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Sunday, September 13, 2009


Here's a collection of photos by my friend Paul Waters from a backpacking trip we did in August.  Paul, his friend Farzaneh, and myself hiked up to one of my favorite small high country lakes not far from my house.  I love to fish the high country lakes this time of year because the rivers are getting warm and crowed and fish up there in the cold water will still eat drys.  It's always nice to strap on those boots and head out to some of the seldom seen parts of California.  For years this lake was know for it's golden trout.  Five years ago the lake was stoked with Lahontan Cutthroat trout.  We were hoping to catch and photograph some of the spectacularly colored goldens that i had seen in the past.   For better or worst, i think this lake can be described as a success story for the LCT.  They have managed to not only compete with the goldens but thrive and overtake them.  Last time i was there in 06, we caught around 85% goldens.  The biggest LCT i saw was around 16 inches.  This time we couldn't manage to land a single golden.  It was all LCT.  I spotted a couple goldens but couldn't manage to land any.  There were LCT all over though.  We watched them feeding on a variety of insects and each fish we landed was fat bellied.  Paul and i both landed a fish around 20 inches and saw several others in that same range and bigger.  Surprising to see trout that big at a lake almost 10 thousand feet in elevation.  

We were surprised to see 7 other anglers on their way out.  None reported landing any fish.  This guy said he hooked one but didn't land it.  One of the most spectacular views in the area.  Looking out over Washoe territory on the East Side.  
This couple was hiking the PCT and made a detour to find a good swim and a fish dinner.  
A mid summer swim feels great in the high country.   

Camp.  Leave no trace.  
Lahontan Cutthroat trout.  
I don't keep many fish, but i love a good trout once in a while from a clean high country lake.  This was my one trout for the year.  It's easier to justify keeping one when we saw several nice health mature fish feeding.  They don't have the opportunity to reproduce naturally anymore.  They do however have trucks, helicopters and airplanes these days to help them get around.  Paul and i each kept one and had a killer lunch.  
Cowboy cooking over the campfire.  

Everything taste better at 10,000 feet.  

Plucking a few flies from the Dry Fly box. 
Misty Trail view.  We got caught in a pretty strong hail storm on the walk back. By the time we reached the trial head, some of the peaks in the area had so much hail it looked like snow.  Goes to show  you can't even count of August for dry weather in the up country.  

Burl Style Juniper Trees.  Surviving the elements and thriving in a harsh environment.  These monsters have seen many years pass.  The trail winds though some beautiful old growth.  

Photos curtsey of Paul Waters.  


Brian J. said...

Wonderful pictures-- those cutthroats look great, and good job on eating one: keeps things in perspective, in my opinion...

anyways-- I should go hike my fat arse up a mountain too.


Burl Productions said...

Hey Brian, Let's go fishing one of these days. Truckee was fun today up high. LT too. Even got a bright kokanee. I'd love to come check out some of you lower waters now that it's getting cold again. You got my number or email?

Brian J. said...

Heck yeah-- I fish downtown quite a bit (say, from wells to rock blvd) but we could also hit some water farther east

as for contact I have the info from here:

but you can always hit me up via e-mail:


Bernard Yin said...


Jay said...

Very cool. I went up to that lake in July of last year. Its on my blog somewhere too. Love reading your stories bud.