A suggestion for late summer camping and trout fishing
Now that the big, busy, crowd-packed Labor Day weekend is behind us, and if you’re looking for a nice quiet, late summer weekend of camping and fishing, my suggestion is a location not that far from here that is known as Lundy Lake, Calif.
If you’re not familiar with Lundy, you are probably asking yourself, “What is Lunday Lake and where in the heck is it?”
Well, if you’re interested, here is some basic information to help whet your appetite:
Lundy Lake is located just off U.S. 395, between Bridgeport and Lee Vining, Calif. (about 15 miles north of Lee Vining).
It is situated at an elevation of 7,800′ (that means cool evenings!) and the lake is surprisingly fairly large, about one mile long by a half-mile wide.
How to get there:
Drive south on U.S. 395 from Carson City to Bridgeport for about 83 miles. Continue past Bridgeport for about 20 miles, up, over and down Conway Summit. Just past the south foot of Conway Summit, the paved road on your left will take you to Hawthorne, and the paved road on your right will take you to Lundy Lake.
This is about a 2-hour drive from Carson City.
Where to fish:
Anywhere at this large, high-mountain lake is usually fairly good for nice-sized trout.
As a matter of interest, my all-time best shore success has been on the opposite side of the lake near the dam.
How to fish:
You can fish fom shore, in chest waders, in a float tube, canoe or in a small boat.
Small powered boats are allowed with a 10 mph speed restriction, hand launch only.
Boat rentals are available at the Lundy Lake Resort, which is at the far end of the lake.
What to use:
From shore if you are using bait, try either nightcrawlers or orange-colored Power Bait.
From shore with lures, try small lures, such as TOR-P-DO, Kastmaster, Mepps, Super Duper, etc.
From a float tube (near the inlet stream at the far end of the lake), try small artificial flies, such as golden olive-colored Woolly Worm, soft hackle (Carey Special), bird’s nest, Prince Nymph or Zug Bug.
From a boat, slowly troll along the back side of the lake with silver-colored Ford Fender flasher blades and worms or small Apex, Flatfish or Rapala lures.
Note: If you fish from a float tube or small boat, be advised this lake is prone to becoming very windy, very quickly. The wind can really come down off the mountains in a big hurry.
What you’ll catch:
Rainbow, German brown or Eastern brook trout.
You must wear your California fishing license where it is readily visible above the waist.
Lundy Lake is located in a spectacular, Swiss Alps type setting.
If you’ve never been there, you’ll be impressed by the beautiful, high-mountain scenery.
Be sure to take a camera.
There are many hike-in lakes (steep uphill hikes!) located near the lake and Lundy is the trailhead to the 20 Lakes Basin.
Steep hiking but good fishing!
There is a U.S.F.S. Lundy Canyon Campground (Inyo National Forest) at this end of the lake and the Lundy Lake Resort at the far end.
The Resort has 27 campsites, 3 camp huts, 8 full hookup RV sites, bait, tackle, groceries and supplies.
It is located on the site of a historic sawmill and mining town of the 1880’s that was called “Lundy.”
The Resort is scheduled to close for the season about Oct. 15.
If you would like to home a different way:
When you are ready to return home, drive back to Bridgeport.
At the south edge of Bridgeport, turn off U.S. 395 onto Calif. S.R. 182 and Nev. S.R. 338 to take you to Wellington, Nevada.
At Wellington, turn onto Nevada S.R. 208 and follow it back to Holbrook Junction (just north of Topaz Lake) to re-connect with U.S. 395.
I have a copy of “Lundy Gem of the Eastern Sierra” a day hiker’s and backpackers guide to the geology, history and points of interest that was written by Jim Hanna of Carson City and copyrighted back in 1990. It is great reading!
For information, call:
Bob at the Lundy Lake Resort at (626) 309-0415.
Ken’s Sporting Goods Store in Bridgeport at (760) 932-7707
Mono County Parks at (760) 932-7911.
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you if I have ever hiked into any of those hard-to-get-to lakes above Lundy Lake.
If he grins and says, “Heck, Don even carried a raft in his backpack when he hiked into Burro Lake,” he could have been one of my panting and puffing backpack partners.
• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal