Farewell East Walker…For Now
Finally! Finally the weather was nice and I was free to go fishing. I had wanted to get out on the East Walker since the flows were still under 250 CFS. I honestly couldn’t believe that they had remained constant for over a week, but they had. So off I went.
I headed to the Nevada side since I have yet to purchase a California license. At the bridge on the Rosaschi Ranch there we several Humvees and a lot of Marines, I think. I didn’t stop to ask. Anyway, I ended up at the Elbow and on the way down the hill I noticed a lot of water at the far end by the two poplar trees (if you’ve been there you know the ones I mean).
After I parked, I investigated and, yes, there was too much water. The river had broken it’s bank and was now flowing across a meadow area. I’d guess about half the flow had been diverted. This ain’t no small trickle, folks. We’re talking 100 to 150 CFS. I’m curious to see how this goes. Will the river divert to this new flow or will it remain split and form an island? Time will tell.
I figured that small section that was being bypassed would be fishing pretty well with the lower flows, so I focused on that area. I fished the new little waterfalls created by the rogue flow and had a few trout smack my indicator, but no takes on the nymph. I worked upstream and caught a couple of 10 inch stocked rainbows. Not what I was hoping for.
I ended up at the new divergence in the river and worked upstream to good spot I know. The new flow is already gouging out a deep channel. I suspect it’s permanent. I kept hearing a strange noise and wondered if someone was stuck and revving their engine on the other side of the Elbow. Then a bull, an apparently angry or possibly horny bull, pushed out of the willows about 50 yards away and just stood there snorting at me.
Then I saw the trio of cows upstream and figured he was just randy. I worked my way up to my spot and switched to a tight-line rig. I fished the spot thoroughly with only one fish that I managed to LDR. Time to eat lunch and move on I figured, so I headed upstream to where the river meets the road.
I crossed where the water should have been maybe to my mid-thigh, but soon I was in very fast-moving water above my waste. I could literally touch the far bank, but was in 4 feet of water that I don’t remember being that deep last fall. I maneuvered to a nearby boulder and began to climb out and suddenly I was hanging on for dear life.
My legs were swept from beneath me and I was clinging to the rock, my waders filling with water and my camera getting soaked. I climbed onto the boulder and was able to now, somehow, easily climb out. Why couldn’t i do that the fist time? Dripping wet, camera soaked and my right leg filled with water, I trudged back to my truck and decided I knew when I was beat.
Only when I was back to the truck did I notice my net was gone. I drove back, but no luck. If you find a small measure net in Walker Lake, it’s mine. I took the long way back through Yerington. Pretty country, but no pictures, my camera was drying out. It works though, so all is not lost. Not what I had hoped, but at least the day was interesting.
So, why farewell? Well, upon my return home I checked the flows out of curiosity. Today at about 1:30 pm they jumped from 230 CFS to 390! With Twin Lakes and Bridgeport Reservoir near capacity, not to mention the ranchers needing water, it was inevitable. While the river can be fished at high flows, I don’t enjoy that. I probably won’t be back until September. So, farewell East Walker…for now anyway.