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California Odyssey 3--Leavitt Meadows to Hetch Hetchy part 3

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California Odyssey 3--Leavitt Meadows to Hetch Hetchy part 3

Postby oldranger » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:08 am

Leaving Wilma and after fording Falls Creek I met a trailhead ranger on a week long trip. Nice guy. He was looking for the ranger cabin he had just past a few minutes earlier. When he started walking down toward Jack Main Canon I called to him, “Where are you going?” “Looking for the ranger cabin.” “It’s the other way.” “Oh.” I’m sure he will learn. I headed down into Jack Main canyon, a trip anticipated now for over 30 years. It is a marvelous place—domes of many sizes, a creek flowing smoothly for hundreds of yards then plunging in tumultuous falls and cascades (the creek, after all is named Falls), meadows, jungles of ferns obliterating the trail, and mysterious little ponds, not attached to the creek but none the less with some nice fish in them.
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The first pond I reached was less than 3 miles below Wilmer.
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Creeping to the shoreline I spied a nice trout, then another and another. Barely noon but with no schedule to keep I made camp took a swim in the creek, cooked dinner, drank my daiquiri, and then fished as the sun set, managing to catch a couple of rainbows.
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A late start on Sunday due to some after breakfast fishing. One nice fish cruised below as if taunting me. I threw everything at him but nothing bothered him, he didn’t rush off or even look interested. Finally I dropped a Griffith Gnat on the water--he turned, he looked, he rushed, and struck—he was mine until I reached my hemostats down, grabbed the hook and turned him loose. Finally I hit the trail
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The next pond I fished was separated from the creek by what almost looked like a long curving levee. The trail went right on top of the levee. The pond couldn’t have been 4 feet at its deepest but several fish in the 12-13” range were cruising. But as one might expect with such shallow water these fish were extremely skittish. I really didn’t try very hard and my lack of effort was rewarded appropriately.

A little further down was a really tiny pond. Unlike the others I saw no evidence of fish so I didn’t even try. The next pond was the largest of the Jack Main ponds. I saw several fish, got multiple strikes but they all came up short. I’m sure it was the state of my mind. Focusing on fishing does not do Jack Main Canyon justice. It is really a special place. I picked out the saddle that leads to Andrews and then Branigan lakes. I was tempted to bushwack my way over but the usual spirit in me wasn’t there.

Shortly before the trail heads out of Jack Main Canyon and up to Moraine Ridge something told me to head off the trail down toward the creek. There I found a nice campsite and a large pool with a small falls pouring into it.
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To be continued

Mike
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Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!



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Re: California Odyssey 3--Leavitt Meadows to Hetch Hetchy part 3

Postby cmon4day » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:41 pm

Hey Old Ranger,

I thought "Little Riviera" looked familiar. Check out this picture. I was there in Sept of 10. We took a lunch break here and did a little fishing and caught a couple of nice bows. We released them of course.
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Re: California Odyssey 3--Leavitt Meadows to Hetch Hetchy part 3

Postby oldranger » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:52 am

common4day

Did you fish the small lake immediately upstream on the w. side of the creek?

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Re: California Odyssey 3--Leavitt Meadows to Hetch Hetchy part 3

Postby cmon4day » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:02 pm

Didn't go upstream from "Little Riviera". Again, it was a lunch break and we were heading to Upper Brannigan that day after lunch.
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