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California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

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California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby oldranger » Wed May 25, 2011 12:22 pm

After skiing along the shores of Red Lake I returned to the 4 Runner and wound my way to gdurkee's home and visited in person for the first time in about 20 years. The weather looked funky thru Wed but I thought Wed. would be ok. It rained off and on on the way to Yosemite on the 17th. The wimp that I am decided that if I could get lodging at Evergreen Lodge I would stay there rather than getting my gear wet at the backpackers camp at Hetch Hetchy. Ended up roughing it in a nice room. Having a couple of drinks and a nice steak and good conversation with a couple from---Oregon! Next morning found a couple inches of new snow! I packed everything up for the Trip to Rancheria and drove out toward the park to find---a locked gate. Went back to the resort and found they had no Info on when the gate would be opened. Drove to the gate and read for a few minutes until the snowplow arrived then headed into the park, got my permit and was told that there was a large group of kids at the Rancheria Campground. "Not to worry" I said, "not planning on camping there anyway but somewhere after crossing Tiltill creek." The hike was pleasant in mid 50s, a far cry from what I expected--80+ temps and a dry, dusty trail. I actually hiked in long pants! The falls were booming and I was surprised at the number of people on the trail--all day hikers. After crossing Tiltill I bushwacked down to the lake and searched for a suitable site for my Contrail. Most level sites were saturated with water but eventually I found a small area just large enough for my little tent about 100 feet from the high water mark which was about 40 vertical feet above the lake level. After cocktail and dinner I walked down to the mouth of Tiltill creek and after 4 casts had a strike and an explosion out of the water. The game fish jumped 5 times and turned out to be a 15 1/2 inch brown. Next cast with the same 20 count sink of the lure resulted in a snag, lost z-ray and the end of my fishing for the evening.

Next morning I slept late and after breakfast resumed fishing, working my way to the mouth of Rancheria and back. Saw just a single cruising fish and had only one sorta strike/maybe a snag before settling down to an afternoon of reading, daiquiris, and munching. Later in the evening I lost what may have been the same fish with the same cast, countdown, and retrieve but lost it on its second jump. Later in the evening I caught a similar sized brown about 2 feet from shore after it followed the z-ray in from the deep.

It is worth mentioning that the driftwood along the shoreline is really incredible. It was a good thing Kathy wasn't with me because I am certain she would have wanted to sneak some out of the park!

Since I was so close to Rancheria Falls that I figured I should hike up and see them and the bridge. Leaving my pack out of sight of the trail (took the bearikade out, just in case) and headed up the trail past the camp area with a myriad of tents in evidence. Rancheria falls was booming and the bridge railing and a couple pieces of decking were missing. A sling load of repair material had been dropped in the middle of the trail. Since the weather was much warmer I hiked out wearing shorts and t-shirt and there were even more people on the trail. As it was Friday, in addition to day hikers a bunch of backpackers were headed in toward Rancheria. The hike from the Dam to the car was the toughest part of the trip!

From Hetch Hetchy I drove through Fresno (ugh!) and up to Squaw Valley where I spent the next two nights with old friends from my SEKI days.
IMG_1796.jpg
Falls, Hetch Hetchy, Kolana Rock
IMG_1807.jpg
Bet that hurt!
IMG_1817.jpg
Oak Grove
IMG_1832.jpg
New flower to me! Tehipite Tom help!
IMG_1844.jpg
View down lake as shower ends
IMG_1851.jpg
Next AM
IMG_1860.jpg
Smith Mountain
IMG_1863.jpg
Rancheria Creek

IMG_1877.jpg
Rancheria Falls (below camping area)
IMG_1896.jpg
Old Fart in front of Wapama Falls


to be continued

Mike
Last edited by oldranger on Wed May 25, 2011 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike

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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby markskor » Wed May 25, 2011 1:13 pm

Nice TR Mike...looks a bit wet and cold though...
BTW, How close can you get to the water (fishing?) along the dam area. IIRC, big drop off and not easy to get close to the water. Props to you for going out so early in the season...too bad about the lack of fish. =D>
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby oldranger » Wed May 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Mark,

Wet only the first day and then not bad. Had I been a little more patient I could have waited until the rain stopped to set up camp. But it really wasn't bad and the evening and next two days were delightful!

There are a few places along the shoreline after the tunnel where you can get to the shore. Near Wapama Falls there is a reasonably large area where you can get close to shore.

I suspect that most of the large browns have followed the spawning rainbows up the Tuolumne River.

Mike
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby maverick » Wed May 25, 2011 1:23 pm

Thanks OR for a cool TR.
The photo's with the tent from two different time periods is really cool.
You thru me for a loop when I saw "part 2", I was saying "where is part 1" but
then I saw you posted "part 1" in the Winter Section.
Oh, no photo's of Wapama or Tueeulala Falls?
Thanks again.
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby oldranger » Wed May 25, 2011 1:31 pm

Look again Maverick! I guess you were overwhelmed by my handsome mug! The closeups weren't as good as I would have liked, but actually I was more impressed by some of the smaller unnamed falls.

Mike
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby maverick » Wed May 25, 2011 1:43 pm

Yeah, I saw those, but in the first they are to far, and not enough shown in the
last one.
I know you said you had to wear long pants, but do you still have Marks favorite
shots? :unibrow:
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed May 25, 2011 1:54 pm

Excellent trip report. I was thrown by the "Part 2" as well, though.
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby rlown » Wed May 25, 2011 3:48 pm

A very nice early TR, Mike. nary a fish picture. :( That's what the other hand is for when landing.
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby oldranger » Wed May 25, 2011 4:15 pm

Russ

Here you go. 1. it is another of my bad fish photos. 2. I really don't think a 15 1/2" brown warrants posting a pic, especially give some of the other pics I had to eliminate due to the 10 pic limit.
IMG_1846.jpg
Brown Trout


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mike
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby rlown » Wed May 25, 2011 4:18 pm

um.. thanks.. needed to see it. Now if we can teach Mark that trick.

Nice fish..
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby sparky » Wed May 25, 2011 4:57 pm

Thanks for the pictures. I am hoping to be headed that way in a few weeks
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Re: California Odyssey part II, May 16-20

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu May 26, 2011 7:55 am

Nice Part 2 Mike with some gorgeous pics. I have to admit that I have never been to Hetch Hetchy even though I live just south of Yosemite. :retard: Need to take the trek wife and check it out. Looks gorgeous!! You are indeed a discriminating angler if 15" fish dont warrant pics ;) . Thanks for the TR and hey, one brown is better than none at all. My granddad had saying about fishing, "you gotta go to get skunked."
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As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

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