Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Just Couldn't Wait

Tuesday morning, 0715 and I'm on my way up the hill to Upper Blue Lake. I didn't care if it got to 100 today, I was going.

I got a coffee at Cooks Station and settled into the 60 mile drive to the lake. One would question why make a 60 mile drive (now this is mountain roads, not freeway) to fish a lake when you have one at 20 miles (Bear River), one at 30 miles (Silver Lake), and one at 40 miles (Caples Lake)? 

I can answer that in a couple ways. one, it's finally open. Two, I always catch fish at this lake. Three, just take a look at the pictures below. 

Normally I just show you a couple of shots across the lake from where I'm sitting, but today I did a 360 to give you a feel of the surrounding countryside.

Behind to the right

Directly behind me

To the left

To the left with a little shoreline

Toward the inlet of the lake
Note the snow on the hills. More about that below.

Across the lake

The dam end

Back around to the right
Now Mel is going to ask why I don't put the Float Tube Cumberland in there. If a problem were to occur, the only landing spot is the bottom of the lake. Those two old guys in the picture above sure couldn't help. The lake is big enough that it would take one of the three boats that were on the water a half hour just to get to me, that is IF they knew I was having trouble. It's just to desolate.

The stuff floating in the lake in the picture below is pollen. Good thing I'm not allergic to it because it was all over the lake. I'm thinking fir tree pollen.

Pollen, loads of pollen
Then when it hits the shore it becomes something like yellow milk. It just mixes into the water and fades into the sunset.

Looks ugly
So, now that you've had a tour of Upper Blue Lake, do you want to know if I caught any fish? Yup, but only two. The first one came at about 10 minutes into the day and the second one came at about an hour later. Both on rainbow Power Bait as far out as I could cast the line.

I've always maintained that I've never caught less than four fish here, that was until today. A couple things to take into consideration. One, they haven't stocked the lake yet this year. Two, I would have had four if I could have hooked up the two bites I missed.

Then on the way out I almost got run over by the stocking truck. Some of the roads around the lakes are one lane, dirt, almost 4x4 roads. We met at a place where I could pull over enough for him to squeeze by. Maybe I should have turned around and went back. I could have had an 80 fish day like the "fish to extinction" crowd does.

The temperature was nice with the wind passing over the snow across the lake until about Noon. Then it started to get a might toasty so that's when I left. I was slathered up with sunscreen, but warm is warm any way you look at it, even at 8100 feet.

If I went back tomorrow, I bet I could catch a bunch. Naw, I'll wait for next time. 

Now a little, no, a lot of bad news. This is mainly for the locals here in Nor Cal and second hand according to the Bob Sims Saturday Morning fishing show on KFBK. With the drought and the water levels dropping at an alarming pace, the Bureau of Reclamation (they control the output at the dams) has told the DFW at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery (where we get the stocked trout up the Highway 88 corridor) that they can not guarantee cold water (for the hatchery) past the end of June.

From what I've heard, the DFW has decided to close the hatchery and take all the fish in the hatchery up to the lakes along the Highway 88 corridor as well as the East and West Forks of the Carson and  Upper and Lower Blue Lakes and a few others.

The question is: How long will recovery take to have stocking trout in the hatchery again, if we get water this winter or will it ever recover? What will happen to the Salmon and Steelhead Smolts and will that recover? I'm at a loss. What a disaster this will be. I think all our fishing flags should be at half mast. One can only hope I'm wrong.  


  1. Boy, good news, bad news. We're pulling for all of you in California.

  2. What a cruel mistress Mother Nature is. I'd pray for a lot of rain,but I know what happens when you get a lot of rain in California. I hope things turn out okay Mark.

  3. First off, thanks for the tour of the lake. Always impressive. You folks are sure up against it in California with the need for more water. Time changes everything. I hope that over time you will once again enjoy the fishing as you have known it.