Saturday, July 4, 2020

Well, I Am Doing Something

I do believe that we are going to get a chance to try out our new and currently never used travel trailer on the 17th. I made reservations at Hope Valley Campground back in February as it is one of our "must do" camping places each year.

I needed to get out of the house. One can only handle "house arrest" for so long and just going to the grocery store doesn't do it. As soon as my wife left for work, I hopped into the truck and headed upcountry. I checked the DFW fish stocking website and because it's the 4th of July weekend, they stocked everywhere. Yeh, I did take my fishing rods.

My main reason for the trip was, 1, to make sure I could put our trailer in the spot reserved at Hope Valley Campground. 2, make sure the campground was even open, which it was. I had to reserve a spot I had not parked in before because EVERYBODY is suddenly camping. A way of social distancing and sheltering at home. Your trailer is as good as your home for sheltering. Not sure about the tent campers though. 3, see if fires were going to be allowed in the fire rings. They are.

As I pulled out of the campground I saw a fly fisherman tempting the trout on the West Fork of the Carson River which is right across the street from the campground. Now I've tried fishing for those trout. You can offer them the most luscious fly, fattest worm, or any flavor of Power Bait and they spit in your face. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that if they are holding in that certain spot at the end of the big pool, you need not waste your time.

I headed up the road toward Upper and Lower Blue Lakes. I wanted to make sure everything was set for the upcoming weekend. Wanted to make sure we could get the kayaks in at Upper Blue and since they stocked this past week, I hope, fishing might be good.

First thing I noticed is that ALL the PG&E campgrounds (maybe about 100 spaces) were closed. That isn't going to make a lot of people happy. I was pleased that they graded the road all the way so you didn't need 4 wheel drive or end up shaking your teeth out of your head.     

 Got to my usual parking spot and took my rods, chair, one tacklebox, and my net and started down to the spot I usually fish. It was slow going with the hip, back, and leg problems and I wasn't going to make more than one trip down and one trip up so I packed as much as I could carry in one hand and used my cane in the other for a "third" leg.

Set up and put two rods out with rainbow Power Bait (what else). Waited. Waited some more. Took some pictures.

Across to the right. Still a little snow

The dam and kayak launching area. 

The far end of the lake
I've learned over the years that Power Bait loses it's potency after a while. When you have a couple of jars open and you're old like me, you forget (remember it's been a while since I Power Bait fished) which one is the oldest. After an hour, I reeled in my lines and put on PB from the other jar. Apparently that one had lost it's potency too because nothing.

So I bit the bullet and opened a new jar. I buy them by the six pack. Wasn't 15 minutes and one rod started bobbing. Very light nibble and by the time I was ready to set the hook, he was long gone. Being the experienced Power Bait fisherman (stop laughing) I am, I think it probably bit and the water being really cold, probably cracked the bait and off he went.

So even though I didn't bring one to hand, I did get a bite, but time was a factor so I packed up and made the exhausting walk up the hill. As you can see in the picture above, that is the hardest shore for me to walk on even with a cane.

But I'll be back on the 17th on my kayak and with fishing rods in hand. I'll also have pictures of the "still to be used" new trailer and the camping area.

One part of the trip I forgot to mention. Coming back down the hill, I passed about 30 RV's going up. I do hope they find a place because it looked like everything was full. Even the "dry" camping spots along Blue Lakes Rd were already full. It seemed like every nook and cranny one could put a RV into, there was one already there.

Stay tuned.   

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

I'm Back Somewhat

I was going fishing this morning come hell or high water. Back on May 15th I thought I'd be able to get up to Cat Creek the following week. Took me until today to do it. This Covid-19 is screwing everything up.

My wife went back to work yesterday so I figured it was time to get off my butt and go fishing.

Left at 8:15 and stopped by Java Drive for a cup of coffee and their machine was broke. Was this an omen? Zipped in to Safeway and filled up the truck and headed for the hills.

Got to Cat Creek and put my 3wt together. Stocked my vest with dry flies and walked all 25 feet down to the pool below the bridge. 

3 wt

Pool below the bridge on Cat Creek
First cast, hit, miss. Second cast, hit, miss. Boy am I out of shape. Took me about 6 hits until I finally brought one to hand.
First fish 
 Then I caught the second one.
Didn't get a picture of the second one so I used the first one again. 
 Then I got the third one.
Still the first fish
For some reason I had trouble holding on to the rod, the fish, and getting the camera (on my phone) out for a picture. Seems they weren't hooked very well and flopped back in the pond before I could get the shot.

After maybe another half dozen misses, I packed up and headed for the Cosumnes River at the bridge. Figured I'd fish the pools below the bridge before heading upstream. 

The Pool below the bridge
 Got a couple misses in that pool and made my way to the pool below the pool below the bridge.

To the right

Across

To the left.
 Got a lot of misses, but managed to bring a few to hand.

Snap and back in the pool.
I had forgotten that the fish in these pools have a clock. As usual at exactly 11:00 the bite stopped. I was using an Orange Stimulator, Green Sloan's Paralyzer, and a yellow Parachute something.

Since I wasn't getting any interest in the lower pool I made my way back up toward the truck. Stopped and took a picture of the falls under the bridge and into the pool below.

Pool under the bridge
Since I still had the yellow Parachute Something on my rod, I did one last cast in this pool and sure enough, I missed the hit. That was it for the day. I was too worn out to attempt upstream. Maybe another day.

As best as I can remember (it's hell getting old) I brought a half dozen to hand and probably missed a couple dozen. Just not fast enough.

Didn't have to worry about social distancing, there wasn't anyone up there but me.

Stay safe friends.

I hate to be a doomsayer, but I think the worst is yet to come with this Covid-19.