Kaiser Pass Fishout

We drove up Thursday afternoon and were fishing the Kaiser Pass Forebay by 7PM. Lots of small fish rose to tease us, but no hookups. We car-camped in the woods at the pass to let our bones adjust to nine-thousand feet of thin air.

Friday morning at 7:30AM, Bob Schwehr and I started the two-thousand foot ascent to Lake A. The duff trail through conifer forest was in good shape. The only snow we saw was a little patch at the pass. We trekked the switchbacks enjoying the plethora of shooting stars and other wild flowers. Edison Lake, off in the distance, came to view. We were in high spirits. At 9:30 we got there. It was a glorious day with highs in the 70s, and no other people at the small lake.

While assessing where to camp we could see over a dozen trout cruising the shallows. By 10AM the tents were set up and I had my first fish on. (The only distraction from the great fishing was the mosquitoes.) We were each using black flies of the woolly bugger, black gnat, and cricket variety. We each caught about ten, mostly rainbows, a few brooks. The twelve-inch fish were by the inlet marsh (with the most mosquitos). Nothing over twelve inches, but lots of fun on two- to four-pound tippet. I managed to hook my fly into a tree under water. I was having such good luck with the fly that I went in after it!

Then came the mandatory afternoon siesta. For dinner we ate fish Tony style. A campfire for the evening, lots of fishing stories, and then to sleep by nine. The nighttime temperatures got down to 40, but the morning was glorious-60s by 9AM. We were going cross-country for a day hike to the exclusively brook trout Lake B. It was up-and-over a scenic 500-foot ridge. Lake B is a scenic jewel nestled between the glacier's outflow and conifer forest on the north. The water is clear and cold. This is brook trout country! Any dream of swimming faded with the pain of ice cold water on the feet. But hey, a fish on every other cast isn't bad!

After a little misdirection by wayward ducks, we scrambled our way down to the lake. The fishing was more active than in Lake A. My first few casts resulted in !@#$%^!. I had forgotten to remove the wooden block from my hook. Bob caught two on the first two casts and would not let me forget it! In about three hours Bob caught thirty of forty-two on, and I caught twenty. We used the same flies as on Lake A, but in smaller versions.

Above, on the boundary ridge, where the breeze dispersed the mosquitos, we had lunch, drank up the views, and had a cat-nap. On the return to camp at Lake A, we found a more creative path and made it in forty-five minutes easily. The Lake A fish must have been spooked, as the afternoon bite was slow. The second day ended with a campfire.

Sunday morning we spent an hour going down the hill to the car. A visit to some hot springs for a soak, dinner at Mono Hot Springs with plenty of Sangria for me. Bob got to drive. We car- camped at the Forebay Pond. On Monday we completed the drive home, with stops at the fruit stands.

Tony Plutynski