As California enters its fourth year of drought, our streams and our ability to fish them is going to be seriously impacted. There will be almost no spring snowmelt and its accompanying high water.
In fact this year, you should be fishing streams that you usually put off until mid or late summer. A great stream this year might just be Bloods Creek near Bear Valley on Highway 4.
Bloods Creek is a friendly little creek that’s about 30 feet wide and knee deep. In the section I’m going to suggest, it’s loaded with fat wild Book Trout between 9 and 12 inches. Your starting point for some great Brookie fishing begins about a mile and a half downhill (West) of the Bear Valley on Hiway 4 at GPS co-ordinates 38 degrees, 26 minutes, 48.24 seconds N & at 120 degrees 03minutes, 43.38 seconds W which is at elevation 6,575 feet msl.
Rig up your rod small stream rod and use your favorite bright flashy flies to catch endless Brookies as you fish upstream in an easterly direction about a mile and 1/2 to the meadow in Bear Valley. You can then walk about ½ mile due North past the Bear Valley riding stables to Highway 4 where you’ll be almost exactly ½ mile east of the Calaveras County -Alpine County line at GPS co-ordinates: 38 degrees, 27 minutes, 28.33 seconds N and 120 degrees, 03 minutes, 08.06 seconds W at an elevation of 7,250 feet.
Then follow the shoulder of Highway 4 west about ½ mile back to your car. Back in 1964 I was more concerned about dinner and the next day’s breakfast than catch and release fishing I’d usually return with 10 fat Brookies. These days I fish almost exclusively on a catch and release basis, although Brookies in a back country stream tend to breed until the stream is over populated, so you don’t have to feel guilty if you keep a few fish for dinner. Don’t be surprised if you hook a few hatchery rainbows at both the very beginning and at the end of your angling day.
The section of Bloods Creek you have just fished makes for an easy day’s fishing on a friendly creek where you’ll probably run into no other anglers. There is no trail on the initial hike from your car to the creek. Just take the path of least resistance as you make your way almost due South through the woods. Keep your eyes open and you might spot a mama wild turkey and her clutch of chicks, a black tail fawn, or even a coyote in search of dinner. If you also pay attention to where you place your feet, you might just spot an arrowhead or two. Upon reaching your car you can drive uphill (EB) a couple miles to Lake Alpine Lodge and reward yourself with a cold drink and a burger. Once you get hooked on Bloods Creek, you’ll probably go back year after year.