June 18, 2015
Fishing at Tioga Lake
Total distance: 2.27 miles
Andrew is home and chomping at the bit to do something fun every day before beginning his summer job with the National Park Service. During the last week of spring, temperatures reached the mid-90’s. To escape the heat, we packed the car and headed to Tioga Lake. Tioga Lake is just beyond the gate of Yosemite National Park located in the Inyo National Forest, elevation 9,700 feet. To reach it we drove from the Arch Rock entrance through the park and out the east side.
We were on the road by mid-morning but didn’t reach the lake until half past noon. The long drive was delayed by road construction from Crane Flat to White Wolf, about 15 miles. We went nowhere for 40 minutes, but what better place to sit in the car and wait than in Yosemite? It was a cool 70 degrees and the fresh scent of pine wafted through the car acting as nature’s air freshener.
Once there we lugged fishing gear, ice chest and beach towels down the crooked path through the trees. On the rocky west side we found a spot deep enough to fish. Andrew wasted no time casting his line. The wind was swift and blew in gusts adding an air of excitement to day. I nuzzled under a tree to keep my hat from blowing away.
At lunchtime, we watched seven California gulls circle the lake. One by one they did aerial dives into the water looking for their own lunch. Leaving Andrew to his fishing, I took a walk towards the opposite shore and found a trail leading to Glacier Canyon and Dana Lakes, a hike for another day.
A loquacious family approached anxious to tell me their story. They had just been chased by a large brown bear in the area where I was headed. Thrilled with anticipation about seeing the big bruin, I continued on with eyes peeled and camera in hand.
About a third of the way around the lake, I realized that I couldn’t cross the creek without getting wet. Not wanting to plunge my feet into the cold water, I turned back never having seen the elusive bear.
Several hours passed before Andrew reeled in for the final time. Other than a few bites, the fish were skillfully evasive, like the bear. We said goodbye to Tioga Lake, climbed the hillside and returned to the car for the long drive home. A well-spent day near the sky of Yosemite, the high country.