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Book on short hikes for Eastern Sierra wild trout is a treasure

March 2, 2010 | 11:13 am

Fishin-Trails-front-cover-300dpi "Fishin' Trails: 25 Short Hikes for Eastern Sierra Wild Trout," by Jared Smith, is a book that makes me want to fish. It makes me long for that last Saturday in April to finally arrive and, with it, opening day of the Eastern Sierra general trout-fishing season.

Smith, who is general manager of Parchers Resort in Bishop Creek Canyon, refers to himself as a "bonafide fishaholic," and one can't help but be impressed with his knowledge of back-country lakes and their gilled denizens.

Smith discusses the species and sub-species of trout that call the Sierra Nevada range in California their home (and includes photos).

Informative, interesting and amusing, he offers advice and tips on basic back-country hiking, fishing gear, tackle, and techniques, and includes a chapter on outdoor ethics (he calls it the "Most Important Chapter") and what not to do so you aren't labeled "that guy" -- the one who litters, blasts music at top volume and generally annoys anyone fishing in the vicinity.

Smith not only shows hiking trails but also the nearby roadside lakes, just in case an angler isn't quite up for a hike.

He also shares which bait and techniques to use at each hike-able lake, as well as which areas are best fished.

Lakesmap2The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with photos of lakes and trout, plus rustic-style maps.

"I wanted them [the maps] to look rustic...almost like treasure maps because in my mind, that's what they are," Smith told Outposts.

It seems fishing the Eastern Sierra is in his genes. Four generations of his family have been enjoying the Eastern Sierra and the trout that live there, and he caught his first trout when he was hardly old enough to hold a rod and reel.

"Fishin' Trails" sells for $24.99 and can be purchased at the Parchers Resort online store.

Alternately, Smith will have his book available at the Parchers Resort booth during the Fred Hall shows in Long Beach and Del Mar. He'll also be hosting a seminar each day of the Long Beach show in the Okuma Fishing Theater, located in the main exhibit hall, on an introduction to back-country trout fishing.

This book makes me realize how much I have to learn about the wonders of fishing for wild trout, and how much I yearn to visit these outdoor classrooms.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photos: Top: Book cover. Bottom: Illustrations and photos superimposed to show images that are typical throughout the book. Credit: Jared Smith

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