Outdoors in the Eastern Sierra // Alaska Airlines Magazine

In a back cove of Crowley Lake, I practice a roll cast with the wind at my back. My line line flops on the water, making a splash.

“Cast it like you mean it,” says my fishing guide Scott Flint, from the Troutfitter Guide, a fly-fishing shop and guide service based in the nearby Eastern Sierra town of Mammoth Lakes, California.

I pause briefly in the bow of the 18.5-foot motorized boat and then quickly swing the rod forward with some oomph. The line gracefully rolls out on the water. The two faux bugs tied to the end of the line slowly sink to a predetermined depth were eFlint says the trout are eating. I look around, enjoying the view of the rugged mountains to the west and northeast.

“Keep your eye on that indicator,” my guide says.

The water is calm, and a bright-pink plastic strike indicator gloats on the azure surface. Beneath it, the midge patterns tied to my line mimic the hatch. After a few minutes, the indicator twitches.

“Set, set!” Flint urges. He is an easygoing person with a mellow vibe until there is a fish on the line. His tone becomes serious, his instructions specific. I lift the rod tip, holding it up, felling pressure on the line.

Slowly I pull the line in to the reel while letting the fish run. It swims into deep water, then jumps in the air and splashes–again and again. This tout is putting up a fight. I turn the reel, brining in line, cautiously — not pulling too hard– and eventually get the fish to the boat. Flint leans over the edge and scoops my catch into a net.

Read the full feature in Alaska Airlines Magazine – Horizon Edition,  June 2017 in seat back pockets this month or online here (pages 18-25).


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