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".

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Little League World Series

I know it doesn't have anything to do with fishing, but I just wanted to update the post from Friday. Saturday Chinese Taipei beat Mexico 9-4, amid a raging rainstorm, to advance them to the World Series Championship. The San Diego - San Antonio was postponed until later in the day because of that rain. When the game finally played out, San Diego emerged the winner by the score of 12-2.

Which brought us to today's game. Chinese Taipei vs US San Diego. It went like this. Taipei 3-0, Taipei 3-2, tie at 3-3, San Diego 4-3, and San Diego 6-3 to win the 2009 Little League World Series.

Congratulations Chula Vista Little League.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Three Generations Fishing

Met my Son and Grandson at 7:00 am where Iron Mountain Road (Emigrant Trail) meets Highway 88 and drove up to Caples Lake for a little Rainbow fishing. As you know from my past posts, I always stop for coffee before going up the hill. I passed Cooks Station at 6:30 am. they don't open until 7:00 am.

Would I be able to bypass the superstition????

Got to Caples and walked to the spot where Roys and I fished August 20th and caught 16. The three of us put out slip sinker rigs with Rainbow Power Bait (the old stuff). I caught one about 8" and was able to release it. Two hours later, that was the only one caught. Caples was dead. At 9:30 am we decided to wander over the hill to Red Lake, which is green again, and try our luck there.

Remember the superstition!!!!!

I put out one rig with Rainbow Power Bait and put my secret Cutthroat lure on the other rod. Cast after cast - Nothing. Ken was using Panther Martins and Kastmasters. Nothing. I put on Gold, Silver, and silver/blue Kastmasters along with silver and gold Little Cleos. Nothing. This was turning out to be a real bummer of a day and after all the work to get Ken and Charles out, I was hoping for something better.

All of a sudden the line with Power Bait straightened and a nice 10" Brookie was landed. Put the line out again and decided I'd just put the other one out with Power Bait too. I landed another and Ken just stood there shaking his head. I landed another and more shaking. I landed another and still more shaking. He was using the same rig and the same bait and still, he was shaking his head. Charles, on the other hand was having a little trouble staying out of the rocks. It's hard for a 7 year old to focus. I'd tell him " just cast it out, tighten the line, and leave it until a fish bites. Next thing I know, he has the rod tip up and is reeling in the line. Just in time to snag it and lose the rig again. I finally hooked a couple and let him reel them in. Ken on the other hand, was still shaking his head. By then I was feeling bad because Ken wasn't catching anything and it's not that he doesn't know how to fish, because the last time we were at Red Lake, he caught most of the fish. So I had him cast where I was fishing and low and behold, he finally got a bite. For some reason, he set the hook and the line broke. Re-rigged, he was back out in the same place and finally landed one. That was it for the day. We finally called it a day after an hour of no hits.

The final count was 8 Brookies that Ken and Charles took home for a BBQ trout dinner. All in all, it wasn't such a bad day.

The superstition? Guess it didn't apply today.

That's it for this post. Next week I'm trying fly fishing. Think I'll zip over to the Carson River and see if I can scare up some of those big Rainbows that everyone seems to be catching. That should be an experience.

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


Friday, August 28, 2009

This has nothing to do with fishing

I just wanted to pass along that I've been watching the Little League World Series on ESPN & ESPN2 for the last couple of weeks. Mostly because the team from California (Chula Vista, about 20 miles south of San Diego) is in the Championship game tomorrow. Last night was the Semi-Final game vs. Georgia. Score went from 1-0 Georgia to 5-1 California, to 10-5 Georgia, to 10-10 at the bottom of the 6th (that's all they play) inning. California had the bases loaded with no outs and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. Incredible game, in fact, all the games have been good.

If you're a baseball fan of any kind, you should watch these games. This is pure baseball. The Championship for both International and US teams is tomorrow and the winners will meet for the true Little League World Series on Sunday. The US Championship is a rematch of the game played on August 25th where San Antonio, Texas beat Chula Vista 6 to 3. Should be an exciting game.

Hope you watch.

Mark (Shoreman)

Practicing Day 1 & 2

I have all my equipment with the exception of wading boots for my waders. I, being the intelligent person I am, figured I'd just slip my sneakers over the waders. When I tried them on, I didn't realize they had neoprene booties, not just the wader material. There was no way I could get sneakers over that. When I called LL Bean and told the guy in the fishing department what I'd done, he just laughed. I ordered wading boots. OK, I'm new at this. Cut me some slack.

First day practicing.
I drove around the corner to Roy's house and used his ball field for open space. Pulled out 25 feet or so of line and laid it behind me just like the book said. Whipped it forward and it ended in a pile. Pulled back to 12:00 and whipped it forward to 10:00 and it ended in a pile. Tried a couple of more times and then looked at the line. The little piece of yard I tied to the tippett was gone. There were two knots, one in the tippett and the other in the leader. Knots I couldn't get out, so I packed up and went home. Removed the knots with the help of a couple of dental tools and a magnifying glass. Even with the new glasses I got the other day, I still had trouble seeing the small knots.

Practicing - Day 2.
First thing I did was re-read the book. I seemed to have forgotten the part about straightening the leader and line yesterday. So, I did that first. I wasn't sure where to hold the line, but after thinking about it, I realized a good place was the tow ball on my truck, that I never use for towing anything. Nice and smooth and shouldn't hurt the line. Also convenient when I'm away from home to just slip it in the bracket. OK, straightened the leader and the line. Laid out about 25 feet,just like yesterday, and used the down and forward stroke, dropped the fly (Oh yeh, I went by a fly store and bought a bright orange fly and cut off the barb) pretty close to where I was aiming it. I was standing somehere near the pitchers mound and aiming for 3rd base. There were also a couple of Gopher mounds out there that I used for targets. After 3 or 4 casts, I was hitting 3rd base, then one mound, then another with regularity. I felt pretty good about starting at 8:00, then 12:00 on the back stroke, then 10:00 on the front stroke dropping the fly on target. Not bad for day 2.

I just might give a lake or stream a try next week. Might as well jump in with both feet, but should probably wait until my wading boots get here.

Thanks for all the encouragement.

Mark (Shoreman)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shoreman goes fly

A month or so ago, my Wife said to me one evening, "this looks like fun". What this was, is a resort package called Quilt & Cast. It's at a resort in Maupin, Oregon where the girls get together and quilt, the guys drift fish for Steelhead on the Deschutes River. Cool. Only problem, is that they only take Fly Fishermen. That could be a problem for Shoreman. OK, so I'll figure something out.

For my birthday this month, my Wife bought me a book on Fly Fishing. The LL Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing. I read the book and thought, OK, I can do this. So I read the book again. I can do this. So I skimmed the book again and again and again. I can do this.

A week ago Monday, I ordered Fly Fishing equipment. I could have rented equipment at the resort, but the amount I would spend, I could pay for, at least, my rod & reel. I bought what I thought I'd need to get started. Now, keep in mind, that this book is written by 3 of the fly fishing instructors that work for LL Bean, so I took it on faith that these guys know what they are talking about. I followed their recommendation for a beginner and got a 6wt - 8 1/2 ft two piece Graphite rod and a single action reel. The reel came with 100' of 20 lb backing and a floating weight forward line already on the reel. It also came with a 7 1/2 foot 3x tapered leader. All connected together which is a good thing for me, because I was getting a headache looking at all the knots used to ties these three things together. You have to know that I've been using a fishermans know (clinch knot) all my life and now I have to learn a bunch of new knots. Double Surgeons Knot, Duncan Loop, Blood Knot, my head is already hurting, but I'll buck up make a go of it. If all you other Fly Fishermen and Women can do it, so can I.

Yesterday most everything got here. I laid it out on the table and stared at it. I'm still staring at it, but I'm making progress. I'm still waiting for one more delivery and I should have everything I ordered. Rod, Reel, Flies, Fly Box, Waders, and all the line and fly dressings. Then all I have to do is figure out what to do with it. Don't panic, I think I have a pretty good idea.

I will tell all the stories (good & bad) as they occur. Hey, at least I won't have to worry about numb butt any more. Scratch that, I'm going Saturday with Son and Grandson and will still use spinning gear. Can't make a fool of myself in front of them now, can I?

Till the next time when I'm brave enough to relate the Fly Fishing bloopers, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Me and Roy

Yup, we made it to Caples. We stopped to get coffee at Cooks Station and up the hill we went. Roy is learning about the superstition of a cup at Cooks. One of the things I had Roy do was put new line on his rods after his line broke a couple of times last week. We got settled on the sandy side of the spillway and put out 3 lines (he had one, I had two) with plain old run of the mill Rainbow Power Bait on them. Seemed we were in an area that had a lot of rocks in the water. I lost 4 or 5 rigs and Roy lost 3 or 4. He would have lost more except for the new line. We did manage to catch 6 trout during that time. Because of all the rocks, we packed up an moved down the lake about 100 yards to an area that looked a bit better. We had 6, but 6 does not make a limit for both per the coffee superstition.

So at the new place we put out our three rigs and managed to catch 6 more then the bite just stopped. We sat on rocks with numb butts and waited. Out of the 12 we caught we were able to release 6 of the smaller ones, so at this point we each had 3 per stringer. Over the next hour or so, we managed to land 2 more and now we had 4 per stringer. Still needed one more each for our limits. We count the ones released, but wanted to bring home 5 each. By then, it was pushing 11:00 am and we couldn't get a bite to save our lives. We sat and sat and sat and boy was my butt numb by then. Lunch time was looming.

I reeled in both lines and put one down and went to the tackle box for something different. What could be more different from plain old Rainbow Power Bait than Gulp Trout Dough in Rainbow Candy. Ah, what the hell, I put some on my hook and out it went. I hooked up before the sinker hit the bottom and pulled one in. I re-baited and cast out and before it hit the bottom, another one was on the line, so I handed the pole to Roy and our limits were achieved. Amazed me that the fish wouldn't touch one and killed the other. Go figure. Remember the challenge?

On our way back to the truck, I again asked several fishermen if they were catching anything, and the general answer was no, or one, or maybe two. True to my blog, I let them all know what bait we were using and what my rig was. So I hope I helped them, although I ran into Ray, whom I met last week, he's from Pine Grove which is almost a neighbor, and he was using the rig with Fluorocarbon leader and was not catching many. Could it just be attitude? Who knows.

Just a small hint of what to look to in the future. I have two words for you. Fly Fishing.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing could be better if your butt wasn't numb".


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rude People

You all know by now how I start a day fishing on the Highway 88 Corridor. I got to Bear River Reservoir at 7:30 am and put out one line with Rainbow Power Bait. My other rod went through the usual lures with no response. I might note, that I was the only one there. Nice and quiet. Fished for about an hour and called it quits. Nothing happening. Drove up to Silver Lake. Since I don't fish this lake very often, and the day started out so nice, I thought I'd stop. Went to Ferguson Point picnic area and set out two lines with Rainbow Power Bait, found a nice rock and parked my butt. I might note, that I was the only one there too. Didn't get any hits, but I noticed that around the little bay I was on, the fish were top feeding on the other side.

Picked up my gear and planted myself on that side and put out my lines. Caught two small rainbows that I was able to release then the clock struck 10:00 am. It was like 90 cars converged on the little parking lot and 300 people appeared out of nowhere. Car doors slamming, people hollering, and kids running down to the shore and jumping into the water. This occured about 100 feet from where I was fishing. No consideration what so ever. THEN, some guy in a boat, that was attached to the hoard, drove right across where I was fishing, just 10 feet off shore. Didn't look, didn't say anything, I don't think he even noticed me, although I can't imagine how he would have missed me on a wide open beach. That was it. Packed up and was ready to go home, but wait, no limit yet, so I headed to Caples instead.

Went to my usual spot on the sandy side of the spillway, and as usual, nobody was catching anything. I put out two lines with Rainbow Power Bait and the catch was on. One difference I noticed, was that I caught more with the 4# Fluorocarbon leader than with 2# Fluorocarbon leader. I'll have to work on that one some more. I'll have a chance on Thursday, I'm taking Roy (my neighbor) up to Caples again. That's probably the last chance for a while. This weekend is the annual Gianinni (Roy's last name), Bocce Ball tournament and there's no way Roy can get away to go fishing.

So, nine was the total count for today. I brought three home and was able to release the rest for another day.
Imagine yourself sitting on a sandy beach, all by yourself, quiet, with rods in the water, with these two small islands on calm water as your scenery and that was 8:30 - 10:00 am at Silver Lake. Then the hoard arrived.
Until Thursday, remember: "A bad day fishing could get worse when the hoard arrives".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Slip Sinker Rig

Paul from Extreme Outdoors Blog thought it would be a good idea to explain my slip sinker rig and asked if I’d do a post on it. Since I mention it so often, I thought it would be a good idea too. So here we go.

This is really a multi purpose rig. It can be used for Power Bait, night crawlers, or any number of floating baits. The one I use is pretty simple. Take a look at the picture below. I use an egg sinker above a swivel, a leader, and a hook.

Let me break it down a little more technically. The egg sinker depends on how hard the wind is blowing, or if you’re fishing a stream, how fast it’s flowing. I generally use a 1/8 oz to ¼ oz most of the time I fish a lake. You’ll recall the post about Caples on Wednesday August 5th. It was so windy I used both sizes together and it still wasn’t enough.

Once you slide the egg sinker on, I tie a size 7 barrel swivel (color doesn’t seem to matter) on with a clinch knot. You could use the improved clinch knot also. Either works good. Then tie on the leader. Most fishermen or fisherwomen I talk to just add 18” of their line for a leader, or press on a couple of split shots, 18” above the hook. I use 18” of fluorocarbon leader. This, I think, is “my secret weapon”. I use both 4# and 2# fluorocarbon. What I get is a small (and mostly pricey) spool (the last one was $9.99 for 27 yds) of each and keep it in my tackle box. Tie one end of the Fluorocarbon to the barrel swivel (again with a clinch or improved clinch), measure approximately 18” (a little over or under doesn’t seem to matter), and tie the other end to a #16 or #14 (I prefer #16) gold treble hook. You could use a bait hook, but I think a treble hook holds the Power Bait better. Best to double click the picture for a better look.

OK, that’s the slip sinker rig for Power Bait. You can use the same rig, as I mentioned above, for night crawlers. The difference is that you want the night crawler off the bottom for two reasons. One, you want the fish to see it, not try to find it mixed in with weeds, sticks, and any other debris on the bottom. Second, you're not out there to feed the crawfish. In the picture below, I also included a couple of pieces of equipment you will need to get the night crawler on the hook correctly and make him float. Note, I changed the hook from a treble to a bait hook for crawlers.

Take the crawler and, starting from the back, insert the worm threader (the long thing with the handle) about half way through the worm. Take the tip of the hook and insert it into the hole at the tip of the threader and hold it tight with the line. Slide the worm onto the hook (this might take a little practice) until the eye of the hook is covered. The pull the threader out. If done correctly, the hook should not show. If it does, the next time push the threader in a little farther. Once the worm is on the hook, stick the needle on the worm blower into the worm and pump him up. Basically put an air bubble in it. Some fishermen stick a floating marshmallow on the hook before putting on the worm to help with floating. Your choice.

One thing I wanted to add, is when you're fishing with Power Bait, all you need is enough to cover the hook, but cover it completely or the fish will see it and not bite.

And that, my friends, is the slip sinker rig I use. Let me know if you have any questions.

Tight lines. Shoreman

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Take a Neighbor Fishing

I thought it appropriate that the Northern California Trout blog should have Shoreman (that's me) holding a trout. So slide down and take a look. I could have used the first fish I caught today, but it just didn't live up to a profile picture. Actually I accidentally snagged a small trout at Red Lake when I was reeling in a lure. I guess he must have gotten in the way. Anyway he was this.................................long. The one I did use turned out to be 19" long and somewhere over a pound. I have a cheap scale I keep in my tackle box and it measured 1 plus a couple of notches. So, somewhere over a pound.

I took my neighbor Roy with me this morning. I've been working with Roy, when he's been available (he's not up here all the time. He splits here, with his home in San Mateo), on fishing the lakes up here. I'm trying to fine tune him on method and gear, so he can catch more fish. One thing we found out was the line he had on his two reels was years old. The other thing we found out is the age old problem of casting out a slip sinker rig and instead of reeling in the slack, he was reeling it too far. He lost a lot of tackle this morning. Caples Lake has a lot of rocks along the side of the lake and you easily get snagged. I even lost some too.

Well, the fruits of our labor turned out well. We both took home a limit of Rainbows. Actually the total was 14 for the day with 4 released for another day.

They are all stockers and were easily lured with plain old run of the mill Rainbow Power Bait. The thing I noticed is that while Roy & I were catching fish, others weren't. I questions a couple fishing next to us about what they were using. "Rainbow Power Bait" was the reply. So I wandered over and struck up a conversation. Took a look at their rig (people are always willing to talk when you're catching and the're not) and could immediately see what was wrong. So I showed them my rig and explained about using a Flourocarbon leader instead of just normal line and how to set up a slip sinker rig. I hope it helped them and they can catch more fish in the future. I was going to rig them up, but they were just leaving and had a long drive home. Maybe next time.
So, I got Roy home by lunch time and sent him to Walmart with a list of stuff to buy. He was going there anyway, so I just pointed him in the right direction, tackle wise.

Oh yeh, the big guy. He didn't bite, per se (thank you Merriam Webster), but picked up the Power Bait and kind of hung there. I kept telling Roy, "look, the fish seems to be playing with it, but not running" like the smaller ones do. There would be a straightening of the line, a little, and then slack, then a straightening, a little, then slack. Finally I decided to see if the Power Bait was "mouthed" off the hook. I reeled in the line until it was tight and the fight was on. He ran, pulled the drag, jumped 3 times, ran the drag some more and I finally got him in close enough to get him with the net. Remember, never go fishing without a net or Annette, I'm still cloudy on that one. If you double click on this for a full screen shot, the fish looks like it weights 20 lbs. OK, maybe not quite that much. The profile picture is another shot where my mouth isn't hanging open. Figured that one was better.

Nothing but the little one at Red Lake. No bumps, no hits, nothing. Even with that great yellow Rooster Tail. After an hour, we gave it up and went to Caples.
That's it for this post. Remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Suction Dredge Ban

I came across an article on the California Trout Inc. and the New 49'ers Newsletter website I thought was interesting. What I thought was interesting was the bias each side took regarding suction dredging. If you don't know what suction dredging is, I'm going to explain, because I have personal knowledge of this process. I spent 3 years gold mining on the North Fork of the American River. This is what a suction dredge looks like. What's it for, you ask? Extracting gold from the river bottom.

So, what's the bias. Fishermen say its ruins the spawning beds of trout and Steelhead. Gold miners say they have the right to pursue their hobby. I can see the point from both sides until you look at what the dredge actually does to the river. I had a gold claim on a creek outside the town of Foresthill, California. I spent every waking hour of every weekend working that claim for 3 years. "Gold Fever", does it exist, you bet. It's worse than drugs. You live, every waking hour, for the pursuit of gold. Do you get much, nope. It's a lot of work for very little payback unless you get that one break that drops a good size nugget into your pan. Few and very very far inbetween.

What does it do to the creek/river? Let me explain the process. You are underwater with a "vacumn" hose sucking up sand and gravel and spitting it into a "sluice box" attached to the dredge that's floating right behind you. While that's happening, you are constantly throwing rocks to the side (the ones you can pick up by hand) or winching (a cable & come-along) bigger rocks out of the way. Your goal is to get to bedrock where, if there is gold, that's where it will be. OK, so you're moving around a little sand & gravel. It'll all settle back to the bottom, right? Wrong. You end up with piles of rock and piles of sand & gravel. Not the smooth gravely bottom that fish need to spawn. Sure, when Winter comes and the torrents fill the rivers, it all smooths out, but fish spawn long before that happens. The other thing that happens is that digging up all that sand & gravel also digs up the mercury that the 49'ers used, without regulation, to separate the gold. That all washes downstream and gets into everything including the fish. Some things are best left alone.

Now that I've explained dredging, I'm not saying that it should be outlawed and it's not. Although, depending what side you look at, one side says it should while the other says it shouldn't. It's just that the regulations are being tightened giving the native fish a better chance. Remember the Salmon fishing ban this year? I won't go into all the things said, but if you want to look over the articles, here's the links.

Finally, I have a couple of stories about gold mining I'd like to share. First, I'm not sure if you'll remember a show that was on TV some time ago called Rescue 911. They had an episode where a gold dredger got caught under a rock, under water, in the North Fork of the American River. That was the exact place where I gold mined and I have to tell you, I'm not surprised that happened. It was a real story. I've seen these guys upside down, underwater, on the down stream side of a huge boulder, sucking all the sand and gravel away. It's a wonder more didn't end up like this guy with a rock rolling over on him. He was hooked up to the air compressor on the dredge and they kept it running for hours until the rescue unit could get him out. He survived, by the way.

The other story is when you're dredging, you come across fish in the water. Small sucker fish and the like. We would suck one up and run him through the sluice box and back out into the water. Shortly there after, he was back for another run. Kind of like an E-ticket ride at Disneyland.

So what it comes down to is that the dredgers don't like the fishermen and the fishermen don't like the dredgers. A feud that will go on for eternity.

Like everything else, just my opinion.

Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than being sucked through a gold dredge".


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Photos from Wednesday

OK, so Bob did take one before I caught anything. You can see in the first picture how rough it was at Caples.

Cutts at Red Lake

Picked up my neighbor Bob and headed up the road to Cooks Station for coffee. Got my cup and continued on to Caples Lake for a little Power Bait fishing. Got there about 7:30 am and the parking lot by the spillway was already full. I wanted to slip in a little fishing before the wind picked up, the weather guessers said in the afternoon, while the lake was calm. I couldn't find any calm lake. The wind was whipping across the lake at, I'd guess, 100 miles per hour. OK, probably only 10 mph or so, but it seemed like 100. Put an additional egg sinker on the line and put out the PB on two rigs. I think I got one hit, but the line was whipping so bad you couldn't tell. We stayed until 9:00 and then rapped it up and decided to find some place in the lee of the wind. The whole lake seemed to be in termoil and right by the spillway it would have been like fishing in a washing machine, the water was bouncing around so much.
We drove over to the dam side and the lake was even rougher than where we were, so we continued over the pass and stopped at Red Lake. I might note that with all the wind up there too, it wasn't as green as last time I was there. Still windy, but there were lulls where you could cast out pretty well. I set out a slip sinker rig with PB and started casting with a silver Kastmaster. Got a bump or two, but no hookups. Changed to gold and same thing. A bump or two, but no hookups. Tried PM in gold & silver, Little Cleo in gold, silver, and burgandy/bronze to no avail.
I asked Bob if he was getting any pictures and he said "I'm waiting for you to catch a fish". Amd here I thought about making Bob the official blog photographer. I'll just have to make him the unofficial photographer, since he only goes with me once in a while. The last time I was up there with Mark & Rich on June 24th, I caught my first Cutthroat Trout. Well, I figured that if the yellow Rooster Tail worked then, I'd give it a try today. Second cast out, I hooked the one on the left (12"). Couple of casts later, I hooked the one on the right (9"). Couple of casts later I hooked the one in the middle (14"). Mean while, Bob is snapping away. The nothing. After a dozen or so casts, I took a look at the lure and the last one pretty much destroyed it. But, I had one in my gear bag just like it. Off I went over the dam, to the truck, and got the new one. Did they like the new, HELL NO. Didn't get another bump on anything for the next hour so we rapped it up at 11:00 and called it a day.
I'll post the pictures from Bob on the next post. Till then remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".