Page 18 - Vol02No03
P. 18

Destinations - California Trophy Trout (cont.)

       machines of its kind. It looked like a large factory but was actu-

       ally one huge machine. They mined for gold by crushing the rock

       much the way a rock quarry would do and they did it with intent.

       They covered enough surface area to leave rock piles that appear

       to be several miles wide and at least five miles long. The story is

       that the machine operated from the early thirties until sometime in

       the fifties, crushing every piece of rock it could get a hold of.




       Now here’s where it gets interesting. The remaining piles of rock

       were not exactly evenly distributed and much like when you dig

       a hole in the beach ten feet from the ocean, if you go below the

       water table it fills up with water. The resulting lakes formed by the

       areas that were lower than the water table of the nearby Scott

       River not only filled up with water but have the added advantage

       of constantly refreshing themselves by the water moving through

       via the underground water table at a rate similar to the river itself

       in temperature if not speed.




       The result is TROUT water. Eight lakes in all, albeit size dictates

       that you more accurately term them ponds. In the larger ponds

       they stopped stocking them years ago and they are delightfully

       full of huge and wary trout. Mike Kalpin, the owner, has done

       some wonderful things here, from landscaping the edges of some of the lakes to

       educated and enlightened stocking. In the smaller ponds, Mike stocks them periodi-

       cally with fish he raises, the smallest of which are two pound trout. As these grow

       and mature they react the way trout in wild do when hooked. Having an 18 inch fish

       take you out to your backing while heading halfway across the pond is all the con-

       vincing you need that these fish are every bit the equal in strength and agility to the

       native rainbows you encounter in the wild. I had one of the 20 inch rainbows that I

       caught come fully out of the water six times and cover a full 150 feet while doing it.
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