Friday, January 17, 2014

Below and Above Pine Flat Dam

             My dad is in town so we decided to go out over the weekend and explore the Kings river around Pine Flat Reservoir. At the first park before the dam it was apparent the water was low. About two feet lower than I remember it the last time I was there.  There was a bald eagle circling low but it flew off before I could get out of the truck with my camera. We hit the spillway under the dam and tried our luck for trout. A few were being caught close to the spillway under the road. All the good spots were taken, so we set up across the river to try our luck. Yellow Power Bait floated off the bottom seemed to be all that was catching that morning. we saw action for about an hour and it shut down before any took out spinners or night crawlers so we packed up and headed up river.


Pine Flat is low, real low. The California Department of Water webpage says it is at 14% capacity. We really need snow and rain this year or the Valley is going to be in some big trouble.


Driving up the road that winds with the lake and the river I came across some beautiful spots but no trout.


It actually wasn't a disappointment not finding fish because the view was so good. I know there is fish here, but I just am not a good enough trout fishermen to find them.


The clarity of the cool water was amazing. I could count the rocks if I had to. This is one of the things I love about California. Such beauty and it is relatively close to home.


Driving the road was a treat, but leaving the truck and getting a better look was even better. I walked out onto some rocks to fan cast a small spinner bait when I noticed some movement it the water. I thought it was a sculpin or a brook trout but I scooped up a tadpole.

 
I posted the picture to my Tumblr page and asked for an ID and was told it is a Del Norte salamander tadpole, but I am not convinced as the Del Norte's range is much farther north than where I was at. So it is still a mystery.
 
Photo via http://www.californiaherps.com/
 
The further up we drove the more beautiful it got. It was hard to not take a picture of everything. Every view, river bend, and rock was magical in some way. The water was truly blue as if it was a painting. It was literally picture perfect... Except for the litter.
 
 
Right after I took this picture I came across the box this beer came up in. The lower dam area where all the people were fishing was so full of trash I didn't want to even take a picture. I took two hand fulls of garbage with me just from there. Someone had to take this Starbucks cup at least thirty miles to leave it on the rocks where I found it. It would not have been that much more energy to pack it back down. 

The fish decided to snub us, but the clear skies and fair weather made the sight seeing worth the trip. I am glad I got to share this with my dad.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

If you haven't seen it before, check out my Tumblr http://theimpracticalfisherman.tumblr.com/

12 comments:

  1. Great pictures. I love northern California. Bullfrog tadpoles are cool.

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    1. Thanks. I must say though that I am not all convinced it is a bull frog tadpole. I've caught a few before and this guy looks a little different.

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  2. I'm planning to come down in May and fish that exact area. If you've got any suggestions let me know at mkautz@volcano.net.

    Mark

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  3. The only thing I am good for with trout fishing is documenting water levels and taking pretty pictures. I saw a guy get one off a salmon egg below a bobber, but that was the only one he got. All the rest were using different colors of yellow powerbait floating from a foot to three feet off the bottom.

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  4. What a gorgeous view and awesome tadpole!

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  5. Hi, Daniel. Sure enjoyed reading and looking at your scenic trip with your dad. Really pretty area for sure. Just wanted to add, "You give those Trout too much credit". Oh, and thanks for caring about the outdoors enough to pick up some trash.

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    Replies
    1. I am sure I am over thinking things, but it just seems like I am always late to the bite.

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  6. Kudos to you for picking up what trash you could. I always do the same if I am out and see stuff lying around. (It makes me angry inside.)

    Beautiful pictures, man! I would be a happy camper if I were fishing with no hook on the end of my line with all of that beauty around me. Too bad you couldn't get a picture of that Eagle.

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    1. I never get bored looking at eagles.

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  7. Its a shame that people see that type of natural beauty and want to destroy it. Great pictures, brother!!

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    1. I don't think they want to destroy it but they just don't think they have the type of impact they actually have. They think their trash doesn't matter, but it adds up fast.

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