I have great neighbors. That’s never a bad thing, but has even more value considering that I live in a rather entertaining part of town on a street which I refer to as “Lift Op Lane.” I have a rather comfortable dwelling, of which I should disclose if I ever choose to sell, includes access to free music on a rather consistent basis. I get to listen to the drunks sing to the trees any given night as they stumble back to their digs long after the sun has set and the bars are closed. But, I’m happy with where I live. And, a part of that is because of the immediate neighbors that I have. They are good folk.
To the west side of my property is a community of Jeffery Pine and Tamarack trees. They are pretty chill neighbors. They might make a little noise when the breeze runs through, but other than the squeaking of spooked squirrels, I don’t hear a lot of noise on that side of the house. On the other side is a two-storied duplex. On the upper level resides professional massage therapist Ed Moore. Those of you who know the thirty-year therapist also know that he is a super laidback character. The two of us talk a lot about bicycles. Ed had the great fortune in life to work with the U.S. National Cycling Team for a ten-year period. Great stories to hear. And, I ride bikes. At least I say I do.
On the ground floor is the Glass family: Michelle and Hodges and their two very young daughters Addison (4 ½) and Sammy (1). The Glass residence is a social place, the owners of Affordable Flooring quite regularly hang around their grassy front yard killing cans of Budweiser and laughing up a storm with other trout bums to the likes of Hunter Penewell and Shawn Noonan. See, Hodges is an angler. I have something in common with the downstairs neighbor as well.
It’s pretty wild to consider that Hodges Glass is a trout bum and I am a trout bum, and that for the three years in which we have lived next door to each other, we have only gone fishing together on two occasions. Outside of work and family, the only thing that Hodges partakes in is fishing. As for me, you know what eats up all of my free time, and fifty percent of my thoughts. So how is it that two addicted anglers living right next door to each other have only fished together twice in three years?
I am a fly fisher, and I spend 95% of my time on moving waters. At heart, Hodges is a troller, working stillwaters like Grant Lake, Lake Mary, and Crowley Lake with lead core lines and big ol’ Rapalas. It is only recently that our paths are starting to cross, as Hodges begins to experiment with the world-class midge fishing on Crowley Lake, and I am also taking a new liking to bobber fishing with flies. One of the greatest ironies of midge fishing on Crowley Lake is that you are surrounded by one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges, and yet you find yourself staring at a seven cent piece of floating plastic for five hours, anxious with the excitement of watching it dunk when the trout takes on the other end. Is it fun though? Yes, as Hodges and I are starting to discover.
Hodges has moved to Mammoth twice. His first time in town was in ’89 – ’90. He came here to snowboard, working as a carpet installer to pay the bills. He stayed for four years, and eventually moved up to Truckee to do the same thing. It was love that brought him back the second time. Michelle (Buness) Glass, a graduate of Mammoth High School, brought him back to Mammoth permanently in 1998. As a child, Hodges spent time in both Houston, Texas and San Diego, California. His resume includes some time as a career professional skateboarder. When asked how long he has fished, his response was, “All my life. I was taught by my grandfather in Texas going after flounder, speckled trout, redfish and bass.” It wasn’t until 2003, ten years ago, that Mammoth resident Marcelo Chavez opened the door to the world of trout fishing in the Eastern Sierra for Hodges. “I showed him my spot,” Chavez said. Hodges remembers that first day going after trout when he showed up to fish with Marcelo. Glass was dropping “golf ball-sized Powerbait rigs with ocean rods and ocean test” into the honey holes of Convict Lake. Marcelo immediately corrected his set up, and the rest is history. Hunter and Shawn ended up fishing with Hodges a lot at the start as well, a fishing companions relationship still as strong as steel. These two taught Hodges the entire spectrum of trolling on the lakes. Glass explained his own personal understanding of stillwater fishing, which put his young niece onto three and four pound trout on Convict Lake one day, with a Barbie fishing rod nonetheless. Never underestimate the power of three-foot pink rods.
When I asked Hodges what his favorite place to fish is, he laughed and responded, “Everywhere.” I took Glass up to the Nevada section of the East Walker River at the start of summer. He was pitching PMX flies at trout in the water. He was stoked to get into a Lahontan Redfish, along with missing setting the hook on a couple of trout. He was surprised at how little time you have to set the hook dry fly fishing for trout. Yep, welcome to fly fishing, Mr. Glass. His enthusiasm for fishing is nothing short of mine, evident when he yelled to me across the water that afternoon, “Leonard, there is a huge brown trout at my feet right now!” With hands raised about eighteen inches apart from each other, I believed him. There are trophy trout all over the East Walker River, both in the Golden State and the Silver State. We didn’t land it, but he understood, that day, my love of fly fishing on moving waters. Yep, “everywhere” best describes where Hodges might fish.
Hodges knows better than anyone else the trolling scene on Grant Lake, Lake Mary, and Crowley Lake. He has three boats in his driveway, one which he is selling to me, and the man spends a lot of time working the aforementioned stillwaters with lures. He constantly gets into trophy trout on all three lakes. He recently acquired a great fly fishing set up for Hot Creek; I keep pestering him to roll down there with me. It’s bound to happen soon. When I asked him if there is anything anyone should know about fishing in the Eastern Sierra, he responded that the public is entitled to a better education about the endangered yellow-legged frog. We both agree that the frog is misunderstood in its relationship with trout, as Hodges simply said, “We should figure out the frog before going around closing everything (fisheries) down.”
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