Peninsula Fly Fishers
  

Bear Creek to Florence Lake Backpack Fishout 2011

by

Mike McGuire

The backpack fishout this year once again defaulted to us of the hardcore,  Gary Trott and myself--no matter, we had a great time.

Mike and Gary at start
At the trailhead

We met at the Florence Lake parking lot to leave Gary's car to close the loop at the end of the trip. Spent the night at campground on Lake Edison. Next  morning put my rig in 4WD and drove to trailhead, a couple of miles of driving up and down stairs. This being a heavy water year, much of Bear Creek was in a high flow hard to fish conditiion, but we found some nice pools in fishable condition.

Bear Creek Pool
Bear Creek Pool

One advantage of so much water was a fine wildflower bloom--one of the best years I can remember.

Leopard Lilly
Leopard Lilly

Shooting Stars
Shooting Stars

We had a short day reaching a camp near the the Lake Italy Trail. By crossing the creek there and climbing a hill we reached Bear Twin lakes which have a fine population of good sized brookies.

Lower Bear Twin Lake
Lower Bear Twin Lake

Bear Twin Brookie (invited to dinner)
Bear Twin Brookie (invited to dinner)

Next day we left the main trail and went up to Sandpiper Lake past  Lou Beverly Lake. We stayed there a couple of days at a superb campsite with a view of the lake, fishing Sandpiper and  Three Island Lake and some ponds up above.

Gary with Three Island Golden
Gary with Three Island Golden

Next day we took a cross country shortcut over to Marie Lake. It was pretty easy and featured an encounter with two big mule deer bucks.

Mule Deer Buck in Velvet
Mule Deer Buck in Velvet

Marie is a big lake and fish are hard to find in it at times but we both got some nice fish.

Mikes Golden
Mike's Golden

Gary's Marie Lake Brookie
Gary's Marie Lake Brookie

Next day took us over Selden Pass, the highest point on the route.

On Selden Pass
On Selden Pass

This took us down past Heart Lake  which we fished for awhile, getting a few goldens. From there we went down to the Sally Keyes Lakes. Trail rumors had it that the bugs were pretty bad there. There is a hill between the two lakes which has a nice flat top--excellent campsites, and minimal bugs. Amazing how being willing to schlepp water a couple of hundred feet to camp helps. Fishing was good provided you had the right fly. I found a Ralph Cutter style Martis Midge was what they wanted.

Sunset at Sally Keyes
Sunset at Sally Keyes

 Next day we were up early and made it down to Florence Lake in time catch the 11 o'clock ferry out to the road.
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