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". 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". 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)