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Academy graduates progress (Read 1552 times)
Papasequoia
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Academy graduates progress
Aug 6th, 2006, 11:19am
 
Hi all, just to let you know that Sean and Conor have been busy this summer fishing and catching (and releasing!)  They have now caught rainbows, goldens and brookies.  Here is a report I wrote up when they added brook trout to the life list last week.  It looks like the good training they got is paying off!
 
This week we decided to take the truck camper up to Bishop and do some day hiking (and fishing, of course!)  We got up to Bishop Tuesday afternoon to find our favorite CG already full, so we drove to a couple of others, and finally settled in at Upper Intake 2.  The CG host said that the creek was a lot lower, but it looked pretty high still to me, here’s a shot of it flowing through the CG,

 
Still, we had a few hours before dinner, so I decided to give it a shot.  First I hiked up above the CG and picked up this little brown.  I don’t think they stock browns here, so this must be a native?  Or at least as native as browns can be.  Someone else in the CG said that there were German Browns in the creek.  Beats me, to us color blind folks they’re just pretty trout.  

 
A bit lower down below the CG I got this stocker

 
That night, after dinner, we hiked down to Intake to fish.  We went down on the dam and started casting.  Sean and I were using streamers, but the young upstart, Conor, insisted on a dry fly.  The lake was fairly calm with few rises which was surprising for that time of evening, but I tied one on for him.  Let him learn from experience, right?  So, three guesses who gets a fish?  Of course, Conor shouts out, “I got one!”  And sure enough he did, and a big one.  I dropped everything and ran down with the net as the big rainbow started jumping out of the water repeatedly.  Wow!  “Get him on the reel!” I yelled, and he did after a bit.  This fish was an acrobat, and just as Conor guides him in to the net, the fly comes out.  Too late for the fish though, as I scoop him up.  He measures out to 15” and will turn out to be the only fish of the night.

 
As we head back to camp in the gathering dusk and Conor reminds me for the third time that he was the only one to catch a fish, and it was 15” at that I resist the urge to nudge him into the lake (no comments about son outfishing father, Bill!)  
 
The next day we head up the road to fish Long Lake.  We hiked up to Long Lake last fall without fishing gear, and I had seen a lot of fish swimming around, so we go prepared this time.  Unfortunately, the one thing I hadn’t prepared was the battery in the camera, after one trailhead pic, I find the battery is dead, and I haven’t picked up a second battery yet.  Bummer.  This is a gorgeous lake, so I’ll put in a few pics here from our trip last fall.  The drive up towards the south lake trailhead with aspen in fall colors,

 
Long Lake upon arrival,

 
and Long Lake looking back from the direction we came in,

(end part one)
 
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Papasequoia
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Re: Academy graduates progress
Reply #1 - Aug 6th, 2006, 11:19am
 
The best thing about this lake is that it has both rainbows and brookies.  The boys have caught rainbows and goldens, but no browns or brookies, until today.  Both boys score their first brook trout on this day.  Now I’m really bummed about the camera.  I didn’t know what to expect from the lake, if I had known they would have caught their first brookies I might have turned around and charged the camera!  Nevertheless, it was a great day and a beautiful hike, the only downside being the camera and the mosquitoes which were out in major force.  
 
Back to the camper late in the day for a campfire and a good dinner.  Opting for a lighter beer than I usually drink, a couple of Sierra Nevada Pale Ales go down just fine, thank you very much.  The next day we head up to the Treasure Lakes.  Yesterday’s hike had been about 4.5 miles round trip, today’s will be 6.  The elevation of the lakes is about the same, but there will be more gain and loss today.  I’m hopeful that we will find brook trout again to get a picture of the boys, so I charged the camera overnight.  The trailhead for this hike is the same and starts at the parking lot by the South Lake dam.  We hike along the length of the lake, down across a meadow and a couple of creeks, then back up again headed for the lake.  Here’s a great shot of South Lake looking back towards the far shore and our starting point at the dam.

 
There are still a lot of wildflowers left up here due to the late snow melt,

 
At just under two hours, we make the lake and start fishing.  The mosquitoes quickly find us and as I tie on flies I have at least a dozen landing on my hands and fingers every time I slow down my movement to tie a knot.  Here’s a mental picture for you: the rod is clasped under my armpit, I have the leader and fly in my hands and I run a few steps to get away from the bugs, tie as fast as I can, shake of the bugs, run a few more steps.  The mosquitoes were as bad as you can imagine.  Today though, we have come better prepared with zip-on pant legs, long-sleeved shirts and full can of Off.  The bugs laugh and bite us anyway.  I get us rigged up with adams and mosquito flies and we start casting.  I get the first fish, which appears to be a native ‘bow.

 
We all get a few fish from this spot, but none of them are brookies, which disappoints me a bit as I had hoped for that make-up picture, but still, we are catching fish.  The lake is gorgeous,

 

 
We move down the lake to near the location of the second photo and try our luck there, but that is where luck runs out.  The water here is super calm and glassy and my 6x tippet looks like a clothesline.  The fish are feeding on something very small on the surface that I can’t see, so I stick with dries, but no luck.  I go all the way down to a #22 or #24 black gnat but I just watch as the fish come up, take a look at my offering and swim off.  Nothing works, and even though I’m willing to try every fly in the box, the wife sitting on shore being carried away by mosquitoes is not.  We got a late start and it is already past 6 PM, so instead of trying one of the other lakes, or making it to the inlet, we head for home.  Maybe I should have tried the red ant instead of the black, I think.  So as the wife and kids head down the trail, I sneak over for one last cast, and I’m rewarded!

 
Rewarded with the dink of the day, that is.  The lake has the last laugh as I add it to the “gotta go back there some day” list.  So we head back on the trail, back down then up then down again.  Here’s a picture of the boys on the way out with South Lake in the background (note the Redington rod cases from the academy!)

 
Woke up this morning feeling great.  There’s nothing like being in the mountains and getting in some good exercise to really make you feel energized.  I clicked this shot of the camper as I sipped my morning coffee,

I love the light in the morning, blue sky, green trees, granite cliffs and puffy clouds.  What a great campsite we got.  Next week is a backpacking trip before the boys head back to school.  No cushy camper this time (the camper is for sale, btw, email if interested).  The boys have now caught rainbows, goldens and brook trout, so I’m hoping we can get them into some brown trout.  But of course, in the overall scheme of things, just getting out there is what really counts.  Jon
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Re: Academy graduates progress
Reply #2 - Aug 7th, 2006, 8:57am
 
Thanks for the great report Jon  Smiley
 
It sure is nice to see Sean and Conner progressing into accomplished fly fishers. How lucky they are to have a father that shares their enthusiam. This is very rewarding for all involved in the project. Thank you and your sons for helping make the Academy a success!
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Joe M
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