High Country Trout Trifecta!!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fly Fishing' started by Baja Dreamer, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    Have you ever started out to get somewhere and it just seemed like everything was against you doing so? Well that's how it was this past Friday. My wife was out of town and our daughter was out of the country so I decided to head up to the mountains for a little trout fishing. I'd originally planned to go up to Monache Meadows, but not having a good spare tire, common sense got the better of that idea and I set out for Kennedy meadows instead.

    After the grocery shopping, feeding the animals, packing and gassing up the Exploder, I was finally ready to get out of town but not until about 5:30 pm. That's a bit later than I wanted to start. Still, I was confident I could make it up there and get camp set up before dark. I was going to go up over the mountains via Walker Pass up hwy. 178. As I was almost to the mouth of Kern Canyon that idea looked hopeless due to at least a half mile back up that was at a dead stop! There must have been an accident in the canyon and I had no idea how long it would be to clear it. A quick decision was made and I flipped a u-turn back to a side road that would take me over to hwy. 58 and the long way around. By now it was 6:00 and I knew I'd be getting there about dark. Oh welllllll..........

    58 to 14 to 395 and then up 9 Mile Grade to Kennedy Meadows, and I was there. The campground was mostly empty, possibly due to the bad thunderstorms they'd been having in the afternoon and at night. It was probably a good thing I'd left late because I missed the storm that ran deep mud across the road at Chimney Peak. The remaining coat of mud on the pavement was still damp in spots.

    I found a good site down by the river, (South fork of the Kern.), and got set up, leaving a lot of my gear in the truck in the event of more rain. After saying hi to the neighbors and having a couple of cold ones, it was off to bed as 6:00 am comes early and I didn't want to miss the first bite of the day. When the alarm went off I quickly rose, made coffee, and had a quick breakfast of a bagel with some fruit. One more cup of coffee and it was off to the river.

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    I began my fishing upstream from the bridge that crosses the river just down the hill from the Kennedy Meadows General Store. There was a run there that I had wanted to fly fish a few years back but not had the opportunity until today.

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    Almost immediately after this picture the fish started rising! I couldn't see what sort of bugs they were after but some of the fish looked good size. The fly I had tied on was a "Kern Stimulator" that was purchased from Guy at Kern River Fly Fishing a while back. (It has always proven to be a productive pattern but I wouldn't really know just how good until later.) Because the banks were brushed in, traditional fly casting was next to impossible. To actually cast it was necessary to face the river, and work the line in front of you, presenting the fly on the back cast. It was also a great place for roll casting since the cast upstream matched the wind direction. On my third roll cast close to my bank I was surprised by a good take, and then even more surprised by the nice German brown I brought to net!

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    It was a nice start to the day, but the fish stopped rising soon after. I made several more casts with no action I began to work my way upstream through some good looking runs. But the action was slow to non existent.

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    I did manage to catch two small rainbows of about 8 to 9", but didn't get a picture of either one. The first one was still in the net after I unhooked it and while I was getting the camera ready the little so and so managed to flop out and back into the water! The second one I left on the fly but when I went to take the pic the undercut bank began to collapse! The trout came unbuttoned and found it's way back into the water while I was trying not to find my way into the water too! Oh well. It was now getting close to lunch time and I was getting hungry. A good lunch and a couple of cold beers sounded good so I returned to camp to plan for the afternoon.

    You have to have the proper equipment to fly fish! LOL!

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    I thought about going back down to the river but decided instead to make a run up to Troy Meadows. I'd never tried Fish Creek there, and I wanted to see the campground since they remodeled it a few years ago. The campground had an immense amount of work done to it. They made larger parking slabs to accommodate bigger trailers and large RV's, new picnic tables, and each site has a "bear proof" box for food storage. It also loos like they added more space to take more groups. If you're looking for a comfortable spot this is it!

    Troy Meadows itself is beautiful and Fish Creek runs right down through it's entire length.

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    The creek is chock full of beautiful little golden trout. They are small but feisty, and will take almost anything presented to them! Fish Creek is not a small water, it is a tiny water! You can of course use a technique called "dappling" which is really more like fishing with a cane pole, and it works really well. But what I liked more was walking until I'd find a pool that was a little bigger, kind of like this one.

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    My very first cast to it resulted in this beautiful little golden trout!

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    As I unhooked this pugnacious little salmonid something occurred to me. I had just caught my third different species of trout in the same day and on the same fly. Not just the on same pattern.........but on the exact same fly!

    In my opinion, golden trout are simply the prettiest of the trout species! However they don't get very big. I caught 8 small goldens from this same pool. (All released. I didn't keep any trout on this trip.) There must have been around 50 small trout in this one pool and even the fry were after my fly! One particularly small trout I don't think would have even measured 3" long, but it rose to and attacked the fly with gusto that belied it's size! LOL! :)

    In areas like the meadows where there was still water, and possibly due the the recent thunder storms as well, there were still wild flowers in profusion in certain places.

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    After hitting a couple more pools with similar results, I decided to call it a day and head back to camp and relax a little in the evening before dinner.

    Heading back down to Kennedy Meadows.

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    As I came back down towards the campground I could see the clouds building over the desert just as they had the previous night.

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    We'd had no rain from that but up here you never know for certain. Unnecessary gear was put in the truck just in case, and dinner was prepared and consumed. The fire was lit and as I had thought, you could see the flashes from the lightning out in the desert to the east of us. There was no moon and the stars were out in great numbers. The ridges and the mountains to the east provided a wonderful contrast as they were back lit and silhouetted by nature's firey cannonade! It was quite a display and lasted until I hit the sack.

    Morning came bright and clear, and I decided not to be in a hurry. A pot of coffee was made followed by the only meal of note this trip, a sort of "redneck eggs Benedict"! It was made with bacon, cheddar cheese, and over easy eggs, all placed on a sliced bagel and smothered with Hollandaise sauce! A very filling breakfast indeed!

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    I rolled up all my gear and repacked the truck. The river was calling but after an hour or so with no action I called it a trip and began to head home. On my way out I stopped in a place I'd been curious about ever since I'd first seen it well over a decade ago.......Grumpy Bear's! It's kind of a local landmark and with my curiosity now satified, (As well as my thirst! ;) ), I got going again.

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    Aaahhh, the good old days! How long ago was this anyway?

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    I remember how green this area was before the Chimney Peak Fire. Please be careful with your campfires!

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    Going down 9 Mile Grade to the Mojave Desert.

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    Don't run off the road here...........

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    .......it's a llloooonnnngg way down!

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    Going home via the same route I took to get there, I passed through Red Rock Canyon State Park.

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    The geologic features in this area are magnificent and I'll have to make a point of visiting here to see more of it soon!

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    Thanks for looking. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  2. fisherman from

    fisherman from LONG BEACH

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    very nice read,,and looked like some good trout fishing...congrats
     
  3. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    Thanks! :)

    The fishing in the river was far from wide open but the goldens more than made up for it! ;)
     
  4. furniture 4 me

    furniture 4 me Well-Known "Member"

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    Awesome, i wish i had the time and funds to make a run like that, soon. again awesome great pics too.
     
  5. brantc

    brantc Ranchero

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    Looks like you had an epic trip. thanks for sharing.
     
  6. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    Thanks! :)

    The funds aren't much if you already have a reasonably decent 4wt. to 6 wt. rod/reel/line, the only other real cost is gas, food, and drink!
     
  7. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    You're welcome Brant! :D
     
  8. Saluki

    Saluki .

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    Outstanding thread Chris!

    Thank you very very much for sharing!!!
     
  9. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    Thanks Brandon!

    You are most welcome bud! :)
     
  10. Enfuego

    Enfuego Your favorite Realtor

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    Love it up there. That drive up scares the hell out of my wife. There are NO FISH up there. Dont go :)
     
  11. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    HAHA! I know what you mean bud! That 9 Mile Grade is not for the meek! :eek:
     
  12. bajaandy

    bajaandy Condition One

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    NICE! Way to go on the brown, 'bows and goldens. Well done!
     
  13. BiggestT

    BiggestT I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Very nice report. Gotta get back up there soon.
     
  14. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    Thank you kindly! :)
     
  15. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    There is a lot of stuff for sale up there right now too.

    Both Grumpy Bear's and the General Store are up for sale. I hope the store doesn't just close up! It's the only place withing 30 miles for ice, beer, and groceries!
     
  16. fishordie

    fishordie I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Waaay Cool Chris. Thank you for the replay

    Jamie
     
  17. Baja Dreamer

    Baja Dreamer Push the button Max!

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    Any time Jamie! ;)
     

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