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JOURNAL

Winter Fly Fishing on the Tuolumne River near Yosemite

A group of fly-fishermen in the water

Last week, on a crisp California winter morning, my guide Bryant from Echo Adventure CoOp led me down a trail along Cherry Creek to some of the best lake run steelhead fishing in the state. My only experience with fly fishing was from the wonderful book The River Why by David James Duncan, and reading Norman Maclean. I decided it was time to have my own A River Runs Through It experience. Book your stay at our Groveland Hotel and you, too, can enjoy winter fly fishing on the Tuolumne River near Yosemite.

At the trailhead we donned our river booties, farmer-john waders, and water-proof boots.  We started with a little theory and demo of the basics, then I practiced casting on the empty road.  Bryant made it look easy, ‘piece of cake’ I thought.  Ha!  Once Bryant felt confident that I wouldn’t hook myself or the nearby foliage, carrying our rods in front of us, we headed down the river trail.

Most people know that the fishing season begins on April 15th – most don’t know that there are stretches of rivers open during the winter as well, when the lake run trout are spawning, the rainbows and browns are fat and sassy, and the fishing is at its finest.

Except for an eagle cruising slowly overhead, we had the canyon to ourselves.  We could have been in deepest Montana or Alaska, the setting felt so remote and serene, the river rugged and pristine.

Once we reached legitimate fishing waters we shed our coats, gloves, and lunches on the river bank and waded into the river thigh deep.  Planting my feet firmly in the sandy river bottom, I turned sideways to the current and cast out my line.  Dud.  It pretty much landed right in front of me.  Two hours later, with much encouragement from my coach, I found I could lay down a pretty nice rolling cast just about where I wanted it.  Half of the time.

Time passed swiftly/slowly.  Focused on the moment, on the cast, on the water, I didn’t realize that I could no longer feel my feet.  Luckily, Bryant was there to take good care of me, so we hobbled out of the water and warmed up while we fished another spot from shore.  While I learned how to read the water and perfect my cast, Bryant filled me in on the area’s history, flora and fauna – my own personal Wikipedia tour guide.

Though we caught no fish that day, I had a wonderful time.  As they say, a bad day fishing is better than a good day (fill in the blank).  The fish had apparently gorged themselves during the recent high-water storm event and were taking it easy during the lower, slower flows.  It didn’t matter.  I had FUN, and I’m going to try it again.

Before heading out yourself, make sure you have a fishing license, know the rules, and know where you are going.  Or, even better, hire Echo Adventures CoOp.  They’ll take care of everything (license, gear, lunch, transportation) so you only need to focus on the main event.  Echo guides tailor the day to your needs.  Just learning – they’ll guide you graciously.  An experienced angler – they’ll show you new tricks and the ‘secret’ spots.  Every guide at Echo is an owner/member, invested in the company and invested in you having a memorable experience.  Even if you don’t catch “the big one.”

Melony Vance is the General Manager of the Groveland Hotel.

The Groveland 18767 Main Street circle logo

Winter Menu

Appetizers – $10

Fried Brussels Sprout with Siracha Sauce

Fried Zucchini with Ranch

Fried Mushrooms

House Made Foccacia with Butter

 

Mains

Spaghetti & Meatballs – $25
Homemade pork & beef meatballs cooked in house Marinara sauce.  Served with house garlic focaccia

A La King – $20
Yes, the famous dish from our childhoods!  Peppers, carrots, mushrooms, onions and peas in a rich cream sauce and served over house made biscuits.

Add a biscuit $2
Add lamb, Chicken or Braised beef $7

Pot Roast – $30
Slow-roasted beef braised in Dust Bowl Octoberfest ale, served with braised baby potatoes and carrots

Shepherd’s Pie – $20
Peppers, onions, brussels sprouts, squash, peas and carrots in savory house broth covered in mashed potatoes and smoked gouda cheese.  Broiled to a bubbly crispy brown.

Add lamb, beef or chicken for $7

 

Dessert

 

Provisions S’Mores Cake – $8
Campfire memories!  Scratch made Graham cracker cake, layer of Marshmallow and Chocolate Ganache to top this indulgent dessert

 

 

ADA

Room 110 is situated at the back of the hotel in the Annex building on the lower floor.  This cozy room features a queen bed, with a large private bathroom containing a tub/shower.  This room accommodates two guests. This is a pet-friendly room.

Accessibility Features: Entry door is 32” wide; there is an outlet within 4’ of the telephone jack; the door lock is located 44” from the floor; there is more than 36” of room to the right side of the bed; hangers are located 53” off the ground.  Currently, the door handle is a historic twist knob, but we are working with our locksmith to replace this with a levered handle that can easily be operated with one hand and without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist.

The bathroom has room to do a t-turn; the toilet seat is 18” off the ground and has a grab bar located behind the toilet; the wash basin is 30” off the ground with insulated pipes; the wash basin faucet is easy to operate with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist; the towel racks are 46” off the floor; the bathroom floors are slip resistant.  There are no grab bars on an adjacent wall in the bathroom for the toilet as there is not an adjacent wall to place them on. 

The tub has faucet controls positioned at the center of the end wall and open side of the tub; faucet can easily be turned on and off with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist; there is a grab bar at the foot of the tub and at the head of the tub; and there are two 40” grab bars alongside the tub to serve for low and high needs.  The fixtures in the bathtub are historic and therefore we do not have a 60” hand held shower wand.

Due to the historic nature of our property, our rooms are fairly small, therefore we are unable to provide 36” around both sides and the foot of the bed.  However, we do provide full clearance between the door and the right side of the bed.

You can book this room online or please call us 24 hours/7 days a week at 209-962-4000 or email us at guestservices@groveland.com and we would be happy to find the room that most meets your needs.  

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Pet Friendly

Your search for pet-friendly vacation lodging near Yosemite National Park ends here.  Our four-legged guests love the Groveland Hotel as much as our two-legged ones!  We’re happy to offer select pet-friendly rooms, located on the first floor, for your stay in Groveland, California.  The pet fee is $75 per reservation, with a limit of one pet per guest.  We welcome pets 60 lbs or less.

For dog-friendly activities near the Groveland Hotel, we recommend a walk along the Hetch Hetchy Railroad or going for a refreshing dip in the pet-friendly Rainbow Pools swimming hole.  If you are heading into Yosemite National Park, check their website for pet rules and restrictions.

Looking for a local dog sitter/boarder where you can keep your dogs for the day while exploring Yosemite?  There is a great nearby facility called Big Creek Boarding.
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