Saturday, September 26, 2009
Canoeing Convict Lake, California
The water was some of the bluest we had ever seen. Not quite as blue as Crater Lake but still a distinct blue. Looking down we could see at least twenty feet deep, which is pretty typical for a glacial cirque lake. Above us Mount Morrison reared its rocky flat irons, and a hanging valley spoke of past glaciers. We could see why Alan and Sharon had took us there and why Alan had said it was one of his favorite places.
We launched the canoe and kayaks at the boat ramp and quickly left the protected marina. As we paddled Renita spotted a Clarks Nutcracker, perched atop a dead tree.
Alan paddled too close to a fisherwomen on shore who grumpily stated that boaters needed to stay at least 25 yards from fishermen, hmmmm never heard of that before?
The surface stayed calm only broken by an occasional trout rising to feed on an unfortunate grasshopper. There were quite a few boats fishing and many people from shore, we saw one catch a pretty large rainbow. You wonder how many of the fish are stocked as the lake seems pretty small and the large numbers of fisherman made it seem that the trout wouldn't last long.
We beached our boats at the upper end of the lake and were greeted by a flock of nutcrackers, who seemed intent on arguing among themselves about some bird affront.
I waded out and rolled some rocks looking for caddis larve, encased in their rocky tubes. I found some right away and it was obvious the water quality was excellent.
Returning the critters to their home we paddled further and Alan and Sharon used a stream for a free push for their kayaks. Renita and I both paddled a bit in their kayaks and really enjoyed the ease with which they sped across the water. They were a lot more stable then the sit on top kayak I had tried at Rockport.
We ate lunch and talked and scared some more fisherman away. More trout feed on more grasshoppers, couldn't the fisherman see that bite? The wind picked up a bit and we paddled back to the marina,(all though its really just a protected landing with a small building). Loading our boats we checked out the campground for future visits but it seemed the spots were too small for our rig and I told Renita to cross it off our list.
The lake itself had been a great paddle, deep and clear and surprisingly warm but it was early fall and no cold fronts had blasted across the area to cool the water. The aspens were changing and we could see it wouldn't be long before winter returns to the high country. Another fine day with friends. Clear skies.