I have had the pleasure of being the "outdoor guy" for the Nevada Appeal for more years than I can honestly remember. And in all of those years, I have never failed to be amazed, over and over again, at how some people react to what I write.
Some readers sincerely and warmly thank me for information that leads them to a brand new outdoor adventure.
Other readers give me all kinds of "hell" for providing that very same information. They claim that I have ruined their perfect outdoor spot by making it known to others.
Then, there are others who also give me "hell" for not writing about their "perfect" outdoor spot, which they would gladly like to share with others.
So, I'm in trouble if I write about a certain location and I'm also in trouble if I don't write about it.
Geez, I can't win.
Through the years, the three best examples of what I'm talking about, are "The Elbow" on the East Walker River, the flowers along the Winnemucca Lake Trail and the great trout fishing found at Winnemucca Lake.
I'll probably get in trouble, once again, for providing this detailed information, but this column will certainly prove the point of how "Donnie Q" can quickly get into trouble:
So, here goes:
-- "The Elbow." This is an area on the East Walker River in Nevada that is noted for its quality fishing for rainbow and German brown trout.
To reach "The Elbow:"
Take U.S. 395 south from Carson City for about 35 miles to Holbrook Junction, just north of Topaz Lake. At Holbrook Junction, take Nevada S.R. 208 east to Wellington. At Wellington, take Nevada S.R. 338 south toward Bridgeport, Calif. Just a few miles past the Sweetwater Summit highway sign, look for a dirt road on your left with a sign indicating the mileage to Hawthorne. Take that dirt road for about 3-4 miles to the "Elbow" area. This trip will be a one-way driving time of about two hours.
You'll have the chance to catch German brown and rainbow trout, which can weigh up to five pounds.
Last year, I wrote a "Q-Tip" about fishing at "The Elbow."
Man-oh-man, did that tip generate a lot of complaining.
The people doing the complaining literally came out of the woodwork.
It seems that a number of people like to fish there and consider it to be their own "private" fishing hole, not to be shared with anyone else.
They were upset that other people would know about The Elbow and it would ruin their private fishing.
Then, on the other hand, there were all kinds of folks who gave me an "Atta Boy" for putting them onto a place where they, too, could enjoy the sport of trout fishing.
Geez, I can't win.
-- The flowers along the Winnemucca Lake Trail and the trout fishing at Winnemucca Lake.
The wildflowers along the Winnemucca Lake Trail can be found in the month of July.
During the warm weather months, Winnemucca Lake is also noted as an excellent location for trout fishing.
For those who have never been there, it is a large, deep, crystal-clear, ice-cold, hike-in lake located in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area.
To reach Winnemucca Lake:
Take a combination of U.S. 395 and Nevada S.R. 88 and California S.R. 88 south from Carson City for about 41 miles to Kit Carson Pass. Park in the paved, U.S. Forest Service parking area and pay a $3 parking fee. From the parking area, take the well-marked hiking trail for about two miles to the lake. That hiking trail is the Winnemucca Lake Trail.
The wildflowers (in July) are located in a large meadow area, between tiny Frog Lake and the much, much larger Winnemucca Lake. Hike from the parking area to the junction of the trail to Frog Lake, a distance of about one mile. Frog Lake will be on your left side and it contains rainbow trout, up to about 16 inches. Just beyond that junction, the trail forks again. The left-hand fork leads to Ebbetts Pass (22 miles). The right-hand fork leads to Winnemucca Lake (one mile). You'll have aptly-named Elephant Back Mountain on your left, towering, snow-capped Round Top Mountain (the highest point in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area) directly in front of you and Caples Lake, far below, on your right.
Just before reaching Winnemucca Lake, you'll come to the wildflowers in July. You can't miss them. They will be in a large area of bright colors: green, white, red, yellow, blue, violet, etc. You'll see many types of flowers including Mule Ear, Indian Paint Brush, Lupine, Buttercup, etc.
At Winnemucca Lake, if you're a fisherman, the best place to fish is the back side (behind the two small islands). Your best chance of success will be with an inflatable raft or a float tube. Shore fishing success is normally very poor.
With any luck, you will catch Eastern brook trout, up to about 13-14 inches and Kamloop trout, up to about 17-18 inches.
I've had a number of people complain to me that I wrote about the Winnemucca Lake Trail wildflowers and now they can not enjoy them anymore because of too many people.
On the other hand, I've had many people thank me profusely for providing them with one of their most enjoyable outdoor outings.
I've had people complain to me that I wrote about the trout fishing at the lake and now they can not enjoy the fishing there anymore because of too many people.
On the other hand, I've had other people thank me profusely for providing them with a brand new trout fishing location.
Geez, I can't win.
-- Well, in the most recent development, I can now add my attorney's wife to the list of people who don't want me writing about their favorite hideaway. I'm really in deep trouble with her. It seems that she didn't want me providing detailed instructions on how to reach Anna Lake in the Hoover Wilderness Area, one of their favorite outdoor hideaways. She, laughingly, even instructed her husband to charge me double for my legal work, as revenge. Wow! Double fees. Hey, that's not playing fair!
Geez I can't win.
-- Heck, I also recently gave detailed instructions on how to reach my all-time favorite backcountry lake, Middle Striped Mountain Lake. It contains giant rainbows and huge Eastern brook trout.
Someone will probably complain about that tip, too.
Hmmm, come to think of it, I'm the one who should be doing the complaining. It's my favorite, remote-location, fishing hideaway.
Geez, I can't win.
-- Ah, to heck with it. I'll just go back to picking on my close friends, fishing companions and hunting partners. They never complain so I must be doing something right.
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon he can't tell you how long of a hike it is to reach Middle Striped Mountain Lake.
If he grins and says, "It's an 11-mile hike with an elevation gain of 7,000 feet in the first nine miles" he could have been one of my backpacking partners on one of my trips to the lake. Hmmm, I wonder if I could possibly con my attorney and his wife into taking that hike?