Summer Fishing Vacations

The summer of 2015 will see us offer two fishing trips that offer a once in a lifetime experience. The first is a trip to Legacy Lodge in British Columbia to fish for Coho and Chinhook Salmon as well as Halibut. The second trip is to the Sierra Nevada of California to fish for Golden, Brown and Rainbow trout.

 

LEGACY LODGE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

The Club will offer a 4 day/3 night trip with a layover in Vancouver to Legacy Lodge in British Columbia. Legacy Lodge offers exceptional conventional and fly fishing for Pacific salmon on the calm, protected waters of Rivers Inlet. Known around the globe for it’s magnificent scenery and unparalleled salmon fishing, the waters of Rivers Inlet teem with some of the largest Coho and Chinook Salmon in the world.

In fact, more 50 to 60 pound Chinook salmon are caught in this fjord-like inlet each year than in any other area in British Columbia. Full of energy and fight, these salmon can battle for hours, over incredible distances.

Rivers Inlet lies within the Great Bear Rainforest, the planets last large expanses of coastal temperate rainforest. At 8+ million acres, it is 5 times the size of Banff National Park and represents one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. With an unmatched biological output of 500 tons per acre, it’s 40 percent greater than tropical rain forests.

Rivers Inlet holds the largest concentration of brown bears in BC, and represents the epicenter of BC’s salmon producing areas with over 20 streams, rivers, and feeder creeks supporting the annual spawning rituals of all five salmon species. Rivers Inlet long history of commercial fishing and canneries has given way to the adventurous angler who pry its craggy shoreline and steep granite walls in search of North America’s largest salmon, the Wannock Chinook.

Whether you prefer fly fishing or conventional fishing, this Signature Vacation will offer memories of a lifetime.

The abundant Coho, often in excess of 20 pounds migrate through amazingly high in the water column are so aggressive, they are often caught a few feet behind the boat.

Imagine a 20-pound Coho striking your cut plug bait trolled 20 feet from your rod tip, then peeling 200 feet of line off your single action reel in seconds. This is Rivers Inlet excitement, and your Legacy Lodge experience at its best!

The fertile waters of Rivers Inlet offer a variety of bottom feeders, as Halibut, Yellow Eye and Lingcod are abundant all season.

“In 19 years of producing fishing shows throughout Canada and B.C., this is absolutely the best saltwater fly fishing I have EVER experienced! Legacy offers some of the best access you will ever find.” – MARK PENDLINGTON, HOST OF WEST COAST SPORTING JOURNAL

 

FLY FISHING THE HIGH SIERRA

The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, also known as the Range of Light by naturalist John Muir, runs north to south for 400 miles and 70 miles east to west. There are three National Parks within its boundaries, Yosemite in the north and Sequoia and Kings Canyon in the south. The Sierra is also home to Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, as well as twenty National Wilderness Areas and two National Monuments.

One of the special things about working at Cordillera Ranch is getting to travel with our club members and introducing them to some of the great outdoor recreation opportunities in this wonderful country of ours. When a few members asked me about doing something special this summer, I spoke to them about visiting the high country of the Sierra Nevada. For most people who live, work and play here in Texas, the alpine setting of a high mountain range is usually only a passing thought. The further I explored their interest of fly fishing and visiting the mountains, I focused in on an area I’ve visited many times with both groups and by myself solo, the eastern slope of the Sierra just south of Mt. Whitney. Mt Whitney, at 14,505’, is the highest point in the contiguous United States and just to the north, south and west of this majestic peak are hundreds of high alpine lakes full of trout.

For the avid fly fisherman a trip into the high country is not generally what comes to mind. But I can assure anyone who ever questions whether it’s worth the work to get there, I would answer absolutely yes! It’s not an easy task by any means. For us Texans who live at or near sea level, a trip to the high country means preparing one’s self for both a mental and physically demanding trip.

As our group prepares for this summer adventure, there are several things we will do to ensure all are prepared and have the right expectations on what to look forward to. The logistics for this trip include a flight from San Antonio to Los Angeles International Airport. Once in Los Angeles, we’ll load our gear into a rental van and head north, making three stops along the way. One stop is for groceries, which will include backpacking gourmet meals made from fresh ingredients. As a backcountry guide for the past twenty three years I have learned that there are fewer things more enjoyable than a great meal at the end of a long day in the mountains. Our second stop will be at a local backcountry store to pick up fuel for my backpacking stoves, which you cannot fly with, and our California fishing license. Our third and final stop will be in the eastern Sierra where we pick up our backcountry permits.

From there we head to our trailhead in the eastern Sierra just outside of Lone Pine, California. The trailhead where we spend our first night, Horseshoe Meadows, is located at 9,698’ above sea level. Our first night is spent here to acclimatize our bodies to the altitude. If you have never been at this altitude you will be short of breath just walking across a parking lot with no backpack on. We’ll pitch camp and settle down around a campfire on night one simply getting used to the thin air. On day two we will layout and distribute all the group gear and food for the trip. Each person in the group will be carrying anywhere from 25% – 40% of their body weight in a backpack. Although I teach minimum impact and lightweight packing, people who are not used to backpacking always bring too much gear. One of my favorite teaching methods I use is a pre-trip meeting where I lay everything I bring with me out on a tarp and let people see my gear. For some, they take note, but for most, they soon forget as they begin to cram pounds and pounds of unnecessary gear into their pack. Go light is my motto.

Our destination is Cottonwood Lakes basin. Cottonwood Lakes, located at the southern tip of the John Muir Wilderness, are home to California’s state fish, the Golden Trout. Cottonwood Lakes basin has many pristine lakes and creeks located between Mount Langley and Cirque Peak. Other lakes in the area we may choose to fish are Muir Lake, South Fork Lakes, Cirque, Long and High Lakes. From our basecamp in the Cottonwood Lakes basin, we’ll explore the rugged alpine setting in search of trout with fly rods in hand. The primary trout found in these waters are the California Golden trout and native Brook trout. Occasionally we’ll hook a Brown trout and there are a few types of hybrids. One of my favorite fly fishing quotes is from Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and he states that “It’s not about catching the fish, it’s about the fish catching you.” This trip is sure to be a lasting memory for all who venture into the Sierra Nevada with us!

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