The southern Sierra, from the headwaters of the Kern River in Sequoia National Park southward to the sweep of the Kern River into the far southern extreme of the Tulare Basin, is morphologically dominated by a single seismic fault that splits the range into western and eastern legs, and gives the range a southerly slope with a solar inclination that helps to give it a rather sunny, flammable aspect. This southerly descent is considerable. Though the two divides of the Southern Sierra feature peaks as high as Mount Whitney (14,495 feet) to the east and Mount Kaweah (13,802 feet) to the west, one need not travel far south before no more 10,000-foot peaks remain.
In this sun-bathed high country, the trout seem to disappear and reappear in the golden light that flows through the rivers and creeks, as the flux of the streams sways left and right like a tree in the breeze. The gold trout sometimes seem custom-made for these sunward streams.