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Monday, September 5, 2011

Local Knowledge Gone Fishing

On our drive up to Lake Arrowhead, James followed us off the I-215 to a Chevron where he stopped us to talk about Salt—he being an Airstream enthusiast.  His enthusiasm increased when he discovered Rosco and he immediately shared pictures of his own wire fox terrier.  Maybe because he felt we were kindred spirits, he provided us with some local insight:  For a nice day around a creek, drive off of Route 173 to Hook Creek Road and follow it to the end.  He mentioned it is not a suitable road for Salt, but Pepper should have “no problem.”  At the time, I was thinking, “We don’t need a creek, we will have all of Lake Arrowhead to play in—who needs a creek?” 

But we are determined to start using local knowledge when it comes to us so on Saturday we took a quick tour out Route 173 to locate Hook Creek Road and then followed that curving extravaganza to the Deep Creek National Forest Recreation Area.  (Really, we need to figure out how to find these places on our own!  If not for James, we would have never known it was here.)  The dirt road became a bit much for me (terrified of popping one of our low-profile tires, my brother Chris has the best story about that) so we parked off the road a bit and peered over the edge.  Wouldn’t you know it?  We could see running water.  James didn’t know if there was fishing or not, but he did mention that dogs run freely and there are just a “ton” of little pools throughout the valley. 

Sunday dawned hot hot hot and, having learned about Lake Arrowhead being private (i.e., don’t try to play in it unless you own a piece of it) and Lake Gregory not allowing dogs, we found ourselves in need of a creek after all and headed back to Deep Creek, dogs and fishing gear included.  We hiked almost a mile into the valley and saw two fish of decent size, but had no luck catching any.  The dogs had a great time splashing through the water and running freely along the trail.  River even went swimming (although only to try and “save” me when I had dunked under in our private swimming hole.)

On the way out we caught up with three fishermen and so I asked, with a bit of sarcasm, if they had any luck.  “Oh yes!” They all replied.  “I caught two, a 12” and an 15” trout”, “I caught three”, “I caught three too”, to which I replied, “Oh you guys are joking!”  And thus started to laugh good-naturedly.  They did not join in.  They were serious.  They also practiced catch and release so didn’t have the proof my jealous senses were seeking.  But that got us hooked!  We had to come back.

However, Sunday morning dawned with rain showers which kept us inside.  Alan installed some new LED lights, I did my nails, cleaned up a bit and took a short hike with the dogs.  If we stay in the area another night or two (or again sometime) you can bet we’ll be back out to Deep Creek!

-K

PS:  Will have some lovely pictures soon . . . internet connection is difficult to come by and I need a good one to upload pictures.