My brother and I recently hiked to one of my favorite spots in the Mission Mountains, Ashley Lakes. The lakes are located within the grizzly bear conservation area which closes each year during the summer to allow the bears to fatten-up on lady bugs and cutworm moths. The area reopens in October and this was the first time that either of us had hiked to the lakes in the fall.
The drive to the trailhead was gorgeous!
This area of the Missions closes during the summer as the grizzly bears fatten-up on cutworm moths and lady bugs.
This was the first time that either of us had hiked to the lakes after they reopened.
The trail first goes downhill and then back up.
The view back towards the valley.
The first glimpse of the Sheep’s Head (9,417 ft).
Some fires have moved through the area the past few years. It was awesome to see all the new trees growing.
Ashley Lakes fire in 2006.
The aftermath of the fire (2007).
The first lake.
The view looking east. On the other side of the pass sits Duncan Lake.
Ashley Lakes seen from near the summit of the Sheep’s Head.
Todd and I with the first lake in the background.
In true Todd fashion, he didn’t bring a fishing pole on the hike but did manage to find a somewhat functional pole (with a lure!) leaning against a tree. Needless to say, he outfished me (yet again).
A gorgeous Cutthroat!
Catch & Release
A decent Cutthroat caught on the fly.
We said that we would go swimming if we each caught a fish…
Swimming in a mountain lake in October. Insane!
Actually, the water wasn’t too bad and so I practiced my roll cast. A 13ft rod with spey line definitely helped.
Todd caught one more fish at the first lake on the hike out.
Hiking stick and a fly rod. What more does a man need?
The first lake again with a bit more sunshine.
It doesn’t look that steep, but the hike back out is a bugger!