Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Deer Lakes, Lake Vincente 7.30.03

With the high predicted heat I managed to get an early start. I left the Cathedral Rock Trailhead by 9 am. The trail winds easily to Squaw lake were I took a break and was stunned by the size of the Rainbows in the lake. Since I wanted to get as much in before the heat of the day really kicked in I was off. I continued on towards the junction with the crest trail, thankfully there is quite a few small ponds along the way so the dogs were able to drink their fill. Cathedral Rock looms ever present through much of this hike, the views are quite stunning. I reached Catheral Pass and gazed at massive cirque that towers over Deep Lake, eyeing routes for trips in the future. I quickly dropped down to Deep Lake crossed the outlet and climbed the 300 or so feet to Deer Lakes. I intended to only stop for lunch but the heat was really building and I wasn't too enthused with the 900 foot climb to Vicente Lake. I set up camp at one of camp sites that ring the lower Deer Lake. I circled the lake and made my way to the Upper Deer Lake, both lake are very shallow and reedy. After a cat nap I decided to make my way up to Vicente Lake and do a little fishing. The trail is eay to follow except in some of the marshy areas, but all in all not too bad. The last 450ft of climb is very steep however, I was very glad I wasn't trying this with a full back in the heat of the day. The Vicente basin is ringed with some rugged peaks and the south shore is still socked in with some heavy snow. A chunk of snow the size of my house had broken off and was floating in the lake. I caught some small cutts, and snapped some pictures and was back to camp. On returning to camp the bugs were out in force so I called it a night. The next day I got up cooked breakfast and broke camp. I high tailed it back to Squaw Lake were I knew those big rainbows were just waiting for me. Much to my delight I coaxed one 17 incher to take my dry fly and treat me with one good fight on a 4 weight fly rod. After releasing the fish I did see plenty of other trout roaming about but I was unable to land any of those. Another great trip in the Alpine Lakes.

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