Quick Fly Fishing Tips

Sierra Trading Post

Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial “fly” is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or “lure” requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting. Fly fishermen use hand tied flies that resemble natural invertebrates, baitfish, other food organisms, or “lures” to provoke the fish to strike (bite at the fly).

Scientific Anglers Starter Fly Fishing Outfit

Fly fishing can be done in fresh or salt water. North Americans usually distinguish freshwater fishing between cold-water species (trout, salmon, steelhead) and warm-water species, notably bass. In Britain, where natural water temperatures vary less, the distinction is between game fishing for trout and salmon versus coarse fishing for other species. Techniques for fly fishing differ with habitat (lakes and ponds, small streams, large rivers, bays and estuaries, and open ocean.

Access Mid-arbor Fly Reels, Titanium, I
Get a good pair of waders they keep you dry and you can get in the river or stream and really get in on the action.

Redington Sonic-Pro Ultra Packable Waders – Stockingfoot (For Men)

Encounter Waders / Only Regular
Many credit the first recorded use of an artificial fly to the Roman Claudius Aelianus near the end of the 2nd century. He described the practice of Macedonian anglers on the Astraeus River:…they have planned a snare for the fish, and get the better of them by their fisherman’s craft. . . . They fasten red wool. . . round a hook, and fit on to the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in color are like wax. Their rod is six feet long, and their line is the same length. Then they throw their snare, and the fish, attracted and maddened by the color, comes straight at it, thinking from the pretty sight to gain a dainty mouthful; when, however, it opens its jaws, it is caught by the hook, and enjoys a bitter repast, a captive.

Quarrow Elite Trout Fly Fishing Combo Kit
Fly fishing today has become more popular in recent years. Beginner Anglers can be taught by guides or take classes. Nothing beats being taught by an experienced relative. I have some recommended  gear to provide at low prices from some of my sponsors. This Crystal River set up is probably the cheapest you’ll find for around 30 dollars. It’s cheap but great for beginners  and for kids to learn on before you buy an expensive set up.

Gone Fishing Crystal River Fly Fishing Combo Kit
Watch the video, take a class or look up a local guide and begin enjoying the art of fly fishing. Get out there and experience the great outdoors, until next time here at campingandfishing.org .

Hike to Heart Lake

If you drive the Rock Creek Road from Tom’s Place off of highway 395,  one begins to get a direct taste of the grandeur of this marvelous area of the Eastern Sierra. This is in an area north of the city of Bishop California and south of the city of Mammoth. First massive Mount Morgan, 13,748′ looms ahead. A few miles further along Bear Creek Spire, Mount Dade and Mount Abbot, all high thirteeners come into view beyond Rock Creek Lake. A couple more miles bring you to the Mosquito Flat trailhead parking. A short hike of less than a mile and you’re in the heart of Little Lakes Valley surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery the high Sierra has to offer.

little lakes map

Sierra Trading Post

With a starting elevation of 10,200′ and an excellent trail system one has easy access to a great cirque of peaks and 2 major passes into the backcountry that can all be done in a day.
The valley is packed with sparkling trailside lakes and streams with lofty granite giants on all sides.This is truly a mountain lovers paradise for hiking, fly fishing, camping and climbing.
With all this being the case the area is a very popular destination in the summer. Everything from short 1-2 hour strolls up to Marsh or Heart Lake to extensive climbing/backpacking adventures along the crest or over the passes await.  With a 1 yr old on my wife’s back and a 5 yr old with us, we decided to hike the 2 hour short hike to Heart Lake. And into the John Muir Wilderness we go. This wilderness is like no other, it’s special to me and my family. The John Muir Wilderness is a wilderness area that extends along the crest of the Sierra Nevada of California for 90 miles (140 km), in the Inyo and Sierra National Forests. Established in 1964 by the Wilderness Act and named for naturalist John Muir, it contains 581,000 acres (2,350 km2). The wilderness lies along the eastern escarpment of the Sierra from near Mammoth Lakes and Devils Postpile National Monument in the north, to Cottonwood Pass near Mount Whitney in the south.The wilderness area also spans the Sierra crest north of Kings Canyon National Park, and extends on the west side of the park down to the Monarch Wilderness.

mary hiking
Little Lakes Valley is in the John Muir Wilderness. There are no permits required for day hiking.The Mono Pass and Morgan Pass Trails are quota trails.
Wood campfires are prohibited in Little Lakes Valley and bears roam the area.
The Mosquito Flat trailhead to the lakes starts at the end of Rock Creek road with restrooms and a picnic area to enjoy. They also have bear boxes to store food in, so you don’t leave any in your car.
Mosquito Flat didn’t get it’s name for nothing. Be prepared for a potential onslaught of pesky skeeters in the early summer of Little Lakes Valley especially around trees, lakes and streams. Pack some deet.

Ben’s 3. 4 oz. 100 Percentage Deet Repellent Pump Spray Repellent

For camping in the John Muir Wilderness permits can be obtained at:
Mammoth Ranger Station and Visitor Center, 760-924-5500. Box 148 Mammoth Lakes, Ca. 93546
White Mountain Ranger Station, 760-873-2500.
So we packed a lunch and loaded up our fishing gear and food in my pack and hit the trail. The trail to Heart lake is an easy trail with very little elevation gain,some steps we took here or there like stairs,but all and all easy. My 5 yr old son did well hiking the way in and out.My wife is a rock and carried our 1 yr old son on her back in a carrier system. Remember to get a good pack when day hiking. High Sierra makes great packs at low prices,Shop Active and Outdoors at High Sierra!

high sierra daypack 4

High Sierra

The first lake we come upon is Mack lake.  A small one at best, it is beautiful. On we go to the second lake around the bend. Marsh lake a bit bigger than Mack lake. Marsh lake  is surrounded by tall grass but there is a spot with some rocks to walk to to get to the waters edge to take a great photo. Rock Creek is flowing through all these lakes on the trail we took. There is an abundance of small Brown and Brook trout in these lakes and creek.

marsh lake

Marsh Lake

So on we go Hiking the trail. Heart Lake is not far. Along the way we pass horses and pack mules taking supplies into the John Muir Wilderness for the serious hike through hikers. Birds can be seen  everywhere and they are fun to watch.The Eastern Sierra offers dramatic landscapes ideal for bird watching in California. Study a surprising variety of wildlife in Inyo County. Bird species you’re likely to see in the Eastern Sierra include golden and bald eagles, gray-crowned rosy finches, American dippers, Piñon jays, warbling vireos, sage thrashers, wood ducks, long-eared owls, shorebirds, and migratory  waterfowl. We saw animal scat here and there ,but it was not Bear. Bears are regularly found in the area, and I saw one years back hiking this trail. So practice bear safety  while hiking this whole region for that matter. Common animals in the wilderness include yellow-bellied marmots, pikas, golden-mantled ground squirrels, Clark’s nutcrackers, golden trout, Mountain Lion and black bears . The wilderness area also includes California bighorn sheep zoological areas, which are set aside for the protection of the species. And the hike continues on forward.
Orvis

hiking in john muir

I’m feeling excited to get to Heart lake. I can’t wait to get my pole in the water to catch some wild mountain trout. I used salmon eggs and tiny lures. I also carry a telescopic fishing rod which folds up compact and can be attached to your pack like this Blue Telescopic Fishing Rod 2M 6.56Ft w 5.2:1 Spinning Reel  .I caught several trout and released them back into the wild. I figured they wouldn’t keep well on the hike back ,with it being around 90 degrees, out. Always bring a good full water bottle when hiking the backcountry. I also carry a Sawyer Products Mini Water Filter which i can purify water out of the creek or lake with right into my water bottle.

Outdoor Products 0.75-Liter Stainless Steel Rocket Bottle

So we get to Heart Lake and everybody goes wild. My kids love it, both are running around barefoot on the nice grassy shoreline. My wife is happy and we sit under a tree in the shade and have a wonderful lunch we brought. Sandwiches,chips,nuts and fruit were among the delicacies we enjoyed. We took some photos because the view was amazing,it’s hard to describe , you just got to be there.

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Fishing Heart Lake with son.

 

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Enjoying Little Lakes Valley

 

liam heart lake

Liam did not want to leave.

High Sierra

We pack up our stuff and head back toward the trail head. The walk back seems easier than hiking in but at the same time I was tired from the day and being out in the sun so it felt the same. We loaded up the car and used the nice restrooms they had at the trailhead and then we headed a short drive back to Rock Creek Lake to enjoy a slice of delicious pie. The restaurant is called “Pie in the Sky,” its at Rock Creek Lake Resort across from the lake. The pie slices are huge portions. The price is ok considering where you are. It’s first come first serve.When they run out thats it for the day. Lodging is available as well,for info check out www.rockcreeklakesresort.compie in the sky.jpg

Our trip to Heart Lake in the John Muir Wilderness was wonderful. There is so much to see and take in. On our way back to our campground I wondered what is was like back then for John Muir. That night we sat by the fire sharing what we had seen ,and had some quality family time together. The Eastern Sierras are a special place that can only be explained if you see it yourself. Until next time here on Campingandfishing.org.

“This is creation. All that is going on today, only men are blind to see it…They can not pause long enough to go out into the wilderness where God has provided every sparrow enough to eat and to spare, and contemplate for even an hour the wonderful world that they live in”.

“You say that what I write may bring this beauty to the hearts of those that do not get out to see it…The good Lord put those things here as a free gift that he who chooses may take with joy – and he who will not walk out of the smoke of the cities to see them has no right to them.”

John Muir
“Three Days with John Muir,” The World’s Work (1909)

 

Opening Season Trout Gear

Extra 15% off at Sierra Trading Post with code ALWAVES6. Valid through May 4, 2016.

Trout Season is here for most waters in the U.S. It’s a good time to check your inventory and see what you have,what you need ,and what needs replacing. Figure out when your going fishing and how your going to fish. Are you fishing streams or rivers. Maybe a lake or two,are you shore fishing or in a boat or float tube.
With many decisions to make, it’s time to organize.

Start off by checking your poles. A good Fly fishing pole is always kept ready to go. Superfly makes a great combo set for the beginning angler.

SuperFly 4pc Performance Combo 8’6″ Rod
The makers at Quarrow also put out a good ready to go combo set up.This set comes with a nice case to protect your gear.

Quarrow Elite Trout Fly Fishing Combo Kit
If its just reels your after, Ross makes a great affordable reel.The “Flystart” reel by Ross has well built gearing and is just as good as higher end brands.

3M Ross Reels Flystart #3, Black
Another great reel is by a company named Okuma. I bought my dad an Okuma reel that he really enjoys.This “Sierra” model has a smooth roller bearing action.

Okuma Sierra Fly Fishing Reel
Lamson is a higher end reel but here we are able to get closeout prices.The”guru” is for smooth precision fishing.

Lamson Guru 2 Fly Fishing Reel – 5/6wt
Waders are something that get beat up and someday need replacing. I like dry waders rather than neoprene ones. Walmart has a great pair at a low price and the brand Caddis is a great brand as well and is reliable.

Caddis Men’s Northern Guide Breathable Chest Waders
Now Patagonia is probably the most high end brand you can get.We are able to get these at a discounted price.Patagonia is a leader in clothing and fishing gear.

Patagonia Skeena River Chest Waders – Stockingfoot (For Men)
Wading boots vary with people.I like felt boots.These Patagonia boots once again are top of the line at an incredible bargain.

Patagonia Ultralight Wading Boots – Felt Bottom (For Men and Women)
Is that vest looking ratty and time to go or did you just outgrow it.Crystal River makes a low cost vest that does the job. I had one for years.

Crystal River Fly Fishing Vest
If it’s top end you like than we got. The Umpqua vest is supreme out there in the water.It has 11 pockets and is comfortable to wear.

Umpqua Feather Merchants Toketee Fly Fishing Vest (For Men)
For the guys that can’t stay on shore Walmart has a variety of kayaks and float tubes to fish from. You do not have to spend big money to get set up.A float tube is a way I enjoy fishing out on the lake. Classic accessories makes a great tube at an unbelievable price. The “Teton” is awesome.

Classic Accessories Teton Float Tube
Another great tube is the Caddis “Navigator” at another good price and caddis is a quality brand.

Caddis Sports Navigator IV
If you want an angling kayak but don’t want to pay $600 what do you do? You look right here yes Walmart comes through with several reputable models.

Lifetime 1-Man Redfin Angler Kayak, Sandstone
Lifetime makes nice kayaks at lower prices.This “redfin angler” comes with a rod holder and a good storage. All you need is your fishing gear.
The Sun Dolphin “green excursion” is another nice angling kayak that doesn’t tear the pocketbook.It’s a ten foot kayak with plenty of storage and ready for the water.

Sun Dolphin Green Excursion 10′ Sit In Fishing Kayak With Bonus Paddle
For those of you that like a sit on top kayak, I haven’t forgot about you. Emotion kayaks makes this badass “Stealth Angler” .It has storage and two rod holders in the rear.

Emotion Kayaks Stealth Angler Kayak
For the spincast and bait fisherman there are plenty of things you may need before you head out for the season.First let’s look at poles and I’ll give a few recommendations.I usually get a Daiwa or Shakesphere pole. They are of great quality and hold up to the heavy beating. I personally like the Shakespeare “ugly stick” It is pretty much unbreakable while fishing,just don’t slam your car door on it. For the novice or someone that just wants to grab and go fishing,this has all you need to catch trout. And it’s affordable.

Shakespeare Complete Trout Spinning Kit
If your going hiking,or backpacking get a telescopic.It folds up small to attach to your pack.

Shakespeare Durango Telescopic Spinning Rod
I use an “ugly stick” light rod when I fish for trout in creeks,streams,and other wilderness areas I go to.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Lite Casting Rod
Daiwa like I said makes excellent fishing equipment. I have a nice Daiwa for trout fishing.I love their reels too, they are so smooth.

Daiwa D-Shock B Freshwater Spinning Combo
Do you need a net? Wetfly makes a great rubber net that is fish friendly,meaning it is easier on the fish when handling it.

Wetfly Rubber Net with Wooden Handle – Small
Whether your fly-fishing or spin casting in the mountains carry a creel to put your fish in while your walking the river or creek.

Berkley Extra-Large Fishing Creel
How about a great fishing hat. I always wear a boonie. It keeps the sun off me and I can dunk it to stay cool.

Boonie Outdoor Cap Washed Cotton – Khaki
So get out there and enjoy the season,but remember to have everything you need. When you fish a river or sit on the shore of a lake you got to have the right gear to get the job done. Join me again here at campingandfishing.org to cover my experiences of the outdoors and to get recommended quality gear at low prices.You don’t have to get the most expensive gear to have a good time.

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Camping along the Owens River

owens river

Camping along the Owens River can be relaxing. A wide open space with no trees around, you can see for miles. At night the stars come out and excite the senses. A good friend of mine Greg and I traveled up to the Owens River camp,called “Brown’s Owens River Campground”,which sits along the river north of the town of Bishop off Highway 395 in California. The campground is nice and open and good for RVs and tents alike.They have a store ,restaurant,showers,and restrooms. There are sites waterfront along the campground. Due to the openness  of the camp, it’s best to have an instant canopy

We went at the end of summer and still it was so cold at night I wish I had a better sleeping bag, so I went out and bought a better bag when I got home, the Outdoor Products 20 degree sleeping bag was a great purchase

and wow what a difference.  We set up camp and decided to fish for Rainbow trout before dark. I used some worms and caught a few before heading back to clean up and fix dinner. For dinner we skillet cooked on the fire pit grill the trout I caught ,along with some beans and veggies I cooked on the camp stove. We also had some wine and bread.The gear I used to make dinner are available here  at a good price. The skillet I use is the Lodge Pro-Logic 10″ Cast Iron Chef Skillet

The Grill I love and bring to all my campouts is theTexsport Heavy-Duty Camp Grills

And the outdoor propane stove that I have had for many years is the Coleman PerfectFlow Instastart 2-Burner Stove

High Sierra
fish fry

Greg and I stayed up late drinking wine and telling stories and talking about fishing. Greg shared with me about his past as a Blackwater operator in Iraq and abroad. Some of the operations were intense. The next day we headed out on a day excursion to Rock Creek Lake, to fish for the big ones.  Rock Creek Lake is stocked with Rainbow trout but also has large Brown trout, and Brook trout. rock creek lakeWe get there and make our way to find a spot to shore fish. I bring myMountainsmith Cooler Cube
I really like this bag ,it’s not too bulky and it’s rugged for the outdoors .The bag also keeps the stuff real cold for days. It also is economical.We get our poles in ,and wham we caught a couple of nice trout. We used nightcrawlers and green powerbait. We had a few beers and lunch,and fish a few more hours. Then it’s time to head back to camp to clean up and relax before dinner. Dinner was great. We had steaks on once again that grill I showed you earlier. We talked amongst the campfire and Greg discussed some of the Survival and bushcraft skills he’s learned doing the type of work he’s done in the past as a para military operator ,  of which I agree and we have practiced on some of our other outings. We tuned in an AM radio station we managed to get. After some stargazing it was time to crash out for the night.owens river rock creek lakeThe next day we get up at dawn and fish the river right out front of our campsite. You don’t need an expensive rod and reel to catch fish. I usually get  my gear at Walmart. I rarely spend over $30.00  for a rod and reel combo and I catch a lot of fish. We settle into camp in the afternoon beat from fishing.  Greg brought back a stringer of trout we put on ice. We were out in sun all day.  I needed a shower and that felt amazing after being in the bush. I whipped up some appetizers and wine before dinner.owens river camp
The best cooler I ever owned available in several colors Coleman 54-Quart Steel Cooler

 

High Sierra

http://www.brownscampgrounds.com/owens.html
owens river campground

The next day we had breakfast and pack up for the drive home back to L.A. . Brown’s Campground on the Owens River ,you’ve been good to us. I hope to return next season for some good trout fishing. Check out my future posts as I explore more places to camp and fish here on campingandfishing.org
Campground link http://www.brownscampgrounds.com/owens.html

Sierra Trading Post

Rock Creek,CA Camping Trip

High Sierra

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I decided to go somewhere new this year, and I decided to go to the Eastern Sierras, they are beautiful. Mountains, hiking trails, creeks and lakes to fish, and lots of places to camp are only a few things the Eastern Sierras have to offer.

So now I’ve got to make a checklist and see what I have and what I need for the trip.You can print a checklist off of the web on sites like Coleman and REI, or just form your own custom one. Here are just a few basics to cover; A tent,a good decent tent. This is the tent I have, I like it and it has been reliable for several years.The best thing about it is it doesn’t cost a fortune the Coleman Sundome 6 Person Tent

 

tent
Sierra Trading Post
They also make a 4 person version. But if you need a bigger tent for a large family, I recommend a cabin tent. Coleman also has nice cabin tents like this Coleman 8 person instant tent  

My parents have one.  It’s nice and easy for them to set up.

rock creekSo going up to the Eastern Sierras, it is still cold at night – even in July and August. You need a good sleeping bag. I learned this the hard way by having an old cheap 50 degree bag. So this year I got a new bag and I love it. It is not expensive, not like some of the bags you see for two and three hundred dollars – it is the Outdoor Products 20 degree sleeping bag.This bag is big – I’m a big guy at 6′ over 200 pounds- and I have a hell of a time finding one that is not too tight.

long lake

The last basic item I’ll bring up is a cooler. You need a good cooler if your staying somewhere for five days or more. A cooler that holds the ice from melting.  I had this old cooler that was terrible and the ice melted after 2 days. But my wife and I got a cooler for a wedding gift from her brother that I have to say has been the best cooler I’ve ever owned. It’s durable and keeps the ice cold for a minimum of five days. I’ve had it for 6 years and it still is great, no broken parts. It’s the Coleman 54-Quart Steel Cooler
I know what your going to say, it’s a little expensive. But it is worth every penny, I swear by it. It’s steel and almost bullet proof.  It is insulated with a steel belted radial tire material and the hinges and latch are rugged and have lasted me 6 years so far.

So enough about talking about gear, let me talk more about the Rock Creek Lake area.  The campground we stayed at is called “East Fork.” It is reservable on Rec.gov or http://www.reserveamerica.com The area is just above the town of Bishop and south of the town of Mammoth  along Highway 395 in California. The campground sits along Rock Creek which is shown in the picture above earlier. There are shady spots throughout ,but the best ones I noticed were along the creek. The sites were big and more shaded along the creek. This area is Bear Country and which I mean Bears came into the campground every night we were there. They had broke into a rented trailer window, got in and also raided a campsite a few doors down and ate all the people’s food as they were unloading their car before they could put it in the bear boxes that each site has.bear

This was the bear. The camp host named her Cinnamon and she’s been coming to the campground for 3 years . I don’t know why they haven’t relocated her so no one gets hurt, including the bear, but anyways we didn’t have any trouble. We kept our site clean; food and trash stored in the bear box along with no FOOD in the tent. I also had a big can of bear spray I carry attached to my hip.

The campground was great overall and the fishing was good all along the creek near the campground. I heard it was really good with a few beaver ponds up the creek with deep pools but I never made it there having to keep an eye on the kids, especially with potential bears around.fish stringer

Anyways I can’t complain. I caught some fish, we ate them for dinner and enjoyed the campfire.  Our family really had an amazing time and we truly appreciate nature. We came home refreshed and craving our next experience together. A future story I have in mind is the hike we went on during this trip from Rock Creek lake into the wild John Muir wilderness so be sure to check it out.

Thanks,

Joey