Friday, June 12, 2009

Profile of Bubbs Creek, High Sierra, CA

Ahh, Bubbs Creek, a great trout stream. This stream's headwaters gain it's flow from run off and higher lakes below the peaks of Deerhorn Mountain, Mt. Stanford, Junction Peak and Center Peak. As it gains strength it flows north into Vidette Meadow and then takes a hard turn west, flowing almost 20 miles and then spilling into the Kings River near Road's End and Cedar Grove. In it's upper reaches, Bubbs is home to some wonderful Golden Trout. From Vidette Meadow and downstream, though, the water is dominated by Brown Trout. I was surprised to find Brown Trout as high as Vidette Meadow.

The Virtual Fly Guides informed fly fisher Ralph Cutter, author of "The Sierra Trout Guide", the Browns were present in the Bubbs Vidette section. He was surprised, and so was the Department of Fish and Game staff when he informed them. The good thing is the Browns cannot reach the 5 mile section above the meadow due to some small waterfalls and cascades.

To reach the lower section of Bubbs(from the west) take Highway 180 out of Fresno (Kings River Scenic Byway) to the mountain hamlet of Cedar Grove. Just past Cedar Grove is Road's End, where you begin your hike at the clearly marked trail head. Hike along the Kings River for a while and then climb the switchbacks up into the Bubbs drainage. From this point you have about 15 miles of prime dry fly fishing.

To reach the upper part of Bubbs you begin your hike at the Onion Valley trail head which takes you west, up and over Kearsarge Pass. From the pass drop down past Kearsarge Lakes, around Bullfrog Lake and then go south, dropping steeply into Vidette Meadow. You will then follow the Pacific Crest/John Muir Trail along Bubbs Creek up stream for another 5 miles until you reach a camp area below Forrester Pass. At this point you are high above the headwaters. You must hike (no trail) down to the small stream below. You will be rewarded for your extra effort to get down there.

I guess the most direct route to the Bubbs headwaters is to take the Shepard Pass trail from the Owens Valley floor, up and over Shepard Pass, then dropping down to the PCT and then north up and over Forrester Pass. But, this is a brutal route. You would have to be insane to choose this route.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the most beautiful camping spots I know of. Great fishing (every cast is golden), and wonderful scenery. But, you'll have to hike and 12 miles in... :)