Camping/fishing French Meadows
I was so excited to get this end of season trip in! And so great to be going somewhere new. On the road at 6:45am. Auburn around 9am. Even before getting off hwy 80 we could smell the American fire. Got gas and worms and then on to Forest Hill. It was bad. No view just smoke.
We already had it set in our minds we would be camping and fishing in the thick of it. We pressed on. Mosquito ridge rd same thing. Kind of scary in those hair pins switchbacks. I do have to say though, I was told by many people how bad this road was. Potholes and such...To be very careful. Good news. It is fixed now and a very comfortable smooth ride. We made the 36 miles to French Meadows in exactly one hour. Even better, after passing the last couple of valleys the smoke was gone just like that! Poof!
Pulled up to the reservoir, Clear, Bright and boy is the water low!!!!!
Really low like more than 100 ft.And that brings us to trying to find a camp spot near the water. LOL no way! We ended up in French Meadows campground in site 49. We could have had any spot as it was basically deserted. But it looked the closest even with a 150 ft walk down a steep bank of ankle breaking rocks.Oh well you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. We set up camp and hit the water at 10:45. Started out so calm and nice started hitting fish right away.
All trout from 9 to 13". Best coming on yellow, orange and green hoochie spinners. With bright Gvf dodgers. Also a spin bug if I remember correctly. Everything tipped with a crawler. We worked the north side and the dam in 100 ft of water at 40 to 70 ft down. It was only around noon when the evil winds picked up. Good thing we were using the new trolling plate. Worked great! That's when we first saw the helicopters. These guys came non stop for the whole three days we were there. Sometimes three at a once sucking up water and heading back to the fire. They saw us so often that they would give us super close flybys as we clapped for them with our thumbs up! Hats off to you and thanks for the hard work guys! We found out the wind only gets worse as the day goes on and it made trolling difficult. Last fish at 5:50pm.
Mike went in and I headed back out for a bit to bait fish. No luck in the wind so back up that long rocky hill and to bed.
Ended the day with 9 trout all released.
Really wanted to go to Hell hole the next day but if it was going to be this windy at FMs then we knew it would be worse up there so we made an executive decision to stay where we were and try HH next time. Turns out that it was a good choice.
Day two, Wakey Wakey eggs and Bakey! On the water at 7:45. Nice and calm at first. Started in the same area. The fish came right away, Then in waves. Then really slow. We fished non stop until 7pm. Even in the crazy wind gobbling up battery and gas. That's almost 12 hours. I know right? Who does that?...We do I guess. lol.
High point was the 16" brown I caught on the chartreuse Hoochie spinner with worm at 8:30am. We had hits on almost everything, But mostly the bright hoochies and worms. Worms were the key and Thanks are given to those who emphasized it over and over to me you were so right! Thank you!
Ended that day with 17 fish. YAY!
Day three, Up at 6am and fishing by 7am. By now we knew where to go. Down riggers and stackers out.
First fish, 7:30.
Mike-15" Brown on the same lure as mine the day before. I was so hoping he would get one too! YAY! Kept. A little slower this morning but we did pull out another eight fish today. Hottest was the Orange hoochie with the copper spinner and the copper sep's dodger. 40-45 ft.So what I learned about French meadows is this lake is the best in the morning. North side bright colors and worms. There you have it.
Eight fish before hitting the road at 1pm. Much clearer on our way back.Have so many pics but I am limited on how many I can post.Home at 4pm.
Oh lovely shower! Nothing better after tent camping! ( Making the AHHH sound)...A total of 34 fish this trip only bringing home seven. Fed a few Eagles and lost half as many at or close to the net.Still fun but I think I will go back next when this lake is full. That walk down is an ankle/deal breaker.
Now it is t-minus only a few day until I have to go back to work at the school. Where did the time go? Fall can come bring us better fishing closer to home. I am ready. Tonight I am sore, tired and happy.
Thanks for joining in on our adventures friends! Mike and Kristy.