SHOULDER SEASONS? They can be quite distinct, and easy to spot, in some locations. Activity A comes to an end, Activity B begins, and, quite often, there's a space or length of time between the two. But in the magical land known as Mono County, merry doings have a way of melding a bit, or "melting," if you prefer, since snow is so often involved. Look to Mono County, where the ski season continues at Mammoth Mountain (visitors can plan on "shredding into May") and spring is bursting out around the lower levels, with the Eastern Sierra's spectacular lupines and other wildflowers starting their annual run. And somewhere in-between? We won't bait this particular hook any longer: "Fishmas," the day when the region's streams and lakes officially welcome back anglers, arrived on April 30.
A POLE, A STREAM, THE BIG SKY, AND YOU: If standing in your lucky waders while rocking a vest dotted with pockets, the sort of compartments that handily hold your lures, lines, and other accessories, does appeal, then Mono County could/should be your next stop. It's home to a variety of derbies, tourneys, barbecues, and meet-ups, as well as a few fish-tastic festivals. As for a free fishing day? That's up on July 2, and there's another one casting a line on Sept. 3. Reading up on all of the regulations, must-knows, and must-haves is essential before you load up your tackle box and hit Highway 395. And if you're traveling with a crew that loves H2O but doesn't possess your trout-catching prowess? There are still plenty of pretty pursuits to enjoy around the county's sparkling lakes.