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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Eastern Sierra Fishing

    I just had a big birthday and decided it would be best to go in the backcountry rather than blowing it out in town. Everyone said they were going to go or meet me out there but as per usual they all flaked but one.

    My friend and I have been planning a 10 day trip since February but plans had to change with all the snow we received this season. The high passes are still buried and our original plan to hunt for the elusive golden trout had to be put on hold. Most of that trip would have had us above 11k for the entire trip and the lakes were just not thawing out quick enough.

    We decided to go a little more local, do some fishing, and bag a peak. Our ten day trip turned into a four day but the fishing was really good. We left out of the South Lake trailhead above Bishop, Ca. with a destination of Long Lake. It's a very popular place for day hikers and an easy overnighter. We chose this lake because there were supposed to be coming out and meeting us when they had time off. No one did.

    Leaving the trail head at South Lake

    Our first view of Long Lake

    Here is our camp for four days. It was right on the inlet and the fishing was almost to easy. We were catching 12-14 inch Rainbows every other cast on a Sierra Bright Dot.

    First fish on the first cast

    Hooked up

    It sure seemed like summer even though there was still a ton of snow.

    We packed in some steak and had beef panang with coconut rice for dinner the first night.

    The next day we hiked around to some higher lakes to try and get into some Goldens. Most of the hiking looked like this

    Here's our camp from a higher perspective.

    We arrived at Rawau Lake to find a good amount of ice covering one side and a lot of steep snowbanks on the other. Falling off the snow bank into the water would have been real bad so we stuck to the lake ice side and fished in the random holes. I got skunked but my buddy caught one small Brookie. The fish are still real sluggish.

    We went back to camp for lunch and hit the honey hole again before crossing the creek and going to another lake.

    After ripping some lip and eating lunch we hiked up to Margaret Lake to see how the fishing was. This lake was cold, icy, and a bit blown out. We gave it ten casts but never even saw any fish so we left to fish the outlet of Spearhead Lake.

    Spearhead Lake.

    Caught one Brookie on the North side and had to yank him up on the snowbank

    I am normally a catch and release fisherman but we went in really light and decided to eat some trout for dinner on the second night.

    They were pretty tasty.

    It seemed like winter every morning.

    Wednesday was my 40th birthday and what better way to celebrate than on top of a 13,893 foot peak. The hike was about four miles and 3200 vertical. We took off at 10am after fishing and almost immediately ran into snow.

    Saddlerock Lake still iced over.

    The objective, Mt. Agassiz

    Lots of snow still on Bishop Pass

    A random big ass rock.

    Hiking up the snowfield on the way to get onto the rock

    The rock was steep and loose in spots and pretty barren except for some purple Sky Pilots.

    Almost to the summit.

    A little ice on the route.

    Here's what the Sierra looks like from the top of Mt. Agassiz, 13,893, yesterday July 13th.

    Looking North at Bishop Pass, Mt Humphreys, Mt. Tom, etc.

    West towards Dusy Basin and LeConte Canyon

    East, Big Pine Lakes

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    The Palisades


    North West towards Darwin, the Evolution Basin

    After climbing and glissading down to the pass we hiked back to camp. There were lots of these death traps at every inlet and outlet of the lakes.

    Got back to camp a bit tired and sore but it didn't stop us from fishing. After losing my umpteenth fly I went back to camp but my buddy fished until dark.

    It was a great trip and a hell of a way to spend my 40th birthday. Beats the hell out of going to a bar.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    nice work! ridiculous how much snow is still up there right now. thanks for posting that!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    on the rivah, VT
    Awesome stuff. Seems like a infinitely better way to spend a birthday rather than in town and at a bar.
    go Go GO!

    18-19: 86! 17-18: 80. 16-17: 56. 15-16: 40. 14-15: 33. 13-14: 56ish. 12-13: 51. 11-12: 65. 10-11: 69. 09-10: 65.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Awesome! I really want to get up in there in the summer (having just ski-traversed that entire area in the winter) - good to know the fishing is good.

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