mind expanding nonsense

Longing For Lone Pine

It’s march already, and I haven’t caught a fish yet. I’m longing for Lone Pine. Lone Pine California that is, home of Mt Whitney, the beginning of the Eastern Sierras, and home of some of the best trout fishing in the Golden State.

Lone Pine is located in the Owens Valley, on Hwy 395. And that’s were the fun begins. The Dept of Fish & Game starts planting the creeks that run out of the Sierras with rainbow trout about this time of year, and I just love to catch those slimy little creatures.

Fishing is the number one geezer sport out there, and for good reason, cause fishin is just like sex: Once you get used to the feel of that little twitching at the end of your rod, you just want to do it again and again. Best part is, the fish don’t talk back or give ya a bunch of shit.

Now, there’s more to fishing than just yanking unsuspecting, yet greedy little creatures out of their natural environment, by deceiving them with food that actually contains sharp hooks, with which they become ensnared when thinking they’re about to get a meal, but in reality are about to meet their Maker.  It’s more of a Zen experience, almost meditative: the great outdoors, near a stream, alone with nature,  cigar in mouth and ice cold beer in hand.

When I go, my buddies and I usually stay at Tuttle Creek. It’s just outside of Lone Pine, behind the Alabama Hills, where a lot of movies have been shot; the 1939 classic Gungha Din, being the most memorable. Tuttle Creek campground is an unimproved campsite, with no potable water. But, it’s spectacular in it’s views of both the Sierras and White Mountains across the Owens Valley. With the proper medication, it also becomes quite psychedelic.

Whenever I go to Tuttle Creek, I gotta stop by and see my Buddie Nick. Nick lives at the campground year round. He has an old Ford Econo-line type camper, but what’s inside is really a trip. Nick, who always lived on the fringes of society, was a machinist; “before all the damn jobs went overseas”. Inside, he’s got a wood burning stove and his own little jewelry workshop, complete with drill press, grinders, and a machine to roll out silver. Outside, he has his gas generator which powers a lathe, and multitude of other power tools. He makes silver jewelry and carves, local hard woods into everything from custom ax handles to pot pipes.  He’s the most resourceful guy I know.

There’s fishin to suit everyone’s taste around Lone Pine. I prefer creek fishing, stalking those stockers out from underneath banks, and shallow pools; some have been in the wild for as long as a day, before I catch em.  There is also a big sand trap outside of Lone Pine, where ya can just sit and slurp beer all day if you want. The local AA chapter is just down the street.

Further north on Hwy 395, you come to the “Geezer Creeks”, so named by my fishin bud Geezerpuss. These creeks flow out of the Sierras, but lay on flat land, which makes them easily accessible to huge motor homes. They park right on the edge of the creek, and usually come with a gray-haired couple, who have the same haircuts, dress alike, have at least two small yapping dogs, and commence to beer drinkin’ around 11:00 in the morning. Their idea of fishing is to set up a lawn chair on the bank and get wasted. After they are totally bombed, the Geezers usually retire to their queen sized beds and watch satellite television; resting up for the early evening session of drinking.

That’s really roughing it, but me and my Bud are usually busy getting wasted too, and retire to a cheap tent, which we proceed to fill with farts. Don’t get much better than that! That reminds me, I better get my license and head up there soon. The call of the wild beckons.


Comments on: "Longing For Lone Pine" (13)

  1. Hansi,
    I’ve never been a fishing guy try as my dad tried to get me into it but sitting beside a pond waiting for the bobber to bob or even casting a line and reeling it in just never floated my boat.
    One of the best things I ever did with my older son was to take him up Mt. Whitney. We stayed at a campground- maybe the same one you like. He was 11 and that was about the last time he was able to spend more than two hours with me without bolting.
    Maybe I should have tried fishing again but that would have meant going off by myself – or making a friend.

  2. I’m like Ralph I don’t fish, but I can understand the Zen like qualities of the sport.

    In the book ‘Wild Swans’, a family history covering 20th century China, the grandfather went fishing without a rod! He just sat by the river for 6 or 7 hours and contemplated life.

    As you said, fishing IS Zen like.

    Leamington Spa, England

  3. What kind of trout to you get out in Lone Pine? I like to hit the Yellow Breeches, a small creek out here in PA. Apart from the thrilling fact that it got its name from the lime that turned Redcoats pants yellow when they waded in it, it’s also good for a few browns and rainbows.

    • Thanks for stoppin by and swapping fish stores. Fish and Game plants rainbow trout, usually 10 to 12 inches, but sometimes bigger. Golden trout are planted in some areas, but you got to hike or backpack it into the higher lakes to get em. An occasional brown trout will show up too. The early season opens March 5th, and I’m goin fishin 🙂

  4. geezerpussrex said:

    For Grumpy’s information, the Geezer Creeks are sporadically stocked by the California State Department of Fish and Game. The High Sierra alpine lakes have spooky little Golden Trout, which are legended to descend from those replanted aerially by Chuck Yeager while he was a test pilot for the Glorious Glennis in the ’50s. Down in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, Hansi and his lower elevated chums make waste of hatchery trout purported to be a hybrid of cuttrout and Coho salmon. We crazed tent campers are finding less competition due to the higher prices of fuel for behemoth RVs, but also cut backs by the State on hatchery plantings. We eat what we catch and celebrate the spirit of Hopalong under starry skies. You’ll be hearing more about it, no doubt.

  5. Although I have only ever fished at sea, I can see the attraction of your playground Hansi, especially with a taste or two of beer to help things along.

    It sounds a great place for relaxation and getting bombed, I know a few of them myself believe it or not.

    Often Wasted, Ashton-under-Lyne, UK

    • You know, sometimes a man just needs to get away and be himself sometimes. And I do believe you probably know of a lot of hideouts away from home. 🙂

  6. i like your page, i really wanna go fish in the sierras i live in orange county ca and have only been to the sierras once, when i went to yosemite though i didnt get a chance to fish since it was off season, i’ve been wanting to go to the owens river in bishop but i’m waiting for winter. i’m sort of new to fishing freshwater but i absolutely love creeks, i could hike,swim and fish them all day long. i do go to the san gabriel mountains a lot though, lots of small wild bows but sometimes you get surprised with a nice one, i’ve also heard there’s browns there too. actually i’m going in a couple of hours, gonna do some camping, swimming, and fishing. as to the people who don’t like fishing, i respect their opinions but i just can’t comprehend how could that be possible, without fishing i can’t live, it’s what kept me out of trouble in highschool and is what drives me today. thanks and have a good one.

  7. Sweet news! Now we’ve got Jesus [of Orange County] to compete with on the geezer creeks of the Eastern Sierra Nevada drainage. We should’ve mentioned the long lines, hefty concession prices, and those annoying birds in the Tiki Room. Oops! I’ve mistaken Lone Pine for Disneyland again. Tight lines Jesus and all you fishermen friends.

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