Thursday, May 7, 2020

I Escaped House Arrest

Essentially we've been stuck in the house (except grocery shopping) since mid-April just like most of you have.

Today I made a break for it.

I know this will be hard for you guys to understand, but I didn't take a fishing rod with me. I was headed upcountry to see what the chances of accessing lakes and streams was. More just to get out of the house.

I detoured over by Java Drive for a cup of coffee to start the day. I wasn't sure anything was open up the hill. As it turned out, both Cooks Station and Hams Station were closed.

My first target was Bear River Reservoir. I know that the resort itself is closed, but wanted to see what the access to the lake was. When I got to the gate and it was locked I knew I wouldn't be able to get to the lake. I've gone from the gate to the lake in the past and damned near killed myself. I know I couldn't do it now. Scratch off Bear River for now.

Locked up tight
So then I decided I'd take a drive down to Cat Creek for a couple reasons that I'll explain as I go. The first thing I noticed was a good amount of snow was still on the ground.

One of many just like this

This section of the road is about 6000 ft in elevation. I only had one place where I had to drive over the snow to continue the rest were just snow on the side. 

About half way down the road I ran into loggers. A couple big machines, a couple pickup trucks, and a pile of logs ready for loading was enough to jam up the road for a short period of time, but they were kind enough to let this Geezer by. Sure made a mess of the road for a couple miles though. 

Finally, bypassing Middle Fork Cosumnes Campground and the creek I usually fish, I continued on to Cat Creek itself. When I got there, I was sorry I didn't bring my 3wt fly rod. Wouldn't you be sorry?  

Cat Creek
I swallowed my pride and headed back to the campground. 

The Cosumnes, on the other hand was not something to fish quite yet. It was running a little fast. To expound on not bringing my fishing rod was so I wasn't tempted (and I tempt easy) to hike upstream on the creek should it have been fishable. You can see from the photo below that the pool below the bridge was not fishable. The pool below that pool might have been OK, but not terrain I felt I couldn't negotiate. Maybe in a couple weeks.     

From the bridge
On the way out I ran into a young couple I'd been playing dodge car with up and down the road. I'd pass them, then I would pull over and they would pass me etc. They said there was a tree (dropped by the loggers) across the road and they couldn't get out. They wanted to know if there was another way out. The only way I knew was back to North-South Road (about 10 miles) and then out via PIPI Valley (another 10 miles or so), but apparently they tried that and said it was blocked by downed trees too. Downed trees are a fact of life in the mountains in Spring, but a boon for people looking for wood for their fireplace. I've done that for years until I got a gas fireplace.

I told them "Come on, they won't block the road for long. We can sit and wait it out". As we got to the loggers, they were just pulling the last pickup off the road and it was clear sailing. I motioned them to stop and said "Ya just got to know the right people" and said bye to them and off they went.

I drove into the campground which was open even though Google Maps says it's closed, to see if we could put our "New and never used yet" trailer in there. Get out of the house, try out the new trailer, you know, but there isn't a space big enough to fit a 26 foot trailer. Looked like maybe 20 max and that would be a tight fit. So we'll scratch that one off our list. 

Dogwood in bloom
On the way out I stopped for a picture of the Dogwood in bloom. They say that it always snows one more time after the Dogwoods are in bloom. Maybe not this year. 

I had to stop ar Munnerlyn's Ice Cream for a pint of Lemon Custard for the wife, a pint of Raspberry Truffle and a single scoop on a sugar cone for me. Definitely a "necessary" business.   

I was out, I'm back "sheltering in place", and I might just have to go back up there with my fly rod in a week or so. 

Stay tuned. 


  1. Mark, such a beautiful area. It's good you chose a place like that to break out instead of a city. I would love to fish streams like those. And I would love to take part in your frozen treats.

  2. Mark
    I know the feeling of being cooped up for a period of time. Cathey and I are out now but with caution. We are still wearing mask and now we have low grade sunglasses to protect our eyes. The other day on the Sipsey I made sure I stayed a fly rods length away from other fishermen. I would have to wet a fly in that creek when you get a chance. Stay Safe