Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scratch Silver Lake

Headed out of the house at a little after 7:00. Got to Silver Lake at 8:15 and found a nice flat rock to put the red Coleman camping chair on. Two rods out with rainbow Power Bait and settled in for the duration.

Parking spot

All that, was under water not too long ago
Keeping in mind the fish hatchery thing and that there aren't going to be anymore plants this year, here is how the day went.

Rainbow Power Bait, plain, with garlic, with sweet corn, with anise.
Pink Power Bait, plain and with garlic.
Red and white Power Eggs.
Kastmasters in various colors.
I even sunk to putting Pautzke's Balls of Fire salmon eggs under a bobber.

And the answer...............

A little take on Edwin Starr's song:

Silver Lake, huh, yeah, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. 

Scratch Bear River Reservoir.
Scratch Silver Lake.

Looks like more miles to catch any fish.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Heard About The Sand Fire?

The Sand Fire is burning just North of the town of Plymouth, California. Plymouth is 16 miles down the hill from La Casa Kautz.

The fire is outside of town about 5 miles or so or about 20 miles from us (as the crow flies). Last I heard, it's burned 4000 acres and consumed 5 houses and 7 outbuildings.  The scary thing is that it's near quite a few of the wineries. That, could be alcohol abuse in a big way.

Just wanted to let everyone know that we, as well as my sons house, are fine. We are not in the path of the fire, although National News probably tells you the whole area up here is on fire, and it is burning away from us at least for now.

This does hit close to home, though. When you live in an area like we do and you talk about wildfires, it's not a matter of if, but when and this one sure opened our eyes. 

So the wife and I spent some time this morning reviewing our evacuation plan and who, does what, if we have to go.

Trust me when I say this, but I will not be one of those who stays to defend the house. If authorities say go, we're gone. All we need is about 20 minutes (probably 15 just to catch and cage the cats) to gather, load, and get the hell out of Dodge.

So, for now we're good.    

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No Masses, But No Fish Either

Before I get into the fishing part, I wanted to relate a little phenomenon I came across last Saturday. Our wine tasting friends came up and we met them at the Volcano Union Inn for lunch and then went to Black Chasm. It's one of those cave places, in fact if you remember I did a post back in May of 2010 where I went there as a chaperone for my Grandson on a school field trip.

Turn Here
As we were getting ready to descend the 150 feet down into the cave, our tour guide asked if anyone had any questions. I did and what I asked was:

The cavern entrance
Down the road less than 1/4 mile is a gravel plant where they dynamite the hill sides every weekday at just about 11:45. My house is eight miles from the gravel plant and it rattles the windows in the house. My questions was, what did it do inside the cavern? Surprisingly, he said that if you were in the cavern at the time, you wouldn't even hear it or feel it. How could that be? He explained why, but lost me with some technical geological jargon, but he did say that it did rattle the windows in the little shop that is just above the entrance. How weird is that? 

Headed out of the house a little after 7 this morning with Bear River Reservoir the target for today. Remember, last time I was there, there were masses of people because it was a Saturday. Today there were only a couple people, one guy up on the dam, and a guy and his grandson fishing to my left.

The spot I like to fish is 100 feet to the left of the near side of the first dam. I put out two rods with rainbow Power Bait and over the following 2 1/2 hours tried PB, PB with garlic, sweet corn, and anise. In between I also threw Kastmasters in several colors and NONE of us got so much as a nibble.  

The first dam from where I was sitting
Then who shows up but my friend and fellow Amador Flyfisher club member, Barbara. We've fished together here, Cat Creek, and PIPI Valley, in the past. Barbara was working a new Tenkara rod with a beetle pattern, but without success. We've brought another one to the dark side. She said that while she was standing on the dam, she didn't see any fish from up there either. So after chatting with her for a while, since I haven't seen her in many months, I packed up and headed home.    

I didn't have any expectations so I wasn't disappointed when I went home fishless. On the other hand, I didn't have a bucket to put any fish in, nor did I have any ice to put on them should I have had a bucket to put the fish I didn't catch in. So I guess it's just as well I didn't catch any. Hell of a note.   

That's all until next time.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Success, This Time

Remember the little birds that got trashed by something a while ago?

First Wren nest
Well, I found a second nest in late June. This time it was well hidden on a ladder beside the shop and behind another ladder. I would have never known it was there except I needed the front ladder to get something off the overhead in the shop. When I put the ladder back I saw the nest. There were only three eggs in this nest so I decided just to leave it alone, although I did check on it once in a while.

Once the eggs hatched I snuck in while Mama was out getting some breakfast and took a couple pictures for posterity. I didn't want to draw any attention to the nest in case somebody (ugly) was watching.

Early July and they were just little fuzz balls.
7-6-2014
Then they started to look like birds.

7-10-2014
 A couple days later and they really looked like birds.
7-13-2014
 And then they had flown the coop, so to speak. At least these survived.
7-18-2014
Till next hatching season.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

That Stinking Creek Yesterday

Juan sent me some pictures he took with his Smart Phone/Camera. I call it a Smart Camera because like all cell phones, they don't work up there only the camera part.

He'll probably post them on his blog too except I'm just faster. He has a job, wife, and other distractions that keep him from posting as fast as I do. I just have a wife, but she works and that leaves me a lot of time to post.

So we hit this creek that was supposed to have beaver dams, Brook Trout, and lots of catching. This is what it looks like.

Creek View #1

Creek view #2


THAT is a beaver dam

Who's the fat guy?

There he is again way out there.
Did I tell you we were fishing with our fly rods? Oh yeh, I told you that yesterday. 

We still didn't see anything, but did I tell you about the hole I stepped in? No, well let me tell you what happened.

I was walking along minding my own business and there was this little (couldn't have been more than 9" wide) washout? It was covered with grass and you couldn't see if you were standing on top of it. And I was, right up to the point where I stepped into it. The only thing that stopped me falling was my butt hitting the ground. Yes, that's right, I had one leg in the "hole" and the other crumpled on the ground.

I did, of course, use several four letter words some of which you've probably never heard before. When I  pulled my leg out, it was wet half way up my calf. Could have been anything down there. It was a very body jarring experience especially for this old Geezer. So once we got back to the truck I did the only sane thing and that was take a stupid pill, even though I wasn't stupid at all. Sometimes you have to make exceptions.

This morning I had my yearly doctors appointment and told him about the incident. You have to understand my doctor. On the very first visit I told him I needed more energy. He jokingly asked me if I've tried Meth. OK, you get the idea, so when I told him about this he started in about the Lock Ness Monster, the Lake Champlain Monster, and assorted other monster suggestions, including mutant beavers. I went home and took another stupid pill.

So that's my opinion of that Stinking Creek and I can't wait to get back up there and fish another section.       

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Rush To Catch Fish

Juan from Breaking the Bank Blog came up to La Casa Kautz for a day of fishing.

Some time ago I got an email from a couple of guys in the fly club about a place with beaver dams, Brook Trout, and lots of catching. What a place to take "3", Tenkara, and Juan.

After a stop at Cooks for coffee and to drop off a couple of my books, we headed up the hill. Over the top of Carson Pass and down into Hope Valley. Juan has never been farther than Silver Lake so all this was new and eye opening territory for him. I had a constant monologue going explaining every place we passed.   

We got to the place of beaver dams, Brook Trout, and lots of catching, we got the rods out and headed down to the creek. Maybe because we were on the other side of the highway from where the guys were fishing, we saw beaver dams, but no Brook Trout and no catching at all.

We walked back to the truck and headed toward Upper Blue Lake which was our second destination of the day. More places Juan hasn't been so the monologue continued. 

Got to Upper Blue at 10:30 and set out his one rod, my two with 4#, and my little Okuma (2#) all with slip sinker rigs and rainbow Power Bait. Our intention was to catch fish and catch fish we did.

Juan's first of the day

I know that hook is in there somewhere
By 11:30 we had six on the stringer with one released. It was about 9", but too small to keep. By Noon the clouds started building. If you've watched any national news then you know about the high pressure sitting over the "4 corners" and sucking all that monsoonal moisture up California way. 

What you see in the picture below is that monsoonal moisture building. That particular cloud in the center just above the trees was the one that started with the thunder.

Monsoonal moisture
More monsoonal moisture
Once the thunder started (we only had six on the stringer remember) that is where the rush to catch fish began. We wanted to get Juan a limit as well as me a limit (10 total) and the catching started in earnest.

Now, you ask, how do you make fish bite so you can go home with two limits? Magic? Voodoo? Maybe positive thinking, who knows, all I do know is that they started biting and by 12:30 we had 10 on the stringer. While we were bringing in the last rod, there was still one more on the line which got to go back for another day.

Juan with two limits
All were at least 10 inches and a couple going close to 13 inches. A fine limit for Juan and a good fish feast because he took all 10 home.

On the way back to La Casa Kautz, we hit rain just on the other side of Carson pass and rained almost all the way home. Not enough water to do anything about the drought, but enough for the windshield wipers. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Just A Thought

As you know, I had a skin cancer removed from my right ear. For a long time I've thought about skin cancer because I grew up in Florida and spent most of my life in the sun. The question was not "if" I'd get skin cancer, but when.

Now that it's happened, I've become somewhat paranoid about it happening again. So I've gone the way of sunblock, a bucket hat, and long sleeve shirts when possible.

The problem, and you all know I fish flies, Power Bait, worms, and assorted lures, is how do you get the sunblock off your hands so it doesn't get on your fish flies, Power Bait, worms, etc?

If you do any painting around your abode then you probably have those beige colored rubber gloves. I've used them for years, but the only drawback is that to get two on your hands, it takes about six before they stop ripping as you put them on. You know what I'm talking about.

A while back I accidentally bought a box (100) of Nitrile Gloves. The blue ones in the picture below.  
Nitrile Gloves
I get them from Lowe's at $15.00 a box.

Here is my solution for the sunscreen on your hands.

I carry a Ziploc bag with a handful of these gloves and have another Ziploc bag for disposal of the used ones. Put on the gloves, smear sunscreen on my arms, nose, cheeks, and any other exposed areas that need it, pull off one glove with the other and then hold it in that hand and pull off the other one around the first one. Then just drop it into the other Ziploc bag. That way you don't get any sunscreen on either hand. Just remember to not touch your body where you've applied the sunscreen while you're fishing.

The thing with Nitrile gloves is that it only takes two to get two on your hands. They don't rip like the beige ones. 

I suspect a lot you already know this, but if this helps keep one you from skin cancer, this post was worth the time. 

Thanks for stopping by.