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Posts Tagged ‘Mt. Whitney’

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…

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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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As is the custom in our family, we generally spend a day or two up in the Eastern Sierras during Thanksgiving weekend or, later during the Xmas Holidays. This time, Ally and I did a quick up and back to the Owens valley to recon some places for us to initiate my Grandson Miles (or Moo 2) into the Troutastic angling arts…I had mentioned in a previous post – “THE MUTHA’lode…”, that I would put up some information on places that MY Dad took my twin brother and I to fish for Trout when we were little – here is a bit on Lone Pine Creek…we also spent some time looking for “pointy obsidian and jasper” objects and roamin’ around…that’s how we roll…

The Owens Valley, just after sunrise, from the White Mountains…

After a long “mush’, up from East of Independence, we stopped here for some deserty activities

We pulled in here for some lunch and spent some time flipping over pieces of shiny black flakes…

Desert GOURMET lunch…

This place has been quite productive through the years…my Dad would get my brother and me out here at the crack of dawn on really cold December days…

It would be worth it to find a batch of these…this time we came up with only pieces…not a single complete point…

Ally wanted to send some pills out of her BHP… “THE SHADOW” documented her efforts…

Sunlight was getting short so we decided to gain some altitude…

Ally, bushwackin’ Lone Pine Creek…

Ally with Mt. Whitney in the background…it gets very cold when the sun drops below those peaks…

PT stands on a boulder overlooking Lone Pine Creek…this is one of the spots I would take my Dad into, to fish the creek…when he was two years younger than I am now, he refused to go down this hill, fearing he would take a fall…As Ally said: “What a WUSS”

My Dad, Jess Barker, about the time he became a WUSS, in 1974…along Lone Pine Creek…

Ally, preparing to clobber her Dad with a snowball where the road was closed heading up to the Mt. Whitney portal…

PT shows Ally where her Grandfather would make us sit and fish with a size # 18 Mustad, gold, treble hook and Velveeta cheese for planted Rainbows…while he wandered off – elsewhere…This is at the bridge above Movie Flats road…

Ally checks out the water on the upside of the bridge…it looks like this…

While we were standing there, we saw a 17″ Trout wave out into the current, just above the mossy rock…

A reminder of memories past and fishing Lone Pine Creek with salmon eggs, crickets and red worms…

Somebody else, sitting on a rock at Lone Pine Creek, with FRYE BOOTS, when she was about Ally’s age…

Looking East towards the White Mountains from the base of Mt. Whitney at dusk…

Another location along Lone Pine Creek where one has to slither in like a serpent to present an offering to the residents…there are Rainbows and Browns in this creek…I have taken Browns up to 18″ in here if I do my part…

The sandtrap at the bottom of Lone Pine Creek just before it enters the LA Aqueduct…this will be the location of my Grandson’s first Trout outing…Ally MADE this decision…

My son Michael, explaining to Muy ( Miles ), the size of the TROUT he will catch with his Grandfather…on Thanksgiving…

Mt. Whitney at sunset…

OK…time for dinner…and Virgin Marys…

…and the best spot for food on the EASTSIDE is:

SEASONS…Lone Pine California…hands down !!!

Back to tying…

PT/TB

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(Little Inyo Win. Stone)…#16-#18…

Or, one of those obscure little bugs that I pursue –  often overlooked by the Fly Fisherman…but, never by the Trout…these little guys were first observed in 1987, about a mile and a half above where my two favorite Bozos are standing…

Ally and Michael in the creek – studies and observation group (SOG)…

Their range..USGS Map…Inyo Snowfly

These little stone flies were discovered down here…

LITTLE INYO WIN. STONE…side view…

HOOK: Tiemco 2302, # 16-#18
THREAD: Tiemco 16/0 Brown
TAIL: MFC speckled centipede legs – Mini- Brown
UNDER ABDOMEN: Krystal Flash, Rusty Brown
OVER ABDOMEN: D- Rib, Small, Brown
THORAX: 50/50 Mix, Chopped Hare-Tron, Dark Brown / AZ Simi Seal #.19, Canadian Brown
CARPACE: Thin Skin, Mottled Oak
HACKLE: MFC Henry’s Fork Hackle, Brown (CDC)
LEGS: Same as Tail
BEAD: Tung. Copper 5/64 or 1/16 for # 18

LITTLE INYO WIN. STONE…tilted view…

These Stone Flies live deep in the stream bed until they are ready to emerge as adults. They move to the margins of the stream, crawl out of the water and escape as adults. The Trout feed on the nymphs and adults…a number of them will always be present in the late winter and spring depending on water temperature and elevation…I carry these in Brown and Black…The Black are tied down to size # 20 on a TMC 200R hook…

It pays dividends to have some in the fly box…

Location, location, location…

NEXT: Some larger soft hackles…to imitate Stone Flies and some other stream side bugs..

PT/TB

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Good day, even though it is pouring cats and dogs in Los Angeles. I opened my email and was astounded that my twin brother Greg had begun to send me the photos (treasures) that I have been waiting for a very long time. These are pictures that my Dad took of us up in the Owens Valley and other locations in the West before my Mother remarried and moved us to Carrollton, GA in 1957.

Here are two:

This photo was taken on the front lawn of the Frontier Motel , under a big cottonwood tree ,in Lone Pine, CA after a day of fishing on Lone Pine Creek. The fish were cleaned on the opposite side of the motel in a little creek that was crawling with red ants…this was in the Summer of 1954…there is now a room named after our Mother at this motel…

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Frontier Motel…today…

My daughter, Nadia in the driveway of the Frontier Motel in 1974 with Mt. Whitney in the background…

PT and a Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout that came out of Yellowstone Lake in the Summer of 1956. I caught that fish with a gob of worms attached to the treble hook of a spinner off an island beach in the middle of the lake. My Dad told me I wouldn’t catch anything by using that method – and off a beach…It wasn’t the only one I caught!! HA,ha…

Now I will be able to put some stories around the photos I receive. If I remember correctly, there were quite a few…Thanks Greg!!!

PT/TB

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Some people just look good – with a Browning HP in their hands…This is my friend Jayme in the shadow of Mt. Whitney testing her skills…

JAYME -2-

JAYME -3-

PT/TB :cat:

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