TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Mradford » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:28 am

DAY 1 : On thursday night we drove up to the trailhead parking lot and slept on the ground near our cars. The moon was extremely bright and we had originally planned to start hiking in the full moon. But, since my unsuccessful stint earlier in the day left me cramped and totally dehydrated we decided against it. We woke up friday morning around 6 packed up, made a last minute decision to bring our tents and hit the Paiute pass trail. About halfway up the trail the weather took its first nasty turn (thank god we grabbed out tents) and we took shelter in the trees near Loch Leven. After a half hour or so the rain and hail stopped so we headed back up and were hit by another ridiculous cell and stopped again. This time we fished for some brookies on one of the small lakes above Loch Leven. Eventually we made it up the pass and chilled out in the wind and sun enjoying the view.
After chatting it up with a bunch of people we made our way down passed summit lake and started veering nothwest off the main trail and towards our destination. Once we hit Lower deso our group became split on what we should do. So since we were planning to come back this way we decided to split in half and see which way was faster. Two guys kept going up to Upper deso while me and another took the drainage from lower deso up and over the hill to Mesa. We were definitely faster and agreed to go our way on the way back. Best part is while going cross country near the drainage we dropped our map and didnt realize it until we arrived at Mesa ](*,) . Lucky for us we really researched the area and knew exactly where we were going and wouldnt really stray too far from the course. (also, we met up with an UL guy later in the day who had a map and we took some photos just in case.) When we got to Mesa, which was to be our camp for night 1, the wind was HOWLING, picture a werewolf, the wind at mesa was worse. We tried fishing but the wind was ridiculous and we werent having much luck. We cruised around and found two decent sites for tents. Not much protection at this lake. Lucky we set up our tents when we did because a big cell cruised over Glacier Divide and decided to drop rain and hail on us for like 4 hours. We just napped in our tents until it cleared up. Eventually the wind kind of mellowed out for 30 minutes and I managed to hook up with a decent golden before it got too dark. I was the only person to catch a fish at Mesa...bummer.
Day 2: We woke up around 530 ate some breakfast and wanted to try and hit the morning bite, but unfortunately nothing was really happening other than my neck frying like an egg from the reflection off the lake. We cruised around and snapped some photos of the amazing light show that took place over Mount Humphreys and looked over the ledge to Tomahawk lake, which is a rad lake. Eventually we packed up and headed up the drainage toward Carol Col. This was our first cross country pass, and although it wasn't really that hard anyway, it was nice seeing a wear path leading up to the tarn above Mesa. When we reached that spot we were just a little bit confused, having no map trying to decide which Knob to head towards, we agreed it was the one further southwest and headed up that way. We reached the top and were glad to see we were right, and then cruised around looking for the pass sign which was in a weird spot. We moved it closer to the spot we entered on took some photos laughed about how steep the entrance of the pass was and then attacked it. The beginning was a little hairy but once we got closer to the wall everything made sense. It took us about 20 minutes to get down but the experience was pretty rad. We were met at the bottom with 407 mph winds. Seriously though, the wind was ripping, Puppet lake looked surfable, and we knew casting was gunna suck. We checked out the northeastern side of the lake and found an area that was not getting as crushed by the wind. We set up tents again just in case another T storm crept over Pilot knob and we couldnt see it coming. i cruised around the whole lake to see if i saw any cruisers or risers, or some nice dropoffs but didnt see much action so i headed back to camp. Instead of wasting time crying about the wind we headed up the hill and over to the Star lake basin. we got to the top and were greeted with a sweet view of little lake, moon lake and elba lake as well as the waterfall coming out of the Royce lakes area. SICK! We boulder hopped down to moon lake which was protected from the wind a bit and started fishing. Everyone had caught some little goldens within twenty minutes. The lakes were beautiful and we ran into some people who were camping at moon lake. Eventually we made our way down stream to elba lake and then boulder hopped up the hill there back to puppet lake. We were sweaty so we jumped in. Holy crap the water was cold and the rocks were slick. We decided to check out some of the other lakes in the puppet vicinity and went and hung out near Paris lake for a while. On the way back the wind mellowed out and just for fun, we threw some line. I hooked up a killer golden, of course everyone was pissed that i hooked up on both lakes we camped at. The thing fought great! My arm was kind of sore. After that we headed back to the camp and enjoyed the light show above Pilot Knob and then the moon came out and lit up the whole range. Pretty amazing!
Day 3: We woke up and had decided not to fish much but to hit the pass pretty quick before it got sun. We made it to the top in about 40 minutes from leaving the lake snapped some photos hydrated and were off. We stopped by tomahawk lake, which was gorgeous, we wished we would have camped there rather than Mesa, jumped in, soaked the feet, talked to a few people, and looked for some cruisers before we were back on our way. Originally we had planned to stay hear the last night and then head back over toward lower deso, but a last minute thriving for more hiking left us heading out towards glacier divide. We went over the hill the east of Tomahawk and when we got to the top we decided on either staying at Packsaddle or Lower Golden Trout lakes. Packsaddle was like glacial blue and we all wanted to go there but we were feeling it from the two prior days of hiking and decided to go off trail to LGT. Once there we found the ULTIMATE SPOT for camping. Seriously, someone had but some rocks down and logs to make chairs and a table, as well as lots of flat areas in the shade to pitch tents. Once set up we hit the inlet to the lake and it was game on for like 2 hours on the same spot. Literally taking turns casting and catching goldens and brookies. Nothing big but still fun. we headed up the drainage to upper golden trout and up to wahoo lakes as well catching brookies and some goldens all day. We eventually headed back to camp fished out and it was only 1. We lounged by the lake, took some swims, tried to cleanse the scent off. Around 4 we were back at it cruising the lake and fishing more. As the sun set this insane mosquito, or what looked to be mosquitoes, hatch went off. Like size 26 or 28 all over the place, it was crazy. The fish were going nuts, but none of us could catch anything cuz the flies were soo effin small. We ended up just watching the fish jump everywhere while the sun went down and then chilled out and watched the light show again. Purpleness everywhere, crazy. We headed back up to camp and passed out.
Day 4: We woke up a little slower today and after eating and hydrating as well as popping a couple advil we hit the trail, or drainage, or whatever the hell that thing was we followed for a while, seriously, the place is riddled with trails and washouts and places with no grass, its ridiculous. We eventually got on the real trail and headed up to the top of the pass talking with whoever came the opposite. We made it to the bottom and as we met up with the faster dudes in our group we laughed as they literally sat at the trailhead talking to some babe who was washing herself at the water pump :eek: . They were just HOPING for a little show and got none haha!! we made it back to the car headed into town ate some **** food and the trip was over. It was rad, we agreed to come back some day and headed out.

Heres some photos:
Attachments
IMG_2794.jpg
IMG_2795.jpg
IMG_2804.jpg
IMG_2785.jpg
you guys remember this dude, who stuck his finger last time, now he got it in the face! thats what she said!
IMG_2793.jpg
Light show from PL
IMG_2755.jpg
Glacier Divide
IMG_2762.jpg
Light show from LGT
IMG_2772.jpg
Ultimate Campsite
IMG_2777.jpg
IMG_2780.jpg



User avatar
Mradford
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:03 pm
Location: Irvine
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Mradford » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:32 am

a few more shots:
Attachments
IMG_2654.jpg
IMG_2714.jpg
IMG_2715.jpg
IMG_2722.jpg
IMG_2789.jpg
deer in headlights
IMG_2800.jpg
IMG_2801.jpg
IMG_2695.jpg
Mt. Humphreys
IMG_2792.jpg
User avatar
Mradford
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:03 pm
Location: Irvine
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby rlown » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:18 pm

a very nice report. I wonder how many times that plaque has been moved. When we found it, we put it in a rock with a niche in it so the snow load wouldn't move it. The rock where it was epoxied and apparently pried from by some idiot is about 35' to the west of where we put it.

Next time, I'm bringing some epoxy and putting it back.

Russ

PS: I hope that was a barbless fly in the face.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5328
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby windknot » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:02 pm

Thanks for the report! Great pictures and a compelling story. Looks like you guys persevered through some nasty weather.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
User avatar
windknot
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:07 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby SSSdave » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:22 pm

reminded me of being a young twentysomething again haha...
thanks
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Maddog61 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:29 pm

Great report! ... But I'm new to fly fishing. Was that Cheek Nymphing, or Chin Nymphing? :-)

Sent from my ADR6410LVW using Tapatalk 2
User avatar
Maddog61
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:06 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Hobbes » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:11 pm

Nice report. We were planning on hiking from Agnew to Tuolumne during the same time, but cancelled at the last moment. The reason was two-fold: the weather forecast, which based on your experience turned out as predicted. And ... the largest south swell to hit SoCal this summer.

The Sierra will always be there, but these kind of waves last only days:

Image

We're going to follow in your footsteps in two-weeks time, except we're going to continue over Feather & Italy, and then head out to Pine Creek.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Mradford » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:12 pm

It's actually czin nymphing!
User avatar
Mradford
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:03 pm
Location: Irvine
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Mradford » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:13 pm

Nice dude. Know I heard about wedge being really good from all my bodysurfing buds.
User avatar
Mradford
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:03 pm
Location: Irvine
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:14 pm

Really nice TR! Sounds like a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. I like the descriptive narrative and pics added a lot to it as well. Good job!

I recall you saying that your buddy that likes to catch flies with parts of his body doesn't mash down the barbs on his flies. "I'd rather lose a finger than a fish..." I believe is a quote from him, no? All I can say is...OUCH! At least he was wearing sunglasses. I've seen a few photos of people with barbed flies in their eyeballs and that's REALLY gross...and unnecessary.
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." --Jeff Lebowski

Some pics of native salmonids: http://flyguydave.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Fly Guy Dave
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 426
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:27 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:36 pm

Very nice TR report M!!!! Thanks for sharing the adventure. Some really nics pics as well. Seeing shots of Mt. Humphreys in the alpen glow just never gets old. Guess I'm old school, but your statement that "we grabbed the tents at the last minute" kinda freaked me out a bit. I never go in without some sort of rain shelter. Not always a tent, but at least a bivy and tarp/pancho. I like a light pack, but dislike sleeping wet and cold even more!!! Again, thanks for the TR and pics!!!
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
User avatar
Troutdog 59
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:11 pm
Location: Clovis
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: North Lake-Puppet Lake 8/31-9/3

Postby kpeter » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:41 pm

I enjoy that area because there are an infinite number of ways to wander, with lakes in seemingly every direction. Thanks for bringing back memories. It sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves!
User avatar
kpeter
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bill Carson, playero1 and 9 guests

cron