It’s 4pm and we’ve just rolled into our offroad camp in our Nimbl Expedition Vehicle. A beautiful clearing surrounded by pines up at 7000 ft, overlooking a stunning valley below. We had been skunked earlier in the day looking for an overland campsite next to the east Walker River. So, we decided to head south to a secret spot we knew was almost guaranteed to be free from human activity. I am here with Rick Saez from The Outdoor Business Podcast, and for the next three days we’ll be fly fishing at various spots on the Eastern Sierra. I’ve been loaned the Nimbl Expedition Vehicles show rig to support this Vehicle Supported Adventure, so this obviously is going to be a tough assignment.
With two days and 1,000 plus miles of freeway driving behind me, I am ready for a beer and a relaxing evening. As the sun slips behind the Sierra, the temperature drops rapidly, and we soon break out the jackets and the propane fire. The area has just been subjected to fire restrictions, so ground fires are a no go. Beer turns to Bourbon and laughter turns to sleep, as the night closes and I go to bed in anticipation of the river tomorrow.
Daylight seems to always come all too quickly, and I wake to the yip yipping of the locals. After a quick coffee, we break camp, jump in the Nimbl Expedition Vehicle and head down to the valley. We’re only 20 miles or so away from the Upper Owens River, and soon we’re thigh deep in the cool alpine run off. It’s early June, so the river is still running peacefully. The Owens River is approximately 183 miles long. It drains into and through the Owens Valley, an arid basin between the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and the western faces of the Inyo and White Mountains.
Rick is the expert Flyfisher and living in Bishop allows him to fish these holes on a regular basis. I grew up lake and ocean fishing as a kid, but this is my first-time casting flies. It’s fair to say my fly-fishing knowledge is watching A River Runs Through It.
Our perception of time stands still and it’s easy to lose yourself watching dragonflies skim the surface and a lone pelican drift downstream. Reality unfortunately bites (unlike the fish) and it’s time to head north again. We’ll be leaving California and crossing into Nevada to the east Walker River. This river is an approximately 90 miles long, and a tributary of the Walker River, in eastern California and western Nevada. It drains part of the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada in the watershed of Walker Lake in the Great Basin.
This time we’ve done some better research and have called ahead to the local fly shop in Bridgeport. Apparently, there’s some gated private land where you’re allowed to overland camp directly next to the river. This could be epic if I can get the Nimbl Expedition Vehicle close. It’s a Ford 550 platform, with 43” tires and has the camper on a flatbed, so small tree lined spaces aren’t exactly it’s friend. The Nimbl is a fantastic rig for this style of Vehicle Supported Adventure. It’s not only extremely functional but also provides a rugged elegance to the camping experience. Having spent the last 4 years in a JKU and RTT, this is a different style of adventure.
We easily find the gate, and a dirt trail that leads a half mile to the East Walker River. We’re in luck! At the end of the dirt there’s plenty of space to park the camper right next to the rushing water.
As I said, Epic!
Time passes slowly and the next two days we spend fishing, drinking, telling stories of big trout, and watching the river’s birdlife acrobatically chase insects.
This is Vehicle Supported Adventure at it’s best!