Never been to the upper Kings? Let's just say this water isn't for the "Couch Potato" fishermen. Maybe if you are fishing around Zuwalt meadows, but the rest of the water is big boulder, pocket water. And I mean boulders that can be the size of semi -trucks.
Am I going to spend this post "Hot Spotting" all the good water? Not really, I am going to fill you in on some details that don't spill the beans on all my little secrets. Your job is finding out where and what will work for you. That's part of living in the moment.
First off, to me, this has to be the best time of the year to fish the upper Kings. School is back in session and the valley floor is pretty vacant. Friday night we camped at Sheep Camp and had the place basically to ourselves. Second the flow is low enough to make wading the river pleasant. I highly recommend a wading staff, especially if you are an old fart like me. There are still plenty of chances to get into sticky situations with all the big boulders and fast water. Third, the temperature has cooled slightly to the low 90's.
Oh what, you want to know the fishing conditions? Well let's just say the Friday was a decent day with enough hook ups to make it a very enjoyable day. Ran a modified Polish Nymph rig during the mid morning and afternoon fishing. Went with a dry / dropper in the evening. Ended up cutting off the dropper as the fish were not interested in the dropper at all. Don't forget that almost every afternoon there is the dreaded canyon wind that will come up. Makes you look like a world class caster if you go with it ;-)
We thought we would finish fishing, Friday evening, around Sheep Camp. You know.... finish up there and only have a short walk back to camp. Well, that didn't work out as planned. There must have been some significant thunder storms in the high country. The water around the camp ground had clouded up to where we couldn't see the bottom and completely turned off the fishing. We took off down river, several miles, to get ahead of the murk and fishing picked up. On Saturday morning the river was clear, but we only had one hit and one fish on. Other than the bump and one fish on nothing, zip, zilch, nada. Makes me wonder if the murky water, the night before, turned off the fishing even though the water had cleared up by Saturday morning.
All in all a great trip with some good friends. Legs are a little sore from about 16 hours of rock hopping and rough wading, but I'd be back at it tomorrow if work didn't get in the way. Woohoo!!!!! Bamboo rods, wild fish and the rugged Kings River, it doesn't get any better..... enough said.
Until next time my friends,