We went on a quick fishing outing Monday and Tuesday. The unique beauty of the Owens Valley paired with boys, dog, worms, fish, and thunder storms made for a great couple days.
The plan had been to camp and fish at Goodale where Brian and Finn and Kade had success before. We made it up in good time and worms, poles, dog and boys lead to quick success as Brian and Kade quickly pulled in two nice big trout and Finn and Chase both were getting bites. But as we tried to clean the catches to cook for dinner, we realized we’d forgotten our camping gear box. Bummed at our muff we packed back up and headed into town to get a lantern and some lighter fluid to help us make it through the night. On the way, though, discouraged at our forgetfulness, we decided just to get a motel and make the best of a different kind of night. In Bishop we found a reasonable spot with a pool, ordered pizza, and happily discovered that Spiderman was on tv to keep us, freshly bathed and cozy, on the edge of our beds before a nice night’s rest. It was different than we’d planned but still fun and we were happy enough.
The next morning, Brian, got up early as usual and brought us all coffee and donuts and pictures of maps of the various area creeks and places they were stocked with trout. So we packed up and headed out to explore and fish. It didn’t take us long out of the room to realize that it had rained a lot over night, with glistening roads and swollen creeks, dark clouds still clumped in the sky. But it wasn’t til we made it back down to Goodale that we realized that it had been a Godsend for us to have forgotten our gear and decide on a motel. Flash floods had been all over the place during the night! The campground road had been reduced to rivers of mud and the creeks were raging. Forgetting that gear box, what seemed like just plain dumbness on our part, had been, as Finny has been talking about this summer, something that God knew was going to happen and was part of His plan. Amazing.
Fishing was not going to happen with any success with the creeks all so full, but we did check Bishop, Taboose, Goodale, Big Pine, and Independence Creeks. In the process we discovered several great campgrounds up Big Pine and were amazed by the furious creek-now-river rushing down and through steep rocky terrain and lush green pines. The exploring was inspiring but only cemented the impact and amount of rain that had fallen and so it was clear we needed to give the creeks some time to recover from the deluge. So we went into Independence, got a drink at the cafe, and then drove up into Onion Valley- a beautiful, rugged drive up through hints at the history of the place and the mettle the people must’ve had to settle and live there.
We tried fishing Independence Creek on the way back down but had no luck and so we headed back to Goodale hoping it was still our lucky spot. It did not disappoint. The water was murky still but the fish had recovered enough from the frenzied waters to take some bites at juicy worms and the boys and dad caught another three or four fish. By 3 in the afternoon or so, with fish on ice, dog exercised and wet, and tired fishermen-explorers loaded up, we headed back towards home.
The boys made up stories about the formations of rocks and plants on the harsh hillsides, and characters out of power line poles and clouds. They laughed, slept, sat in quietness, sang songs, asked questions, poked each other and argued. And we made it home again, happy, less dirty than we would’ve been, and thankfully amazed at how God makes good things out of our messes.