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Local fishing reports from those "in the know" updated every Thursday


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California Dept. of Fish & Game Everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-Trout
but-didn't-know-who-to-ask page.
VERY Interesting!!

 High Sierra Pack Station | Minarets Pack Station | Clyde Pack Outfitters |
Mammoth Lakes Pack Outfitters | Vermilion Valley Resort | Florence Lake | Muir Trail Ranch | High Sierra Packers Association | California Dept. of Fish & Game Fishing License Information


Two native Rainbows and a Golden (middle).  These were caught at the 9,000 ft. ele., and they don't get very big at that altitude.  On this particular trip we caught and released around 100 fish in one afternoon, on a #0 Gold Mepps (no skirt), four-pound test w/ an ultralight spinning rig.
I was told today (7/27/99) via e-mail by one of my high-altitude brethren that some are questioning the figure of 100 fish.  OK, we didn't count 'em, but they were biting every cast for three hours.

I have purposely boosted the color so you can see how brilliant the reds and deep oranges were on these fish.  They were the most beautiful trout I have ever seen.

Bob's size 12 boot is included for scale.

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Trout, trout and more trout.  If it's trout you want, Yosemite is the place.  I'm not giving away my secret place, but the streams and rivers are full of fish.  Some, especially on the valley floor, are stocked.   In the backcountry, and at the higher elevations, you'll find native Rainbows, Goldens, Browns, and Brookies. Unfortunately, they are not lunkers.  Most fish in the valley are typical planters, between 12 and 16 inches.  At higher elevations they are smaller the higher you go, but in the backcountry they are natives and absolutely gorgeous in color.  Fly fishing is encouraged, but be aware the rivers are usually heavily overgrown, and the opportunity for fly fishing is limited.  Try the trail to Glen Aulin out of Tuolumne Meadows.  It's open terrain and the river is full of fish.

Recipe: "You Can Have Mine" Trout*
Dress your fish, and prepare a pouch of "Turkey Tetrazini" freeze-dried gruel, and eat most of the gruel. Leave a little in the pouch for seasoning for the fish. Stuff the fish in the pouch, add a little water, salt and pepper, and if you have it, some garlic salt. Re-seal the pouch and place close to your campfire for about 1/2 hour, or when you can hear it sizzling for about 10 minutes. WOW!! You'll be amazed at how good it tastes! The photo to the right is what you'll have left when dinner is done!!!

*Yes, there is a story behind this term...  It's a long story.

Fishing in Yosemite Valley is doable, but it's strictly artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks and catch-and-release on trout only.  On Brown Trout , there's a 5 fish limit, 10 in possession.  Catch and keep all the suckers you want, if you can catch them on artificial lures.  California fishing license is mandatory for age 16 and above, either visitor or permanent.  When you get your license, don't forget that you MUST wear the license on your person somewhere on the outside of your clothing plainly visible above the beltline to any Fish-and-Game warden. In the backcountry, it's California rules only.
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Bob goes only for the lunkers.   It was a three-hour battle to land this record Golden at Sallie Keys Lakes.    :-)

The Vermilion Valley Resort
(or just plain-old "Edison"; You say "We're goin' to Edison." Everyone knows what you mean.)

If you want a relaxing fishing trip with no distractions, you must plan a trip to the  Vermilion Valley Resort.  (7,500 ft. elevation)  The folks who own this back-country fishing resort know what fishermen want and how to cater to them. Located by a spectacular lake at the end of a very long dirt road, which extends from the end of a 22 mile narrow mountain pig-path, there is NO TV, radio, newspapers, and only one sort-of cell phone. They have electricity only from 7am to 10pm.   They have an excellent restaurant, comfortable beds, pay-showers, and a ferry to and from the trail head.  It's not free, about $7.50.   This is a very remote resort.  It takes 3-1/2 hours to drive from Fresno, a mere 75 miles as the crow flies.  You are not encouraged to drive your two-wheel drive road car here.  Although you can, you are much better off with a 4-wheel drive, or heavy duty pickup. This should tell you about how remote and primitive this area is. But is it ever relaxing and gorgeous!!  There are also about 30 good campsites adjacent to the resort that can accommodate a truck camper or very small RV. (no services)   And, there is a mule/horse pack station where you can rent a horse and a guide and take off for the high country. Good camping, nice people, and, sometimes, a decent fishing guide who knows how to go after the big Brown Trout that are in Edison.   There are some monster Browns in this lake, but catching them is not easy.  The Fish and Game biologist I was talking to said he thought that the world's record Brown is in this lake.  It is very deep, has plenty of food and fishing pressure from May to August only.

Fishing here was bad during the drought of the mid-eighties, but we were able to map out the bottom, and learn where all the deep water is.  Now that it is full each summer, we try going to that deep water just to see what will happen.  Nothing has so far.  But we also learned where the creek-beds are that used to wind their way down the river bottom during the drought.  Big fish hang out in the troughs, and the fish-finder has repeatedly given back some huge images.  (We know the bottom here, and know there are no obstacles to give a false image.)  We troll, offer live bait, we hit them on top of the head with a glob of salmon eggs, and they just don't like what we're serving, evidently. They must know we are there. 

Conclusion:  The big ones are hard to catch.

The back country packer listed below has no website, but is excellent.  They feature all day fishing trips into the Kaiser Wilderness and overnight fishing trips into the high country where ever you want to go. Brad Myers is the owner.

    D&F Pack Station
    PO Box 156
    Lakeshore, CA 93634
    559-299-4451 Winter
    559-893-3220 Summer, June - October