High Sierra Pack Trip by
Frontier Pack Train
Kent & Dave Dohnel
Located near Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop Hwy 158 California Eastern Sierra's
"Men should live not just exist" - Jack London
Come join the round up for a summer pack trip exploring the pristine backcountry of the Eastern Sierra's via professional guided horseback outfitters.
So get your hat, dust off your boots and saddle up. Get a move on cowpoke, it's time to ride! Oh yeah bring trout gear too.
City Slickers Welcome (Trail Pros up front Slickers in back).
Departing from Silver Lake trip features trail ride and camping in the Ansel Adams Wilderness and Yosemite National Park.
All gear and supplies packed in by mule.
This is Duncan, a true pro, he manages the mules.
From the June Lake Loop I have spent many years at the eastern base of these mountains looking up. Now I am on top.
You can plan your trip however you like. We have opted for a 5 day trip. Day one ride half day and make camp. Day three break camp, ride half day and camp. Day 5 break camp and ride to a shuttle pick up.
You can make a long ride and get out there or you can take it easy. One day or many days, it's your choice, Frontier will cater.
Unless you're an ultra-hiker you are most likely not going to witness these spectacular granite capped landscapes.
A lake... (Davis Lakes/see the hikers?).
... or stream...
...is always around the next bend.
Granite bowl at 9,900 feet
Along the way camping...
...and good food. Say hello to Lindsey. Lindsey is a professional trail ride chef! She has planned and prepared to taste all our meals. A chef is optional but well worth the investment.- set yourself free. Those are bear boxes in the background, very important!
Mountain spring water and cowboy coffee, the best!
The Gang at the campfire! Both guys on my shoulders have amazing stories. That is what I need, more amazing stories. By the way don't mess with us, you're going to lose.
Oh yeah almost forgot this is a fishing trip too!
The streams are loaded with thousands of Brook Trout. Like a Koi Pond the goldfish will get only as big as the population allows. I swear this little dude has a kipe!
A larger catch.
Like booking this trip the lure too is a Fred Hall Special. It's a 1/16 oz. Rooster Tail gold blade white body white feather with a single shank hook. My rod is a two piece ultra light paired with a 1000 spinning reel spooled with 4lb test monofilament.
This set up was all I needed setting the Frontier record by doubling the old mark with 138 brook trout in 5 hours, sorry Duncan. I stopped with several hours of day light left. Every fish was a sight fish. The key was to walk down stream, scouting along the way.
These trout are obviously looking up-current and yes you could catch some of them on the downstream move but more importantly you can take mental notes of how they position on key locations.
When you turn back and approach from behind them those mental notes will pay off. Allowing you to bring your lure directly in front of and over the larger fish. These locations could be any condition that broke the current allowing the trout to hold in calm water while positioned directly next to the current.
Bends in the stream, micro points creating a back eddy, depressions, lay downs, where ever calm water is next to moving water these are likely funnels.
Starting trail ride #2 day 3. How many bucks can you spot in this shot?
Ascending Donahue Pass, elevation 11,056 feet.
Over the crest entering Yosemite National Park.
Dropping into Lyell Canyon.
Looking back at the pass from the canyon floor, wow the hardest leg of the trip.
Taking a well deserved break. This is Alex our Pack Leader, the trail boss. He knows how to take the reins.
Day 5 ride #3, thankful for flat land.
Heading to Tuolumne Meadows.
We made it! Alex, Lindsey, Duncan and Frontier you are awesome. Thank you for providing an amazing time a remarkable adventure!