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Red, Blue and Green Trip Report

My friend Gary and I took a trip up Highway 88 on Friday 8/15 in search of some fishable water.  We had heard that the flow in Blue Creek was around 8 CFS, shich sounded a little skinny to us.  We decided to stop and take a look at Red Lake Creek in the meadow by the red corral.  What we found was water that was very off-color with algae, apparently coming from Red Lake itself.  We tried our usual suspect flies and did not have that much luck.  We did not have a rise until just before 10:00.  

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This is what I was referring to by green, almost pea soup green.

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The water cleared up a little by the bottom of the upper meadow, but not quite enough.  We flogged the water a little longer before deciding to head farther downstream in search of clearer water.

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Down below I had managed to land 2 fish and Gary landed 5 or so.  The water was very skinny in spots crowded by the overgrown grass.  It made for some tricky casting while fighting the ever-changing wind conditions.

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We headed back and jumoed in the truck to head up to the Blue Lakes Road turnoff to grab some lunch and plan the rest of the day.  We decided to drive down and check out the East Carson River around Markleeville.  While driving through town and dodging locals that don't pay attention to cross traffic, we noticed that there appeared to be no moving water in Markleeville Creek.  This was not a good sign.

After leaving town and heading south on Highway 89 we found the river to be very low and off-color at Hangman's Bridge.  The water was a tan-grey color and it was the lowest I have ever seen it.  We proceeded to follow the river to see if we could ascertain where the color was coming from.  We followed the river all the way up, turned on Wolf Creek Road and noticed that Silver Creek wsa really off-color.  As we continued up Wolf Creek Road we found evidence of large landslide activity in the not too distant past.  The water was still off-color upstream of this slide though.  We decided that we could not, in good conscience, fish the river under these conditions.

We drove back up and headed in to Blue Lakes.  We ventured downstream of Lower Blue Lake to see what Blue Creek would bring.  Both of us have had really good days up here.  This was not the case for me that day.  I managed to land 1 fish out of 10 rises.  The water was flowing at around 7.5-8 CFS.  Normally we like fishing here at 20-25 CFS in the fall.  Maybe it was the lower water levels, but it sure seemed like we had fewer rising fish than normal.  At least we were fishing and not working.