Thursday, August 7, 2014

Shasta Camping Pt. 1

This is part 1 of a 2 part post. The original was pretty long and I have a lot of pictures so I figured I would cut it up into two parts. Enjoy!

It’s sad boys, VERY sad. The once majestic Shasta lake has been reduced to a muddy ditch. The upper Sacramento river is a mere 4 foot deep creek at the headwaters of Shasta. We need rain!
I went camping with the whole family up at Shasta lake this weekend and the effects of the drought were evident.

Day 1:
 While driving  up to the campgrounds we passed up a sign saying that the boat launch in that area had been closed.  We arrived at our campground and it was a nicely maintained area. The campground caretaker was a very nice older man who used to live in sacramento so we had a lot to talk about. 

Amphitheater on campground
boat ramp
Like a ghost town

After setting up camp and getting some lunch we went down to  get some fishing in. We had to walk through a ghost town of a boat launch which apparently was never imagined to be this low. The river was about 300 yards from the very bottom of the launch. The upper Sacramento is a mere creek at the bottom of a valley.  

Sac River headwaters
The Canyon

Camping Selfie
Nephews 1st Bass
We happened to find a pooled up area about 5 feet deep and decided to fish there. My nephew Anthony grabbed my new strike king red eye shad in a bluegill pattern, tied it on, tossed it in and got into the second fish of his entire life, a 12 inch largemouth bass.  I was one proud uncle! We saw a few bigger largemouths and some of them even took our baits in their mouths but refused to clamp down on them. My dad and I ended up getting skunked that day.  We decided to get some dinner instead.
Upper Sacramento River

Day 2:

Pops made us some fantastic breakfast and afterwards we decided to head out to find a swimming beach. Instead we found muddy ditches at the bottom of the canyon.   And, come to find out that Shasta has never been much of a swimming lake, more of a boating lake; news to me.
Lake Shasta
Swimming selfie
Instead we ended up driving 40 minutes away into uncharted territory to try to find somewhere to swim and we sure found it! Whiskeytown lake is found 10 miles outside of the town of Redding and even though it was a bit of a drive from our camping spot, it ended up being worth the drive.  
Whiskey town has a great looking swimming beach and the lake water is clear which I have never really seen with lakes in this area, most are muddy looking with very little visibility. This one reminded me of higher elevation lakes.  We swam for a while and tried our luck at some more fishing but we didn’t even get bites. We plan on coming back to the gem of a lake at some point int the future. Going to have to come back to figure this lake out!
Whiskeytown Lake

To Be Continued...

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