East Walker River – Fishing and More!

Jeep

Yes, I’m in love with my Jeep ;)

I finally pried myself from my writing chair today and went outdoors!  I know, right?  I’ve been cooped up in here quite a bit lately.  Honestly, I’m digging on my writing and I spend a lot of time working on it.  You only see part of that hard work her on the blog.  I write under another pen name too.  I like to keep them separate so I’m not telling you what that name is.  Sorry but if you’ve ever wondered why I’ve turned out so few books but spend so much time writing, that’s why.

OK, back to the matter at hand.  I did some editing today and then about 12:30 I left for the Elbow.  I dragged my cameras and my survival bags along for the ride.  I wasn’t just going out to fish.  I was hoping to get some video to put together something for YouTube and practice some of my “survival skills” as well as wet a line.  Things, as they seem to do, didn’t go as planned. Continue reading

Dana Fork and Parker Pass Creek

Like an old Jeep ad.

Like an old Jeep ad.

What with the 4th of July crowds, the heat and the previous cold and wind gone, I took my youngest son, Owen, and we went fishing.  We were headed to Laurel Lakes but on the way down 395, I just didn’t feel like making the four mile trek up that treacherous road, so we changed our plans.  We stopped for breakfast at the Mobile station at the junction of US 395 and Highway 120, gassed up and headed up the hill towards Yosemite.

We drove up to Tuolumne Meadows first to check that out.  It wasn’t crowded, maybe only 9:00 am.  Very pretty.  My first time in the park.  Yes, yes, I’ve lived in Carson City and Smith Valley my whole life and never driven past the Tioga entrance.  So sue me.  I guess you just take things so close for granted. By the way, this is only my second National Park visit.  The first was Redwood National Forest in northern California.  Now you know.  I know, you’re thrilled. Continue reading

Back in the Saddle Again (Literally)

One of my favorite holes on the East Walker. Almost always full of hungry trout.

See that post below, the one about me having surgery?  I lied.  I am not having surgery.  I’ve decided against it and if you’re really interested in why, or just bored out of your skull, go to Being Retired to read all about it.  Otherwise, long story short is the cure looked to worse than the disease and I’m actively trying to avoid surgery now.  I’m doing more aggressive physical therapy, losing weight and trying to strengthen my back.  It’s working a little.  I still have pain, but it is reduced slightly.

So, I decided to get my ass up and go fishing.  I freely admit I’ve been sort of a pu…this is a family blog so lets say wuss.  I had surrendered to my pain and pretty much stopped doing physical stuff.  Now that I realize I might have to live with some pain to avoid horrible spinal fusion surgery, I’ve decided to just suck it up.  The fact my surgeon told me my back is stable and I probably can’t hurt it further helped too.  I’ve sold my big heavy pontoon and replaced it with the Scadden Outlaw Escape at just 22 pounds rather than 60.  I’ve also purchased a marsh seat to carry with me, but more on that later.

The Jeep with all the gear strewn about.

So, I was off fairly early and excited to go fishing again.  I got about half way to the river and…my timing belt began to fray.  Really?  I limped back to Wellington and went to Masse Performance.  Shane found a belt he had in stock that was little long, but workable and put it on.  I was back on the road within half an hour.  I stopped by on the way home and he put the real one on for my Jeep that he had delivered while I was gone.  Great shop!  If you’re near Smith Valley and need automotive help, Masse is the place to go.  No, its really the only place to go, but they are great.

The Avery seat stuck in the bottom and ready to provide relief and keep me fishing.

First fish of the day, a nice wild brown.

So, I arrived later than I’d hoped at the Elbow and got rigged up.  One of my new pieces of gear is the Avery Marsh Seat, the saddle I refer to in the title.  I got it at Cabelas and with my loyalty points it was only about $25, regularly $39 I think.  I plan to carry it on my back to provide a place to sit (sitting relieves the pain in my back).  It’s made for duck hunting, but it’s light and folds flat.  It worked pretty well, only needing a new strap that’s longer so I can wear the strap across my chest instead of just over one shoulder where it tended to want to slip off.  I had to find a spot the rocks  would give way to let it sink into the bottom, but once it was in it stayed.  Cool!

A nice wild rainbow.

So, I didn’t fish for long, maybe three hours, but I slayed them.  I fished one of my favorite holes and could have caught them with a bare hook it seemed.  I fished a dry, nymphs, a hopper, a streamer and a big stone fly nymph.  I caught fish on them all.  A few smaller browns were amongst the rainbows that were averaging ten to twelve inches with the biggest going about thirteen.  Most were hold over planters though some looked to be wild and they were all fat and hard fighting.

One of the bigger fish of the day.

All in all it was a good day.  Not too cold but great fishing.  I’m busy next week with physical therapy and then I’m going out of town, but if the weather holds, I’d like to try a longer day to perfect the new pain-saving seat.  Looks like the new float tube/pontoon is not going to get a work out this year, but come February when Hinkson Slough opens I’m going to get out there and put it though it’s paces.   In the meantime, I’m going to go through my gear, replace some things, maybe buy a new four piece rod to replace the broken one, and maybe even see about a Tenkara set up.

A Morning On the East Walker

The new rogue flow at the end of the Elbow section.

I really planned on good, hard day of fishing this week.  It’ been since early September since I wet a fly and I was getting the feeling that I was missing some spectacular fall fishing.  Unfortunately, last weekend I got a nice head cold that is just now clearing up.  It really kicked my ass.  I was so tired up until yesterday and still a little worn out even today.  The three days of drunken partying in Cancun the week before might have help the cold stick around a little longer than usual.

Anyway, I woke up and felt good, so I packed a lunch and hit the road.  I was eager to drive over the Elbow and see what became of the rogue flow I found earlier this year, so the Nevada side it was.  I checked the flows before I left and they were at 156 CFS.  Of course, they dumped the flows down to 145 right after I checked and then cranked them up to 190 while I was out there.  I have a knack for visiting on the days they play with the flows. Continue reading

Ups and Downs on the East Walker

This is my favorite time of year on the East Walker.  The water is cool and usually offers lower flows, the weather is generally mild and the fishing is fantastic.  Last Friday the river was a little high at 140 CFS and the fish were a little finicky because the flows were being jacked up and down on a daily basis.  However, the flows dropped on Monday to about 85 CFS and then again on Tuesday to 79 CFS.  That’s  about 48 hours of fairly stable and highly fishable flows by Wednesday, so off I went.

Mallards on the East Walker.

It is surprising how little 60 CFS actually changes the way the river looks.  I wasn’t sure that the flows hadn’t gone back up when I arrived at the Elbow Continue reading

East Walker Scouting Trip

Since I live about a half hour from the East Walker River I go there a lot.  Especially in the fall.  Well, fall ain’t here yet.  Today it was 90 degrees on the East Walker.  Sheesh!  C’mon.  Well, I went anyway and I caught a few smallish fish, all browns down by the bridge, on nymphs.  But before that, I tried a new spot.

Ain't it purdy?

I have never been down to the river near the  Sceirine Ranch on the Nevada side so I stopped at the last access point Continue reading

East Walker River – July 27, 2010

I received a private message from a guy who goes by ‘fly addict’ on the Fly Fishing Addicts forums, which I post on from time to time.  Mark, his real world name, had seen my blog and he a couple of buddies, all from southern California, were planning a week of camping and fishing in the Bridgeport area and wanted to know if I would like to meet up and fish the East Walker one day.  Sounded like fun, so I accepted and we agreed to meet Tuesday morning at the Hays Street Cafe in Bridgeport.

The Miracle Mile.

After meeting Mark, and his buddies, Larry and Tom, and having a hearty breakfast we headed out to the East Walker Continue reading

Desert Creek – July 14, 2010

OK, just quickie here.  I headed up to Desert Creek, about 20 minutes from my home, with lunch in hand to see if it was in fishing shape.  Answer:  Yes!  The creek is still a little murky, but totally fishable.  I ate lunch at a nice shady spot where I noticed that a small dam (see previous dam rant here) had caused a large section of bank to be washed away.  The creek found the path of least resistance and carved itself a new place to flow.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the worst situation I saw.

The small rock dam and to the right of it the new channel and the washed out bank, which my truck is sitting on. Glad I stopped when I did!

I fished the spot with a indicator rig and had a small trout try to eat my indicator.  Ha ha, very funny. Continue reading

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