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8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby bluefintu » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:23 pm

GB,

Thank you for another awesome report! I'm taking my youngest son(11) and my daughter (17) in a couple of weeks out of LL Valley. I'm sure I'm not going on your route. Again, a very wonderful trip report.



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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby sekihiker » Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:11 pm

Cool area. Great fish!
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby fish4gold » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:26 pm

The words absolutely epic ring in my ears!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!! REALLY glad to see you getting some amazing action this year!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby Harlen » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:37 am

GB, I've read through all of your stunning, amazing and awesome Trip Report, which I liked very much even though it is so short on Hyperbole. But you still haven't explained to me how one fishes the outlets of frozen lakes. Why aren't the fish desperate to bite after being sealed in all winter?

As for your cryptic fish report addendum- I too recognize your secret golden lake from the photo- you really must be more careful GB!
Those rocks behind you- I put them there! I felt there was too much greenery, so I placed all those rocks and boulders so that the lakeshore would better blend in with the rocky slope above. I think it works, don't you? I strive for a natural look.

SSSDave has of course been there too- in fact, I smelled his piss on that rock, so naturally, I went right over and pissed on top of his- and that is the real reason the stain's lasted so well.

["Off to the left of your neck is a orangish square shaped rock. Recall peeing on that rock back in the 90s.
Amazing how long the stain's lasted!" SSSDave]

All BSing aside, I really enjoyed you TR, and not only am I now keen to try the Peppermint Pass and Cox Col area, I intend to look up Coltrane's short brilliant solo on Someday My Prince Will Come. Thanks, Harlen.

p.s. "Cross Country", re. hyperbole, don't you think "awesome" is even more over-used than "amazing?"
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby kpeter » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:38 pm

Beautiful trip write-up about some areas I have been past but never explored. Your trip came alive for me.
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:19 pm

I'm glad you enjoyed the report. I wish I had the time to get out and do trips like that more often.

Harlen wrote: But you still haven't explained to me how one fishes the outlets of frozen lakes. Why aren't the fish desperate to bite after being sealed in all winter?


Yunno I really don't know what it is about the little bits of open water on otherwise frozen lakes--My experiences have been more off than on. Most places I've fished the thawed margins and totally struck out (oddly enough, this includes every last time I've done this in Desolation Wilderness), whereas I can remember some pretty stunning action (both times for big rainbows) in some lakes, including two very memorable spots in the High Sierra including one in which the ice broke up just enough as we watched to make room for some casts, and another time where I barely had enough room at the outlet. Another time I was at a lake in the Marble Mtns. with a small thawed area in the middle that you could see "boiling" with rises--this guy used a raft to wiggle across the ice on his belly, then fish the "hole" in his raft--he killed it for large rainbows. Those three times are some of the exceptions for me that are balanced by a lot of "zero action" scenarios. Added to the list of "no action" thawed margins are the only two lakes I fished in this state this year.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:46 pm

I'll speculate. Feel free to disagree, agree, and or add your own two cents.

When the surface of an alpine lake is mostly ice, the reason it is so is more about the surface temperature being just below freezing still that tends to not melt ice. A lake covered by bright snow and ice, highly reflects sunlight back up into the atmosphere with little heating getting through the surface into lake water. Water in such lakes will be very still below the surface with thermoclines except where cold incoming streams flow at the bottom along channels towards a sumping low deep zone of a lake. When such a lake's surface begins melt off, it is usually at the edges where sun heated radiation off of shore rocks warms the near ice and especially where there is an incoming stream flow because although such streams may be cold snow melt runoff, they are likely not as cold as the lake water itself. As soon as the surface begins to show more open water the process accelerates because sunlight is then able to shine down into the lake water and warm it up.

By time an alpine lake surface finally freezes with coming winter, terrestrial insect sources have long gone leaving only sub-surface nymphs, amphibians, or smaller trout to feed on. I expect it does not take long before such sources become so limited that trout go into a long period of stupor, not feeding or moving. Trout need to have water flowing over their gills to breath. They cannot keep swimming all winter so instead find a location where incoming streams flow in channels along a lake bottom where they can just rest on the bottom pointing towards the stream flow. I have seen just this phenomenon at huge Marie Lake where several dozen brook trout were densely all laying down on the bottom where a small stream flowed in and not moving for hours in some kind of stupor. And average size was 11 to 14 inches. Note that lake also has rainbow and goldens.

Now what may occur in a lake that is just coming out of ice break up is most trout are still cold in the stupor mode. After most of the surface ice melts, winds causes a sudden increase in lake water movement that upsets the static thermoclines and tends to stir the fish into moving about. That is when they are like us waking up in the morning...hungry. So there is probably a window for trout to be especially hungry, but it doesn't start while an alpine lake just shows a few open areas.

David
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby Harlen » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:47 pm

Thanks again for your insights David. It did seem as though the few small trout we saw were lethargic. We were casting spinning lures, and they were only followed half-heartedly, if at all.

So, I gather from your avoidance of the "secret lake" topic that we are going to allow GiantBrookie to maintain his pretense of owning that lake? I guess that's the best course to take.
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby rlown » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:01 pm

Every lake is different. I got to Virginia Lk out of Glen Aulin about 2pm back in June of '92. Only the edges were open. My first cast was using a rooster tail; I bounced it off the ice, and dragged it back into the water. A 16" Brookie slammed it. This wasn't near an inlet or outlet. We waited a day for the ice to melt back further and had a grand old time.

Did the same thing at Upper Blue Lake right at ice out. A full stringer and no one else in my party showed up for the feast. :(
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Re: 8/2-8/6/15 LL Valley-North Lake Off Trail Odyssey

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:50 pm

The lake GB caught the big goldens in during 2015, I had previously visited in 1984 and 1989 catching token whoppers. I've backpacked into Bear Creek areas 10 times over the decades. The Bear Creek drainage has had a few lakes with large trout, some of which no longer do while others that did not may now. Some of its best secrets are no name lakes and stream pools where one would not expect large fish while other named lakes that look very fishy with depth like Vee Lake have been pounded so much after WP Sierra South stated "good to excellent golden trout to 16", that one only tends to catch smaller fish now. The awkward cross country terrain makes for a number of secret places that few that visit the basin bother to check out. Of course the mind set of most backpackers is to stay any one place just a day and move on, occasionally maybe one layover, as though it maybe gets boring. Bear Creek was a great place for my semi base camping exploring style during my early days when I was more like GB exploring remote waters thoroughly.

In early July 1975 as a young twentysomething, I and my young brother Joe visited Lou Beverly Lake the inlet stream of which was an incredible fish farm of pan sized goldens. Next lake higher, Sandpiper's outlet stream pool had several huge golden trout we only spooked casting out metal. I however hand grabbed a 12 inch golden trout in one of those typical meadow 6 inch wide, one foot deep snow melt inlet streamlets. Too ignorant and stupid at that time to know that was illegal haha. On another trip there were hardly any goldens in the inlet stream but not far up the stream at an undercut bank pool, caught sight of a giant salmon shaped trout.

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