By John Cook
Our club outing this year to the spectacular Eastern Sierra was scheduled a week later in hopes that we could get some cold weather that is supposed to improve fishing in the area. The first week was warm and the second cold. Our fishing was fair and seemed to be more related to the drought than weather. Of course there were some times and places that fished very well. There were some very large fish caught at Crowley but most were small. Ask George Pike about the largest trout he ever caught; he couldn't get his hands around it! He figured it was about 25" and 5 pounds. He caught it with a Matuka pattern that he had designed and tied the day before.
Then there was the Owens George that at times produced many beautiful browns caught with dry flies. For those who aren't familiar, it's a rugged place, requiring climbing over and around large boulders, fighting stinging nettles, and being very careful with your cast so that you don't end up in the ever-present vegetation. The upper Owens was slow in general but Chris Walters caught several nice fish and Petar Ilic had a delightful fish day there as his last day of the trip. Lake Mammie was also one of the places that fished well. It's a sweet small lake that lends itself to dry fly fishing for beautiful wild brook trout. Many club members took advantage of this gem.
We had a new adventure this year, which was a hike to Shadow Lake. George Pike, Kirk Mathew, and John and Elaine Cook ventured forth to do the six-mile round trip with a 900-foot clip up a granite wall to the lake valley. The setting was at 8850 feet. Our book source said that it was a "moderate" hike that would take 1 1/2 hours to hike one way. As it turned out, it was 2 hours and 40 minutes and anything but moderate! We talked to several people who said it held large fish. Unfortunately, they weren't biting that day. We were weary and hurting by the time we got back.
As usual, we all enjoyed the company and meals together, the hot tub was a huge success and the fall colors were outstanding. If you are a spouse or friend of someone who comes on this trip but you are not a fisherman, you may want to come with them next time and enjoy the hiking, exploring, golfing, historical sites, bicycling and outstanding scenery.
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