East Walker River – One More Time

Beautiful stretch of water just downstream of the Elbow.

Beautiful stretch of water just downstream of the Elbow.

I had so much fun last week down on the Elbow I did it again.  This time, however, I fished downstream of the Elbow and though I never found any water as productive as my honey hole, I did find some good fishing.  I also “camped” again and this time, I got some usable footage that become a YouTube video I will debut next week.  All in all, I had a good day and there aren’t too many left before the river starts to ice up and shut down for all intents and purposes until spring.

First fish of the day.

First fish of the day.

So, like last week I left home about 12:30 pm and got to the spot I wanted to fish a little after one o’clock.  It was warm but there was that chill in the air you get this time of year.  I donned my gear and hit the river, first hiking a bit down stream to some good-looking water.  I hooked my first fish of the day on a nymph and I spend the rest of the afternoon finding trout where you’d expect them, all rainbows this time around, with a light but steady breeze at my back that chilled me as the sun got low in the sky.

Nice panorama of the crag behind my "camp."

Nice panorama of the crag behind my “camp.”

I switched to a dry early on when I spotted some fish rising and stuck with it until the end.  In some riffles, trout were rising pretty aggressively but taking emergers, I suspect, as often as dries.  In other spots, mostly the flatter water, the fish rose more sporadically.  I bet a nymph would have done well too but sometimes dries are just too much fun.  Most of the rainbows were between eight and ten inches but a few went up to maybe eleven or even twelves inches.

A spooky fishing trail.  It was Halloween after all.

A spooky fishing trail. It was Halloween after all.

About 4:30 I was getting hungry and my back was getting sore so I packed it in and set about making dinner.  Mountain House spaghetti and meat sauce this time.  A little runny but tasty enough.  After that, I whipped up some hot chocolate.  Damn, that hit the spot as the air began to cool.  I leaned up against the Jeep, enjoyed the hot chocolate and listened to Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do” as it got dark.  A little bit of perfect.

Making hot chocolate.

Making hot chocolate.

So anyway, I had another great day on the East Walker.  As a side note, my back (really the nerve that runs down my leg that my shoddy lower spine is pinching) felt pretty good.  My leg hurt a few times and after about three hours my back was getting sore (probably from all the bending and walking on the uneven stream bed as much as anything) but all in all both this trip and the last one were pretty good.  The back’s not better but for the most part I’m able to manage the pain.

Selfie!

Selfie!  BA, baby, BA :roll:

Probably won’t get out next week.  I’ve got some writing and editing to do.  Looks like next week will be the end of temperatures in the 60′s for a while but the weather looks generally good for the next couple of weeks.  You never know.  I might get burned out on the writing and sneak out.  High school football is over too so I might get the kids out with me fishing or shooting before basketball practice starts in a few weeks.  But now that I’ve rediscovered hot chocolate, I might just stay home where it’s warm and drink some of that.

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

Getting in Fishing Shape – Lower McGee Creek

You must cross at least one ladder.  It's sturdy but on uneven ground and shifts as you climb.  No biggie but a nice surprise.

You must cross at least one ladder. It’s sturdy but on uneven ground and shifts as you climb. No biggie but a nice surprise.

I walk a mile and a half or ride my bike five miles almost everyday, weather permitting.  Sometimes I do both.  I do my back exercises along with a few other resistance exercises twice a week.  For a fat guy, I’m in decent shape.  So why is it a three mile trek to fish Lower McGee Creek kicked my ass?  Let me tell you, walking on uneven ground, high stepping through grass and getting down to my knees and back up repeatedly isn’t simply walking or riding a bike. 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.

The Other East Fork

The East Carson, wild and scenic, indeed.

Around these parts, there are three blue ribbon streams that flow into Nevada and die.  The Truckee flows out of Lake Tahoe and ends up in Pyramid Lake.  The East Walker flows out of Bridgeport Reservoir and, after mixing with the West Walker, eventually flows into Walker Lake.  The East Carson River flows from the mountains around Highway 4 and, after joining the West Carson, goes to die in the Carson Sink near Fallon, Nevada.  By the way, the other major river system in Nevada that doesn’t flow to the ocean is the Humboldt. Continue reading

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

The Further Adventures of the Noobie

Blue Lake

My obligatory shot of the pass up behind Blue Lake.

You might remember that last year I took my friend and former co-worker, John L’Etoile, to the East Walker where he not only fly fished for the first time, but caught his first fish ever!  At the end of that post I had said it was now John’s turn to teach me how to surf.  Well, that didn’t work out.  He injured his shoulder and just wasn’t sure he could deal with the surf board.  So, we went fishing.

This time I introduced him to float tubing.  I’ve found that many people are hooked more by the tubing that the fishing Continue reading

Farewell East Walker…For Now

Finally!  Finally the weather was nice and I was free to go fishing.  I had wanted to get out on the East Walker since the flows were still under 250 CFS.  I honestly couldn’t believe that they had remained constant for over a week, but they had.  So off I went.

Doing a little desert training, I guess.

I headed to the Nevada side since I have yet to purchase a California license.  At the bridge on the Rosaschi Ranch there we several Humvees and a lot of Marines, I think.  I didn’t stop to ask.  Anyway, I ended up at the Elbow Continue reading

Ruby Lake NWR Produces State Record Rainbow

Mike Mott and his 16 lb, 8 oz record trout.

On February 18th, Mike Mott, from Elko, caught the new Nevada state record rainbow trout while fly fishing in the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  The Ruby Lake NWR also kicked out the state record tiger trout in 1998 and has produced at least 7 trout over 10 lbs in the last couple of years.

Read all about it over at the Elko Daily Free Press.  Congrats to Mike!

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

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