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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  1. Sometimes those "Wild hair" trips turn out to best of the year...... Always nice to look at the pictures of the high country lakes in your area. They are beautiful! Lots of water coming down the streams for sure.

  2. Mark, once again thank you for the great flies! I love your trips, spur of the moment or not. And I agree with Mel, California has some of the most beautiful lakes.

  3. Some pretty scenery there. Sometimes when you get the itch, you've just got to scratch, even if you know better.

  4. Wow, this is going to be some year in the mountains. We're scheduled for a trip to Yosemite in July, and planning to head over to the east side afterwards. Looks like there will be snow all year up there!

  5. Mark
    Just wondering if the snow completely melts off some of the highest mountains out there during the summer months?
    I know the feeling concerning leaving the camera, when you land a good fish!!

    1. On a normal summer, the snow will be gone by September or so, but this year ?????

  6. Locals, most times there info is worth 10 trips finding out on your own.
    The snow looks lovely, but you can have it.