#38: California Completes Five in a Row
After taking in Tahoe from the Nevada side, we drove directly south down on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas and stopped late that night at a rest stop just north of Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48. We woke up the next morning and got a call from Nick Whitesell, the local fly fisherman who was to help us catch our Golden Trout. Through the spotty cell phone connection he managed to give us the name of a fishing spot and told us how to get there, and said he would join us in a few hours. We decided to go check out the spot, and drove up into the Sierras right near Mount Whitney in the Golden Trout Wilderness.
We hiked a short distance to a meadow where the creek winded along, and to our surprise every bit of water was absolutely loaded with these magnificent little fish. We caught four in about twenty minutes before driving back to a point where we had reception so we could let Nick know where we were. He joined us shortly after, and we set out.
We spent the first few hours in the meadows, catching fish after fish, all on dry flies. It was incredible. The trout were so brightly colored, and the water was so clear that you could see their patterns from the bank and could watch them eat the fly off the top of the water. When we got tired of that, we headed down into the woods, where Nick told us the fishing would be more difficult with the tight spaces but the trout were bigger. We caught just as many fish there, but all a little bigger, probably around seven or eight inches. At five we had to pack it up, as we had a long drive to Oregon ahead of us, but we caught so many fish that day that we didn’t even care that we left while they were still biting. We had caught dozens of them that day.
We drove to a rest stop in central California that night, and our streak of consecutive days completing a state grew to five, which we never imagined would happen. We took a bit of a breather on the way up to Oregon, hugging the coast and stopping to appreciate the unreal Redwoods - much different from the East Coast forests we were used to.