Exploring the Blue Lakes: Day Three

Deputy Editor Jay Cassell and Greg Moore, Trout Unlimited’s communications specialist for TU’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Projects, spent three days with … Continued

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See that cut on the mountain over there? Yeah, that’s the road. A bit of a challenge, shall we say? Not the type of road you can drive on in winter or spring, unless you have a snowmobile or ATV. And in summer and fall, you’d better have four-wheel drive and a vehicle with a lot of clearance.
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That’s Onion Reservoir, another lake with trout fishing and camping bordering the Blue Lakes WSA. It’s also used for irrigation by a nearby ranch; by agreement, the outflow is shut it down when the lake level has been drawn down to a designated level.
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We eventually reached a small parking area, with a public outhouse, then started the mile hike in.
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Made it.
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Greg caught the first Blue Lakes trout, a tiger, on a No. 18 Parachute Adams. He later caught others on Royal Wulffs.
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Jim tries an area near the outlet.
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We all caught fish. Here’s a small tiger.
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And a bigger one.
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We fished from about 2 until 5:30. When shadows started to spread over the lake, we called it quits and headed out. As I left, I looked back on that stark mountainside. I had been hoping to see a California bighorn, mule deer, or mountain lion up there, but no such luck.
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Then it was back on the road, back to Denio Junction. The sun set as we made our way out.
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Next morning, it was back on I-80 to Reno (that’s Greg filling up the, uh, gas tank; hint – when you travel in rural Nevada, keep an eye on your gas gauge). Once we got to Reno, I flew United to San Francisco, San Francisco to JFK, then car service to my home north of New York City. Got home at 2 in the morning. A long way to go, perhaps, but you know what? To experience places like Knott Creek or Blue Lakes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Deputy Editor Jay Cassell and Greg Moore, Trout Unlimited’s communications specialist for TU’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Projects, spent three days with Jim Jeffress, TU’s Nevada backcountry coordinator, exploring the Blue Lakes – Pine Forest Range in the far northwest corner of Nevada, close to the Oregon line.