The East Side

All grand plans tend to run into a nice plot twist at some point. At least that's my experience!  Last weekend was certainly one of those cases.  From the City to the Sierras, my friend Aaron and I brainstormed possibilities for the weekend.  Like most of my fishing friends, Aaron isn't afraid (he actually tends to enjoy) fishing ALL day long. You know, the kind of fishing where you don't eat or drink for 8-12 hours, when all of a sudden you realize you have a splitting headache and you should get back to the truck for some food and water?  Yep, Aaron is always game for a day on the water like that. With a common base to work from, we started dreaming about hitting a little secret gem of a creek I know of in the Eastern Sierras.  From there, we'd explore a new watershed and maybe a lake or two in the same area.  

After a late night of setting up the tents under a wonderfully dark night sky scattered with stars, we woke up the next morning on a mission.  Our first stop was a little creek that rarely gets fished but holds wild, native Lahontan Cutthroat trout.  The stream is no wider than a sidewalk in most areas and rarely gets deeper than two feet.  After a long drive through some pretty beat up dirt roads, we found ourselves stream side and even saw some fish skirting under the rocks. 

We grabbed our gear and walked up stream a bit.  Aaron got to a good hole I had fished on my last trip and promptly landed a nice 10-12 inch cuttie.  Not only his first cutthroat, the best one I had seen come out of this particular creek. 

Over the next few hours we traded holes, landing dozens of scrappy fish on small dry flies.  One of us would hide behind a tree and guide the other into actively feeding fish in the next pocket of water.  The slow rise of the cutthroat was an absolute blast to watch.  When brought to hand, the coloring, parr marks, and spots were something to behold.  

Just as we were contemplating getting back into the truck to drive to another creek, we agreed to catch one more fish each.  Aaron promptly hooked into another nice trout.  Unfortunately, the excitement had him slipping off a log and into the shallow river.  It was one of those slow falls that you just can stop. I quickly ran over to see if he was alright and he called out, "I'm fine, I'm fine."  That's when he stood up, took his hat off and blood started to run down his face and drip into the creek.  Over the course of the fall he had managed to hit just about every rock in sight with about 5 different body parts, each one bruised and battered.  

Neither of us wanted to mess with a head injury like this one, so we called the trip.  Headed back to the campsite, broke down the tents, and drove back  to San Francisco. 

The good news is, Aaron has a clean bill of health.  Just a few bumps and bruises that have him moving slower than he's accustomed to.  Needless to say, the two of us have plans to explore new waters we have yet to fish. For the next few weeks however, we'll be relegated to planning and research.  Any good ideas?