Fish Creek, Cascade Valley

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Fish Creek, Cascade Valley

Suggested Flies for Fish Creek area:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Stillwater Flies:
Woolly Bugger #8-10
Mohair Leech #8-10
Matuku #8-10

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16-18
Olive Caddis #16-18
Royal Wulff #16-18
Yellow Humpy #14
Griffith's Gnat #16-18
Black Gnat #18
Henrys Fork Hopper #14
Chernobyl Ant #16
Mosquito #18

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #16-18
Prince Nymph #16-18
Copper John #16-18

Directions: Fish Creek/Cascade Valley can be accessed through the Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail from Red's Meadow (16 miles) or Duck Pass Trail from Lake Mary. Additional access is from the eastside at McGee Creek Trailhead off Highway 395 near Lake Crowley. Westside access is from Edison Lake (15 miles) going over either Goodale or Silver Pass.

Notes:Fish Creek
Fish Creek begins at the headwaters of Red and White Lake below McGee Pass. It flows through Cascade Valley on the way to the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River for about 19 miles. This area is also known as the northern portion of the John Muir Wilderness. The headwaters consists of a number of pocket pools containing Brookies, Rainbows and Rainbow-Golden hybrids in the 6-8" range at about 10,350 feet. The freestone creek follows the Pacific Crest Trail for about a mile and builds up flow from additional water off Lee Lake and other tributaries. The first meadow is Horse Heaven with large shallow pools. Another lush meadow area further downstream is Tully Hole (elevation 9,600 feet), a good location for dry flies. This area has 6-10 inch brookies as well as some Rainbows and Rainbow-Golden hybrids. Below Tully Hole, the creek becomes a classic Sierran stream with runs, pockets, and pools and drops into Cascade Valley. The trout tend to get larger in size in the 10-12 inch with more Rainbows and Rainbow-Golden hybrids than brookies. Cascade Valley basically starts at the Indian Lakes below Silver Pass. Fish Creek has about 5-6 waterfalls as it passes through Cascade Valley. Between waterfalls, the creek will be a freestone type creek with pools, runs, and pocket waters. There will be some portions within small meadows that will allow the creek to slowly meander. The water is very clear and the fish tend to get spooky. Tackle suggestions are a 8.5 foot 3 wt. rod with a 7.5 foot 6X leader. Small drys work well drifting within the foam lines. Try Wulffs, Humpies, Elk Hair Caddis, Hoppers and Ant Patterns. Nymph patterns also work well, particularly if the creek becomes discolored from afternoon thundershowers. Try Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Prince Nymphs, and Copper Johns.

Local Lakes are:
Lost Keys Lakes: There are three (8 acre) lakes to Lost Keys Lakes lying at an elevation of 9,400 feet. All three lakes have Rainbow Trout.
Beetlebug Lake: Beetlebug Lake is about 4.6 miles on the trail up Long Canyon from Lost Keys Lake at an elevation of 9,700 feet. It consists of Brookies.
Midge & Scarab Lake: These lakes are at 10,600 feet. Each contains Brookies. Difficult access, must follow the stream outflow off-trail.
Purple Lake: Purple Lake (50 acres) is at an elevation of 9,860 feet is located right off the Pacific Crest Trail one ridge to the south of Duck Lake. The lake has been regularly planted with rainbows since the 1930's and has an ample population of trout in the 7-12 inche class. Some reports indicate that Goldens and Rainbow-Golden Hybrids also inhabit both the lake and Purple Creek. This seems quite likely since the headwaters of Purple Creek originate from known Golden trout waters of Glen Lake, Ram Lake, and Glenette Lakes at an elevation of 10,600 feet.
Glen Lake: (8 acres) at an elevation of 10,500 feet. Consists of Goldens. Follow the trail along Purple Creek above Purple Lake for 1 mile.
Ram Lake: (12 acres) at an elevation of 10,800 feet. Consists of Goldens. Follow the trail along Purple Creek above Purple Lake for 1 mile.
Hoof Lake: (20 acres) at an elevation of 10,800 feet. Consists of Goldens. Go off-trail eastward from Ram Lake about 0.2 miles.
Franklin Lakes: 3 lakes, largest is about 15 acres at 11,000 feet. Consists of Goldens. Go off-trail southeasterly from Hoof Lake about 0.5 miles..
Brave Lake: (10 acres) at an elevation of 9,950 feet. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows. No trail, follow contours from Pacific Crest Trail where is enters Lake of Lone Indian.
Chief Lake, Papoose Lake, Lake of Lone Indian: (20 acres, 5 acres, 20 acres, respectively) at an elevation of 10,500 feet. Each lake consists of Brookies in the 6-8 inch class. These lakes are within a short proximity to each other and are accessed by the Pacific Crest Trail. The lakes are situated at the head of Cascade Valley below Silver Pass. About 7 hour pack from McGee Pack Station.
Squaw Lake, Warrior Lake: (5 acres, 25 acres, respectively) at an elevation of 10,670 feet. Consists of Brookies in the 6-8 inch class and some small Rainbows.
Wilbur May Lake: (40 acres) at an elevation of 9,980 feet. Consists of Rainbows in the 12-13 inch class and Brookies in the 8-10 inch class. Take the Minnow Creek Trail from Lake of Lone Indian's western shore about 1.25 miles. A side trail of .4 miles going south will go to Wilbur May Lake. The lake is planted with rainbows periodically. Best areas are the creek inlets.
Peter Pande Lake: (60 acres) at an elevation of 10,000 feet with 1.5 miles of shoreline. Consists of Rainbows in the 12-13 inch class and Brookies in the 8-10 inch class. Take the Minnow Creek Trail from Lake of Lone Indian's western shore about 3.5 miles. The lake is planted with rainbows periodically. Two cascading waterfalls flow into the lake from Anne Lake. Fish these inlets. The north side of the lake is the most accessible with a trail that follows the shoreline.
Anne Lake: (50 acres) at an elevation of 10,280 feet with 1.7 miles of shoreline. Consists of Rainbows in the 12-13 inch class. Take the Minnow Creek Trail from Lake of Lone Indian's western shore about 3.5 miles to Peter Pande Lake. Follow the trail on the north side of the lake to the Anne Lake Falls inlets. Follow the creek about .25 miles to the lake. Fish the outlet channels of the lake. Also try the numerous points off the coves that surround the lake. Just north of the outlet is 3 acre Minnie Lake. This lake also contains Rainbows.
Olive Lake: (50 acres) at an elevation of 9,700 feet. Contains Rainbows mostly in the 8-9 inch class. Fish the drop-off along the northern shoreline. Can reach the lake by going off-trail from Minnie Lake to the northwest. From a small pond, follow the outlet stream for .5 miles to the lake. Olive can also be reached by the trail from Grassy lake.
Grassy Lake: (20 acres) at an elevation of 9,500 feet. On the Minnow Creek Trail from the western edge of Lone Indian Lake for about 2 miles. Contains Rainbows.

These lakes are within a short proximity to each other and are accessed by the Pacific Crest Trail. About 7 hour pack from McGee Pack Station. McGee Creek contains Rainbows and Brookies.
Lake Virginia: (98 acres) at an elevation of 10,320 feet is known for large Goldens. They have been planted since the 1930's and the California State record was caught here in August, 1952 at 9 lbs 8 ounces. The lake does not have adequate spawning tributaries to enhance the population but does have a rich source of insect life to allow the few Goldens to get to a size of 11-16 inches. Distance from Lake Mary Trailhead is 12 miles.
Hopkins Lakes: There are two lakes, each about 10 acres. Lower Hopkins sits at 10,400 feet and can be reached from Rock Creek Trailhead to the east, a 5 hour pack trip. The lake consists of Brookies and Rainbows. Upper Hopkins is at 11,000 feet . A pack trail reaches about halfway up to Upper Hopkins from Lower Hopkins along Hopkins Creek. You can reach the lake by travelling cross-country from there. The lake contains Goldens and Brookies.
Izaak Walton lake: (8 acres) at an elevation of 10,300 feet. Consists of Golden Trout. Take the McGee Pass Trail to where it meets Fish Creek. Walk up Fish Creek, no trail, from there.
Lower & Upper Hortense Lakes: (12 and 24 acres, respectively) at an elevation of 10,400 feet. Consists of Brookies. Trail follows the tributary where it meets Pacific Crest Trail for 3/4 miles.
Lee Lake: (18 acres) at an elevation of 10,800 feet. Had Consisted of Rainbows, now managed as "Fishless". Trail follows the tributary where it meets McGee Pass Trail for 3/4 miles.
Cecil Lake: (18 acres) at an elevation of 10,900 feet. Consists of Rainbows. Trail follows the tributary where it meets McGee Pass Trail to Lee Lake, then off-trail for a total 1.1 miles.
Tully Lake: (8 acres) at an elevation of 10,475 feet. Consists of Brookies. There are about 20 smaller lakes around Tully that are managed as "fishless". Trail from McGee Pass trail about 1/3 mile.
Red & White Mtn. Lake: (30 acres) at an elevation of 11,100 feet. Consists of Rainbows. No trail, follow Fish Creek from where McGee Pass Trail intersects with the creek.
Golden Lake: (7 acres) at an elevation of 10,377 feet. Consists of Goldens and Golden/Rainbow Hybrids. Take McGee Pass Trail 6 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395. Must go off-trail for .5 miles from McGee Creek.
Crocker Lake: (7 acres) at an elevation of 10,880 feet. Consists of Brookies. Take McGee Pass Trail 6 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395 to Golden Lake. Must go off-trail for about 1 miles from McGee Creek by way of Golden Lake.
Big McGee Lake: (40 acres) at an elevation of 10,550 feet. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows. Take McGee Pass Trail 7 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395.
Little McGee Lake: (8 acres) at an elevation of 11,050 feet. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows. Take McGee Pass Trail 8 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395



© 2016 Steve Schalla
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Lost Keys Purple Lake Lake Dorothy Lake Virginia Tully Hole Constance Lake Hortense Lake Olive Lake Lake of the Lone Indian Tully Lake Anne Lake Graveyard Lake Wilbur May Lake Silver Pass Lake Mott Lake Rosy Finch Lake Lower Hopkins Lake