Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When In Doubt, Wander

A lot of people have been urging me to fish at West Point. OK, this morning I went to fish at West Point. I suppose I should tell you what West Point is. West Point is a small town a few miles South of Pioneer. Pioneer is a across the hill from where I live. Now keep in mind that across the hill can be anywhere from 2 to 20 miles. Pioneer is about 8 miles.

With a Google Map in hand, I set out, stopping at the donut shop for coffee (no donuts, I'm on a diet), and then headed up the road. Just so happens that the road to West Point is also the road that crosses the Middle Fork of the Mokelumne where I fished last August.   

Middle Fork of the Mokelumne

Caught this little jewel there on a Stimulator

If you recall the post from back then, I referred to this area as prime Mountain Goat territory. Since I didn't bring my Mountain Goat shoes today, I decided to continue the drive because I've never been to West Point and wanted to see what it looked like. It looks like a small town, nothing more.

So I did what any normal (am I normal?) fisherman would do and that is keep going and see what I could find. Some miles later, I found myself out in the middle of nowhere wandering down a paved road and being paved it had to go somewhere.

Some 18 miles later the paved road ended at a Forest Service complex. I've got to say it was nicely kept up for so far back in the nowhere. I drove in, did a 180, and headed back out and that's when I saw it.What was it?

IT, was a sign that said Blue Creek 4 miles that way. Hell, I'd done 18, another 4 would be nothing except it was now a dirt road. I've got nothing against a good dirt road even after 2 days of rain, so I went "that way".

Four miles was a stretch, it turned out to only be 2.7. I found a good spot to pull off the road and since I had no idea if there was fish or not, grabbed my Tenkara rod and walked down to the creek.  

The initial sighting downstream
Then upstream
It looked promising, there could be fish there, it looked fishy, but that was as far as it went. Floated a size 12 Paralyzer upstream, downstream, right under my nose and nothing. My hopes were bashed. But being the diehard fisherman, I moved downstream to the next place I could access the creek (the bushes were all over the place). It is sometimes hard to maneuver a 12 foot rod when the bushes are all over the creek. Note to self: look into a nice, short, 3 wt for places like this.

The next place I stopped had a nice little pool below, if I remember correctly, a rock dam, might have been a concrete dam of some sort, but I just can't remember. Must have been a Senior Moment. 

Dam of some sort
Once again my hopes of fish were dashed. Not a fish to be found and that looked like a great spot for fish. Again I moved downstream and stopped, after stomping through all sorts of (wet) bushes (remember it rained for the last two days), at this little run.

Four dead drifts of the Paralyzer and four hits. Elated I continued to drift, but that was it. They all looked like small, maybe 5 or 6 inch Rainbows and a lot faster than I was. I attempted to move further downstream, but couldn't find an access to the creek and since I hadn't put on my waders, headed back to the truck to see if I could fish upstream.

On that side of the road, I had the same trouble with bushes. You just couldn't get to the stream so I gave up. I'll come back another day and bring my chainsaw with me. That should take care of the bush problem. Just kidding....

Once back into the truck I continued down the road hoping I'd find another stream, but the road split and looking at my $20.00 Forest Service map, discovered I was out in the middle of nowhere, by myself and thought it might be a good idea (since I hadn't seen another soul all day) to head back the way I came.

Before I go into the boot picture below, let me explain about the $20.00 Forest Service map. You don't think I actually paid $20.00 for a map, do you? When You apply for a wood cutting permit, the cost is based on $10.00 per cord cut and a minimum of two cords allowed per permit or a total of $20.00. With the permit, you get this handy dandy Forest Service map that tells you where you can and can not cut.Thus the $20.00 map, but it also shows you all the roads (paved, gravel, and dirt) in the forest.

On the way out, I noticed the boot in the picture below sitting on a rock, on the side of the road. I'm assuming someone lost it out of their car or truck, but didn't know where. So, if you're a local and have lost a Cabela's size 13D with a felt sole, let me know at and I'll tell you where you can find it.     

A lost and lonely boot
Not a complete success, skunked, but promising. Maybe later in the week I'll head uphill and try that place at Caples where I had that one fish on that got all tangled in the other line.

I mentioned in the last post that Monday was going to be 104, well the weather guessers have revised their guess. now it's 105 on Monday and 106 on Tuesday. Think I'll hug my air conditioner for a couple days. Not here, down in the valley. Here, maybe 100 or so.

Till next time, stay cool.   



  1. As long as no harm came to you and you made it home o.k., then those little exploration trips are a lot of fun. Even if the fishing didn't run out as you had hoped. At least you have the experience to remember when you look back at this years fishing go round!

  2. That's a beautiful little creek! I'd say you went wandering and found a gem.

  3. That's a beautiful stream. 4 to 6 inch fish are what I dream of.