The May 17 issue of the Appeal was, as always, picked up by my dog Bo, and brought to the garage where he waited for his morning milk bones. I sat down to see what was going on in this world of ours and ate my toast and drank my coffee.
When I got to the sports section I checked the baseball scores and then went to the Outdoors section. I could not believe my eyes! An article had been written about one of the best kept secrets in the state - fishing on the East Walker at the Elbow. What irresponsible person wrote that and put it in the paper? They should be run out of town.
Now we will have every California fishing "wannabe" down there fishing the place until there are none left. My God, they may even open a bait shop, a Jack in the Box, McDonalds, a Trailer Park and then apply for incorporation. I am glad people cannot find the place, but here you go and tell them how to get there, why didn't you print a map?
I grew up in Hawthorne some 40 plus years ago and spent my summer weekends fishing the Elbow. There were times you wouldn't see a soul all weekend, that was nice. That country from Wellington down to the Pole Line Road, which runs from Hawthorne to California, is probably some of the most beautiful country in the state. There is an old stagecoach station called Fletcher where the horses were changed on the runs from Hawthorne to Bodie. There is a water pipe coming out of the side of the hill that has never stopped running, it's good water and very refreshing.
A couple of years ago I was fishing the Elbow and caught nothing but a few bug bites and some dirty looks from a few snakes. I took a drive to the old stage station and much to my dismay there were a bunch of out-of-state people running a road race over that road and through the station. As luck would have it, I parked my truck in the middle of the road and sat there and drank some water. One of the race people came up and asked if I would move and I told them no. I did suggest they move the race to another state and tear up their roads and country side. I would guess he saw my 357 snake shooter sitting on the dash and they went and waited for me to leave. I was there for over an hour and they had a few off-road racers back up.
I drove down to Fletcher on April 1, 1995, to do some thinking. Good place to relieve the mind, but anyway as I drove in I saw four or five wild horses and once I stopped the truck the entire meadow came alive. There must have been several hundred deer that stood up and checked me out. I had only seen this once before and they were migrating back to the Sierras. That was in an area called Powell Canyon, which is south of the station. I saw that back in 1957 and I decided not to tell anyone about it because they would not believe me anyway. It was a sight to behold.
Well, now you guys have screwed up the whole area and invited everyone in for a fish-out. From a person who loves the area and would like to see it stay that way, I will wait for the bait shops and fast food to show up. That will be the day I quit fishing.