Trip Report Sierra Nevada-John Muir Trail

jwg

Active Member
#1
Early September 2018. Packer supported hiking trip using Rock Creek Pack Station:).

A group of seven hiked with our day packs while the three packers schlepped the food, cooking gear, furniture, tents, and our individual duffles from place to place on mules. We carried day packs individually as we hiked from one camp location to the next.

The trip covered a section of the John Muir Trail (JMT) between Bishop Pass and Pine Creek Passes on the east side of the crest. We spend 8 days, 7 nights, with two days as layover days. In between entry and exit, heading north, we went over Muir Pass.

I was the only fisherman.
But one young man of the group (son of one of the other hikers) was interested and let me know so in advance.
I brought 6'6" glass rods for each of us.
I taught him roll cast out and catch fish at the surface, and below the surface, on small lakes and in streams.
He did great.

I'm including a few pictures at or near the passes, above treelike, for context, and a few pictures of fishing mostly at lower elevations.

The fish were all golden trout, which are stocking origin, not native to this section of the Sierra.
They do reproduce successfully on their own in many locations once stocked.

Some higher elevation basin lakes either lack fish, or have been made fishless, to preserve habitat for the endangered mountain yellow legged frog, whose tadpoles need fishless waters for best survival.

jay

Photos are in the trip order, except where a fish picture is preceded by a location water picture that might have been shot afterward.

Below: Looking back east from near Bishop Pass on Day 1
P9030080.jpeg

Below: near the top of Bishop Pass (about 12000 feet) looking west.
P9030109.jpeg

Below: a late season scene in upper Dusy Basin ca. 11,000 feet.
P9030138.jpeg

Below: Fishing lower Dusy basin the morning of Day 2.(not me in the picture) P9040252.jpeg

Abundant little golden trout, this one taken on top on a little foam beetle pattern.
P9040277.jpeg

Below: Approaching Muir Pass (around to the left and still deceptively more to go) which is about 12,000 feet, heading north. (Day 3)
P9050602.jpeg

The Sierra Club shelter hut on Muir Pass.
P9050680.jpeg

Looking north from Muir Pass into Evolution Basin.
P9050687.jpeg

Below: A fishing location down in Evolution valley. (Day 4)
P9060850.jpeg

Probably taken on a sinking ant pattern under an indicator.
Or a hares ear under an indicator, which were the two subsurface patterns I used.
P9060845.jpeg


This stream in lower Evolution valley had some good structure just upstream, not seen in this shot, looking downstream from our fishing location. Day 5
P9070993.jpeg

Probably the largest of the golden that I took.
Worked hard with a stimulator to get into an optimum feeding location across the current, and hence target the larger fish in the pocket water.
P9070995.jpeg

Pocket water at 10,000 feet, looking north and east toward where we will head out. Day 7
P9091508.jpeg

The fish were not immediately apparent but rose to royal coachmen.
Working locations in pocket water again yielded the larger fish in the best locations.
But every fish was a colorful gem regardless of size.
P9091505.jpeg

Pine Creek Pass (about 11000 ft) looking east on the way out. Day 8
P9101593.jpeg

end of the trail below, and the road out, looking east.
P9101709.jpeg
 
#3
Early September 2018. Packer supported hiking trip using Rock Creek Pack Station:).

A group of seven hiked with our day packs while the three packers schlepped the food, cooking gear, furniture, tents, and our individual duffles from place to place on mules. We carried day packs individually as we hiked from one camp location to the next.

The trip covered a section of the John Muir Trail (JMT) between Bishop Pass and Pine Creek Passes on the east side of the crest. We spend 8 days, 7 nights, with two days as layover days. In between entry and exit, heading north, we went over Muir Pass.

I was the only fisherman.
But one young man of the group (son of one of the other hikers) was interested and let me know so in advance.
I brought 6'6" glass rods for each of us.
I taught him roll cast out and catch fish at the surface, and below the surface, on small lakes and in streams.
He did great.

I'm including a few pictures at or near the passes, above treelike, for context, and a few pictures of fishing mostly at lower elevations.

The fish were all golden trout, which are stocking origin, not native to this section of the Sierra.
They do reproduce successfully on their own in many locations once stocked.

Some higher elevation basin lakes either lack fish, or have been made fishless, to preserve habitat for the endangered mountain yellow legged frog, whose tadpoles need fishless waters for best survival.

jay

Photos are in the trip order, except where a fish picture is preceded by a location water picture that might have been shot afterward.

Below: Looking back east from near Bishop Pass on Day 1
View attachment 182246

Below: near the top of Bishop Pass (about 12000 feet) looking west.
View attachment 182247

Below: a late season scene in upper Dusy Basin ca. 11,000 feet.
View attachment 182248

Below: Fishing lower Dusy basin the morning of Day 2.(not me in the picture) View attachment 182249

Abundant little golden trout, this one taken on top on a little foam beetle pattern.
View attachment 182253

Below: Approaching Muir Pass (around to the left and still deceptively more to go) which is about 12,000 feet, heading north. (Day 3)
View attachment 182254

The Sierra Club shelter hut on Muir Pass.
View attachment 182255

Looking north from Muir Pass into Evolution Basin.
View attachment 182256

Below: A fishing location down in Evolution valley. (Day 4)
View attachment 182258

Probably taken on a sinking ant pattern under an indicator.
Or a hares ear under an indicator, which were the two subsurface patterns I used.
View attachment 182259


This stream in lower Evolution valley had some good structure just upstream, not seen in this shot, looking downstream from our fishing location. Day 5
View attachment 182261

Probably the largest of the golden that I took.
Worked hard with a stimulator to get into an optimum feeding location across the current, and hence target the larger fish in the pocket water.
View attachment 182262

Pocket water at 10,000 feet, looking north and east toward where we will head out. Day 7
View attachment 182263

The fish were not immediately apparent but rose to royal coachmen.
Working locations in pocket water again yielded the larger fish in the best locations.
But every fish was a colorful gem regardless of size.
View attachment 182264

Pine Creek Pass (about 11000 ft) looking east on the way out. Day 8
View attachment 182265

end of the trail below, and the road out, looking east.
View attachment 182266

A friend and I did the same route in the late 1970's and got numerous outstanding photos. Spent the night at Muir hut and had great fishing for golden trout at Evolution Lake.

Thanks for the great report and photos which brought back many good memories.

Roger
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#4
Nice report and thanks for sharing. I was in the Bishop Pass vicinity the year before. We hike a short loop off trail up and to the south for a few days. I wanted to fish but didn't have much time due to rain each afternoon interfering with limited down time. I discovered that I hike really slow at 9,000 - 12,000' elevation.
 
#5
Beautiful, every bit of it.
Those trout are "colorful gems" indeed!

Spent time there myself (as others here have also said) quite a few decades ago. Your post encourages me to return!
 

SHD

Active Member
#6
Sweet report! Fished the lakes below Bispop pass in July, what a spectacular place. Did you see the deer slide near the pass?
 

Mtbright

Active Member
#7
Awesome report, just love that area. Have many fond memories out of the high country above rock creek and convict lake. I wish the fishing in the valley was like it was 40 years ago. But all things change.

Matt
 

jwg

Active Member
#8
Sweet report! Fished the lakes below Bispop pass in July, what a spectacular place. Did you see the deer slide near the pass?
Yes, smelled the remains first.
Bear scat around.
A raven keeping watch.
Another hiker told me the story of the unusually heavy snowpack in 2017, and the deer migrating anyway in early summer and sliding to their deaths.
J
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#12
I'll probably never get there in person, so thanks for sharing the report and pics! Those little Goldens are very pretty trout!
With my heart working at only 92% efficiency these days, I can easily get winded at sea level, during a typical interval training sesh on my fat-bike. This tells me that my high altitude days might be over.
 

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