Monday, July 18, 2016

Camping Weekend

This post requires several titles, so I'll put them in as I post the story.

Post Title #1: An Aah Shit moment. 

On the way to the park (Hendy Woods State Park) we had a blow out on the trailer. Keep in mind that the Clipper is a single axle trailer. It blew about 100 feet from the nearest turnout on a very windy road going about 35 mph. I can't imagine what would have happened at 55 mph. Thus the disintegration of the tire (I think). The tires are almost brand new (3 years old with only 12 trips on them) so with a lot of tread still on them, one would think they'd be OK. I think we ran over something that trashed the tire.

I might also note that in a bonehead moment I forgot to check the air in the spare so even though I changed the tire, we still had to call AAA to air up the tire and I had him check the lugs just in case. I haven't changed a tire since 1976. Best to be sure all was well.  

Post Title #2: The Camp Site.

We had reserved the same camp site as last year (you can see pictures here), but this year we had a "new and improved" fire pit. Problem was when they changed it, they just scattered the ashes around in a circle, some places being about 4 inches deep. I scraped away a path to the pit and filed a complaint at the check-in kiosk, but with assurance that maintenance would take care of the problem, NOTHING happened.

New and improved fire pit.
Post Title #3: Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe.

Ran up to Fort Bragg and secured a new spare tire and rim. Can't  take a chance on driving back without one. Then headed for lunch at Queenie's. 

Home of the awesome Bleu Cheese Burger. Not so awesome this year. Medium burger was more well done, carmelized onions weren't, and overall just so-so. 

Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe
While we were driving up and down Highway 1, I managed a couple ocean shots. In the one below that big plume of white on the top right, is a wave hitting a rock.

Post Title #4: Three degrees of separation.

Our next door neighbor was a gentleman named Kyle (hope it's spelled right) and his daughter having a daddy/daughter weekend. In chatting, we mentioned lunching at Queenie's and also mentioned it was on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri's show. You know the guy.

Image result for guy fieri
Guy Fieri
Kyle mentioned that he, in fact knew Guy and there you have three degrees of separation again. We met Kyle, Kyle knows Guy. Wait, there's more in an upcoming post.  


Post Title #5: The family Crest.

Somewhere buried in the house I have a copy of the Kautz family crest. If you don't have yours, I would suggest getting it. You find out a bunch of cool stuff. On ours, it has chevrons and a bunch of other stuff, but the Screech Owl (You can hear it here) is the main focus of the Kautz Family Crest.

I've never seen one except this stuffed one in the information center at the park and since I forgot to take a picture last  year, made sure I got one this year.

Screech Owl
So there you have it. A five-in-one post.

Very busy this week so I don't know if fishing will fit in, but stay tuned.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

We Finally Made It And It Was Everything We Expected

To White Pines Lake that is.

I met Yuki at Wells Fargo in San Andreas and we headed to Angels Camp for coffee at Starbucks.

Once coffee was securely in the cup holders (notice I made that plural because we were in separate trucks) we headed up Highway 4 to the town of Arnold. Not enough space for a float tube and a kayak in the same truck.

I made a quick stop at Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods for a carton of red worms. I got mini crawlers since they stopped stocking red worms. Then I had to hunt Yuki down because he didn't stop. Found him in the Day Use parking lot at the lake. Well, I found his truck, he was no where in sight.

Once I located him, we drove over to a little (when I say little, it's about 4 feet wide and about 8 feet long) concrete launch ramp where we put in. Yuki in his kayak, me in the Float Tube Cumberland.

All I brought along was "3". There isn't anything in that lake big enough for a larger rod. Being the somewhat "good" fly fisherman I am, I started out with a Zug Bug. I wasn't 25 feet from shore, in fact Yuki didn't even have his kayak in the water yet, and I hooked up with the first Bluegill. I've never caught anything on a Zug Bug before. With-in five feet, hooked the second one. This time I took a picture.  

Second of the day
From there, past the park area, and on toward the far end of the lake, I got nothing else on the Zug Bug. For a while, I tried the Caddis Pupa (remember from Yosemite), but nothing there either.
Yuki catching up to me.
 Thought I'd better take some shots of the lake for your viewing pleasure.

The launch ramp is over there somewhere.
Yuki cruising by
The other side of the lake
 Down at the far end, Yuki hooked the only Crappie of the day.

Looks a lot bigger in the photo below.

IPhone Crappie picture
By this time, we were at the far end of the lake. In the photo below, it's way down in the back. 

The far end.
We fished around that area and brought a bunch of little Bluegills to hand and a couple small Bass. They were way too small so we put them all back.

To the right of the picture above is the dam which is in the picture below.

The dam
We continued to catch a bunch like the one below.

Not big, but fun none the less.
Yours truly far off in the distance
Yours truly a little closer
I did have a plan for fishing this lake. If you haven't heard, the heat wave of the past couple weeks has slowed down for now. If you can call high 80's a slow down from 100's. BUT with the cooling, we get what is called the "Delta Breeze". The Delta Breeze can come whipping through Fairfield and Vacaville at about 25 to 30 mph. It brings with it, cool air from the coast, but also makes it somewhat windy all over.

At the lake today, we had winds of about 5 mph with gusts maybe as high as 8 to 10 mph. When I first launched, I scoped out the direction of the wind which was from the dam (opposite side of the lake) toward the launch area. So I made my way around the side (fishing all the way) and when I was ready to call it a day, I was over on the dam side and let the wind push me across to the launch area. My mama didn't raise no dummy.

Almost to the end of the post and I guess I'd better admit to fishing most of the way around the lake with a hook and piece of mini-crawler. I know I mentioned being a "good" fly fisher, but sometimes you just have to do what the situation calls for.

How many did we catch? We both stopped counting at around 10 each. We caught a lot more and missed a lot more, but we had a hell of a good time. I don't think all the ones we caught were Bluegills (not counting the two Bass and the one Crappie), but like me being Entomology stupid, I'm also Sunfish stupid. It's just not that important.

No fishing next week, we're off to Hendy Woods State Park  next weekend. Click on the link if you'd like to see a bunch of pictures of the park. Heading to Elk, California for a burger at Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe (previously seen on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives) and then some wine tasting in Anderson Valley. 

Stay tuned.