Yosemite High Alpine - LTFF Beginner Fish-out
August 5-6, 2017
Pre-Meeting: Sat. morning, July 8, from 8:00 - 8:30AM
Limited to 8 Students from the 2017 LTFF Beginner Class
Cost: $60 / person
Overview: This trip offers fly fishing to 4 trout species in two pristine high alpine settings. Each day includes approximately 5 miles of hiking at 9,000 - 10,000 feet.
Day 1: Experience Tuolumne's Lyell Fork
At 9,500 feet, this stream starts at Lyell Glacier and only drops 500 feet in 10 miles. This provides a gentle stream that meanders through meadows and granite pools for a truly unique experience.
We'll hike from Tuolumne Meadows along the Dana Fork for 1.5 miles until we arrive at the Lyell Fork. Here the meadow stream is waist deep and wide, offering dry fly fishing along the banks to Brown Trout. Traveling upstream we move into Brookie and Rainbow territory, arriving at several large and shallow granite pools the size of small ponds. It's a great place to spot fish in clear water and practice gentle overhead casting. Traveling slightly further you pass through endless granite channels and pools mixed in with more meadows, each section memorable and unique.
Most of these natural trout are in the 6-9 inch range, but I've seen a handful each year in the 18 inch range. Larger fish require stealth while the little trout will attack dry flies with acrobatic displays.
Students will use overhead casts in meadow sections and practice roll casts in areas with trees. We'll use dry fly patterns such as Purple Haze and thin mono tippet (5x - 6x).
This river has become a special place to my wife Abby and I. We look forward to sharing it with you.
Total hiking: 5 miles at high altitude (9,000 ft)
Day 2: Explore "20 Lakes" Basin
We'll start by taking a water taxi to the Northern end of Saddlebag Lake with views of Yosemite's high alpine peaks. Leaving the taxi we will hike a 5 mile loop, passing 10 lakes along the way. Each lake has different sizes and varieties of trout. A handful of lakes hold the elusive Golden Trout, truly a beautiful specimen.
Several lakes offer dry fly fishing to rising trout, while others require dropping nymphs off deeper shelves. There's very few fly fishermen in the area and plenty of room to spread out.
Students will primarily use roll casts due to hillsides and trees in the backcast area. We'll use dry fly patterns such as Purple Haze and thin tippet (5x-6x).
- Helen Lake holds mostly Brookies and Golden, averaging about 9 inches. Lots of dry fly action in the morning.
- Odell Lake holds the largest Goldens, up to 16 inches. The larger Goldens will go for #10 Woolly Buggers and Matukus. I caught an 18 inch Golden here last summer on a tiny Prince Nymph.
- Shamrock Lake is at 10,255' and contains Brookies, Rainbows, and Goldens.
- Steelhead Lake has Rainbows and Brookies in the 8-10 inch class.
- Cascade Lake is at 10,400' and contains Golden Trout and Brookies.
- Wasco Lake contains Brookies and is at 10,100 feet.
Trip fee includes:
- 2 nights Car Camping (Friday and Saturday)
- Lunches (Saturday and Sunday)
- ~ 1 dozen selected flies
Other Student costs:
- Water taxi for 20 Lakes Basin - $13 round trip
- Yosemite National Park entrance fee of $30, good for 7 days. Annual pass is $80. Carpooling helps.
- Possible extra campground fees, depending on where I am able to book sites for us the day before. (Campsites may not be reserved in advance.) Registrants to be notified that Friday via email on the actual campground location.
Items not to forget (not a complete packing list):
- Bring your own breakfast, dinner, coffee, and snacks
- Camping equipment (e.g., tent, sleeping bag and pad, cooking equipment, etc) for use in the campground
- Headlamp and extra batteries
- Small backpack to carry lunch, water, etc.
- Water bottle or water bladder large enough to carry a full day of water (1.5 - 3 liters)
- Fly fishing gear (4-6 wt rod, 5x mono leaders, 5x - 6x tippet, nippers, forceps, additional flies, net optional)
- Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, neck buff)
- Wet wading shoes like Chacos or Tevas. No need for waders or boots on this trip.
- Dinner options are available at Woah Nellie Deli (Mobil Mart), 3 miles from the campground if you'd rather not cook dinners on Friday / Saturday. It's open 7am - 9pm.
- Other lodging options are available in the Mono Lake area; however they're expensive, not a great value, and typically book up months in advance.
There will be a Pre-meeting on Saturday, July 8, at 8AM. For further information, contact: Steve Golebiewski firstname.lastname@example.org
or John Murphy email@example.com