Fixing a blown tyre in the Altamont Pass
Hot dogs at the Tracy Fly Fishers
The Tracy Fly Fishers having a friendly blind folded tying
I spent 2 bucks, won close to 10 and lost it all
The saw mill can be fished both from the shore and from a
Rich Lobrowich floating the Sawmill Lake
Martin fighting a dire rainbow on the quiet Sawmill
That same fish - a nice hen of more than 6 lbs.
Tying CDC&Elks in the caboose after fishing.
What a place to have a burger for breakfast! A true
American diner in Truckee.
Looking at the beautiful Northern Californian landscape
from Rich's car.
The two fly-fishing amigos getting ready for a long hike
into the mountains for native fish.
The streams are small, but the fish are plenty. Here Martin
has hooked one in a 'large' pool.
Clarks Creek fish are also numerous and fairly
Martin hooked a fish just downstream from this trunk. The
fish immediately swam upstraem - under the trunk!
The stream has calm areas...
...and fast stretches.
Martin taking the last casts on the Clarks before heading
This is the story about how two fly-fishers from each side of the
Globe, who only just met, wound up changing a blown tyre in fierce winds below thousands of wind
mills in the Altamont Pass in California on their way to a club meeting in Tracy before an outing in
the beautiful High Sierra mountains in pursuit of big stocked fish and small wild ones.
The ultimate quest: they're not big, but the native
Lahontan Cutthroats are small pearls.
The contact was as many times before done through the net. I had business in the US, and dropped
an e-mail to a couple of mailing lists. Rich replied the same evening.
Hi Martin, Do you like Big Lakes, Small Alpine
lakes, Rivers, streams or small creeks to fish?
What type of shape are you in?
How old are you?
I like small creeks that are about 10-15 feet Max and average 1.5 feet deep with pockets going
Thanks Rich Lob
I answered in a good spirit: yes, anything goes - not in iron man shape - closing in on 40 (that
was back then!). But it sure sounded like Rich was my man for setting up a fishing trip. His next
mail confirmed this:
Will require a short backpack to fish for Native
Do you know the difference between Native and Wild Trout?
Thanks Rich Lob
Yes I did know the difference between Native and Wild Trout, but not
the Lahontan Cutthroat that Rich mentioned. I was soon to learn:
Heritage Trout: Lahontan cutthroat trout
(Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi)
Current Angling Regulations:
Method of Take: Only artificial lures with barbless hooks
Season: July 1 through September 30
Just make it out here and we will make do with what we have.
Thanks Rich Lob
We agreed on an itinerary along these lines:
First a meeting with the Tracies
Then a stocked lake for big rainbow
After that a hike for small native Cutt's
And last a creek for small wild trout
That's what I call good roundup to a business trip
I have experienced this many times before. It's like meeting an old friend. Rich picked me up in
Santa Cruz, and we went to Monterey to dine. We blabbered along all the way along the coast and
had no trouble whatsoever finding subjects for our talk. Dinner was great - fish and seafood on
the wharf of course - and I was dropped off back in Santa Cruz the same evening. We would meet
again a couple of days later.
I was picked up, and we had a meeting to attend to. I was cordially invited to join the Tracy Fly
Fishers for hotdogs, casting, blindfolded tying and camaraderie:
I have a Tracy Fly Fishers meeting on Wednesday
8-18-99 at 6PM. I hope that I can take you with me.
If everything works out we might be able to leave Santa Cruz on 8-18-99 (Thursday) for the Tracy
Fly Fishers meeting and then head up to the hills from Tracy to fish.
Thanks Rich Lob
The trip would turn out to be an experience in itself. On our way
north out of Santa Cruz, we had to cross the Altamont Pass. The highway crossing this pass is - as
all that's American - large. It has many lanes, and we were calmly cruising along when a bang
suddenly sent the car swaying and Rich had to find the roadside in a hurry. We had blown a rear
tyre, and had to do a roadside change.
We eventually managed to find the place where the Tracy Fly Fishers had their meeting and had a
great evening with hot dogs, casting and blindfolded tying.
We slept by Rich's friend and Tracy Fly Fishers President Corey Cate, whose house was a treat - filled with magazines, flies and FF-stuff.
The next day we headed out for the mountains, and I'll let Rich tell the story, as he did in the club's newsletter:
Our Danish Visitor
Last week Martin Joergensen came to town. He was in
Santa Cruz on business. Martin is from Denmark, about ½ a World away from the left coast.
He had a few days to fish so I offered to be his guide through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
We first meet on Monday night and took a long ride
to Monterey to have a great dinner on the Wharf.
It is so amazing to me that when we started talking fly fishing we had so much in common. Martin
enjoys fishing for Sea Trout and I enjoy High Mountain Wild Trout. No, I did not get high with the
trout... dream on.
Then on Wednesday afternoon we headed to Tracy to
meet the Tracy Fly Fishers during their monthly meeting. I learned for the first time how to cast
a Spey Rod. Martin fit right in as he had conversation with most of our membership.
Thursday AM we headed toward Truckee to fish Sawmill
Lake. It is a pay lake that holds nice Rainbows at 7,200 feet. Before we headed to the lake we
stopped in the Truckee River Outfitters and said hello to Andy Burk. Then Lisa Cutter stopped by.
I asked her about a small creek that held some native
Lanhontan Cutthroats. Lisa gave us her secret weapon on that name less little creek, use small
We then headed to SawMill to fish the afternoon and
evening. At 4 PM on my second cast with a blue adult damsel size 12 into the brush I hooked a nice
fish at 24 inches. By 8 PM I had landed and released a total of 6 fish the largest was 26 inches
and about 5½ lbs. a buck BTW.
Martin also landed many nice fish. His largest was 24 inches and 6½ lbs. - a hen. This hen
looked like a football for those of you who read Richard Anderson's book.
Watching Martin tie CDC/Elk Hair Caddis by candle light inside a red caboose was very
Early Friday morning we met Frank Pisciotta at SawMill Lake. Frank had lots to say about the lake
now that he lives in Truckee full time. So we exchanged some good information on the bug
Spot the cruiser in Sawmill Lake
The next day we headed toward Nevada to show Martin
how to use the slot machines. We headed toward Sorenson's for an early lunch and get ready for our
over night back packing trip in search of
Native Lahontan Cutthroats. Now for the big question. Why would someone like Martin who just met
me follow me four miles into the Wilderness in search of fish so small you need a microscope to
see these little fish?
OK, I made a wrong turn which cost us an extra four miles of hiking that almost killed me.
Somehow we made it to a base camp and I found enough energy to fish on Friday night. Martin could
not believe how small this little creek was ... and that there were trout in the creek. My guess
is that is was running at 10 CFS. Martin started fishing first and managed to hook fish in each
pool. His largest fish was 8 inches and mine was 7 inches. He took a few photos that I hope turn
out. These are wonderful little fish. Seek and you shall find.
The walk out was much easier and shorter. We stopped
at the truck to unload our gear and had an ice cold cervaza before we headed toward our third
destination. Along the way we just had to stop at the Cutthroat Saloon in Markleville to check out
the decor. On the ceiling hung fresh bra's and panties from the party the night before. We took
pictures of the hotel and saloon along with many bikes out front left
over from the long back from Sturgis, South Dakota.
We then headed over the Altamont Pass to a small
little creek that was a technical challenge with fish behind every rock. We fished again from 4 PM
until 8 PM with good success for some small Wild Rainbows. The largest was a 13 inches Rainbow and
the smallest was a 4-inch Brookie.
On Sunday AM we headed toward the SF airport as
Martin had a plane to catch. A world a part we spent five days in search Wild and Native Trout as
we spoke the common language of Fly Fishing.
So if you ever get the chance to meet and fish with some one in this manner - go for it. Both
your lives will be enriched. To change a common saying: walk softly and carry a small stick.
Stealth fly-fishing is the wave of the future ... if you have a 4 wt. rod think about a 2 wt. rod
on your next trip.
Martin you are a good friend and fishing partner,
next time you are in California we will go horse packing for Golden Trout.
Thanks Rich Lob