Well, as promised, here is the next installment albeit a bit later than I wanted it to be :)
In the last blog, I said we would be moving to the next camp, so here we go. After packing up camp and carefully practicing "No Trace," we shouldered the packs again and began the three mile trek to camp two. This camp was located at the confluence of Piute Creek and the South Fork of the San Joaquin River.
Shortly after leaving camp, we came up on a Mule Deer doe. After snapping several shots of her, we noticed that she was looking over shoulder....most likely another deer and most possibly her fawn as she was a good size deer. Sure enough, a rather excited fawn came rushing up behind to find her mother and immediately tried to suckle. We were lucky enough to get this on video. Here is a photo that I snapped shortly after shutting off the video camera....
After a morning worth of hiking, we arrived at our next camp and what would be considered our base camp. It was a beautiful location sitting right on the river. Below is a shot standing on the bank next to camp and shooting upstream just prior to sundown.
After spending the rest of that first day in camp, we organized a trip down river with a plan to fish it back up. It was a decent stretch of river with some holes holding large numbers of fish (that we could see). Who knows what was there that we couldn't see? At any rate, here is a photo of my buddy Ben throwing a cast to an upstream lie.
And here is a the subsequent reward for his labors. This fish was feisty and did not want to be photographed, so this impromptu was the only one documenting his downfall :) He is back in his home ready for the next eager angler. Numerous fish we caught or missed in this area, but regardless of the outcome, we had a blast exploring new areas of water.
As we moved upstream, the river wound through different types of terrain, but the most interesting was the zone just downstream from where this photo was taken. The area was so loaded with downed evergreens of differing species, that we could walk for untold hundreds of yards along the river without touching the ground. Later we found out about an amazing Sierra phenomena called Mono Winds. They have been clocked at 100mph in the Yosemite Valley which was in the vicinity (within a couple hundred miles) of where we were camped. I guess you needed to see it to believe it.
The photo below was just the standard view for this trip. Sick to look at, I know :)
And last but no least, here is a sneak peak at a Golden Trout. I have had a number of people request some photos of the Golden's and given the pace of my blogging, they couldn't stand to wait any longer :) So, here is a photo of a nice Golden caught on the South Fork of the San Joaquin upstream a mile or so from our base camp. Rest assured there will be some more Golden Trout photos to come.
In closing, if you are interested in more specifics on how to get to the area that I fished on this trip, go to your nearest bookstore that carries a good selection of magazines (Barnes & Nobles) and get the latest issue of Southwest Fly Fishing. I have a short published there this month that gives details.
Until the next installment, get those Steelhead rods cleaned up and ready to roll. The fish are already moving in and we will be swinging flies soon.
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters