Middle Fork San Joaquin River
From Mammoth Lakes
On U.S. 395, drive to Mammoth Junction / Highway 203. Turn west on Highway 203 and drive four miles, through the town of Mammoth Lakes to the traffic light at Minaret Road. Turn right and drive five miles to Minaret Station. (You'll drive through the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort.) From the pay-station, continue for nine miles to Devil's Postpile. Note: day-use may require parking near the Minaret Station and traveling down via a shuttle bus.
Middle Fork San Joaquin River - Fishing the Rock Pile
I decided to roll into Devil's Postpile on the way back from a trip to the Golden Trout Wilderness. Mid-week, late September should keep visitor numbers down. Well yes, and coupled with a thirty degree drop in temps overnight and threatening skies.
I counted about 8 to 10 cars going out as I dropped into Pumice Flat. Normally, I wouldn't attempt to even visit this attraction in Summer, but the urge to see the postpile and take my fly-rod were strong enough this time round. I waved to a couple of fly anglers walking along the road's shoulder, saw two more at the visitor parking and talked to a fifth just up the trail. All were headed to the warmth of their cars.
I chatted up the guy on the trail. "It's tough... cloud cover now, but no hatches. They aren't really eating. Managed only 21 today." Rough day for sure I thought. Made the short walk to the rock pile and took my required snaps. Left the tranquility to a young couple as they smoked some pot and studied these strange forms. I decided it was my time to get high, so I walked about thirty yards down to the San Joaquin and looked in the gin-clear water for trout.
A good looking fish - didn't spook or move for the EHC I drifted over his head six time. I pushed upstream and caught three nice browns in a tailout as a small snow fury quickly came and left. Some late arriving visitors saw me on the river casting flies and took a few pictures.