m. We planned to spend the day at Kennedy Meadows, but fast and high water changed our minds. We saw numerous fishermen pass by, but all were empty handed. Finding that we were close to Sonora Pass, I figured we could head on over to the “Eastside,” where Chris wanted to hit one of his favorite spots: Lee Vining Creek. The water was again high with none of the regular pools. No rises to flies and nothing on spinners. I suggested heading up the Tioga Road for a look at Saddlebag Creek, which we also found running quite fast…so fast that one fly fisherman who was there teaching a buddy had no expectations of a bite. On our list of streams to check out was the section of Lee Vining Creek that goes between Tioga and Ellery lakes, so off we went. Chris was again skunked here, but I happened to hook three small trout on a gold Mepps, but only pulled one — a nine-inch brook — to shore. (In fumbling for my camera and minimize any stress on this trout, the little brookie opted to release itself from my barbless hook.) After lunch, we stopped at Pickle Meadows, another spot we had wanted to check out, and chatted with some fly fishermen who were departing after fishing the West Walker River most of the day. One of these gentlemen has fished the area for going on a decade and predicted that it will be another two weeks before the West Walker might even be ready for fishing. Chris and I walked a stretch of the river to find, like everything else, it’s still running very high and fast, though the color is clearing up. Though there was little catching on this trip, the weather was beautiful and my batteries were recharged!