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Posts Tagged ‘Bridgeport Inn’

What a trip ! Michael flew out from NYC for some time in the Eastern Sierras with me, his sister Ally and HERO the DOG…Oh… and Nick too! This is where we went…and what we experienced…

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Bridegport, CA and surrounding area…

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One knows they are well out of Los Angeles when arriving at Red Rock Canyon, on both sides of Hwy. 14, outside of Mojave, CA…

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…and this would be Little Lake, CA

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The volcano, at the entrance to the Owens Valley and Fossil Falls, just to the right and foreground of the mound…Me and the kids have spent a lot of time wandering around that cinder cone, looking’ for stuff…

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On this trip, Michael and I did not make the usual climb up to the portal at Mt. Whitney, so we let Ally, Nick and Hero do that for us on their trip up to meet us three days later…

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This is Eastside Sports in Bishop, CA. I make a point of frequenting this shop every time we hit the Sierras…never know what I might find and then need. These are the hats that Michael was going through for his wife Aimee…

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Wait !…Michael got one for himself and me to keep the sun off of the back of our necks while fishing the lakes…

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One just does not go through Bishop without stopping at Mahogany Smoked Meats…It’s more important than Sierra Trout Magnet (The Fly Shop), across the street (sorry David !)…

CHILENO PEPPERS

Then the quest to pick up some of these...the MOST RIGHTEOUS peppers on the planet…normally, MSM’s carries these but they were (horrors!) out of stock and nobody else had them in Bishop either…that, required a quick phone call to Ally to implement plan “B” and she picked them up at a shop in Lone Pine on the way up. F.Y.I. these are going to be difficult to get for the next year because of a crop failure on the other side of the Sierras during the growing season…

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Mono Lake, about 35 miles South of Bridgeport, CA where road repairs required us to wait, while only one lane of traffic was open at a time…This is where brine shrimp are cultivated for use as fish food in aquariums. At one time, an interesting group of native Americans, known as the “fly eaters” dwelt on this lake’s Eastern shore. It is too salty to support any fish populations…

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I get to say, “Are we there yet?”…

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Yay !!!…The Walker River Lodge … I have been staying here since 1974, when I first brought my Father up to Bridgeport…

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…time for dinner at the Bridgeport Inn

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The “Virgin Mary”…extra spicy…

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…and garlic bread, of course !

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…up at 6AM and a visit to Nugent’s Bakery, before heading up the mountain…

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…main street, Bridgeport CA at 7AM…not too alive…

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…the arrow designates the way South to Conway Summit and the turn off to Virginia Lakes…

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…along Hwy. 395, headed South…The peaks to the left, in the photo are our destination…

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…getting closer…Michael wanted to pull off the road to make a call back East to his wife…the bars indicated service…

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…my phone does not get service ( thanks, unmentioned carrier) up here so I used it for some photos…Looking South towards Mono Lake…

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Little Virginia Lake…our first spot on the Itinerary…

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…The “Old Guy” in a reverse view…Virginia Lakes closes up for boat rentals at 11AM on Tuesdays so that the staff at Virginia Lakes Resort can go down the mountain to Bridgeport or Mammoth Lakes for recreation and taking care of personal business…be aware if ya’ don’t take some other type of water craft with ya’…

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…so Michael and I headed over to Trumbull Lake to fish from the shoreline…a trek through the “Mule Ears”...

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Trumbull Lake, looking East…this lake has Browns, Rainbows (planted) and Brookies. The Rainbows are the most plentiful. I have seen a 7 lb. + Brown taken from this lake and there are probably some larger ones in here as well…

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…on the far side of the lake, by the scree and talus…one of my favorite spots, here…

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…Michael slackin’ off with his new brim…

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…looks like a rise to me…

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…yep…

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…a typical Trumbull Rainbow…

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…and another…

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Trumbull Lake… approaching sunset…

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…a rise in deeper, dark water…

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,,,a beaver lives just below that fallen pine…

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...A Callibaetis Spinner Michael picked off the surface film…

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…down the mountain for dinner at the Virginia Creek Settlement

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…what’s on the menu ?

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…well, this is just part of what is offered…the Italian servings are great and so is the pizza…

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…after dinner moon…

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…the following day, back at Little Virginia Lake with the “Old Guy” rowing…

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…Michael nails a 2lb. / 10 oz. Rainbow on an Owens “Offender”…The overall fishing on this trip was difficult. Normally, we catch and release a lot of Trout when visiting these lakes. Jim Reid, owner of Ken’s Sporting Goods in Bridgeport, had some thoughts on just why this was occurring this season. I will not go into his explanation – but I do concur…

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This is the East Walker River, an Eastern Sierra classic, “Blue Ribbon” water. Because of our current drought, the water flows are very low and warm. The river is choked with weeds and algae and the mosquitoes are out for blood…Michael and I left our favorite river – alone…

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…more East Walker, close to the Nevada state line…

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…looking downstream…

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…another downstream view…

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…Bridgeport Reservoir …the source for the East Walker River and the lowest I have seen it since it was drained in 1987…

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…one fellow, working the river below the dam. Michael watched him take a 18″ Brown from this section…like I said, I leave it alone…

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…this is Lower Twin Lakes, outside of Bridgeport. The level is down 15′ and we took photos rather than fish it…

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…another view, looking Southeast…

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Upper Twin Lakes…more water, deeper and colder…there were only two boats out on the lake when we passed here and we did not fish it…I visited again with Ally,Hero and Nick on a very wet evening, a few days later…

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…exploring time for Michael…what follows are some places and images that Big Moo documented while Pop pounded the water with a gazillion fly patterns…

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..Red Lake…

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Red and Copper…

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Carolyn Webb told me there was a submarine sized Brown in here…haven’t met ’em…yet…

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…more Red Lake from the non-red side…

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…patterns in the water…

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Summit Pass …11,100’…

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…more form and texture from Summit Pass…

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…Alpine flora…

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…something for Nadia’s next kitchen counter project…

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…and Koi Pond…

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Alpine trickler…

55 BP 15Lone Pine by the lake…

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Big Virginia Lake and the WALL…sit over there in the evening with a float tube or pontoon and use beetle and flying ant patterns…

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…looking back towards Big Virginia Lake…

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…a good casting location which Michael always seems to find…

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…another view from the Summit Trail back towards Virginia Lakes…and Nevada in the background…

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…another lake I don’t know the name of..way up there…

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Peak scenery…

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The Jolly Kone in Bridgeport…the burger and hot dog palace, which appears to have a new offering…

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Nope, don’t see it on the regular menu…

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Enough food…back up to Little Virginia on an overcast day which was marked by thunder and showers…

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One of the locals (Scud) that motored by our boat just as the rain stopped…

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Then, Michael added this to his tippet…

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…and BAM !!!

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Michael brings the Trout up to the Lodge to have Carolyn put it on the digital scale…

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Carolyn lets Michael know the scale is off by 2 ozs. under…

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…almost ready for the report photo…

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Carolyn shoots…

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Michael goes on the board a second time…

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Pop shoots Michael for posterity…this is the largest Trout he has landed, to date…

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…and who shows up moments later…ALLY !!!

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…and Hero…

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Meanwhile, back on the lake, I pick up…

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…a few Brook Trout…

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…using this little red peacock soft hackle…

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Pretty little guys…

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Back down the mountain to celebrate with pizza at the Virginia Creek Settlement…

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Thanks Nick !!!

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Back to the Walker River Lodge and some work for Michael…

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Michael cleans a Big Trout…

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Step #.1, – with a good sharp knife…

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Step #.2, all the way up to the initial cut…

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Step #.3, take the gills and entrails rearward…use  finger nails to remove all veining and blood…

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Step #.4, breathe…place in freezer…get ready for yer’ last day…

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…first on the lake, early in the AM on a day that did not see much action…

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Dinner and not mint juleps on the veranda at the Bridgeport Inn. Michael left the following morning to pick up his wife in Reno and spend a few days with her family up in Lake Tahoe…

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So it’s Ally, Hero and Nick. I got him started with a fly and bubble on a rainy day. Nick’s fishing experience on freshwater lakes was, shall we say…limited. He got a nice huge strike on a Tan Seal Bugger but did not set the hook in time – doh…

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…and I was having this kind of day…

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…while Ally, Hero and Nick went looking for Frodo and Mordor…

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…Nope, not here…

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…getting wet…

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Ally and Hero up there…

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A short trip up to Upper Twin Lakes in the rain…

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At the marina…

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Ally and Hero … posing…

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Boats at rest…

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The cafe at Annett’s Mono Village where Michael swears he had the best cheeseburger ever…( kid was delusional )…

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Last sunset before leaving Bridgeport…

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Since Nick had never been here, we made a point of stopping at the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery which I have been visiting since 1952…

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The brood stock pond…the race ways, where large Brook and Rainbows were kept, were destroyed in a flood in 2008…they have not been replaced…More HERE

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When I was a little kid, my Dad would bring my brother and I here. There were thousands of Rainbow, Brown, Brook and Tiger Trout in the metal rearing pens inside this structure…

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Bring your kids too !!!

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Yep…Ally and Michael have been coming up for quite awhile…

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Ally, 1995, by the raceways that were destroyed…

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Michael spies some Brook Trout…

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Why I love this place…

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No story is complete without an ending…and nothing goes to waste…

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Michael does filets…

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Marinate for a little while…

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Grill…

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Add the sides…

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Enjoy !!!

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A little paddling on Lake Tahoe…and there’s the hat Michael got Aimee…

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Until next time…

NEXT:…

CONES HOOKS

…more of patterns tied on these…

PT/TB

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 It was time to test out patterns for water at high elevation…me and two of the guys spent a day and a half up at Virginia Lakes in the Eastern Sierras. What follows, is a photo journal of that trip August 1-3, 2014…The lakes in the area have Rainbows, German Browns, Eastern Brookies and some Goldens in the higher lakes…VIRGINA LAKE -1-  Or destination, Virginia Lakes, at 9700′ near ,Bridgeport, CA… SUNRISE RRCAN -1-  Sunrise on Hwy. 14, in the Mohave desert, just nort of Red Rock Canyon… BT-42- ALLY, passing The Homestead, in Indian Wells Valley, off Hwy 395, as the sun comes up… BT-34R- The volcano…one has arrived at Little Lake and the gateway to the Owens Valley… DINO HUT OANCHA -1- The Dino Hut in Olancha, CA… BT-39- Mmmmm….Mahogany Smoked Meats, in Bishop, CA…the best jerky on the planet… BT-4- Just  a portion of what they have… BT-9- Pit stop for Hero in Lee Vining…. BT-40- Finally, after eight hours, the back porch…at the Walker River Lodge, Bridgeport, CA… LITTLE VIR IPHONE -1- We arrive…Little Virginia Lake…Tubers go left! I like to fish from a boat because it provides a high platform to spot cruisers… Some of the patterns that I used on Little Virginia: SOFT HACKLES LVL BLOG -3- SOFT HACKLES… STREAMERS BUGGERS LVL BLOG -1- STREAMERS/BUGGERS… SCUDS LVL BLOG -2- SCUDS…not the sowbugs !   WHAT worked best on this particular trip… pea-pt-n-part-1   Pheasant Tail & Partridge…ticket was #16 / Peacock & Partridge, #12 was the champ… strip ’em fast on an intermediate line… BT-45R- STRIPPING SOFT HACKLES… pur-pea-n-part-1 Purple Peacock and Partridge, #12…I used this pattern first, stripped fast on an intermediate line and it slammed…but, I had others to try… ypt-quicksilver-1 YELLOW PT/ QSB/ STARLING SOFT HACKLE , #18 – I fished this over the weed beds on a floating line and caught Brookies and Rainbows around mid-day on Saturday… this little guy was a blast ! VIR LK BF SUNSET -1-  Little Virginia about an hour from sunset… kgs-spring-ck-sc-var-1 KELLY GLISSMEYER’S SPRING CREEK SCUD – #18…Stripped slowly then a six inch burst, or using a hand twist retrieve with a rod twitch, near or over weeds or weed beds, this pattern is a High Sierra Lake KILLER…use an intermediate line if the air temps. are warm during the day…a floating line works well in the evening or early morning when the light is low and scuds are more active near the surface… owens-off-ch-hs-1 OWENS “OFFENDER” HS CH  #6 – I designed this pattern for use in the Fall on the Owens River but had an idea that it would also work in some high elevation lakes…strip this fly FAST, on an intermediate line (the cone gets it down) with pronounced jerks of the rod tip…and hold on…this took my largest fish of the trip, a 4lb. Rainbow… LEFT OVER KLINKS LEFT OVER KLINK – This was a surprise..I had tied these up several years ago and have used them on a number of rivers with some success…these, in Olive, Brown and Black were absolutely fish slayers on Little Virginia Lake in #14 & #16…Srrip ’em fast on an intermediate line… POP TROUT -2- The old guy with a 4lb. Rainbow that Ally took home…on this trip, I caught more fish in a day and a half than on any other visit of the same duration. Most were in the 10″- 12″ category with a couple of 16″ – 18″ Trout in the mix… BT-41- Coming down the mountain, for dinner… BRIDGEPORT INN BT -54- …at the Bridgeport Inn BT-21- THE Garlic toast…this is as far as we got taking pictures…too famished !!!

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The next day: BT-16- Ally in the boat… BT-37 HERO in the middle…Then these two split… again… for some trekking while I stayed and fished… HERE is a compliation of trails, curios and lakes in the surrounding area…Thanks ALLY !!!! BT-24- Cooney Lake…on the trail to Summit Pass (11.100′)… BT-23- HERO takes a break… BT -1- Frog Lake #2… BT-11- HERO getting a workout… BT-2 The Trekking Pup..with six legs..I gotta’ ask Ally how she did this… BT-14- The Miner’s Cabin on the trail to Summit Pass, just before Cooney Lake… BT-47R- Another view… BT-50- On the trail… BT-35- Frog Lake #1…loaded with stunted Brookies… BT=49- Ally… Creek break… BT-46- Oh…doe deer… VIR LAKES IPOD -2- Above Frog Lake #2… BT-13- Hero…taking in the view… BT-5- Meandering (mostly) dry creek… BT-31- Ally & Hero on the Alpine beach… BT-26- A smoky look down the mountain…smoke from fires burning on the West Slope really got bad on Saturday… BT-27R- The same lake (Moat) without the beach dwellers… BT-10- Up a creek… BT-20- Hero plays it cool…   BT-8- Ally and Hero selfie… BT-18- Hero in the pines… BT-7- Ally takes a short drive up to Twin Lakes… BT-12- …and hikes a trail near there… UP VIR LAKE -1- Back up the mountain to pick up Dad… SUN SET BP -1- …and back down towards Bridgeport…the smoke is worse… BT-43- Time for dinner at the Virginia Creek Settlement BT-19- Oh yeah…

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We we going to fish again on Sunday morning , however, the weather took a turn for the worse…so.. KENS SPORTING GOODS ...a  quick visit to Ken’s Sporting GoodsFLIES KENS SG -1- A view of the fly box…now that’s a FLY BOX…then off tho check out Bridgeport Res. and the East Walker River… AL HERO BRIDGE RES -1- Bridgeport Res. …not good…the water is very, very low… BT POP RES -1- <- Bridgeport Res – East Walker River -> EWR DAM -1- The first pool on the EWR…the flows are low and the water is warm with lots of algae…we needs a ton of snow this coming Winter… BT-25- …Back up the mountain to say goodbye to fellow tier and operator of Virginia Lakes Resort along with her husband John – Carolyn Webb… BT-36- Ally takes a seat and admires… BT-22- …This six lb. Brown that came out of Little Virginia Lake in 2006… BT-17- Where Carolyn server up some fantastic pies… BT FISH BOARD -52- The Trout board in the cafe… ALLY HERO VIR LK -1- Ally and Hero…one last bite of left over pizza and a goodbye… BT-29R- …down the mountain to Conway Summit… BT-30- Hero wants to see… BT-51- The Mono Inn over looking Mono Lake…we have had some great meals here through the years and it has finally re-opened… BT OWENS RAIN -1- Rain in the Owens Valley…Near Big Pine… BT-33- The volcano and back to what passes as the real world…

MOO n' DAD BIG VIRGINIA -1-

Pop with Michael at Big Virginia Lake in 1987…

10562620_825346980818242_7312704035442934890_o Just below Summit Pass… looking back towards Virginia Lakes…1987 – two years before Ally was born…Yup I like it up there…

NEXT: Gettin’ ready for Fall…

PT/TB  

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I have been Fly Fishing in the Bridgeport, CA area since late 1974. It has always been one of my favorite spots in the Eastern Sierras to visit

Back in the day, there were no shoulder to shoulder crowds – one could have the East Walker River to themselves… Then came “THE MOVIE”. There are still many places to find solitude if one is willing to walk…what follows are some photos, through the years, of me and the kids and some places we wet our lines…

Bridgeport, CA…a gem in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains…

Michael, working the willows with a RAM Caddis, along the bank of the East Walker River on a hot August day…many years ago…

The wee tyke Ally, hanging with the fellas on the East Walker River…just over her right shoulder is the little island that no longer exists in the meadow section…

Ally, getting mentally prepared for a day on Little Virginia Lake..fly and bubble or just a fly rod?…

Ally, looking down the mountain towards Bridgeport in the East at twilight in the Fall…

Bridgeport Res. in the background after a day on Trumbull Lake…

Looking West towards Nevada from a high vantage point off the road to Virginia Lakes…

Virginia Creek canyon in the Fall, lots of Brookies and Mule deer in here…

Seal Bugger and Bubble day on Little Virginia Lake,,,we were the ONLY people there that day…late Fall…

Michael, changing patterns on the East Walker River…

Michael, learning how to roll cast his nymph inches off the bank and under the overhanging willows…where the “BIG BOYS” lie…East Walker River…

Michael, up in the canyon on the West Walker River…Burke’s Aggravators # 10, punched ’em here…this day…

Hello Mr. Trout…

A Chart. Seal Bugger, Rainbow and PT

Michael re-rigs on the West Walker River…

That looks like some nice water!!!…

So…Michael prepares to drop his fly into it…

If one is fortunate enough to visit this area, I highly recommend contacting the fellows at Ken’s Sporting Goods in Bridgeport. Jim Reid, the owner and operator of that emporium, has been a good friend for a very long time. It is also possible to follow his FB Page for updates on conditions and good places to fish…the East Walker Forum is currently shut down…Also visit my good bud, Carolyn (a Fly Tier par excellence) at Virginia Lakes Resort, …

PT/TB

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