Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Trip To Sacramento

A little change in colors for the new year.

I had several errands to run in Sacramento today so I figured, While I was down there I'd do a little fishing, as time permitted. Since Fishermans Warehouse and American Fly Fishing Company don't open until 10:00am, I'd first stop by Hagen Park Pond. I did a post about this little pond in Rancho Cordova last February and mentioned that I had encountered 7 gentlemen fishing. I thought it would be a good time to practice with my fly rod since they stocked last week and were going to stock this week too. Well, I guess everybody (I stopped counting at 30 people) found that out too and there were so many people fishing I didn't even take out a rod. I would show you a picture, but Blogger won't upload it.

Left there and completed my trips to Fishermans Warehouse, American Fly Fishing Company, and dropped some stuff off at my Daughter-in-Law's. It left me a little time to run by the American River and cast a couple of Steelhead lures. I was able to put in about 45 minutes and then had to boogie. Steelhead 5, Shoreman 0. Still working on them.

OK, so you ask "why didn't he stay longer"? I have to clean the flue on our wood stove every 3 weeks or take a chance of a flue fire (I've had 2 in the last 5 years) and the 3 weeks was up last Saturday plus, it's going to be cold and wet for the next 3 days, out here, and it just needed to be done more than I needed to be fishing. Priorities. Sometimes priorities suck, but I took it like a man. OK, I cried. Just kidding.

Still want to get one more day fishing before the year ends. We'll see what happens.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Morning

I started this blog back on January 7th of this year because I was MAD. I was mad because
nobody would let the local fishermen know what was happening out at the lakes and streams. Sure, you could get a "canned" report from one of the local lakes, but that was it. I wanted to share (most fishermen are tight lipped) what I was catching, where I was fishing, and what I was using to catch the fish.

So as we near the one year point, I've been able to do just that and more. I've been able to reach out and help local fishermen and fishermen across the US. I've also made many good friends among those fishermen and those I've come in contact across the world. My oldest friend (Z3) was my first follower and today I see there are 32 and I'm honored to call all them friends.

Beside all that, I've grown as a fisherman. You know from all the posts you've read that I was a bait slinger, grab my 5 (the limit), and go home. Since then I've moved more toward catch and release, fly fishing, and most recently float tube. A lot of this change was helped by many of you (and you know who you are) out there in our blog community. I don't have a wish list for Santa. I've been fortunate to be able to get anything I've needed to persue my passion for fishing. I have hinted to my wife about a couple of books and things that I'd like to have, but no big Spey Rods or something like that.

I've had a Merry Christmas all year and I wanted to take this time to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and to be politically correct, Happy Holidays.

OK, enough of the mushy stuff, let's get out there and catch some fish.

Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Trout Pond - Yikes It Was Cold

We had expected a storm to move through Monday Night and the snow level was supposed to be 4000' or above. Since we live at 3200' it should have been raining, if anything. I was getting ready to drive out to the Trout Pond yesterday morning when my wife asked if it was raining. "No Honey, it's not raining. It's snowing". It was that pellet stuff we call "corn snow". Great way to start your fishing morning. 32 degrees and snowing.

Lake Camanche is about 2500' lower in elevation than where I live. I had just been out there on Sunday (you know, the maiden voyage) and all I needed to keep warm was my hoodie (and thermals). The wind on Sunday was blowing from the South West. The wind yesterday was blowing from the North East, bringing all that good Canadian cold with it. Hoodie, Thermals, chemical hand warmers, gloves, nothing kept you warm out there yesterday. The cold cut through you like a knife. Do you think I remembered to bring my parka? Oh, hell no. I didn't need it on Sunday, why would I need it two days later. Wish I had it.

Decided to bank fish and got there just before 0900 and set up a split sinker rig with Rainbow Power Bait which just sat there the whole day totally ignored by anything with fins. This would have included all float tubers except there weren't any on the lake. In fact, there wasn't anyone on the lake. The few of us that braved the cold were all on the bank. The one I did catch was on a gold Kastmaster. After that, nothing. Rich and Mark showed up about 0930 and when I left (had errands to do) Rich had caught 2 and Mark had caught 1. The pond hadn't been stocked for a couple of weeks, so the trout that were still there, were getting smarter and harder to catch. I only saw one other caught a ways down the line.

Here's one of those "you'd like to throw your friend into the pond for being a smart ass" moments. Rich hooked up a slip sinker rig with a white power worm, followed by a white power egg and a chartreuse power egg. "I'll have a fish within 7 minutes", he said. OK, I looked at my watch. 11:00 am. I'm timing this because I know he wasn't going to get anything, let alone one within 7 minutes. Less than 2 minutes, he was hooked up and landed one. Since he's a good friend, I just couldn't push him into the lake, smug smile or not.

Well, that's it for this adventure. Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is worse when you're freezing your butt off".

Thanks for stopping by.

Mark (Shoreman)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Float Tube - The Maiden Voyage

As one would expect, not everything goes as planned on the maiden voyage. Hey, look at the Titanic. This one was not quite as bad. I got to the Camanche Trout Pond about 0900. Stopped for a few minutes and chatted with Rich and Mark. Then I went over to the parking lot to launch the float tube.

I had left it slightly flat due to elevation fluctuations and got out the 12v air compressor. Pumped it to the max and set it by the lake with rods and such, nearby. After putting on my waders and PFD vest, I decided to sit in the float tube and put on my flippers. I’ll know not to do that again. Spent several minutes trying to get my leg bent enough to put the fins and chasing myself around in a circle. Next time I’ll sit on the bank and do it there.

OK, got the flippers on, the stripping apron attached, and I was ready to go. Leaned into the back of the seat and nearly dumped the thing over. I thought I had it adjusted correctly, but apparently not. It was like sitting in a Barq-o-lounger. Of course, you drive this thing backwards and when you lean back too far, the back end comes out of the water. Minor seat back adjustment needed. Got that fixed and off I went.

Got out from the shore about 25 feet and started stripping line from the reel with a black Wooly bugger on the leader. Another seat back adjustment. Flippered myself out another 100 feet or so and another seat back adjustment. I knew I’d get that thing right sooner or later. Did a few strips and a few casts, and another seat back adjustment. This went on all the way across the pond. Got close enough to the other side and pulled up to the bank. Stood up and did another seat back adjustment. Sat back down and started back out across the pond when I realized I was only being propelled by one flipper. What the hell! Back to the shore and reattached the left flipper to my foot.

Changed from a black Wooly bugger to a Clouser Deep Minnow in Chartreuse/White. Did anyone tell you that guiding a float tube into the wind is easy? Took me half as long to get back to the other side of the pond, all the time stripping and casting. Made a U-turn and started back across. About then, I saw a fish rise to surface and whipped my Clouser just beyond. Two strips and the fish was on. Then the fish was off.

By then I’d been out for about 2 ½ hours. Thought I’d better call it a day. I tend to overdo sometimes and wanted to be sure I could walk tomorrow. The wind was picking up too. We’re expecting a storm tomorrow night. One thing I noticed too was that the float tube was getting a little mushy. I don’t think I had the valve tightened down enough. Re-work that for the next time.

Well, that’s it for the maiden voyage. I’m a little bit sore in the shoulders, but a couple of Tylenol will take care of that. Oh yeh, when I got home, I tightened down the seat back all the way. Should solve the problem. If not, I'm in trouble.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yesterday & Today

I ran down to Sacramento yesterday to do some Christmas shopping and while I was there, I stopped by to see a new "pond" I found in Folsom. It's called Willow Hill Reservoir. I (stumbled on it by accident when I was looking at the DFG stocking list for the week of 11/29. It sits right behind Folsom High School. It takes some time to get there as you have to wander through a new house, housing project to find it. It has a real clean dock (see picture below), a grass area with cement walk ways, and toilets (locked but probably flush). It's about the same size as Mather Lake and the one thing I noticed is that there wasn't anyone around, nor did it look like anyone had been fishing there. In fact, even Fishermans Warehouse didn't know about it. Next time down, I'll try a few lures and see what happens.
After I was done shopping, I drove by Mather Lake and it has the same problem that it's had for the last year or so, that being weeds just below the surface. I did a couple dozen casts and 3 out of 5 had weeds on the lure.
Today I went to the Trout Pond at Camanche. A spur of the moment thing. Got there at 0800 and it was the same fog like the last time. Fished PB on a slip sinker rig with no results. Fished several of the usual lures and nothing until about 1130. Then on a German Brown colored Kastmaster, I got one, then a second, then nothing. I finally pulled up stakes at 1:00 pm and headed home.
That's it for now. I'm expecting my new PFD vest this week and will be ready to hit the float tube next week. Oh, there was a guy in a float tube, on the pond, pulling one trout after another this morning. I can't wait.
Till the next adventure.
Mark (Shoreman)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snakeheads in the United States

I was prompted to was the special on the National Geographic Channel about Snakehead Fish in the United States. If you've visited Mizlan's blog (Dark Art Caster) you know he is a Snakehead diehard. Here is my "book report", if you will, on the story. Mighty scary.

The Northern Snakehead (Channa Agrus) was first discovered in May 2002 in a pond behind a shopping mall in the State of Maryland. A man fishing caught one and didn’t know what it was, so he took a picture and sent it to the Maryland Wildlife Commission. They in turn sent it to a Biologist in Florida who did the identification.
In June 2002 a 24” one was caught in the same pond. In September 2002 the pond was poisoned to kill all the Snakeheads and 1200 were found with 6 being adults.
Two years later Snakeheads were found in 5 different locations in the Potomac River in Virginia. They’ve also been found in the States of New York and California. In June 2007 Snakeheads were found in the Potomac as far North as Washington DC. DNA shows they are all the same species.
Biologist concerns are:
Snakeheads have a lung above the gills and can breath air which allows them to live out of water for 3 days, making it easy for them to move from water to water.
An adult female can deposit 15,000 eggs at one time and can lay eggs 5 times a year totaling 75,000 eggs per year.
Since then, the Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes) has been found in the US and can grow up to 5 feet in length. Biologists concern with this species is they are very aggressive and will attach anything in their way. Snakehead Expert Jean-Francois Helias has sent a sample of a giant Snakehead from Thailand to the US and confirmed the ones in the US are the same species as those in Thailand.
How have they gotten here? A Korean Market in Los Angeles was busted for illegally importing Snakeheads from Thailand for their customers. This was several years after the ban on importing Snakeheads was put in place.
But what about the original ones, in the pond in Maryland? A Chinese American Gentleman saw the article and said he had purchased two in 2002 for a medicinal soup for his Sister who was ill. She recovered , but to give more good fortune to her, he released them into the same pond where they were discovered in 2002 and the 1200 in September 2002. Fast reproducers.
I did a search on the web using Northern Snakehead, looking for a picture. I got 194,000 hits. If you want to learn more about this invasive fish, jump out there and take a look. Might scare you. You might also do a search on the Giant Snakehead. I got 39,300 hits on that one. Might scare you more.
As the little girl in Poltergeist said, “There heeeeeeere”.

If you really want to get into Snakeheads, you should look up the following movies.
Swarm of the Snakehead
Snakehead Terror
But, don't forget the popcorn and maybe a barf bag. The movies are pretty bad.

Till the next adventure.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

There's Got To Be A Morning After

First, I want to say You're Welcome to all those that received the storm that left California on Monday Night. I had talked to Mel Moore up in Idaho on Sunday Morning and he was sending it to me for a Monday Morning kick in the butt. Well, we got kicked all right. It actually started at 12:30 pm on Sunday and by Monday Morning we had 16" of snow on the ground. Then at 0700 exactly, we lost power. Fortunately we have a generator that powers about 1/3 of the house. No computer, no downstairs lights, and only about half of the upstairs. We did have TV though. That's important. I spent most of the morning behind my snowblower clearing a path out and the turn around in front of the house. Since it was still snowing pretty heavy at 0600, I figured I'd better clear some because the blower only handles up to 12" deep. Some places I had to go over twice because of the depth. By Monday Afternoon, the storm had moved on and I was able to snap this sunset picture on the way to pick up my Wife from work. We only have one 4x4 and you needed it to get out.

Driving out Tuesday Morning ( 10 degrees) to take her to work, I snapped this one of the field that was frosty on the 3rd and now was more than a foot deep with snow.

The picture below is my driveway to the house on the left, at the end. Even though Bob (I plow for fish, Bob) plowed on Monday, but it's still is a 4x4 trip in & out. I don't suspect we'll be able to get the Envoy (2wd) out until we get the warmer storm on the weekend and it melts the snow. This was Tuesday evening. Still no electricity.

Wednesday Morning (a blazing 24 degrees) , still no electricity. Got the Boss to work and when I returned home, planned to start calling (the phone works with the generator running) the electric company about the outage. By this time it had been 48 hours without electricity. During the first 48 hours, all you get is "update at 7 pm, update at Noon tomorrrow. At Noon tomorrow, you get, update at 7 pm, etc, etc, etc. The electronic voice. So at Noon on Wednesday (53 hours without power) I called the line they allow you to call after you been without power for 48 hours. It should be on by 7 pm, he says. Where've I heard that before???? Picked up the Boss from work and waited until 7:30 pm (no power yet. No surprise there.). Called again and was told, DEFINATELY (notice the upper case) by 8:00 pm. 8:30 pm, no power yet. No surprise there either. Disgusted, we went to bed at 9:00 pm (still without power). 12:30 am (this would be Thursday Morning and 65 1/2 hours after losing power, all the lights we had on and forgot to turn off when we shut down the generator and the ones we didn't know where on, came on. Nothing like pitch black to daylight in an instant while you're asleep. Definately get your adreline flowing.
Needless to say, it's been a fun 3 days. Haven't been to any lake and don't think I'll be able to until next week sometime since we have another storm that is supposed to run through the weekend into Monday. Got all my float tube gear together, just need a nice day to put it to use.
Till the next adventure.
Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A foggy Gray Day

For the last few days I've been working on the property. We had a storm come through and with all the Pine Trees I have on the property, I have a ton of Pine Needles on the ground. So I've been raking them and piling them on my burn area. Yesterday I finally got a burn day and was able to clear up one of the two piles. OK, so you say " how long does it take to burn a few pine needles"? I burned for about 5 hours. That many Pine Needles and I'm not done by a long shot. Remember, I have 5 acres, but I only rake a little over one. Just enough to keep the 100 ft of defensible space around the house.

Today, however, the Air Resources Board (these are the guys that allow you to burn) decided that Mark should not burn today. My Wife, being the loving woman she is, thought I should go fishing instead of killing myself raking more needles. She knows I don't have any sense when it comes to working outside. So I went.

Left home when she left for work about 0730. T'was a might nippy as you can see from the picture below.

Yes, that's frost on the field. Got to the Camanche Trout Pond around 0815. I think I was there, it was a might foggy on the water.

Yup, once the fog lifted (at 1230) I was in the right place. Fished my one rod with PB and lures on the other. I felt like I was just guessing when I threw out my lures. Hoped I didn't hit anyone in a tube or toon. Might mention that I got nothing from 0830 to 1230. At 1:30 pm I was ready to throw in the towel and I actually got a couple of bumps on a gold Kastmaster and managed to hook one, but only for a short time, then he was gone.

When I could finally make out the guys in float tubes and pontoon boats, I saw that they were catching fish by drifting a crawler behind a bobber at the depth of 3 feet. Oh yeh, I didn't hit any of them. Which bring me to the UPS delivery today.

I mentioned in the post 11/25/09 that Lizzy over at The Fisherbabe prompted my going online to Cabela's and spending money. Well, THE SHOREMAN IS GOING FLOAT TUBE !!!!!. I bought a Classic Assessories Cumberland Float Tube, fins, and a PFD fishing vest (for an old man's safety). I plan on using my fly rod more and hopefully catching some fish with it. Stories about that to follow.

Guess I'll probably have to change my name to Float Tube Man, or maybe Tube Man, or maybe Float Man. Nope, still be fishing from the shore on many occasions, I'm sure so Shoreman stays.

Till the next adventure, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Big One

He was in my grasp. The biggest Trout I've ever caught and gone in a blink of an eye.

I met Rich, Mark, and Mark's friend Brian at the Trout Pond this morning. Mark, Brian and I had out Power Bait on one rod. We all had lures on the other. Mark had caught a couple, Rich caught a couple and I had caught one on my PB rig. Mark hooked up one about 5 lbs and the another about 3-4 lbs. Both on Gold kastmasters.

I had switched from gold to Silver/blue to silver to red sonic Rooster tail to Little Cleo and didn't have much luck. Went back to the frog (brook trout) Kastmaster and still didn't get anything so I switched to gold again.

When it hit, the line just stopped. Rich kept saying "a pound and a half, a pound and a half". No, it was bigger. Fought it to the shore and the net was put down. Guided the fish into the net. When it went into the net, it had the lure in it's mouth. When it flipped back out of the net, the lure was still attached to the net and not the fish. Gone in the blink of an eye was a 5 lb Rainbow. Biggest one I've caught to date. That's OK though, I would have released it any way. Just wish I would have gotten a picture. There will be a next time.

Till then, remember: "A bad day fishing can be a bad day when you lose the biggest trout you've ever caught".

Mark (Shoreman)

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I just returned from fetching my mail and as you all know, if you buy anything online or from a catalog this time of year, you get inundated with catalogs. A lot of these catalogs have some pretty unusual stuff. Stuff you know you need, or stuff you didn't know existed. Today I got two I just had to share with you.

First is one called "What on Earth". http://www.whatonearthcatalog.com/ The link for your convenience.

The first thing that caught my eye was A Christmas Story Leg Lamps. I know you've seen the movie and everybody has gotten theirs, but just in case you don't have one, Here's your chance.
The Second thing was the board game Monopoly: Fishing Edition. Now I don't have one of these, but it's on the top of my Christmas wish list. Should be on your's too.
There is a Messin' with Sasquatch tee shirt. Love the commercials.
Also, a nose for your shower, that dispenses shower gel. See what you're missing.
How about a piece of toast wall clock. Don't see them every day.
OK, enough about this one. You can cruise the catalog for your self.

Second is called "Wireless". http://www.thewirelesscatalog.com/ For your convenience also.

This one has Classic Movie Monster Bobbleheads. Something everyone should have.
A sweatshirt that says "I before E except after C" "Weird?" Kind of blows that rule out of the water.
And finally for my friend Callan at Xstreem Fishing Fiji, a sweatshirt that says "Fish Whisperer". We're always thinking about you Buddy.

So I'm over the edge a little here. This is what happens when I have time to think. That's why my wife doesn't let me think. I get into too much trouble.

I'm going back upstairs and finish watching Florida kick Florida States you know what.

Happy Saturday.

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends in our blogging community, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope you eat until you're stuffed, watch football until you're eyes are crossed, and enjoy the company of friends and family. I will be doing all three.

Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Etiquette - Fishermen and Non-Fishermen

I should have known the day would go into the toilet when I stopped at Starbucks to get a coffee and there were more than 15 people in line. Now, I'm not a person who is intolerant of crowds, but I am a person who doesn't like waiting in line, when there shouldn't be a line. I've been to enough Starbucks that I know there shouldn't be more than 4 or 5 people in line, at most. I didn't wait in line to get coffee. You know me and the coffee superstition.

I did find the access to the American River on the other side from the Harrington Access though. The wonderful thing is that I was alone on the river. Being some what lazy, I grabbed my fly rod and vest and walked to the river. I threw out a fly a couple of times and decided I should put on my waders so I could get the fly out farther. Did that and positioned myself at the top of a pretty good riffle about 100 yards long, that ended with a slow area.

I was about half way through the riffle, casting about 45 feet out (I have 35 feet marked on my fly line) and getting a good swing. Suddenly a truck pulled right up next to me, 5 feet from the shore to watch me fish. Well, the "bar" that I was on is heavy gravel and the truck made so much noise that if there was a fish in the neighborhood, he was down the river and half way to the Delta. The truck sat there for 10 minutes and then drove away.

Then another truck drove in and parked right at the end of the riffle where the old man in the truck let his dog out to run in the water. Then he proceeded to cast his two lines out in the slow area, right below where I was fishing. Then he wanted to know if I had caught anything. I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut.

By then I gave it up and called it a day. So for the American River, it's Steelhead 3, Shoreman 0. I had talked to the guys over at West Marine on Tuesday and they said the same thing everybody's been saying. "Half pounders in the River, but few and far between". That's OK. I'll just keep trying. If nothing else, it's good practice.

One last thing, I got excited by Lizzy's post over on the Fisherbabe, about going to the Cabela's sale, that I went online (nearest Cabela's is Reno) and spent money. A lot of money. More about that when it arrives.

Till then, remember: "A bad day fishing can be a bad day, just not the fishing part".

Mark (Shoreman)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Trout Pond Once Again

Met Rich and Mark out at the Camanche Trout Pond this morning. Rich and Mark have been hitting it pretty hard the last few days and it was a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. Got there about 0730 or so and set one rod up with PB on the slip sinker rig. Used my other pole to cast lures.

I won't drag this out because you know the story. Rich got a bunch, Mark got a bunch and I got a bunch. All those nice pound/pound and halfers they have out there.

Now comes the good part. There was this boy who was fishing right in the same were we were. He was maybe 8,9,or 10, I'm not sure because I wasn't that close to him. Mark fixed him up with a good PB rig on a clear water filled bobber same as he was using. He still didn't get any hits. So when Rich hooked a good size one on the Rapala he was using, he handed his rod to the boy and let he reel it in. Turns out the fish was a nice chubby one that went about 5 lbs. The boy was ecstatic. He took it over to where his family was camping on the other side of the lake and you could hear the yelling all the way across the pond. I thought that was a really nice thing for Rich to do, giving up a big, and he knew it was big, fish to the boy. Kudo's Rich.

That's about it. Got home in time to see the end of the San Diego Chargers put a hurt'in on the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders sneak one by the Cincinnati Bengals. Going to try for a day on the American about Tuesday or Wednesday. Let you know what happens.

Till then, remember: "A bad day fishing is better, when someone hands you a rod with a big fish on it".

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Slow Day at the Trout Pond

With the storm coming tomorrow and the expectations that the snow level would 4000', I decided to drive into Jackson to fill the gas cans that I use for the generator. We live at 3200', but when you have a storm that comes out of the Gulf of Alaska, like this one, you just never know how far the snow will drop. Best to be prepared in case we lose electricity.

Since I would be half way to the Camanche Trout Pond, I figured I might as well go over and drown a couple of worms. Got there around 0800 and put out a crawler on a slip bobber rig, just to see what would happen. An experiment, if you will. Nothing happened. Changed to a slip sinker rig, that worked so well the last time, and put out some Rainbow Power Bait. While I was changing my other pole to lures, I got a hit on the PB. Reeled in a nice 13" Rainbow and was able to release him. Put the PB back out and casted the usual cache of lures with no results. Decided to switch the second rod to PB and sat, taking in the nice sunny day.

About 1100 I reeled in one line and put fresh PB on the line and casted. The trout hit it as it was sinking which surprised me since there hadn't been any action for quite a while. Brought him in and turned out to be a beautiful 19" Rainbow with nice pink coloring on the side. I was able to release this one too, for another day.

But that was it. Wrapped it up at Noon and resumed my quest for gasoline for the generator. All in all, not a bad morning and the reports I've been getting about the pond seemed to be right on track. I'll ride out the storm and wait for the American to calm down next week, then take a ride and see if I can't catch one of those elusive Steelhead.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Guy on the Block

I recently made contact with Steelhead Guy on Fisibook. Nate made a comment that inspired me to do a post about his new blog. Actually he said that my blog inspired him to write his own blog. OK, so I have a fat head now, but I'm a Leo and we all have fat heads.

So all my blogging friends, go out to Nate's blog and say HI. I put it on my blogroll. I think his blog will be a good place for information about Steelhead fishing since that's what he does the most. He also plans to post about other fishing adventures too. Here's the link if you want to just jump out and touch base.


Steelhead Guy, welcome to our community.

Mark (Shoreman)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

I decided to take a drive up the hill this morning. Since Sunday the 15th is the final day of stream fishing in California this year, I wanted to return to the place where fly fishing really began for me. Back on August 31st, I made my first trip to attempt to catch trout on a fly rod and did so on the East Fork of the Carson River. As you recall from that post, I caught 2 about 18" each.
We had a small storm go through yesterday and it snowed in the mountains. I wasn't sure what the conditions were going to be, but I took a chance. I started seeing snow at 5500 ft elevation. At about 7000' I stopped on the side of the road and took this shot.
Now, I've lived in Northern California since 1975 and found that when you live in the mountains any length of time, you lose some of the appreciation of the beauty and majesty that is the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. So, since I was up there I thought I'd share some of this beauty with you.
Any way, getting back to the purpose of my trip, I got to the West Fork, stopped where Highway 88 & Highway 89 meet, and walked down to the river. More a creek now and mostly frozen over. Getting mighty chilly up there at night. Drove on to Markleville and stopped at the bridge 4 miles past the Carson River Resort (closed for the winter) and took a look at the, well, it's a creek too. Not much water this time of the year, but I would have gone down and done some fishing, but since I have this slight balance problem, I decided not to risk tripping or falling and hurting myself. I was the only one up there. I hadn't seen another person in the last 6 or 8 miles and I would guess it was less than 32 degrees temp. I decided to stay on the safe side.
Back in the truck and thought I'd stop and take a look at Red Lake since it's on the way back. Managed 6 casts before the water in the eyes froze and the line wouldn't go through anymore. Plus the lake was frozen more than half of the area and all of where I normally fish. All that area on the right side that's shinny, that's the ice.
On the way past Silver Lake, I noticed that the lake is starting to get little frozen patches of ice around the edges too. Bear River Reservoir (I went by all the lakes just to check them out) had snow on the ground, the gate is still open, but will close on December 1, and the lake is still ice free, but I suspect not for long.
So I guess that winds it up for the upcountry lakes. Besides the American for Steelhead, if I want to do a little trout fishing I'll have to zero in on Amador, Pardee, Camanche, or one of the ponds down Sacramento way.
Till next time, remember: "If you're going to fish where it's colder than hell, remember your thermals". I forgot them today. That was a Bigggggg mistake.
Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

American River Steelhead - Tuesday

Had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning and being he is in Folsom, it gave me a chance to do a little Steelhead scouting on the American. Everything was OK and as usual, he was nagging me about losing weight, but he always nags me about that.

From there, I spent about an hour looking for the access across the river from Harrington and couldn't find it. Of course, I didn't take my river map with me. Bonehead strikes again. So I went back to my usual place at Harrington, threw on my gear, and stepped into the water. I used the Moe egg-sucking leach looking lure for a while, but didn't get any bumps. That's it below.

Then I changed to a couple fly's I got from the guys over at American Fly Fishing Company and tried them. Nothing there either.

Then I put on one of my new ones I got from Cabela's. It's called VooDoo Leach in Fuchsia on a 1/0 hook. See below.

Had a little trouble with this one because it was so heavy. Two beaded eyes on a shaft with a connection to the 1/0 hook. Heavy enough that it could possible be used with a spinning outfit with 2 or 4 test line. I had a hard time getting it out of the water on the cast to get it far enough out for the drift. The rest of the flys I got with that group seem to be the same size and weight. I'll have to work on those, but I do like the colors. We'll see how they work as the season progresses.
Went back to the Moe Egg fly (this was the one I got the bump on back on October 25th) and fished the same riffle all the way through, but didn't get any bumps today, and I was focused on not yanking the line if I did. All for not.
The fish count guys came by and all the ones that I could hear them ask, all answers were no fish. The guys at American Fly Fishing Company say there are Steelhead in the river although small. The big run will not start until the first of the year through March or so. Until then, I'll just keep trying and who knows, there might be one or two in my future. I will perfect this Steelhead thing come hell or high water.
Till the next time out, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".
Mark (Shoreman)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday at Caples

This is a two part post.

Part one. Met my son Ken at Caples this morning. I arrived at 0730 and Ken got there about 0745. Temperature 25 degrees. I had already gone to the lake and grabbed our spot for the day. Actually it was the same place that Rich, Mark, & I fished last Sunday. Rich and Mark passed on Caples in favor of those big 3,4,5 pounders at the Trout P0nd at Camanche. Ken & I decided to do Caples because it's closer to his house and he had other obligations later in the day, so he only had a couple of hours to fish. In the 15 minutes between 0730 & 0745 I had already landed a German Brown, a Brookie, and a Rainbow. That's the kind of day it was going to be. Just like last Sunday. We fished until about 10:30 and called it. Ken caught 15 which turns out to be his biggest day ever and I pulled in 21. We were able to release all unharmed. Rainbow Power Bait on a slip sinker rig was the key.

Part two. I'm tired of catching fish. People would say "Aah poor baby. He's catching a lot of fish and he's tired of catching so many". Truth is, it's getting like shooting fish in a barrel. You've read the posts in the past, 20 here, 25 there, 12 in that spot, 15 over there. It's no longer fun to catch fish that way even though most of them are being released. So, for the time being, I'm hanging up my spinning rods and going to concentrate on my fly fishing. What does that mean? Posts where I go and don't catch anything. Posts where I end up practicing my fly casting. Posts where I spend time looking for the fly that snapped off my tippett on the back swing. Standing in cold river water up to my knees (or deeper) attempting to lure a Steelhead (for the near future any way) into keeping my fly in it's mouth, that's when it puts it into it's mouth and long enough for me to get it near enough to photograph it and release it for another day.

So that's the plan. Thanks for letting me whine. And yes, I do have cheese for that whine. For all of you that follow my blog, thanks for your support.

Till next post (should be Tuesday), remember: "A bad day fishing, well those will probably be plentiful in the near future, is still better than any day at work".

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Camanche Lake - The Trout Pond

Got to the "pond" at 0715 and paid the entrance fee of $10.50. $6.50 day use and $4.00 fishing access fee. Not a lot considering they use the money to maintain a nice place to fish and stock it with pretty large trout as you'll see below. A little panorama shot before I started fishing.

I went out on the dock on the right and started throwing out the usual lures. I also put out a "rubber worm" on a clear bobber. I had gone to Fisherman's Warehouse on Tuesday and picked up two cartons of mini-crawlers. Do you think I remembered to bring them along? Hell no. Why would I do that? What a bonehead. When Rich hadn't showed up by 0745, I went up and got my cell phone ( I rarely carry it on me because most of the time there is no signal where I'm fishing). I did have a message from Rich saying he was stopping for donuts (what a guy) and would be there shortly. A bit after 0800 I got another call from Rich, then he was yelling at me across the pond. I was in the wrong place and he'd been there a while looking for me. So I packed up and moved over to where he was.

I fished several lures, Power Worms under a clear bobber, and didn't get anything. So I went back to my old Rainbow Power Bait on a slip sinker rig with one exception. I put on a leader that was about 36" instead of the usual 18" - 20". Caught one and had to put him on the stinger. He went about a pound. About then, Rich found out he had his Son's keys and had to run home. Oh, Rich had already caught two before I got over to the spot. While he was gone, I managed to land 3 more of the same size and release two. Had to have two on the stringer when Rich returned. Just because. A gentleman fishing next to me said he'd verify that I'd caught the three, but I had to give him $5.00 (just kidding). The fun of fishing with a bunch of guys.

When Rich got back, his Son was with him and they moved over to a dock that was close by. They fished in their spot, I fished in mine. They caught fish and I caught fish except a couple of their's were a bit larger than mine. Mark nailed one that was around 3 lbs. Rich nailed one that was a good 5 to 6 lbs. OK, thought that other picture was not appropriate even though it was an accident. Since I had a picture with Mark holding the "Big" one, I put that one in.

I fished until 1:30 pm or so and packed it up for the day. I managed to land 12, all about the same pound to pound and a half size and was able to release 7 back for another day. One I caught on the (secret) Kastmaster that Rich calls frog color which is actually a Brook Trout color and the rest were all on PB. These are the five I brought home.

For the cost versus Amador and Pardee Lakes, this is a good place to fish in the Winter. I'll definately be back. Looks like we'll be up the hill on Sunday. Maybe Caples or Bear River. I'll let you know.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Mark (Shoreman)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Caples Lake, Oh What a Day

Met up with Rich and Mark about 8:15 am. I had already picked out a spot since I was there a couple of minutes before the arrived. Must have been the spot of the day. Everything we threw at them, they bit on except the rubber worms. I caught all mine on Rainbow Power Bait. Rich used a combination of Power bait, Power Worms, and I'm not sure what else. A Kastmaster in a secret color worked really well. Mark used Power Worms on his fly rod and I'm not sure what on his bait rig. All I know is that we pulled in fish after fish after fish. Haven't had a day like this in a long time. A good deal of the Rainbows we caught were good and chubby. Fattening up nicely for the Winter holdover.

We released as many as we could, but ended up bringing home 13 between us. I would estimate the three of us caught somewhere in the area of 70 to 75 fish. We called it a day at Noon so that Mark could get home and cleaned up for work. Had we stayed, we might have caught as many as 100 or more. Oh what a day.

Can't beat that. The Department of Fish & Game has done a nice job restocking Caples. It's going to be one hot lake next year. Oh yeh, those big ones that were cruising the shore and sticking their noses up at us, they're still there, still cruising, and still sticking their noses up at us. Going to be a lot bigger next year.

Mark (Shoreman)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bear River Reservoir

Hadn't been to Bear River since October 1st, so I thought I'd take a short drive up the hill this morning. Short drive since it's only 21 miles from home. Stopped at Cooks Station for coffee and decided, since I did so good at Red Lake on the 10th with crawlers, I'd take a box with. Got coffee, no crawlers.

Got to Bear before the sun got over the mountains and hit the lake. Put out a rubber worm (Berkeley Gulp worm) on the bobber rig I created at Red. When I say created, it's not your normal bobber rig. Picture this, barrel swivel, 6" on line with a clear bobber (one of those you can fill with water or it fills by itself, which in my case it does), barrel swivel and then 18" of 4 lb Fluorocarbon leader with a bait hook. The reason for the second barrel swivel on the top, it that the line runs through the center of the bobber and the swivel stops it from sliding up the line too far. No hooks like a regular red/white bobber. Second rod with yellow PM.

Barely got the second rod casted out when the bobber started popping. A rubber worm no less. I had no expectations for the rubber worm. I stand before you astonished. Oh, I missed him. Reeled in the line and added a little fish scent from a bottle I have in the tackle box (I don't even know what flavor) and put it back out. To make a long story short, over the next hour or so, I caught 3 on the rubber worm. Being they were on bait hooks, I was able to release them. Then nothing, so I switched to the old stand by, Rainbow Power Bait on a slip sinker rig.

OK, won't drag this out. One on Black Panther Martin, 3 on rubber worms, 3 on Gold Kastmasters, 5 on Rainbow Power Bait. Brought home 5 for my next door neighbor, Bob, and got my driveway graded. Thanks, Bob. Was able to release the other 9.

One other thing, took a drive out to Camanche Reservoir on Tuesday and checked out the lake and what they call the Trout Pond. It's a good size pond that they stock regularly with 2 to 3 lb trout. Like Lake Pardee and Lake Amador, this is one of those lakes that charge you to park & fish to the tune of about $14.00 to $18.00. Good place to fish in the Winter when the Upcountry Lakes are frozen over. More on this lake in another post.

That wraps up this week. Might meet Rich and Mark at Caples on Sunday. Depends if they can get away. Will let you know if that happens.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Mark (Shoreman)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

American River - Friday & Today

I had a doctor appointment on Friday, so I took some time to wander over to the American and ply my Steelhead Fishing skills. What skills? I went to the Harrington Access where I fished Shad in June and gave it a shot. I fished one riffle without any results, but I feel that since I got two bumps in the second riffle (I think it was the same fish because it was two casts in a row), the day was a success. I used a fly I got from the guys over at American Fly Fishing Company, before I went to Oregon. Since I just got the 2009 Cabela's Fly Fishing Catalogue (Man, they know how to get to a guy) I found a fly called Moe Egg-Sucking Leech in black that looks like the one I have except mine has an orange fuzzy on the front instead of an orange bead. With this fly fishing thing, please don't expect me to remember all the names for all the flys I have. As it is, my head is spinning just looking at what I have and trying to figure out what to do with them.

Today, I met Rich at El Manto access for a little Striper fishing. Back on the 6th, Rich sent me a bunch of pictures of his Son, Mark, and the Stripers he caught the previous evening. Our plan was to meet at 0700-0730 at a pre-determined place. I got there and Rich wasn't there yet, so I tied on a Rattle Trap in Silver Shad color and started slinging it out. Three quarters of an ounce and it sailed most of the way across the river. I'm not sure how many casts, but on one, I got a follow up by a Striper about 24". OK, that's cool. Kept heaving it out and shortly there after, I got a follow up from a fish that was so big, HOW BIG WAS IT?, I started hearing the Jaws theme in my head. This thing must have been 36" if it was an inch. I stood there thinking, What would I do if I hooked something that big? I was fishing with my 7' Ugly Stik and 120 yards of 10 pound test line. That thing had to go 30 - 40 pounds. Would have been one hell of a fight.

After that heart stopping fish moment, Rich popped over the hill. We set up with Sardines on a 4 oz pyramid slip sinker rig and out it went. I had some bumps, Rich had some bumps and that was about it. I fished a little with Steelhead flys and some more with lures, but no results. Rich, on the other hand, threw a Sardine in his Crawfish trap and is having Crawfish for dinner tonight.

Steelhead are just beginning in the American, so there'll be more times down there. The best time, from what I understand, is December, January, and February. If I can stand the 26 & 21 degrees on the Deschutes, I shouldn't have any trouble with a Sacramento Winter on the American.

Till next time.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

For Your Snow Enjoyment

No need to comment. These are the two pictures that Blogger wouldn't upload Tuesday.

Across Red Lake toward the North, early Tuesday morning.

Standing on Carson Pass (Elevation about 8000 ft or so) at the rest stop, facing North, earlier Tuesday morning.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Winter Comes to Northern California

First, a little note about yesterday (Monday). Got up to go to the lab for a gallon or so of blood for my 6 month check ups. OK, maybe not a gallon, but 4 tubes. Since the lab is in Sacramento, I already had my fly gear packed and was going to apply the knowledge I learned in Oregon on the American. Got upstairs and one of the first things I do in the morning is feed the cats. You remember those two, from a couple of posts earlier this year. Got a cup of food out of the can and bent over to put it into their bowl. That was it, a small snap and I couldn't stand up. I was walking around like I was 110 years old. The back went south. Hobbled out to the truck and made the hour and a half drive to the lab. Hobbled in and gave my gallon. Hobbled out and thought, maybe I could go down to the river anyway. Nope, it started raining. Now, I'm not a fair weather fisherman, but rain does tend to dampen my spirits, erk, erk. So I drove home and became one with the heating pad.

Second, and this is really bizarre. You know from the last 5 posts or so that I spent last week on the Deschutes River in Oregon fishing for Steelhead. When I went to the Post Office to pick up the mail after we got back, the newest issue of Fly Fisherman (just started my subscription) was in the pile. When I got home, I opened the magazine to remove the cards (you know, subscribe now and save 50%) and the page I opened it to was a story called Deschutes Gunmetal. Fishing for Steelhead right where I was last week. How bizarre is that? Wish the issue would have been here a week earlier.

Third, as I said above, it rained yesterday, that means snow in the high country. My back was better this morning, so I took a drive up to Red Lake. Got there at 8:00am and only one other person fishing. Yup, it was cold. Snow on the ground, BUT, the lake was still open. Set up in my usual place and put out one rod with Power Bait (Rainbow). Fished the usual lures and nothing. When I had stopped for coffee, thought I forgot, huh, I also picked up a box of Mini-Crawlers. So when everything else didn't work, I put a crawler on the slip sinker rig. Nope, that didn't work either. As a last ditch effort, I put a crawler out on a clear bobber and 18" of fluorocarbon leader. By now it was 10:30 am and the sun was hitting the water. That was the thing. Barely hit the water and a Brookie snatched it. After that, it was about every half hour and another Brookie was added to the stringer. There was also one small Cutthroat, but I released him. Six total for today.

I did take some pictures, but for some reason, Blogger won't upload them, so I'll keep them for another day. Going to try for Steelhead on Thursday when I take the car in for service and Stripers on Sunday with Rich and Mark. If Thursday turns out good, maybe Steelhead on Sunday too. We'll see.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than being one, with the heating pad".


Saturday, October 17, 2009


Last summer I had the chance to get some Thermals from a company called The Sock Site. I listed it at the left side of the blog under the link named Outdoor Clothing.


I didn't have a chance to try them until this trip. I wore them on Saturday (26 degrees) and I was toasty all day. On Sunday (21 degrees) I purposely didn't wear them and I was much colder. So, I would recommend them if you need some warm "Unders". I got the Duofold model 620A (top) and 620B (bottoms). Not expensive, but warm. They're a blend of 60% Cotton and 40% Polyester. Very comfortable.

I plan on using them when ever it's cold out here, and it's coming.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is worse if you're not warm".


Friday, October 16, 2009

Oregon Trip Days 5 & 6

Since we decided to leave on Monday, I thought I could fish a couple of places I saw on the way up. Took a picture of Mount Hood, Oregon on the way by, in case any of you haven't seen the mountain.

The wife wanted to see a little town called Sisters, Oregon. It's a well known town in the quilting community, so we thought we'd check it out. I figured she'd be in the store a while, so I drove around the town looking for a motel. It was getting later in the afternoon. Came across a fly shop on a back street and of course, I had to stop in. Young man behind the counter said I should fish the Metolius River. Showed me a section that was fly only, but should have some good trout. Got back into the truck and stopped in at the Best Western, got a room, and the man at the desk suggested, either a lake up the road, or a little stream in town.

Started to take a drive up the road to look at the lake, and almost forgot the wife. Turned around, went and got her. By this time, it had started to rain and started to get dark, so I figured I'd just put it off until morning. This was what I found in the morning.
Three inches of snow on the truck and still snowing. With four wheel drive and new tires on the truck, I'm not afraid of a little snow, BUT since we still had miles to go and weren't sure what we'd find, I decided to leave the river, lake, and small stream for another day. I did run into a gentleman that had gone up to the Metolius earlier the day before. He said he'd been fishing the river for 50 years and knew it pretty well. He also said that he tried everything he could think of and couldn't get a bite until he netted some of the hatch and matched it. Still he didn't get anything until he tried a really small imitation of the same fly and things started happening. He said he caught about 20, but it was the size of the fly, not the fly itself.
So the rest of Tuesday & Wednesday it was wind (sometimes in the area of 40 - 50 mph) and rain (sometimes so hard that fast windshield wipers wouldn't clear the window) and reduced speeds, I gave up trying to fish the rest of the trip. I'm sure you saw the National Weather report. Well, it's all true.
We got home Wednesday night and we had branches strewn all over the property and in some areas of the neighborhood, tree limbs and trees down. Neighbors said it was bad.
That's the trip. Not what the wife and I expected. Most of the Quilt & Cast retreat was badly put together. It was supposed to be a Friday, Saturday, Sunday deal. The quilting part actually started Thursday and the attendants were mostly locals. There was only one other couple (we were expecting upwards of 8) that was part of the Q & C. The quilting part ended early Sunday afternoon. The fishing part was supposed to be one morning and one afternoon on separate days, but since there were only two of us, it got slammed into one day. Sunday, the guide (Mark) left on a three day trip and we never saw him again. His wife (Marni), we never saw until dinner on Saturday night and then not after that. They were supposed to be the hosts of this shindig. After all was said and done, we also (both couples) thought it was vastly overpriced for what you got. I don't recommend this retreat or resort. I know we'll never return.
Although the fishing seemed to be good, there is another motel in the town and it looks pretty nice. there are also several guides if you want that type of service, but I would recommend going it on your own.
Till next time, onward to the American.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Oregon Trip Day 4 - Sunday

Saturday Morning, 21 degrees.

OK, I was a little pissed about the 9wt telephone pole. I felt pretty good Sunday morning after resting Saturday afternoon. Slept in, had breakfast, and since the wife was going to a quilt store with the rest of the gang, I decided to take a solo drive up the river and see what I could do by myself. Fred (I mentioned him earlier) was going up to where we launched the boat on Saturday so I told him I'd meet him up there. Got there and didn't see his truck. My fault, I was looking for a cream color truck and his was tan. Anyway, I missed him. Found a spot along the river, put on the gear and walked out into the water.

None of the fancy Spey stuff this morning. No back, loop, swing around, cast forward, hold the rod close, whip with the butt of the rod, mend right, mend left, lengthen the loop, holy cow.

I let out about 35 feet of line (I have a mark on my line at 35') with a Steelhead fly I picked up at the fly shop on Saturday afternoon. Don't know if it had a name (I'm sure it did), but was mostly black. Pulled in some line, flipped it out, up stream and did a roll cast to get it about 1/3 of the way across the river. Add a little mend to the left and it floated nicely down the river to where I wanted it.

Won't go into all the cast after cast (they call Steelhead "The fish of a 1000 casts"). If you remember, from Saturday, I got three bumps, well Sunday I got 5 or 6 good bumps using my little 6wt in 3 different areas I fished AND I only fished 4 hours instead of the 6 we fished on Saturday. I still haven't got the hook set thing down yet, but watch out American River Steelhead. Shoreman is on the way.

Since I was still moaning and groaning a little from Saturday, I decided to call it a day, besides we were leaving Monday morning. We had planned to stay two extra days, but after the total weekend experience, we decided we didn't want to stay there any longer. In the next post, I'll wrap up the trip. I have plans to fish a couple of streams on the way back and will let you know how that went.

Till then.


Oregon Trip Pictures, Day 1 - 3

First thing, I wanted to thank everyone for your support. Second, I wanted to catch up on the pictures, now that we're home, from the first 3 days.

From a distance, driving by, Mount Shasta. I wanted to get a shot from the back side, which was a better profile, but thought I'd wait until the trip back. More on that later

Next, the "Cabin". Inside & out. Front to back, back to front.

The Native Americans (politically correct) fishing for Steelhead on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation access to the Deschutes River. Note the safety belts they are wearing. Also the picture on the right is the water they are netting in. From what I saw, they stick this huge net in the water and, I guess, they can tell when a fish gets caught in it.

This was the one I saw caught during the 10 minutes or so that I was watching. Looked like it could have been 36" or bigger. Double click for a better view.

Finally a couple of river pictures on the way back to the "Cabin".

That's it for this post. Next is Day 4

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oregon Trip Day 3

6:00 am, met with Mark, the guide, at his boat in the parking lot of the resort. Wadered up and pole in hand. I was advised that I should use his pole instead of mine. “Why” I asked. His was bigger. OK, bigger pole, bigger fish? Pulled the drift boat down to the launch area on a road I had driven the night before and turned around because it was rattling my teeth and I have four wheel drive.

6:30 am on the water. Temperature 26 degrees, but shoreman was prepared. Long underwear, heavy socks, hooded sweatshirt (must layer in the cold) and new agua-stealth boots. Got passed the rod I was to use. This thing was so long, I couldn’t see the top of the rod. Mark got me set up and said I was supposed to use the Spey cast to get the fly out as far as possible. “What’s the Spey Cast?” So he showed me and spent the next 3 hours trying to get me to perfect the cast. Back, loop, swing around, cast forward, hold the rod close, whip with the butt of the rod, mend right, mend left, lengthen the loop, Jeez, what did I get my self into? All I wanted to do was fish for Steelhead, not take hours and hours of fly fishing lessons.

I finally got the fly out and drifted correctly a couple of times. I even got the first bump about an hour after starting. Of course, my immediate reaction, being a spin fisherman, is to immediately set the hook. Nope, not with Steelhead. That’s what the loop is for. Get the bump, release the loop, wait for the line to tighten, and then set the hook. OK, change the fly to a different color and try again. This time nothing.

Moved to a different spot and same thing. Back, loop, swing around, cast forward, hold the rod close, whip with the butt of the rod, mend right, mend left, lengthen the loop. Got one bump and set the hook. Again nothing. By this time, I’m having trouble holding this telephone pole. Why you need a 12’ rod, I have no idea. Probably has to do with getting the fly out far enough, who knows. All I know is that I was bracing it next to my body so I could hold it.

Moved to next hole. Oh yeh, I forgot to tell you that each time we got to a place Fred (the other guy I was fishing with, more about him later) and I got out of the boat and walked up and down the river lugging this telephone pole, trying to put the fly out there as far as possible. In this spot, I got another bump, but this time I let the loop go and waited until the line tightened (see you can teach an old dog new tricks), then set the hook. Nope, fish was smarter. I finally gave it up and went back to the boat. When I took a good look at the pole, I found out it was a 9wt, 12’ rod. No wonder I was having so much trouble carrying it. Thing weighted a ton. I think Mark got disgusted with trying to get me to cast the rod correctly, and took his other rod and fished the same area I just went through. He didn’t get anything either.

By now it was going on 11:00 am and we were heading back in, but stopped at one more spot so Fred (he’s much more experienced than me at this, besides, I was done) could take a dozen casts. The last cast he took, he hit one that bent his rod, then was gone.

Got back to the resort Noon and Mark told us that the other guide (Brandon) would pick us up at 2:30 pm for the afternoon trip, 2:30 pm until 7:30 pm. We changed clothes and had some lunch. It was at that point that I started pounding the Tylanol. I had parts of my body that hurt, that I didn’t know could hurt. When 2:30 pm rolled around, I threw in the towel and let Fred go it alone. Spent the rest of the afternoon sucking Tylanol and laying on the bed in pain.

Turns out that the afternoon session was a bust too. Actually Fred said that there were some places he was scared and I should not have been, taking in my inexperience at this. Guess it’s a good thing I stayed back at the resort. He didn’t get any hits at all in the afternoon. Me, I’m still chuggin Tylanol and moaning and groaning on the bed. It’s hell getting old.

At lunch today, Fred, a guy I met named Bill, and I had a discussion about fishing with the telephone poles. Now Fred has fished Steelhead a bunch of times and has a 7wt rod. He’s also younger than me (by a year) and has fished with his rod a lot longer, so he’s used to it. But the cruxt of the discussion was, that there is no reason I couldn’t use my 6wt, and had I used it this morning, would have been a lot more comfortable. This was part of the deciding factor I used in passing on the afternoon torture session. The moaning and groaning was the other. By the way, Bill said he caught several that morning, one 36” long that took him an hour to land. He was fishing in his special hole. Wouldn’t tell where that special hole was. Can’t blame him and would be hard to find him since there is about 20 miles of accessable river there.

Well, that’s day 3. Tomorrow is Sunday and the final day. More on that in the next post.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Oregon Trip Day 2

Up and at them, later in the morning. Couldn't check in until afternoon, so didn't rush. On a personal note, the last 40 or so miles to Maupin were pretty boring. Flat high desert, nothing much to look at, and had us wondering if there was actually a river anywhere near where we were. We finally dropped into this valley and low and behold the Deschutes River finally showed up. Let me tell you, it was a lot larger than it was at Bend. A lot larger. Actually it was really big.

Right after we hit the bottom of the hill, we turned into the Oasis River Resort. Checked in and got the key to our "Cabin". OK, ready for this? The "Cabin" was 12 x 16. My work shop is
12 x 16. It had a king size bed, small fridge with a microwave on it, a bathroom with a shower that was 24" x 24" and a rod to hang clothes on that was 24" long. That was it and from what I found out later in the weekend, ours was the luxury cabin. Don't know how we got lucky, but after seeing some of the others, glad we did.

On a positive note, the cabins were built to house the railroad workers that built the railroad that runs parallel to the river. After the railroad was completed, the "cabins" were moved, in approximately 1915, to the current location and called the Williams Camp Cabins. The current Cafe was originally a gas station and small grocery. The cafe, cabins, and the building that the women were quilting in, are now known as the Oasis River Resort.

The wife got set up with the other women who were there quilting and I checked in with the guide (and owner). Since I wasn't scheduled to to fish until the next morning, I took a ride up and down the river to see what it looked like. I've got pictures and will post them when I get back home on Thursday or Friday. To much trouble to download to this laptop.

That's pretty much it for day 2. Drift boat fishing for Steelhead starting Saturday (Day 3).

Till the next post.


Oregon Trip Day 1

We left beautiful Volcano about 8:00am. Drove our little hearts out and arrived in Bend, Oregon at 5:30pm. Got a room at Shilo Inn with a room right on the Deschutes River. Although this wasn't where our destination was, it gave me a good look at the river. The plan was to drift boat for Steelhead. Based on what I saw, they were going to have a hard time getting a boat on this river. I could practically spit across the river. Even though the river was small, I did see fish rising and surface feeding. A good sign. Had dinner, called it a night. Maupin, Oregon was a mere 100 miles away.

That's it for day 1. Day 2, next post.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

South Fork of the American River

First, a quick note on the weather. Lake Tahoe got it's first snow of the season. Stateline (that's where California meets Nevada and all the casino's start) got 4" overnight. That means that lakes like Red, Caples, Silver, and Bear River Reservoir on the Highway 88 corridor should have gotten snow as well. Just depends where the rain cell went. We, on the other hand, only got a little rain.

OK, went on a drive to the South Fork of the American River to do a little fly fishing practice. Hit the river at Crystal Basin Rd and found the area where I normally park, fenced off. No parking. Hmmm. Drove further up the road and every pull off had a sign that said emergency parking only or no parking. Makes it difficult to access the river. Finally stopped at a place called Indian Springs River Access. Walked down to the river and found a couple of nice pools to fish. Noticed two ropes tied to trees across the river. You know what this place would be like in the summer. Good place to practice though. Lots of trees and bushes to get hung up in, but I did manage to get some casts in. The other thing about this place is that there are huge boulders that you have to crawl across to move up and down the river. Tends to wear you out after a while.

Since I didn't see anything that looked like a fish, got back into the truck and drove further upstream. Discovered I was just around the corner from a little place called Silver Fork and just past that is a little place called Kyburz. Remember years ago when Andy Williams wife (Claudine Longet) was accused of killing a guy called Spider Sabich (Olympic Skier). Claimed it was an accident. He was from Kyburz. It's claim to fame.

Decided to drive up Silver Fork Rd and take a look at the creek. See if I could fish it. Again, every where I went, the river access or camp grounds were closed or too far to hike down. Long, steep hikes are tough on an old guy. What's going on up here??? I might mention that this was the route I was going to take to go home any way. Finally got to the bridge where it crossed the creek and the area where I used to park was closed too. At this point, since the American River (Silver Fork, Coloma, and Riverton which is at Crystal Basin Rd) is on the DFG no stock list, I threw in the towel and called it a day. Probably no fish left anyway. Too bad, the bridge was always a good place for a limit. Nice deep pool under the bridge. Yesterday, it was a nice shallow pool with the water barely moving.

Off to Oregon on Thursday. Taking a small laptop, so I'll try to do some posts during the trip. We'll see what happens. If not, I'll be back late on the 15th and will fill every one in.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is still better than any day at work".


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Today At Bear River Reservoir

Wanted to get a little fly fishing practice in so I drove up to Bear River this morning. Got to the lake at 7:30 am and was the only person there. My plan to practice was put on hold due to winds in the 10 to 15 mph range. Last thing I wanted is a Wolly Bugger in the face. Ok, so you say, cast with the wind behind you. Nope, would have been casting up the hill away from the lake. That's OK, because I put a silver Kastmaster on my spinning rod and away I went. Nine trout later (most in the 10" - 13" range) the wind died down to practically nothing. OH, all nine were catch and release.

I grabbed (gently) my fly rod and put on a Wolly bugger and started practicing. Switched to a Clouser Minnow. Switched to a Copper John. By now you've figured I didn't get any interest in any of the flys, but I did notice that there was surface action a ways out. All the fish I caught on the Kastmaster were hooked at least 100' to 150' out. Not someplace I could put a fly. So I put on a Royal Wulff and put it out there and let it sit. May not have been the right one, but I'm still learning. I noticed that close to shore, a lot of really tiny fish were making a lot of commotion. These little guys were 2 to 3 inches, but I hoped that further out, might be something bigger. T'was not to be. The Wolff just sat there.

About 10:30 am, I packed in the fly rod and took a couple more shots with the Kastmaster, but that was the end of bites for this morning. All in all, I did catch & release some and got some fly practice in, so it was a good day. By the time I was ready to go, a dozen or so people showed up. I hope they had as good a day.

One more trip planned for Saturday to the South Fork of the American. A little more practice before we leave for Oregon next Thursday plus, I still have a few spots I want to fish on that part of the river before Winter sets in. It's already getting a little chilly in the high country. Lake Tahoe (elevation about 5600 ft) was 25 degrees this morning. The section I want to fish is well above 4000 ft. Could put a little frost on your pumpkin.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today at Red Lake & Caples

Met Rich and his Son Mark at Red lake at 8:00 am for a little Brookie fishing. On the trip up, the thing that struck me as odd, there were cars parked every where along Highway 88. When I got to Red Lake, the same thing. there were cars parked every where and no one in sight. When Rich and Mark got there I asked Rich if he'd seen the cars and he said yeh, probably deer hunters. Aah, Deer Season is open. That might explain why the flowers on the front porch aren't getting eaten any longer.

Ok, so I won't go into all the gory details about what and where. Kastmasters and Little Cleos did the job. We caught six, kept 3. Packed up and went to Caples about 10:30. Settled at the dead tree and put our lines out. Again, I won't go into all the gory details. Kastmasters and Rainbow Power Bait did it. We stopped counting, but we caught a bunch. Some where in the area of 20 or so. Most were catch and release, but I did bring home 4 for my neighbor Bob (I plow for fish). Have to keep him supplied so I get my driveway plowed when it snows this winter. I left at 1:30 pm and Rich and Mark were still hard at it.

A really nice day. The lake was calm (unusual for Caples) and it was warm. Good friends and lots of fish. Still need to get in some more practice fly fishing before Oregon. Thinking about maybe doing a little steelhead fishing on the American River next week. Notice I said fishing, not catching. Probably will just be practice.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday at Bear River Reservoir

I know I should be practicing fly fishing, but after three days in the attic putting up new ceiling fans, I needed a break. No, the fans weren't in the attic, the electric boxes needed to be changed to accomodate a larger size base for the new fans. OK, a lot of you have been in the attic before and know that it's generally filled with fiberglass insulation. Dusty, itchy, and of course, not how you planned it. I have a formula for remodeling. Take the time you figure it's going to take, double it, and then multiply by 3. That works for both time and cost. My plan was to whip up the two fans on Monday. You can figure the rest.

So, today I decided to take a run to Bear River Reservoir and just sit and fish. Turned out nobody was there when I arrived. It was calm, quiet, and warm. I put out a rod with Rainbow Power Bait and fished the other with a silver Kastmaster. Caught 3 that I was able to release on the Kastmaster and one on a silver Panther Martin. Caught one of Rainbow Power Bait and decided all I wanted to do is just sit. So I put out the other rod with Gulp Orange Pulp and plugged in my MP3 with an audio book, sipped my coffee, and vegged. I ended up landing 5 more on both Gulp and Power Bait and brought 3 chubby ones home. The rest I released. Ten total for the morning. I only had to walk about 15 feet from my truck. A perfect morning.

Thirteen days until we leave for Oregon. Can't wait. I should be able to get in a couple more days of fly fishing practice before we leave. Want to be ready. OH, went to a local fly shop and picked up 10 Steelhead flys. They are supposed to provide lures when I get up there, but you can't be too prepared. Besides, the Steelhead run in the American River is just starting and I'll be hitting that when I get back, or maybe before, who knows.

Until next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday and I'm Back

Finally done with the antibiotics. Waited one day before venturing out to the wilds of Northern California. Actually I had to drive into Jackson (20 miles one way) on Thursday to get gas. Tank was a little too low to take a run up the hill. I had to get a couple of things at the store too, so I just postponed the trip until yesterday.

One quick thing about the mystery at Tabeaud. I was mostly yanking your chain about the volcanic gas bubble. Granted the town is called Volcano, but it's generally known that there aren't any volcano's around here. The town is named for its setting in a bowl-shaped valley, which early miners thought was caused by a volcano. I know it's been fun speculating, but it's probably just a simple purging of the pipe used as an outlet for the water flowing into the West Fork of Jackson Creek. Probably, but you never know. Oh, stop it Mark.

Picked up my neighbor Roy and stopped by Cooks Station for coffee. Drove over Carson Pass and down into the Carson Valley. Took a right on Highway 89 South and stopped in at the Carson River Resort and yaked with Todd for a while. He suggested we drive up the road 4 miles to the bridge where it was stocked with 2 truckloads the previous Saturday. Got to the bridge and to my surprise, NOT, there were 6 guys fishing in the small hole right under the bridge. Roy and I rigged up and walked to the up-stream side and practiced our casting. No sense trying to catch anything, since they other 6 guys weren't, at least as far as I could see.

Packed up and drove back down stream until we found a hole someone wasn't fishing in. Most of these were down in canyons where it would take climbing gear with ropes and repelling stuff (you can tell I don't know much about climbing) just to get there. We actually ended up at one of the spots I fished back on August 31st. Roy, being somewhat new at the fly fishing thing, not that I'm not new, set up in the center of the area, and I walked to the left and fished a hole. Didn't catch anything, but did get some interest by a couple of small (6 inchers or so) fish. Walked around Roy and fished another hole on his down stream side. Nothing there either. Roy practiced casting.

Packed up again and went to an area I saw guys fishing back on the 31st and thought we'd try that one. Roy upstream, me downstream. Fished a right hand drift up against the bank, but didn't produce anything. Did almost step on a foot long Garder Snake and a 6 inch Alligator Lizard. The most live action I'd seen so far.

Decided to call it a day on the East Fork of the Carson River and drove to the Hope Valley Cafe for lunch. A burger and fries later, set out for Red Lake. After all, it was on the way back home. No body there when we arrived, so Roy & I set up a slip sinker with Rainbow Power Bait and I used my second rod with silver Kastmaster. Always good at Red Lake. Got 3 good hits on the Kastmaster, but couldn't get the hook set. During the change of lures, you know I try everything, a 13" Brookie almost pulled my other rod into the lake. Got him to shore and on the stringer for dinner. After that I got one hit on a silver Panther Martin and that was it.

By then it was hitting 2:00pm and I was running out of energy, so we called it a day. On the way back, Caples was calling, but I restrained myself. It was getting pretty windy, actually there were whitecaps on the lake, and it would still be there next week. DFG is stocking Bear River, Caples, and Silver lake next week, I can't wait.

That's it from the newly de-bacteria'd Shoreman. Till next time, remember: "Forget the antibiotics, get out there fishing".


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mystery Update

Well, I've talked to the two who might know about the explosion at Tabeaud and have come up with no answer. One possibility is that there is some kind of purge valve, but I find that unlikely since the intake for the flume is better than 200 yards away and the intake to the lake is a 1/4 mile or more. The other idea is that it's a volcanic gas "burp" (thanks to Detroit Sports & More). After all, I do live in Volcano and Tabeaud is not all that far away.

I saw it, heard it (not an explosion), and didn't have my camera handy to take a picture of it. So, your guess is as good as mine. The mystery remains.

Countdown to Oregon: I was a little eager last Friday when I said 20 days, it was more like 26 days. Today it's 20 or October 8th.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack, Some What

I took a little drive over to Lake Tabeaud (pronounced Taboo) this morning to practice fly casting. This would be day 3. I went to the inlet and put a black Wooly Bugger on rather than my bright orange test streamer. Just in case. To understand this area of the lake, the local electric company runs water, from somewhere, into the lake via a big tube. At the beginning of this area, there are a lot of trees and the water is extremely fast. I walked down a ways and picked a spot where I could cast. I casted and the Bugger flopped on the water. Casted again and it flopped again. See what happens when you take time off. Finally got back in the swing and got several good casts. Nothing happened, so I changed location downstream a bit. Several casts later, changed to Clouser Minnow. This is where it gets interesting.

I was casting and across the lake, there was a huge, and I mean huge explosion of water. That's the only way I can describe it. I estimated it to be 3 to 4 feet in diameter and 6 to 7 feet high. My first thought was "What ever that is, I hope it's not coming this way". This was right out of the SciFi Channel. Then I heard a vehicle drive away. OK, maybe the DFG planted. So I jumped into my truck and drove around to that area. When I got to one area that I could see the lake, there was still "boiling" in the spot where I figure it happened. I thought, wow, this is going to be fun. Got to the picnic area, parked, and walked down to the lake. Keep in mind, except for the vehicle I heard drive away, I'm the only person there.

I took a good look at where I thought it happened and it would have been around 100 yards off shore. I don't think the DFG would blast out the plant that far. I fished a while with no results and went back to get my spinning gear so I could cast out farther. Still nothing. A plant would have produced something. This was starting to get creepy.

OK, lets go way out on a limb here. There was another vehicle in the area (I heard it and it left right after). There was a huge explosion of water about 100 yards off shore. There's a lot of ducks and geese in the area. Somebody doesn't like ducks & geese? Could somebody have lobbed a big firecracker (really big) or a stick of dynamite out into the lake? There were no dead & floating ducks, geese, or fish. I thought maybe a big Brown (there are supposed to be some big ones in this lake) took a shot at a duck. Not that big of a water explosion. Remember, 3 to 4 wide and 6 to 7 feet high.

Well, the mystery continues. I do have some friends that have more knowledge of this lake and I intend to ask if they might know what happened. I'll let you know if I find anything out.

Fly casting turns Twilight Zone. I'd give you the music, but can't carry a tune in a bucket. Calm turns creepy. At least I didn't see big waves coming in my direction across the lake. I've got to stop watching those movies on the SfiFi Channel.

Till I can get back out, or find an answer to the creepy explosion question, remember: "A bad day fishing could be caused by a huge explosion in the lake or maybe not." Hell, I was only practicing anyway.

Countdown to Oregon - 20 days.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Still can't Fish

While I'm sitting here bored out of my gourd, with my brand new fly rod, reel, waders, boots, and assorted accessories sitting on the desk gathering dust, I thought I'd share a couple of wildlife shots I took this morning while I was watering the garden. Now keep in mind that I'm not as good with a camera as a lot of you are, but I try.
This little frog, sitting in a Zucchini Flower. Such a little frog, such a big voice.

Praying Mantis on the Zucchini leaves.

I mean, it could have been Mountain Lions (I do have a picture of one in my front yard), Turkeys (the old male showing his stuff), Bobcat (he's walking down the driveway), or the 6-point buck in the front yard, but I'm sure you've all seen those types of pictures before. Thought I'd throw something out there that was a little different.
Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than no fishing at all". I'm still sitting at home.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ken & Dan

I was supposed to go today with my son Ken and his friend Dan from LA. I made it to the rendezvous point, but because of mass medication for a stomach ailment, I had to turn around and go home.

Ken & Dan went ahead to Caples and Ken was able to add one rainbow to the stringer, but that was it. They packed up and went to Red Lake, where Dan caught one Brookie on a "silver something" a direct quote from my Son, and Ken was able to land two Brookies using Rainbow Power Bait. One was about 15".

All in all not a bad day. I feel bad, I wasn't able to accompany them.

There's a possibility this stomach thing may keep me grounded for as long as two weeks. If I can manage to sneak out, I will. If not, maybe I'll do a couple of posts by just rambling on and on. I'm sure I can find something to write about.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than not fishing at all".


Monday, August 31, 2009

The First Day Fly Fishing

Rolled out of the house at 0645 and made it to Cooks Station just in time for them to open. Grabbed a cup of coffee and I was on my way to the West Fork of the Carson River. My friend Rich said that they were catching BIG trout on the West Fork at the handicap bridge. I wizzed by the intersection of Highway 88 & Highway 89 and kept looking for the handicap access. Got all the way to the other intersection where Highway 88 & Highway 89 part ways and turned toward Woodfords. Now keep in mind, I've never been in this area before so I was groping. You know, feeling around in the dark. I drove through Woodfords in the blink of an eye (it's not very big) and started toward Markleeville. All along Highway 88/89 I kept crossing the West Fork of the Carson River, but I was looking for that specific spot. I turned around and went back to 88, back toward 89 and finally stopped at the Hope Valley Cafe & Market. I grabbed another cup of coffee and talked to Leesa who was behind the counter and asked where the handicap access on the river was. Back the way I came, just watch for the handicap toilets. Shouldn't be so hard. Wow, a guy asking directions. What a concept.
Leesa asked me if I had someone handicapped in the truck that wanted to fish, and I said no, I just wanted to fish there. Then we got into a discussion about my first time fly fishing and she said that instead of going there, I should drive to Markleeville and 2 miles past was Carson River Resort. Ask for Todd and he can tell me where the best places to fish are. Back on the road, past Woodfords, past Markleeville, and into the parking lot of the Carson River Resort. Had a good discussion about fly fishing with Todd and he turned me onto a couple of nymphs that were working good on the East Fork, which was just across the street. Purchased a couple of each and followed his directions to the river. When I got to the river, this is what I saw. Left picture, down stream, right picture, up stream.
Walked upstream to an area that was somewhat calm and put on one of the nymphs. Casted across the river and let it go with the river flow. Practiced my 8:00, 12:00, 10:00, 8:00 casting. All of a sudden, there was no nymph on the end of my tippett. Must have been one of those 12:00 to 10:00 that was a bit too hard. Put on another one and tried again. After a couple of casts, again no nymph. Need to work on that part of the cast. I decided to try a fly and put on a Royal Wulff (I know the names of the ones I have) and floated it down the river. Cast, float, retrieve, cast, float, retrieve. All of a sudden, no Wulff. That's OK, I was there to practice and figured I'd lose a few, but I wanted to practice where there were fish. Haven't seen any fish yet, but I'm hopeful. Put on a Black Wooly Bugger and tried that. Talked to another fisherman and he said he'd seen some "down there". So I went "down there". While I was walking "down there" I noticed my Royal Wulff float by in the middle of the river.
Got to "down there" and tossed the Wolly Bugger across the river and let it drift to the end of the line, then started my 5"-7" retrieve. On about the third cast, a fish hit the Bugger so hard, I yanked it out of the water. I was shocked it hit so hard. Just like a Panther Martin or Kastmaster on a spinning outfit. I was under the impression that the hit was sometimes hard to detect. OK, got my wits about me and casted again. This time when it hit, I was ready. Only problem was, the tippett snapped. I replaced the tippett and put another Bugger out there. On the forth cast, the fight was on. I landed my first fish on a fly rod. He's the one in the left picture. After a quick snap with the camera, I gently slid him back into the water. After a few more casts and no hits, I changed to a Clouser Minnow in the Silver Shiner color. Couple of casts, and the fish in the right picture was landed. You can't see it, but he also had a nymph hooked in his dorsal fin. So, not only did I get the catch, I also got a replacement nymph.
Both fish went about 18". I didn't bother with the real length or weight because this was practice, but I did have to photograph for proof. Let me tell you, I am stoked. Both were good fighters and both were released, unharmed for another day.
Oh yeh, I found the handicap access on the way back, but there were a gazillion people fishing there, so I just passed it by for now. Tomorrow is another day. I want to especially thank Leesa at Hope Valley Cafe & Market for sending me to Todd, and Todd at Carson River Resort for his help and guidance, both who made my first day fly fishing a success.
I know not everyday will be like this, but what a way to start. Till next time, remember: " A bad day fishing? Not today".