May 17, 2010

Trip of Epicness 2010

Welp, I think it's official... I don't have fun fishing the E. Walker anymore... It's been about a 12 year long run on that river with some big fish..... but it's just not worth it for me anymore. Just like some of my other past favorite rivers, the number of fisherman on that river at any given time has exceeded the number of fish in the river.

They can have it!

When every fishable piece of water has someone  on it, standing thigh-deep right in the holding water, lookin' like he just fell out of a simms catalog... I'm out... To me, no fish is worth doing battle with a hundred dudes acting like they own the river. They can have it...

Instead, we figured we'd have more fun rattling off some rounds hill billy style at the local shootin' range. What camping trip would be complete without dispatching a few rounds from the ol' assault riffle?

Just holding that AR makes you feel like a boss

The runoff is comin'...

Sleep tight tiny dancer.

Here's some fallout from camping at 8,000 feet in the middle of May.

Gritty coffee and eggs cooked in bacon grease... breakfast of champions.

Like the crowds weren't thick enough on the first day... where did we go on day two?

Hot Creek....

Imagine a quiet piece of water where you can fish peacefully and you'd be surprised to see another fisherman all day.... now image the complete polar opposite of that.... that's Hot Creek.

I had never fished south of mono, so I had no idea what to expect. We got to the creek and looked down the canyon and I almost lost it when I saw a dude (and ladies) on every inch of that creek as far as you can see up and downstream. You've never seen so many cars worth more than $70k parked in the middle of nowhere. People were packed in there so close, that you had to be careful casting your fly upstream 'cause you were likely to hit the guy downstream with your back cast...

It might be hard to see without zooming-in, but there are 5 other dudes in this picture, covering no more than 150 ft of water.

Water to fish was at such a premium, that some people, once they got a hold of some water, didn't move ALL DAY. Or, sometimes it just felt like you were swapping spots with someone. You'd look up and the guy above you would start walkin' away, so you'd haul ass up to where he was to fish some new water, and as soon as you got to your new spot, somebody had already filled your old spot.....

How was that better than the E. Walker?.... well..... the 30+ fish days made it bearable, and that's only fish to hand. We lost as many as we landed. In spite of the fly fisherman circus, we were blowing up that river like hiroshima. Other people were catching fish, but not nearly as many as we pricked. For some reason we had the Hot Creek juju, cause we were hookin' up on every cast. I had a guy tell me that Hot Creek is one of the most technical fisheries he'd ever fished..... It would've been harder to NOT catch a fish. There had to have been an average of 4 fish per foot of river, because we would sit on a hole and catch fish nearly every cast... for hours.....

The first day, Cole and I didn't move for at least two hours, catching fish after fish.

We had double hookups, big fish, little fish, rainbows, browns. I even caught some cutthroats.

On the second day Josh, Cole, and I all posted up on a great hole under this huge overhanging rock and banged fish out of there all day.

Josh had a banner day with fish on back to back casts three or four times.

Josh had the hot brown trout fly, pickin' up browns left and right.

On the way out, Cole slid over to this tiny hole where I picked up a good fish the day before, and stuck the best fish of the trip right before we mounted up.

None of the fish we touched were very big (18-20" tops), but the numbers of fish caught made up for it big time. Great fishing, but still way.....WAY.... too many people around that creek to make it worth a trip back.


  1. That as a fun trip for sure. Just a few words of wisdom to add when fishing hot creek. One...don't drop your flybox and loose all of your nymphs the first day...fished dry flys all day Saturday only to be taunted endlessly by trout. Not a single one landed saturday! ouch!
    However, on sunday something was different. The force was strong with me that day. Some might say it was my painfully slow, hungover from the night before approach to the pools. I think that the fish knew that if I got skunked again I would have started blasting fish with the assault rifle. Can't wait to see what the other rivers around mammoth have to offer us.

  2. I like what you're doing here Jason! Tight Lines amigo!

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