Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rio Trampas-Carson National Forest

Our second to last day in Truchas,we headed out again on Forest Road 207,but this time followed it to its end at the Trampas Campground.Several cars were parked at the trailhead, but no one was camping. They were all probably hiking to the Trampas Lakes on Trail 31. We took the same trail,which immediately took us high above the rushing and tumbling Rio Trampas. The trail stays on the east bank and ranges from about 20 to 100 feet above the creek until about 3 1/2 miles in where it leveled off and brought us right beside the stream.There is small shady camping spot here. Fish were visible in the much calmer flow. The gradient was slight compared to the several miles from the trailhead to this point, where the stream had been more or less one long cascade. Really that whole section looked to be an unfishable bushwhack with high water,large boulders and a very steep sided, narrow, creek bed. I guess with lower water, it could be tried,but it still would be far from easy ,and probably not much fun. At the first stream crossing we turned around. Although we were making much better time, and the trail was much easier than the one to the San Leonardo Lakes, I wanted to get back to the trailhead area to get a little fishing in before dinner time.So we left the lakes for another trip, another day.Back at the trailhead I tried my luck first upstream without much success.I then went downstream, at first getting a couple of bites,then one,two,three frustrating hook-ups,the last of which I must have had on for 10 seconds before losing the fish. A bit of panic set in,because I knew I was on the clock( my wife,who doesn't fish, can be very patient, and I'm learning not to push my luck as I get older),but it all ended happily when I caught a nice cutthroat on grayish elk hair caddis. My wife even came down from the truck and snapped some photos of me releasing my prize. I'm not sure what other species are in the Rio Trampas,if any, but that cutthroat was a beauty,and I called it day soon after. Downstream from the campground the Trampas remains fairly level,but is frequently encased in willows,with a very few open spots for fishing and pulling off the road. It could be alright for an afternoon or morning of weekday fishing, but I believe it's a relatively popular spot on the weekends. Still, I'm thinking if I was able to pull out a decent sized fish right in the campground,other, less traveled spots might be surprisingly productive.

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