Miller Flat Camping and Fishing

Campsite in the Miller Flat areaSince Traci was going to take Michael to day camp for scouts this past Saturday, Bradley and I spent Friday and Saturday camping and fishing in the Miller Flat area. I started work a little early Friday morning so I could get off early, and we were on the road just after 3:00 PM. I’d already picked out several camp spots using Google Earth, but there was one in particular that looked good, a couple of miles south of Miller Flat Reservoir. I was thinking that with the relatively early start, I wouldn’t have any problems finding a nice place to camp. As I drove up Huntington Canyon, I began to worry because all of the campgrounds along the highway were full. I turned south onto Miller Flat Road and found the same thing–not a single empty camp spot. I couldn’t believe that so many people had either gotten off work way early or simply taken the day off. I pressed on toward the one spot that I really wanted. I took the turn off of Miller Flat Road onto a rougher dirt road, and when I reached the camping spot I wanted, there was nobody there! However, despite looking good in Google Earth, in person it didn’t look like a great place to camp–it was more wide-open than I expected and had a lot of tallish plants covering the ground that would have made setting up a tent difficult. There was an even rougher two-track dirt road leading farther west from the spot, so I followed it and found a great place to camp about a tenth of a mile away. There was a large, grassy flat at the base of an enormous pine tree, with a couple of ponds nearby.
Bradley fishing at Potter's PondsI parked the truck, set up the tent and threw all our sleeping gear and clothes into it, then unloaded the ATV and gathered up all our fishing gear. I was itching to do some fishing before anything else, so we rode to Potter’s Ponds and fished the west pond near the dam. I set Bradley up with some PowerBait and a bobber, then cast his line out for him since he’s not so good at it. I wanted to fish the bottom, so I set my line up with a heavy Jake’s lure. My first cast looked good, but something was wrong with my reel and it wouldn’t reel in the line. I had to reel it in by hand and lay the line out on the shore while trying not to get it tangled. I spent the entire rest of the time trying to get my reel to work, but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It started raining lightly, and it was getting late and Bradley wasn’t getting any bites, so we headed back to camp and ate dinner. We roasted marshmallows after dinner and did some light painting with the camera, then turned in fairly early. I had a sleepless night on the uncomfortable ground, but Bradley slept well.
Miller Flat ReservoirOn Saturday morning we rose early and had a quick breakfast, then set out to do more fishing. Since Bradley was the only one fishing, I let him decide where to go. He wanted to try Miller Flat Reservoir, so we tried it for a while. It was pretty windy and the entire shore is exposed, and he didn’t have any luck there. We moved on to Cleveland Reservoir and fished the south shore. Although conditions seemed a lot better there, he still didn’t catch anything. After giving up there, we rode around a bit on some ATV trails, and spent some time near Rolfson Reservoir. We found a geocache there, and Bradley caught a frog. We went back to camp at lunch time and ate, then I decided I would try fixing my fishing reel again. I tore it completely apart this time and found that some line had gotten snarled up inside and was preventing it from reeling the line in. I knew nothing about the inner workings of a fishing reel before then, so I was surprised that I was able to fix it.
Potter's PondsWe set out to do some more fishing, hitting Potter’s Ponds again. It was still a bit early in the day for good fishing conditions, but I didn’t want to get home too late, so we fished anyway. We fished the east pond this time, again on the dam. I felt one nibble on one of my first casts, then a while later landed a decent sized rainbow trout. We could see a few rainbows and some albinos near shore, but Bradley wasn’t having any luck that close to shore. I tried for a while more and didn’t catch anything else, but I was happy with just the one fish. We went home tired and sunburned, but we both had a good time. As soon as we got home, I seasoned the fish and wrapped it in foil and threw it on the grill, and Bradley and I enjoyed our meager catch.

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