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Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona

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Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 02, 2013 04:41PM
All,

Taking my son backpacking out of Wawona for 3 days, starting 9/12. I had tentatively planned to go up the falls and head for Royal Arch (as some of the previous posts suggest the fishing is pretty good). We are both in good shape, he is 11 and fairly athletic, I am 52, but still able to carry a pack. He is also super interested to fish for trout in some of the lakes, so I am planning on bringing both fly and casting rigs. Two questions, given the elevation changes, is it reasonable to get to Johnson Lake in a single day, or is that too big a haul? Is it better to take the high route through Chilnualna Lakes?

TIA

Dave
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 02, 2013 08:58PM
Quote
DaveS
All,

Taking my son backpacking out of Wawona for 3 days, starting 9/12. I had tentatively planned to go up the falls and head for Royal Arch (as some of the previous posts suggest the fishing is pretty good). We are both in good shape, he is 11 and fairly athletic, I am 52, but still able to carry a pack. He is also super interested to fish for trout in some of the lakes, so I am planning on bringing both fly and casting rigs. Two questions, given the elevation changes, is it reasonable to get to Johnson Lake in a single day, or is that too big a haul? Is it better to take the high route through Chilnualna Lakes?

TIA

Dave

First I'd make sure there was water flowing in Chilnualna Creek. If not then the first water will be Grouse Lake.

If you leave from Wawona the up will be close to 4K' in 7.5 miles to get to Grouse. Cresent and Johnson are near and only a +/- 100 feet from Grouse. Royal Arch is another mile or so from Johnson but up another 500'.

I would say that from Wawona to Grouse is plenty for a day especially if you intend to have a day fishing. Of course Cresent and Johnson are only one and two miles away with little elevation and I suspect you could base camp at Grouse and day hike to Cresent and Johnson.

If the creek is dry I would recommend starting with no less than three liters each.

I'm not sure what coming through Chilnualna Lakes would buy.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 03, 2013 06:53AM
I dunno. 10 1/2 miles and 4.5K - ish gain to get to Johnson. Kid aint gonna be fishing that day.
Both might be flopping around like fish though... smiling smiley

I just don't recall ever seeing any fish in Grouse... and unless you have GPS you will walk right by
it without knowing really... Crescent... def. no fish... really meadowy lake...

The other way around... Chilnualna Lakes.... trail doesn't go right by the nicest lakes ...
So unless you are game to go off trail to them...

Um... so what would I recommend from what you said?
Well... I'd take the kid to Ostrander and let him fish there... 2nd day ... if you are up for adventure...
you can xcountry over to Hart Lakes and play around.... and if really adventurous...
you can head up to Buena Vista Lake and Peak and fish there... there are a few ways up there
but obviously off trail.

Without question Chil Creek by the falls will have water. If you go left via Chil Lakes then there
will be water near Turner... but you will be crossing a dry Chil Creek up higher.

The other option is simply to go up... and see how it is going... and you can camp at top of
Chil Falls area... and then dayhike next day up to Grouse/Cresent and Johnson and fish
at Johnson... and then hike back down ... or camp at Johnson and then come all the way
out on your 3rd day. Or .. take 2 days to get to Royal Arch and then zip out the > 4.5K down
and 13 miles-ish back out on 3rd day.

Dunno if this helps at all ... but have fun... and if you do go from Wawona... bring a head net...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 03, 2013 08:44AM
Thanks for the responses.

It would seem that my plan was a bit too ambitious, given that we would have to carry more water, and climb 4K'. Especially since we live in Paso Robles, at nearly sea level. I talked it over with the boy, and he agreed we should take your advice, I assume you mean we should approach from Bridalveil... That approach seems much easier given less elevation changes. Is Ostrander Lake likely to be busy, if it has an easier approach?
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 03, 2013 09:09AM
I was there for a weekend in June, there were people but it wasn't too crowded (didn't fish).
Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 03, 2013 12:15PM
Tom,

Just checked out the pics from your trip in June, really stunning.
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 03, 2013 09:49AM
Dunno about the carry more water ... but no getting around the big climb.
It's not entirely trivial climb to Ostrander... but a whole heck of a lot easier and shorter...
Go via Ostrander TH on GP Road. With the Rim Fire going on it MAY see a bit more traffic...
but that TH rarely fills on normal year. Been there a few times and no one else was there.
If you've never been I think your boy will like Ostrander.
As I said... there are various ways to BV Lake and a couple of fun ways up Horse Ridge..
if game I can explain... you can also zip past Hart and head east to the trail... I know
Z Perret goes that way... I've always come right down from Horse Ridge.

As always... have fun and be safe



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 16, 2013 01:51PM
First off I need to say thanks again for all the advice we got prior to the trip, it was immensely helpful.

My 11yr old son and I, live in Templeton (about a four hour drive from the south entrance), so we decided to come up Wednesday night and get the permit, and then get an early start on Thursday. OK, early for me… We got to the Hill’s Studio Permit Office about 4:30p and then we checked out the Ostrander TH, then backtracked a mile to the Bridalveil Campground and set up camp. Now, I remember why I shy away from car campgrounds… It was nice enough, but not exactly a LNT environment.

We got to the Ostrander TH around 7:30, and with the exception of a couple of large horse trailers , it was nearly empty. We got on the trail around 8:00a headed toward Ostrander Lake, and had a pretty easy hike for the first few miles, seeing no one else on the trail. The elevation changes, and the air quality started to get to me around the 4 mile mark. That last section is a tough one. We did finally see who left the trailers at the TH, coming down one of the steepest sections we ran across three teams of mules be led by horses. For the most part they seem to be loaded down with tools, etc., but one mule had a 250 plastic water tank strapped on top… At the time it was empty, but I was stunned thinking about how heavy that would have been, even partially filled, on the way up. Anyone know what they would be doing? Survey team? Trail maintenance?

We arrived at the lake just after noon, and found a place on the north east side of the lake. I wanted a nap, but Jake wanted to fish, so after cleaning up, we set out to the west side with rods in hand. This was Jakes first chance to fish, and so I brought both fly and spin rods (he has played with the fly rod in casting on our driveway, and is not too bad, but the trees at the lake are so close to the edge, well, it’s not beginners material). So I strung him up and gave him some power bait and let him go. He had a fish on in 20 minutes, and he named it Fred (a cute 12” brookie)… we put Fred on a stringer for later, and he kept on fishing (he decided C&R after Fred, but he did keep naming them). We had instant mash potatoes and Fred for dinner, yum.

We had talked about hiking Horse Ridge on Friday, but Jake was having too much fun fishing, and asked to just hang out at the lake. I was good with that, and even got a short swim in, later in the day… though the water was a bit chilly for me. He caught about seven fish over the two days. Later when the wind picked up we moved camp to a site on the east side, up in the rocks – with a real flat tent area, and a big slab of granite Jake named the “lounge chair”. We had a great evening talking and stargazing.

Saturday morning we packed up and headed out about 9a, and had a great hike downhill. The air was also much clearer on Saturday (you could see down into the valley from spots on the trail that we could not see anything from on Thursday. We met a lot of weekender traffic coming in as we were leaving, but still made great time on the trail, reaching the trailhead by 11:30a. Jake said it was the best backpacking trip ever.
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 16, 2013 05:04PM
Berry Kewl

For da future reference... skip the car camp-on fo sho
(you need only be a measly mile in to ditch yea-old tent)

Also for future reference... peas peruse the fish-on regs:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/fishing.htm

(Power Bait is not allowed) (at least that is how I read it)
(I think the idea is not nec. to give the fish a chance... it's to avoid "soiling" the lake with bait)
(I highly recommend that you bury your fish entrails and whatnot also after cleaning fish...
please do not throw them into the lake)

So glad ur boy had a great time!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 16, 2013 05:16PM
Did not read it that way the first time, but will go re-read. As for burying, absolutely.

And next time I will definitely be camping in from the trailhead. Looked like plenty of good spots.
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 16, 2013 05:31PM
Yeah. I'm not 100% sure. I just don't want you to get into troubles with the a-thor-a-tays.
Doubt Wilderness Ranger would give you much grief.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 16, 2013 05:11PM
Quote
DaveS
For the most part they seem to be loaded down with tools, etc., but one mule had a 250 plastic water tank strapped on top… At the time it was empty, but I was stunned thinking about how heavy that would have been, even partially filled, on the way up. Anyone know what they would be doing? Survey team? Trail maintenance?

Possibly getting the ski hut ready for winter?

Glad you had a good time.
Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 16, 2013 05:19PM
That's kinda what I thought. But why bring water?, the hut has a pump house, assuming it works they should have water, and I saw solar panels so they have electricity.

Is there a process for creating more trails?
avatar Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 16, 2013 05:23PM
Not sure why they would need a tank - and anyway the actual water supply is the lake:



I know the outhouse facilities were...troubled would be a kind word. Wonder if they're fixing that.
Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 15, 2014 12:14AM
Quote
DaveS
That's kinda what I thought. But why bring water?, the hut has a pump house, assuming it works they should have water, and I saw solar panels manufactured by solar panels manufacturer so they have electricity.

Is there a process for creating more trails
?

I am not sure they had enough facility..Sometimes pump house does not work properly which might be the case..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2014 10:06PM by MonroeMol.
Re: Late season fishing/packing trip report
September 25, 2014 02:33AM
Quote
DaveS
That's kinda what I thought. But why bring water?, the hut has a pump house, assuming it works they should have water, and I saw solar panels using solar energy so they have electricity.

Is there a process for creating more trails
?

Are these panels enough to generate the required electricity? What complications have you faced till now..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2014 11:27PM by IvanLavenr.
Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 03, 2013 09:55AM
Again, thanks so much for the advice. I think that Ostrander is a better choice, and if we are feeling like we need a challenge then the climb over to BV sounds good (and day tripping with just rods would be fairly easy).

Thanks again.
Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 16, 2013 04:34PM
Thanks for the trip report! Glad the modified plan went well! Too bad about the smoke, but at least it cleared. Really makes you value clean air, no? smiling smiley

And if I named a fish Fred, I don't think I could eat it. It would have been hard on me just thinking about cleaning it, but naming it.. yikes! eye rolling smiley
Re: Late season fishing/packing advice out of Wawona
September 16, 2013 05:13PM
Actually I did not think the smoke was a bad as it was until the trip out, when I got to see how clear it could be... and yes, it really makes you value the clean stuff. As for naming food, at home we "grow" chickens and turkeys, all the kids name them, and then later they have to pick one to eat so they are use to it.
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