Monday, June 26, 2017

A Spur Of The Moment Trip

I got this wild hair at 7:00 am this morning that I wanted to see if I could get up to Upper Blue Lake and maybe catch some of those holdovers. With all the snow we had this winter, there was no telling how far I could get. I was so focused, I didn't even stop for coffee at Cooks Station. Must have been something wrong with me.

First stop was Silver Lake. As usual Silver Lake being inherently windy, was windy.

Silver Lake
Up and up I went. I didn't see any snow until I got to 8000 ft and then it was only spotty. Up past Caples Lake and over Carson Pass down to the Hope Valley turnoff (also know as Blue Lakes Rd). I noticed in passing that Caples Lake campground was still closed. As I drove by Hope Valley Campground where we'll be in August as usual, it was also closed. Then a sign that said the road was closed 7 miles ahead. So I did the only logical thing and that was to keep going.

At 7 miles the gate was OPEN, yeh!!! At 20 miles the gate was CLOSED, Boo. So I did a Ya'll can turn and headed back. Thought I take a look at the West Fork of the Carson across from the campground and see if anything was cooking. As you can see below, a lot of water.


I stopped at the turnoff from Highway 88 and chatted with a very nice Highway Patrolman and avid fisherman. He was chomping at the bit to get his son up to Upper Blue Lake to fish, but even with his pull, no go. He mentioned couple things. Always best to talk to the locals.

One, the East Fork of the Carson was completely blown out from all the runoff coming from the snow melt on Ebbitts Pass (Highway 4 above where we were last week). This is the end of June and Ebbits Pass is still not open so you know there is a LOT of snow still up there.

Two, Fish and game isn't planning on planting, even for the holiday weekend, because of the high runoff. He thought maybe Caples because they just opened the launch ramp and that's the only place they will plant.

I headed back and like the glutton for punishment I am, stopped at Red Lake.One guy fishing there, but no bites. I decided to throw a couple lures. Started with a silver Kastmaster, followed with a Gold one, then the pink one, and finally a black/gold Panther Martin. That was the one. Four casts out and I hooked up with a Cutt about 11 inches. Remember I mentioned bonehead, well I left both my camera and my phone in the truck, so no picture of the biggest fish I've caught in Red Lake in about 4 years. That was it for the day.

I pulled off the road and took the shot below of Red Mountain (across from Red Lake), just a different angle.

Red Mountain
And since I had a gold Kastmaster on (the only lure I've caught anything on in Caples in the last 4 years), I decided to pull off at the dead tree and throw a few. Yup, all I did was throw and retrieve.

Toward the end of Caples. Still some snow up there.


And toward the spillway.

Well, that was it for the day. 

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Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Let Me Take You On A Little Camping Trip Day 3

Well, here we are at day 3 and you're still looking for the bear. It's here, I assure you.

But first, and the crowd sighs "Aw crap", let me tell you how the walk went. The first picture is from the beginning of the trail.

The start
Then to give you a little perspective of how small we really are compared, take a look up.

That is one big tree
So we're walking along one of the "boardwalks" actually right at the beginning and some woman walks by us and whispers "There is a bear up there". I asked "Why are you whispering?" She said because there is a bear up there."

OK, Flatlanders. The bear could care less if you talk loud. Apparently the bear couldn't care if you were even there. So here you are.............

The bear
No accounting for the photographer (Moi).

As we continue on, the next picture is of a tree root. Not deep, but really wide.

Big roots
The next photo is of a Pacific Yew Tree. I've heard in the past that the Yew might have cancer curing abilities. Still to be determined. This spot is the southernmost extent of the Yew's "territory" if you will and the northernmost extent of the Giant Sequoia's "territory".

Pacific Yew Tree
Oh yeh, here is another shot of the bear. I guess the photographer has something to be desired.

When I lived upcountry, a tree like the one below would have kept me in firewood for years.

Walk between
A lot of the trees we came across were hollow like the one below.

Hey look! Another bear picture. I'm getting better.

Bear grubbing?
I would like to note that all the Flatlanders scattered when she (it was a female with cubs, but we couldn't see them) got this close. How close is close? She was about 20 feet away. A little later in the walk we came across a Park Ranger and she was the one who told us about the cubs.

She just kept scratching on the tree looking for bugs to eat. She wasn't very big, maybe 150 lbs.

I know there is lunch in there somewhere. 
I won't bore you with the other hundred or so photo's we took, but want to leave you with one to give you some perspective of just how big these trees are and these three are considered small.

The Three Graces
At the park they are big on naming each of the trees. I guess it gives them a personal attachment to every tree. Probably not a bad thing. The Three Graces are named for the Three Graces of Greek mythology (Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia). I'm not up on Greek mythology, but you can look it up. I'd put the link, but it's about a mile long.

So that was our June trip this year. Not a lot of fishing, but you don't see a bear up close and personal every day. I doubt I'll be out this week since it's supposed to be well over 100 degrees through Saturday. If I do decide to brave the heat, I'll be sure to let you know.

And the answer to the question from the first post was Sequoia. It is the only tree that uses every vowel in the name. Howard was the only one to hazard a guess and since I gave the answer in the post I decided not to send Howard any flies. Complain all you want Howard, it won't do you any good. Signed: The grumpy Geezer.

Stay tuned.