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Old 10-19-2013, 05:28 PM
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Default And Catch Fish He Did...

I count myself lucky this past week that I was able to get up to the Eastern Sierras one more time before winter sets in. This trip was just to decompress with my wife and children. We were able to enjoy some mild weather with spectacular fall scenery.

Since the government had been shut down prior to our arrival, the area was quieter than normal for this time of year. All of the campgrounds and National Forest facilities were closed, along with National Parks and monuments.

We practically had the place all to ourselves. Fishing wasn't the focus, but it couldn't be entirely avoided either. Between exploring with the family and little wilderness outings, I was able to get a couple of short sessions of stream time. The half day I was able to devote to solo fly fishing left me smelling like a skunk. I got one vicious strike from a brown, but I just couldn't close escrow. A few head shakes, and he wanted nothing more to do with me. Despite my lack of fish catching on this trip, I observed an intrepid little creature who had achieved an amazing level of success where I had failed.

I've seen some decent sized crustaceans in fresh water, but this guy was more like a juvenile lobster than a large crayfish. He was huge. He only had one claw, which made me wonder what the other guy looked like, because this beast was big and tough...a real survivor. He just nonchalantly walked by me in the stream carrying his prize in his one thick claw. In my poor showing with the fly, I was easily distracted by the scenery, and this creature occupied my day dreaming for a little while.

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To provide a sense of scale, that's about a 6" trout in his claw. I wear extra large gloves, and he was quite a bit bigger than my hand.

We paid our respects, and he went on his way with his delicious meal. I did pull him out of the stream briefly to pose for the photograph, but I assure you that no crayfish was harmed during said filming. I can't say the same for that mangled little trout that swam too close to that massive claw.

Anyway, here are some pics of the beautiful fall scenery around the area:

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The last photo was taken earlier in the week when we were all fishing together. There were fish everywhere, and we were having some fun in a wide meadow section of one of the nearby creeks. The kids did particularly well on that day. It was nice to get away and recharge the batteries.

Cheers,

-VB
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

cool stuff with the 'dad and nice to see a dusting over there. I wish we'd get that 1st big storm out of the way and get a snowpack going. I'm jealous...
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

These pictures are simply beautiful Eric,

The crayfish, that photo & description changes the way I think about them. Actually it sounds more like a small lobster than what I'm accustomed to seeing when I lived in their ranges. Wow.

Ard
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

Beautiful pics, man I miss being out west...
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

...........and I just happened to be watching an old Godzilla movie.........!

Mike
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

Thanks for the comments, guys. Mike, they got a dusting of snow the week before our arrival (about 8 inches worth), but much of it had melted away by the time we got there, except in the higher elevations. Hopefully they will get some decent snow this winter. We sure need it for many reasons. I'll bet the ski operators are doing their dance to tempt the snow gods right about now.

As far as that little lobster, he would have made a welcome meal for one of those reality survival show hosts...a little steam and some melted butter...tasty.

He'd been eating trout, so I'll bet that succulent crustacean meat would be a home run, steamed or grilled. As far as a trout eating him, that would have to be one very big fish to choke down a monster that size. If you chucked a lure that large, most people would laugh, unless you were targeting huge largemouth bass or an otherworldly lake monster.

He was the biggest I've ever seen, and I was surprised to find him cruising in less than a foot of water in a small creek 8,500 feet up in the mountains. Who would have thought?
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

Nice pics and an even nicer Abel Reel!
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

VB: Great trip report with some awesome photos! That crayfish was a real monster.

Larry
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

Those Pics are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: And Catch Fish He Did...

Lovely pics. You are a lucky man.
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