fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

back to the “westside”

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Crowley Lake/Rock Creek Fishing Trip, Part 5 of 5

Sunrise over the Sierra Nevada.

Sunrise over the Sierra Nevada.

Sunday was a day of travel and the end of our adventure in Eastern Sierra fishing, probably for this summer. (Fall is coming up though!) We headed up Hwy 395 for Hwy 120, and made a quick stop on Lee Vining Creek just below Tioga Lake. The water was low and the fish were slow. A few bumps and some following lures, but no bites. Quickly moving along, we were over Sonora Pass and at the cabin by two thirty that afternoon. Soon after we were sitting on the sand at Twain Harte Lake with my sister and her boys.

In planning this trip I had given thought to taking a chance on a local put-and-take creek, figuring that any fish that weren’t caught over the weekend might be good targets Monday morning, when I hoped only a few folks would be fishing. Five thirty Monday morning came and I was up. I poked Christopher but he opted for extra sleep rather than extra fishing.

I was on the creek about six thirty, with the sun still behind the ridge. This creek is in a canyon of sorts with plenty of streamside trees keeping it cool. Without sunlight the water had an inky cast and I could not see beyond the surface of the water. Guess at likely holding locations for feeding trout, I cast a dropper/midge in position to float it (looking natural I hoped) through the pool.

On my fifth cast it was “fish on!” In fact, it surprised me so much that I involuntarily made a good hookset (in other words, I jerked my pole). Soon I had landed a decent thirteen-inch rainbow trout, my fist on my fly pole. For the next few hours it was constant action with a mix of fish to the net and a number of LDRs and missed strikes.

When the sun finally began to filter through the trees, I could make out quite a few trout schooling in two different locations. But off in the distance, about ten feet downstream, a single fish was watching a specific feeding lane. Based on the color difference in this trout’s profile, I figured it just might be one of the broodstock brook trout that were put into this creek weeks ago. Maybe one in ten of my casts were good enough to float down the feeding lane, but my dry fly did get some attention. I lost count of the number of casts and of the passing time, but on one particularly good cast he attacked the dry fly, breaking the surface and immediately turning downstream. A quick tug and he was hooked. These brook trout put on a good fight…a lot of head shaking, jumping and runs…so it took about three or four minutes before I had him in the net. It was a big fish. But I had misjudged how played out he might have been. With a mighty flop of his tail he was out of my net and back into the stream.

It was a heck of a morning that Monday. Eighteen rainbow trout and the single brook to the net with probably another ten LDRs and half a dozen missed strikes. I was finally off the water about eleven o’clock, when the bite died down. This little adventure surely falls under the adage “The early bird catches the worm.”

Monday afternoon and Tuesday were filled with typical fun cabin activities. We spent time at the lake, visited Columbia, played bingo, and ate well. I did, however, take time to clean off all of the cabin gear, so we could just store the equipment when we got home.

I will remember this trip fondly. I found out that I can indeed catch trout on a fly.

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