Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Three Days in the Alps

Five years have passed since my first visit to the Trinity Alps of Northern California.  The cold waters, the crystal clear air and water, the trout, the granite peaks, the forests and meadows all etched in my mind from that first trip.  With the drought gripping the whole state it has effected the Southern half by reducing what streams we had to mostly stagnant pools.  In the North most streams are still running nicely, just not anywhere near their usual early July icy cold snowmelt fueled torrents.  So this past weekend we celebrated and exercised our freedom and decided it was time to go North, to get back to the alps.

Falls and pools were common in between meandering meadow sections in the upper reaches. 

I was literally "calling the shots," picking a spot in a riffle or tailout or edge of a pool where I thought a fish would be and casting there and hooking up; it was easy and the fish were all under 10" but man was it fun!

D and V fishuntin a small side pool

The inhalation of the orange humpy was severe by this fellow and the majority of his colleagues.

Just upstream of the outlet the brookies were flush; fun to really stretch out and cast some line on these lakes.

One of the brookies we caught at the lake and above it.

This was some sort of wild blueberry or rose? It didn't taste like a blueberry, but sure looked like one.

Lower lake.

Upper lake, large goldens are rumored to be in here.

And rumored to spawn in this epic meadow section of stream; here you can see Van is fish nuts in an almost unmanageable way sometimes! 

I was not trying to scare anybody but some did not respond when I wished them a happy independence day.

D in the lush meadow (this picture, and all posted here have not been processed!)

Feelin' freedom.

D found some really tasty wild leaks in the meadow which we harvested and ate in our soup for dinner.

This was a pretty cool manzanita growing out of a granite slab.

A pink lily a young boy gave D on the trail (nice kid).

Some strange tree with strange fruit/seeds.

Up a granite dense side canyon looking for a lake.

Sawtooth mountain.

I think I see water in a sea of granite.

Van is pleased, the water was about 65 and air about 85 so it was swim time

We spent most of the day just swimming and napping at this lake the water temp was perfect.

We did not skimp on the food!

Van said "give me that sandwich right nmaow."

I spent about an hour in this area of the T after getting off the mountain.  The pool in the picture was deep and as I began to work around the lower edges I spooked a large salmonid, couldn't quite tell what type it was.  As I moved up to the portion upstream of the rock formation I mainly sat in awe and shock rather then even trying to fish because what I saw was a pod of chinook salmon about 30 strong playfully tailing and bumping the surface. We will be back again soon and might have to bring a boat.