Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bigcones and Trout

This past weekend I had heard from our gubbament weather service, and hoped for, warm temperatures fitting of the weekend that marks the unofficial beginning of Summer. We camped on the north side of the San Gabriel mountains, but not really, because we were in cabins and had superb hot meals three times a day. But on sunday we made plans to get into some wilderness in search of bigcone douglas firs and wild trout. The weather did not exactly live up to what was forecast and hoped for; it was icy, but we made the most of it anyway, braving super buttchilling cold and rain and sleet to get to the sun that eventually came out and warmed us up just a bit, just enough. On the hike in I was checking bark and needle stucture and cones like a real live forester and was stoked when we finally came across a BCDF; after the first one they just got bigger and more impressive, the chief being about 4ft in diameter I reckon. After finding the trees and the fun conversation and company the day was already a success in my opinion, everything else afterward was just icing.
I love confluences; our tributary flowing clear and cold meeting the snow-melt-grey main river.

Trout ninjas.

Look at the ravaged tree trunks! 5Star trying to scar up some trout from the torrent.

This gives a nice picture of what the flows were like a few weeks prior; that is a boulder about 4 times as big as my head sitting over 6ft off the ground.

I went subsurface all day, and got lots of fish like this, especially in one small tributary.

An average fish for the day, above average beauty. We came to one series of pools and the fishing was hot for all of us, I think we all caught multiple fish out of each hole, the fish were all stacked up in this tributary that had clear water and good pools to rest in; it was just how things were supposed to work out. Well, after we all got a few average fish out of these pools ninja D and ninja 5star proceeded upstream. I noticed something moving just downstream from one of the bubble curtains in the crystal clear water, a sizable trout I thought! So I tied on the biggest, ugliest fly in my box and chucked it upstream to let it dead drift back. A few more casts, mend, deeper, BOOM. Fish on, it was something special for this creek no doubt.

I got em in, definitely a nice fish, looks to be a male, had some nice teeth on him.

Can you spot the three trout above?

This was my favorite fish of the day, a super colored rainbow that was cool enough to let me take his pic underwater after I released him. These local mountain streams never cease to amaze me and the mountains that protect them are jewels ever-worthy of the work necessary to uncover their splendor.