Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Clipper Weekend

We hooked up the Clipper on Friday and headed over Carson Pass to Hope Valley Campground. Hope Valley Campground is right in the center of some mighty awesome fishing spots.

I can get there in an hour in the truck, but it took a little longer hauling the trailer. We got the trailer all leveled and decided to take a drive up to that creek and lake I alluded to back a couple posts ago.

View across from the site

The Clipper on site
Back on November 29, 2012 Paula Lane and her boyfriend Roderick Clifton were on their way from his home in Citrus Heights (down by Sacramento) to her home in Gardnerville, Nevada (South of Carson City) when he decided to test the four-wheel drive capability of his Jeep Cherokee and drove around a locked gate on a closed dirt road. Several miles in the Jeep got stuck and they couldn't get it out. He decided to walk out and get help. When he didn't return in a couple days she started out. She survived on tomatoes that they had taken along and ate and drank melted snow. She also passed his body on the way out. Six days after they went missing her brother found her crawling along the side of the road. He knew where to look because they had camped in the area near Burnside Lake. Burnside Lake is at 8080 feet elevation. A lot of snow, in November, at that elevation.   

I wanted to share that with you because that's where we went Friday afternoon. It took us about an hour to drive the 5.4 miles from Highway 88 to the lake. The only reason I knew about the lake was the DFW listed it on it's stocking list back a couple weeks ago. I also noticed a creek running across the road about 2/3 of the way there.

It turned out the creek had less water in it then if you turned on a garden hose, but one has to look. We got to the lake and there were four guys fishing already. Instead of pushing my way in between them, I just got my camera out and took some shots for you to look at.  

To the right

to the left

Across to left

Straight across

Again to the right
The guys had caught a couple Rainbows, but one in particular said he was skunked for the first time in his life. Not a young man so it makes me wonder if one, he's been lucky and not fished very much or two, he's a fisherman and you know how they are. He and the guy he was fishing with were packing up for the day so I went back to the truck and got my little Okuma with 2# and the little blue box of Kastmasters. First out was a 1/4 oz, gold. Ten or so retrieves and I changed to the rainbow pink 1/8th oz. Three casts later and I had "fish on". Unfortunately it turned out to be a short distance release. They guys were still packing and couldn't believe I got one so fast.

After they left and a couple casts later I got two hits on the same retrieve, but it wouldn't stay on. Back in the same spot and two casts later and I brought an eleven inch Rainbow to hand. Actually I just took the hook out while it was still in the water and let it go for another day.

That was it, ten minutes, one short distance release, two hits on on retrieve, and one brought to hand. On the way out the two guys we sitting on the side of the road. I reported what had happened and then took off. I think they were throwing rocks at us as we left. That was Friday.

Saturday morning while my wife was fixing breakfast (we always have her special pancakes, eggs, and sausage on Saturday morning) I walked across the street to the West Fork of the Carson River. There were two guys fishing so I walked upstream through a bunch of bushes. That was a big mistake. There were so many mosquito's I thought I was back in Florida with Mike (Troutrageous!). I was eaten alive and I had doused myself with Cutters. I jetted out of there is a hurry.

So I wandered back over where the guys were fishing and chatted for a while. Once they left I got out my Tenkara rod and a black/white fly that TJ showed us last Tuesday and started drifting it to about a dozen fish holding under that light green bush in the picture below.   

He wasn't catching either
I  literally bounced it off their noses and they didn't show the slightest interest. My guess is they've seen it all, heard it all, and weren't going to bite no matter what. You can see them in the picture below. I took these pictures this morning.
Holding trout
Then I noticed the dead ones on the bottom. There were three in a space of five feet. I could only get a clear shot of two of them. I wonder if the "fish to extinction crowd" had anything to do with this.

Dead on the bottom

This one too
One would think there is a certain amount of attrition among the stockers, but on the other hand did man have anything to do with so many dead while others continued to swim?

That's all the fishing I did. We drove over the South Lake Tahoe on Saturday. My wife looked in a quilt store and we stopped at a flea market on the way out. NO, we didn't gamble. With Katherine working at Jackson Rancheria Casino, the urge to gamble is just not there.

I'll have another post tomorrow about the fly rod that wants to be.

Stay tuned.


  1. Mark, ;you make me jealous with your trips in the Clipper. It's been a long time for me.

  2. Sounds like you're having fun. Some good looking water, too.

  3. Mark
    As for the dead trout, when stocking occurs here there are usually numbers of trout dead upon leaving the truck before they ever make it to the tailrace water. I have seen numerous trout dead in our tailrace a couple of days after stocking. I hope that is the case at this place. Good post!

    1. Literary license. My continued cause against the "fish to extinction" crowd.

  4. We sometimes lose a few in the first three or four days after stocking our pond with rainbows. They're tossed around a lot between the ride from the hatchery to the pick up point and then again to the house. Maine's roads are pretty rough. We have plenty of people who fish (I refuse to call them fishermen) without a thought to conservation but I can't blame them for the fish they don't kill.

  5. Looks like a good trip Mark. That's an interesting, and sad story, too. I have never been in a situation like that, but I know it's best to stick together in survival situations, rather than go separate ways or by yourself (if there are others...if your by yourself, then you must.) I love catching/hooking up with fish when no one else is, especially, when you just show up.