Sunday, September 21, 2014

The September Camping Trip

HI, I'm back. The King Fire is 83,000 acres and 10% contained. Still burning it's little heart out.

Headed out Friday morning in the Clipper for a new place. 

Loaded and ready to go
Five hours later, we arrived at the resort we had reservations at. Our campsite was supposed to be right on the shore of the lake. I've been showing you those dismal shots of New Melones and I hoped that this lake wasn't in the same shape.

We arrived at 3:00 pm and to our surprise, the site we had was indeed on the shore of the lake. 

The campsite
I figured that the most impressionable shot would just be one out the door of the trailer. The railing on the left of the picture above, is the same railing in the picture below.

The lake from the front door
A lake full of water, what a concept. A camping space at the lake's edge. How much better could it be? One that the DFW just planted 900 pounds of Rainbow Trout in, that's how good. That little dock on the left side is the fishing dock, a stones throw from the Clipper.  

Here's a couple of shots from the fishing dock.

The lake

To the right

To the left
The young lady in the picture above was fishing next to me. There were so  many people fishing that one had to get what ever space one could grab. She was doing well as far as casting with the exception that even though she could cast by herself, her distance was good, but her aim was wayyyyy off. Of course, once her line was in the water, she had to reel it in to see if she caught anything. Along with her line came mine and a couple others. Finally her Dad put her on the end of the dock away from the other people fishing. 

Two rods out with rainbow Power Bait and so the afternoon went, fishless.

After sunset and dinner
Saturday morning found me in the red Coleman camping chair, just below the Clipper, and set up just like the lakes up here.

The chair at the edge of the lake
A couple of hours of catching nothing and we decided to take a little ride and check out the area.

This is the swimming area, but  not many swimming at this hour of the morning.

Swimming area
I've got a whole bunch more pictures, so you'll just have to come back tomorrow to find out what happens and see said pictures.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

King Fire Update

In case you haven't been watching TV, the fire is raging on.

As of this evening, 73,000 acres, 10% contained, and now they are evacuating as far up Highway 50 as Kyburz. They have evacuated all the campgrounds up in the Crystal Basin area, you'll know it by Ice House Reservoir where I've posted about several times and places like Union Valley Reservoir and Loon Lake.

Kyburz is a short 5 miles from where I was fishing (or make that hacking away with a fly rod) on Tuesday.

Last, but not least, they have arrested a guy for setting the fire.

We're off tomorrow morning for our September trip in the Clipper, to a new lake I haven't been to before. It's a spring fed lake and I noticed that the DFW is supposed to stock it this week.

Come back Monday and see how it went.

Till then. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Bear

Last evening I was watching the Giants/Diamondbacks game on TV. Around 6:45 (right after the game started) I looked outside.

I jumped out of my chair, my wife said "what", and all I could say was "bear". Again she said "what". I said "bear".

The bear was walking down the driveway toward the house. I was shocked. It was still light outside. I've heard him/her during the day and of course at night, but never expected to see him/her in all it's furriness. Got my wife to the window and got her zeroed in on where the bear was.

I ran downstairs to get my camera while my wife kept track. When I got back upstairs with my camera and my .357 (wasn't taking any chances) the bear had gone behind the trailer. The trailer is a little over 50 feet from the front door. 

Next time I saw it, it had jumped over the fence and was roaming around George's property. It walked in and out of the trees and I couldn't get a decent photo. Then it jumped over the fence into Bob's property and again I couldn't get a good photo because of the trees.

I want to note here that I wasn't going to run down the driveway just to get a picture. This bear weighted, my guess, 350+ lbs. Don't know if any of you watch the AMC series "Hell on Wheels", but the last two episodes were about Elam recovering from being attacked by a bear. Don't think I want to go there.

Now the bear is down at the corner of Bob's property and about 100 yards from the house. He/she jumped over the fence, strolled across the driveway and headed up the hill. Never got a chance to get a picture. It's not everyday you have a bear in your front yard. On the other hand, if you read the last post, I'm not surprised it went down that way. Seems like the whole day was like that.

On a final note, my trash can was fine this morning. Guess it wasn't on the bears tour last night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sometimes You Should Just Stay Home

Before I get into today, this is post #800. One more milestone passed. 

Just in case you haven't seen it on TV, once again California is on fire. Or maybe it's still on fire.

The one closest is the King Fire just north of Pollock Pines about 41 miles from me by the way Google flies. On the way to where I was going this morning, I took this picture. Still about 30 miles from where I was. On Sunday the fire was 3,000 acres. On Monday it had grown to 8,600 acres. This morning it was 11,500 acres. 

On the news they were showing people standing in the parking lot of the Shell Station in Pollock Pines looking at the fire. I mention this because during the Cleveland Fire (22,485 acres) back in 1992, I was standing in that same spot looking at that fire. Kind of like Deja Vu all over again (thank you Yogi Berra).

The King fire
Last time I was up at Silver Lake I talked to the "host" about fishing and so forth. She mentioned that the DFW requires Silver Lake to release 2.5 cfs, always, to keep water in Silver Fork of the American River for the native Rainbow and Brook Trout populations.

That means there was probably water in the creek. That's where I went this morning.  

I stopped at eight mile bridge (where they do the stocking, when they do the stocking)  and there were already a couple cars parked there, so probably people fishing. Drove to another spot and there again people parked and probably fishing. I stopped at the bridge (where I found all that good stuff last year) and that was the place. 

Upstream from the bridge

Downstream from the bridge.

Looked good, plenty of water, no one around. My kind of place.

Rigged up "3" with a yellow paralyzer and climbed down to the water. Second cast and fish on and then fish off. That went well.

This is the where that fish was.

First hook up

A look downstream
About that time is when everything went to hell. For some reason, I started fumbling around like I never held a fly rod in my life. Every cast was in the bushes. Every other cast had the fly wrapped around the rod. I'd do a double haul to dry the fly a little and on the second haul, in the bushes.

I moved to another spot and in the bushes, around my leg, in the rocks. I was like a Bozo with a fly rod. I would move to where there was a nice hole between the bushes. First back cast, in the bushes. Get the fly out of the bushes and the line was wrapped around the rod.

I have never felt like such an imbecile in my life. If I hadn't just paid almost $200.00 for that fly rod, I would have smashed it on the ground, I was that frustrated. Yes, I know it wasn't the fly rods fault, BUT.

I reeled in the line, cut off the fly, and went home. End of story. Sometimes you should just stay home. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014


You all know this is the town I live in. Down in the picture below (the one that says 4 miles although it's in the center of town) it says that the town was named by miners because of the apparent volcanic appearance.

Add caption
It's a cool place to live. Has an elevation of 2070 feet and is about 10 degrees colder, in the winter, than the surrounding hills where I live.

It's got the St. George Hotel, which serves an awesome Sunday brunch and has rooms available along with being haunted.  

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St. George Hotel
We also the Volcano Union Inn that serves the greatest Lamb hamburger in the world among other tasty entrees. It has rooms available and is also haunted.

Volcano union inn
Volcano Union Inn
 Don't get excited, haunting in the Motherlode is pretty normal.

About gold mining
If you make this plack full size it talks about the gold mining in the area and some of the history.

Not why I'm writing this. Just a little background before I begin.

As you know, and if you don't, WAKE UP, we're in a drought out here. I was concerned about the level of our well. I only have experience with one other well that I had drilled on some acreage I had in a place called Shingle Springs in the late 1980's. I had to have it drilled to 500 feet just to get 2.5 gallons a minute. Our well produces 19.5 GPM based on the inspection when we bought the house.

So, where does one go to get the information about your well that was drilled almost 40 years ago? The Internet, of course. Go to the county records, find out when the permit was taken out to drill, find how deep it is. Simple huh. WRONG. Prior to sometime, no permits were issued for a well drilled in 1976 (house was built that year). BUT there was a certificate of completion required once the well was finished. Cool, where do I find that?

Turns out that all those certificates of completion are filed with the Water Resources Board in West Sacramento and all you have to do is fill out the form and mail it to them.

There is a moral to this story, so hang on.

The following Wednesday (that was pretty damn quick for Government work) I got the report. Remember the well in Shingle Springs, 500 feet deep and 2.5 GPM? Well my well is only 172 feet deep and the report states 15+ GPM.

Now the part that relates to this post. They list the levels encountered as they drill in 10 foot increments. Like 0 to 10 feet is topsoil, etc. From 50 feet to 172 feet (the bottom) they encountered lava rock, like lava from a volcano. Sometimes, maybe you shouldn't find things out.

Volcanic lava rock 50 feet under where I live?


Friday, September 12, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Shimano Guarantee

Back in February 2011, I purchased a Shimano Convergence 6'6" 2 piece rod from Cabela's.

When Juan and I went up to Upper Blue Lake back on July 16th I found this rod broken, down below the second guide. I used it that day, I planned on throwing it away and ordered a new one.

When I got the new rod there was a piece of paper wrapped around the handle saying something about the Shimano Lifetime Warranty.

I went online and found out that any rods purchased after August 2014 had only a limited warranty, but before then, the warranty was lifetime.

I got a proof of purchase from Cabela's, filled out a warranty form from Shimano and sent the rod to their facility in Irvine, California.

After their inspection, I guess they agreed that the problem was rod failure because today I got a brand new Shimano Convergence CVS66M2B 6'6" 2 piece rod.

A pretty good deal, if you ask me.....