Monday, July 23, 2012

Gone Fishin'

This past weekend Chris and I, along with our friends Roger and Diane, headed to Antelope Creek Ranch for a Fly-Fishing Adventure! We left on Thursday morning and stopped a couple hours later at Granzella's Deli and Restaurant in Williams.
We had lunch and the most delicious gelato!


After lunch we headed to Dunsmuir and stayed at Railroad Park and actually slept in a train car. Dunsmuir is one of our very favorite places to camp and relax and Chris and I usually pull our trailer to Dunsmuir and camp in the beautiful Railroad Park campground behind the train car hotel, but we didn't on this trip. It's a nice area and it was fun to sleep in the train car. We took Roger and Diane on a tour of the places we frequent when we visit the area and then stopped for dinner.

The train car where we stayed.

Inside the train car. Comfy beds too.

Castle Lake

Mt. Shasta

We woke early Friday morning, had a fantastic breakfast at the Cornerstone Bakery in Dunsmuir and headed to the Antelope Creek Ranch. The ranch is on 500+ acres and is located on the northeast side of Mt. Shasta about 2 hours from Redding in the Klamath National Forest. The lodge is beautiful and we had a private room and bath, a private chef and absolutely terrific trout fishing right on the property.

The ranch house sleeps 8 people. Besides the four of us, there were two other couples. Each bedroom has a private bath and a wonderful view.  There is a huge rock fireplace and a hot tub on the back deck, a sunken bar, wraparound decks and lots of windows overlooking the private creek, meadow and mountains.  The ranch used have cattle, but now is a vacation spot for fishermen and women and families.  It is just over 5,000 feet in elevation. The weather was fantastic - a little cool in the mornings and evenings - but during the day it was perfect!  The mosquitoes did do a number on us though, especially on my feet!

The outside of the lodge

 Bar and lounge area

Kitchen and Dining area

Chris relaxing after lunch on Saturday before heading out to the lake again. 


We saw deer and blue heron and squirrels and were told that bear have been seen wandering the property and Devine told us that a bear even came into the lodge one time! I thought it would be neat to see a bear but the others didn't really share my enthusiasm!

 A cute lil' friend!


Creeks and waterfalls on the property

Antelope Creek carves a path through the middle of the ranch and offers nearly 2 miles of fishing for rainbow and brown trout and goes through the ranch dividing the meadow and cutting through the trees and forest.  The fish in the streams are not large but the ones in the lakes were pretty good size. We could actually see them swimming around and taunting us at the lakes and jumping up to catch bugs and flies. Both of the lakes can be fished from the shore or by using float tubes. We have a float boat, but we didn't take it with us this time.

Chris fishing.....

....and one of the fish he caught!


the Lower Lake

The property used to also be a Christmas tree farm. This red barn is all that is left of the farm.
It is so rustic and pretty on the property.

The Upper Lake

And boy did we eat well too! The caretakers of the property, Gary and Devine (yes her name is Devine) took great care of us. We had pecan-crusted tilapia with crushed corn, salad, homemade bread both nights, homemade cheesecake, homemade cinnamon rolls and banana bread and perfectly cooked bacon and eggs. We had grilled beef skewers with rice, cheese steak sandos and the best french toast. All our meals included fruit, wine and coffee. Absolutely delicious! And the best part? We didn't have to cook OR clean up when we were through. We just had to grab our fishing gear and head back out to the lakes and streams to catch more fish!

This was my first time fly-fishing and Roger and Chris were very patient teaching me how to cast and strip the line back in.  Fly-fishing is a true art and I didn't do too bad! I even caught 3 fish! But I also caught several bushes, trees, lots of tall grass, my arm and even the top of my shoe. I did get frustrated and my arm and shoulder became sore from all the casting, but all in all I had a great time and can't wait to do it again. When I got tired I sat in a chair under the trees and read and listened to the sounds of nature and just enjoyed the solitude. It was nice not to have to answer phones or email. I'd hear the frequent "whoo hoo" from one of the guys when they hooked another fish!

hahaha! at least I LOOK like a fisherwoman!

patiently waiting for something to go after my fly!

My 1st fish! Yay for me!

And before we let him go again

Roger and Chris were very successful (and way more patient) and caught about 25-30 fish between them - I lost count. We fished Friday afternoon and evening, all day Saturday and the guys went out Saturday after dinner and Chris went out Sunday morning before breakfast.

We were sorry to see the weekend end and headed home on Sunday after breakfast. It was a fantastic weekend with great friends and we can't wait to do it again next year!