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Martin Strelneck – HIGH COUNTRY

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Thursday, June 09, 2011
More of a good Sierra thing

High water
It was late this year, but going into the first part of July all signs of summer has finally arrived. Temperatures in the high country have been hitting the 80-degree plus mark and the weatherman says it will only get warmer.


The downside is along with the warm weather came the heaviest runoff conditions we’ve seen in the past decade — thanks to this winter’s heavy snow pack. The major impact of the high water is focused mainly in Mono County.


Over the bank, water flows have virtually put the brakes on many-favored stream fishing locations. For the past week the weather service has been issuing low land flood warnings for streams from Tom’s Place north to the Nevada State line. We’re not talking scenarios like those in North Dakota, but streamside meadows at some locations resemble small lakes and a good number of off highway roadways are flooded.


Some campsite locations are partially flooded. Best advice at this point is to contact the Forest Service for updated information. Check the Forest Service headquarters in Bishop, (760) 873-2400.


Even with the high flows, those stream locations where the water remains clear are producing. The problem is access can be limited. I had a friend stop by relating his group located a fairly calm backwater on Rush Creek, and the bite was non-stop. And most area waters remain on the DFG and Alpers stocking schedule.


The West Walker River that has been “running wild” for the past two weeks. The Northern Mono County “How Big Is Big” trout derby is up and running for the month of July. However, stocking the trophy size rainbows has been put on hold until conditions improve. Even with the challenging conditions, anglers have been scoring on a scattering of rainbows to around the 2-pound mark.


The influx of snow melt water has impacted many reservoirs and lakes, making the catching a bit more challenging, but waters continue to produce — the trout are there but conditions have changed.


It boils down to many anglers looking for a quick limit from their past favorite hole are having a hard time. Those with the patience to spend a day on the water are scoring once they locate the fish. Area lakes at this point are the best bet for filling a stringer.


On the up side, predictions are the runoff flood conditions will hopefully peak in about a week and then slowly recede. This equates to a major upswing on the angling scene towards the middle of July with outstanding conditions for late summer and fall months right up to closing day. For an updated hourly report contact the National Weather Service


On a different subject, kudos go out the Southwest Federation Of Fly Fishermen. The organization spearheaded a recent project focused on a continuing malady in the high country — trash. The target was the Silver Lake area in the June Lake Loop and downstream Rush Creek. Nine fly fishing organizations along with 38 volunteers spent a day gathering remnants of human occupancy ranging from a vehicle hood to monofilament line and just about everything in between. The compensation for their efforts was a barbeque hosted by Silver Lake Resort.


Federation President Michael Schweit pointed out there is a good possibility the East Walker River may be next on the agenda. In reality, it’s unfortunate projects of this nature are necessary to preserve the wild nature of the high country — unlike what’s encountered on many streams in the urban areas.


trash by the

TRASH BY THE tonnage was removed from the shores of Silver Lake and Rush Creek thanks to the efforts spearheaded by the Southwest Federation of Fly Fishermen along with nine additional fly fishing organizations. SOUTHWEST FEDERATION OF FLY FISHERMEN PHOTO

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