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Izaac Walton Lake --> Mott Lake

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Izaac Walton Lake --> Mott Lake

Postby krudler » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm

Has anyone ever done a xc route from Izaac Walton Lake (Silver Divide area) to Mott Lake, via Bighorn Lake (or vice versa)? I'm trying to plan a trip for later next year and was wondering if such a route was possible. It looks like it might be, but if its going to be to sketchy I would just as soon plan an alternate route.
Thanks for any tips! :)
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Postby freestone » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:37 pm

I have fished all the lakes you have mentioned. Mott and Bighorn are not out of the ordinary, Mott is often visited by packers so fishing pressure and overuse may come to mind. Isacc Walton is productive. There is a lake in this area that holds big, old rainbows. They are finiky old gents that feed on the surface in one location between 1100 and 1300 hours. They will fight until the line breaks or a knot fails, and they do this with alot of arial leaping. When the bite is over, its time for a nap then maybe a dayhike up to the glacier. I discovered these lakes quite by accident. My destination was Horse Heaven until a Mountaineer I met at the trailhead mentioned seeing "huge Fish" while strolling past these ponds. I was solo, so plan A was abandoned to wander to the lakes he mentioned. I have now visited 3 lakes in the High Sierra with fish like this, all in different drainages. All are well above timberline, starkly void of large flora, and the fish are rainbows. Beyond that, I can only guess how they got there, and how they could survive. All were retrieved with dryflys, then released. Some of my best fishing tips have come from people who do not fish, but notice their beauty and presence regardless. Just watching them in their native habitat was well worth the walk.
As a sidenote, if you get over to Mott, and the season is late enough, be sure to fish the lower reaches of Mono creek for the Browns. They are brutes from surviving in the swift flow with lots of bugs to feast on.
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Postby krudler » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:24 pm

This is great stuff freestone, thanks. I am trying to plan a big trip for maybe Sept-Oct next year. Originally I was thinking JMT, but since I mostly want to fish and stay away from crowds I decided to plan my own itinierary. So far I'm thinking go from Reds Meadow, up Fish Creek, side visit to the Peter Pande lake area, then down to Tully Hole, eventually up over Silver Pass somehow, swing by Mott, then up Mono Creek to Pioneer Basin, then over Mono Pass and out Rock Creek. Your tips give me some good ideas on areas to linger.
How did you find the xc travel around Izaac Walton to be? Not to difficult?
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Postby hikerduane » Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:23 pm

I've visited the area you are inquiring about. I went around Rosy Finch then passed by Mott Lake. I suggest going to Cecile and Lee when in the area.
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Postby krudler » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:44 am

thanks duane, ive read some of your exploits in the area - i will certainly act on your recommendations!
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Postby hikerduane » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:07 pm

Well I had more info but the post monster from Backpacker must have ate it.
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Postby krudler » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:16 pm

:)
it would seem upon further investigation that at least some of the route i was considering through the area would actually be part of or near the SHR in the region (silver divide part of the high route). but, i wasnt originally planning on going to laurel lake as i will have come from reds meadow and been out at least a week by that time and was thinking i might swing down to the VVR area for a resupply, so i dunno....
i guess youve done the SHR in this area - how technically challenging would you consider it? theres a decent chance i might be solo and so dont want to have to get into anything too hairy...
thanks for any info, i appreciate it.
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Postby hikerduane » Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:53 pm

South of Tullys Hole, close to where the trail takes off to Cecil and Lee, you will see the faint trail to Izaak Walton. To xc out of Izaak Walton to Rosy Finch/Bighorn, the gully on the South, South East side of Izaak Walton was where I started. If you look at your topo map it will be real obvious. Contour around Cotton Lake to the drainage above and west of Tully Lake. Follow this drainage up to the ridge above Rosy Finch/Bighorn. You will have to rock hop to get down. Nice views also. Not much camping at Rosy Finch, but I did find a spot that had been used before, on the east side. Nice view across the lake to the outlet, where you will see the blue sky at the lake level. Nice. Nice campsites below Mott Lake. In my opinion, these spots along the creek are the perfect definition of what the Sierrea Nevada looks like.

This is the way I went so study your map and make up your route. Sounds like you are going to visit the Indian Lakes area, then exit around Silver Pass. Don't stay at Silver Lake, not much to say about it.

If you can make it up to Cecil Lake, go. I have caught fish there on my two visits there. Nothing big though. Camping can be done there, some trees and no one there.
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Postby krudler » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:27 pm

awesome stuff duane, thanks alot! :)
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Postby SSSdave » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:29 pm

That is a regular class 2 pass on Roper's "Sierra High Route" dubbed "Shout of Relief". Steepish on the north side with hand over foot modest sized talus and often areas of snow in mid season. I've also taken Shout of Relief Pass from Grinnel and traversed high across peak 12238 to more efficiently decend near 11486.

My preferred route to upper Fish Creek than Devils Postpile or McGee Creek. I've visited Mott, Blue Jays, Rosy Finch, Grinnel, Bighorn, Cotton, Izaak Walton, Tully, Red And White, Lee, Cecille, and dozens of unnamed ponds in those parts during four trips. Also climbed atop Izaak Walton Peak via a route from the pass. One of the better viewpoint peaks in the Sierra. The area that contains Cotton Lake is what I refer to as the Plateau of Ponds. And yes I know a couple places thereabouts that have Sierra whoppers.


...David
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Postby krudler » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:22 pm

wow! is it only november and im already jonesing for the summer? :)
thanks for the info. i know better than to ask anyone to give up their secret fishing gems, so maybe ill just get lucky if i poke around the area enough ;)
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Postby hikerduane » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:05 pm

I was wondering if Dave had hit that area.
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