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Help with Humphries

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Help with Humphries

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:08 pm

My brother (photo guy) and a friend (fishing guy) are coming over from Hawaii for our annual backpacking trip. We usually do some miles, but this year they wanted to focus on bigger fish and photos so I have made plans to do a nice leisurely loop through Humphries Basin and French Canyon and thoroughly see and fish that area. My thought is to go over Piute and stop at Muriel for a night (it will probably be more isolated than GT Lakes) and fish there as well as Goethe, lost lakes or possibly packsaddle before heading down the canyon to Hutchinson Meadow or French Canyon (I assume up French would be more isolated) for some stream fishing and forest camping. We would then head up to Elba, Moon or L lakes where we set up camp and fish and then spend the next day fishing the upper lakes of Puppet and Paris and stay at moon lake since those lakes aren't so desolate. Then we would head up and over Puppet Pass to Tomahawk Lake and spend a day and a half fishing there and D lake before heading out. Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated since Ive never been though this fish haven, and really don't want to look back and wish I had done it differently. Are there any must see or fish areas, great areas for campsites and/or photos? Feel free to PM me, I would really like for them to catch a few nice fish. Phil



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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:38 pm

Phil,

There are countless TR's here, and in the "Fishing Hole" section on Humphrey's
Basin, use the "search feature" at the top of each section, and you will find all
the answers to all the questions you see seek. ;)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:31 pm

Mav, I've looked at a few and will look at as many as I can. As a photo guy, are there any lakes that you think are better than others in that area? For instance, can you get better photos from desolation lake in the AM than Tomahawk, do the upper lakes in french basin have a much more dramatic back drop than the lower lakes?
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby rlown » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:47 pm

Hi Phil,

What is your time-frame for the trip and the duration?

Maverick has some nice pics of one of his trips posted, and I think I have 4 Gig of Point and Shoot pics (combined shots from the attendees) from the 3 trips i took in the areas you mention. The search function does work well. You can put in "Tomahawk Lake" or "Goethe" or "Puppet" and get some great reads and pictures.

As an example, the view from Deso gives you the Glacier divide and Mt. Humphreys. You get Mt. Humphreys from almost everywhere you talked about except Tomahawk if you're nestled down in the trees. There's a hump there that'll block your view on the SE end unless you go over the hump for the morning shot.. Nice place to camp though.

EDIT: I keep editing this because i think the trip down the canyon and then back up might waste a good target given the miles you say you guys can hike. Royces. If you're going this fall, the water in the creeks might be really low.

Russ
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:09 pm

Thanks Russ, I was afraid that what I believe to be the better camping spots like t lake and l lake might not give us the best photo ops so we'll probably just hike around the lower basin and then end the day at the upper basin. My brother and his friend wanted some forested hiking, so I thought we would get a little of each terrain by hiking to Hutchinson and then up and around the horn. Last year I spent some time at Royce lakes, so going across the canyon isnt a big draw. Thanks for all the input. To be honest with you Russ, I am a little out of shape for hiking and wasn't to excited about doing more than 8-9 miles a day and was a little relieved that they preferred some easy days of hiking. Besides, I have wanted to fish this area for years, and would gate to not really experience it.
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby rlown » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:23 pm

So, to be clear. Muriel 8-10". Packsaddle sucks at a solid 6-8". tomahawk at 14-16" brookies. Mesa the same with goldens, DESO at 14" on the SW side and the best view of everything. Puppet.. umm., you have to tell us! There are 19" in there, as I ate one after DFG caught it in their survey nets. Paris 9" max. Goethe Is a crap shoot unless you spend time.

Moon, and Star suck. we moved onto Puppet. We camped at Star on the North side. The lower lakes in the area all have small fish. I liked Rust and Lorraine.

What you want in pictures depends on you? We had cold fronts with snow a couple of times moving in and that made the pics better. But you need a plan for that as when the "Dragon Fog" moved in, you had to be set up for it.

You still didn't say your timeframe and duration.

Russ
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:37 pm

Sorry Russ, heading out for 6 days next weekend. I was kind of under the impression that most of those lakes had good fish just some bigger than others. Obviously I need to do some work. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Maybe just come and go over puppet or over to Miriam to Royce pass and out through pine creek since I really dislike out and back hikes.
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby SSSdave » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:58 am

Unless someone already has a reservation, I doubt there are any quota permits still available for that trailhead anytime near the Labor Day holiday.

As for photography, there are good subjects but they may only be really good during narrow parts of the day when light is right and if breezes are calm allowing good lake reflections. Or much earlier in a season of wetter years during greenery and peaking wildflowers. Otherwise during most hours of a day, many landscapes, especially out in the vast empty middle of that granitoid alpine basin are likely to be ho hum, overly bright with the considerable turfy areas long since gone brown during this droughty year. And of course the nearly treeless alpine basin is known to often be breezy given lack of features to block wind. Thus some of the more open lakes don't calm up at all on most days.
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby overheadx2 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:08 am

Dave, I have a permit already so I'm good. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:09 am

overheadx2 wrote:I was kind of under the impression that most of those lakes had good fish just some bigger than others. Obviously I need to do some work. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Maybe just come and go over puppet or over to Miriam to Royce pass and out through pine creek since I really dislike out and back hikes.


Some do have good fish, but you're in the fishing "doldrums" period right now up there so it takes more time. That's why when i go in mid Sept, I fish Puppet for 2 days, and Mesa for a whole day. You might get one or two.

Paris lk was the dinner hole; we camped between Paris and Puppet. I don't feel bad about keeping and cooking an 8" or a mess of them.

Tomahawk seems to be easy but I think Brookies are just more susceptible to small lures close to the rocky shores.

I wanted to go after ice out, but.. well. things come up.
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Re: Help with Humphries

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:59 am

Personally I prefer small lakes/ponds over large lakes like Deso Lake, and
some of these ponds 2 years ago there barely had enough water in them, so
they may be dry this year.
Lower Deso Lake at sunset, and the small ponds west of the Lower Deso
Lake with the Glacier Divide as a backdrop at sunrise are good. Both of these
places can also be good at sunrise/sunset if clouds are present and you get some
pastel colors.
As Dave pointed out, you have to get lucky with the wind, but early morning
and evening hours the wind is usually not a factor and makes for good reflections.
Lower Deso has interesting rock subjects in the water, and around its shore, which
one can find by scouting during the day, and then going back to them at the
golden hours.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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