Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Carson Pass & Beyond - Other Lakes

Once you get over Carson Pass on Highway 88 heading for Highway 89 and Markleville, you will come to a turn to Hope Valley. I've fished Hope Valley many times in the past. Haven't been there recently, but plan more trips this year. The times I have fished there, the catches were always good.

I fished Charity Creek for Brookies. Found a beaver dam with a rock overlook. Just lobbed a nightcrawler into the pond and waited for the Brookie to cruise by and snatch it. I fished a lake, we called Lily Pad Lake (I don't think it was the correct name), with nightcrawlers and a split shot. At that time, back the mid 70's you had to hike to the lake. The last time I was there, off roaders had plowed a road to the lake.

There is also Upper and Lower Blue Lakes. Upper Blue is good with nightcrawlers for Rainbow, Brookies and Cutthroat. With the new DFG regs, Lower will be stocked, Upper will not.
Other lakes in the area, Granite Lake (will be stocked), Tamarack Lake (make sure you take bug spray for this one. Last time I was there, we got eaten alive), Upper & Lower Sunset Lakes, Meadow Lake, & others.

Might want to stop by the ranger station, just past Bighorn on Highway 88, and pick up a El Dorado Forest map. Shows all the lakes, the roads to get to them, and hiking trails. They do charge for these maps.

One I forgot is Woods Lake. On the right hand side just past Caples Lake. Has a nice campground and day use facilities. I only stopped once last fall and fished right off the campground. It was shallow out a good distance and didn't get anything. Might be better around the sides or at the back. There is a trail that circles the lake. Rumor has it, Nightcrawlers and Power Bait work good in this lake. I will try it again this year once ice out has happened.

Might be able to fish these lakes again if it ever stops snowing. I had 9" of snow at my house in December. I also had snow this past Sunday and Yesterday. If I have snow at 3200' elevation, you know the lakes are being buried.

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


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Carson Pass and Beyond - Red Lake

Just across Carson Pass on Highway 88 is Red Lake. As you descend the pass, it's the lake that looks like a pond on the right side, but don't let it fool you. There are two accesses to the lake. The first one is a dirt road about 1/4 mile before the paved turn off. You kind of have to just drive into the dirt path and then wind around until you pop out at the dirt, boat launch area. The other access is the paved road that goes to the dam. This is one of the first things you see when you get there.
Took me a few times to figure out what it is. A cannon for avalanche control. Never saw one before but it makes sense. When you get there, just look where it's aimed.
Now the what, where, & how of fishing this lake.
I've found that most of the fish stay close to the bank. I've only caught Brook Trout, but there's also Rainbow and Lahotan Cutthroat in the lake. That's the what.
The where, is the dam. I've fished from where you park to the other end and caught fish all along it. Other than that, nothing. Doesn't mean they aren't there.
The how. I started with the old stand by Panther Martins. Caught one or two, but that was all. Back in the Superstitions Post, I mentioned a guy I met that always brings "a net or Annette" with him fishing. He also introduced me to fishing this lake with Kastmasters. I've never been one to fish with Kastmasters, but since I always listen to what other fishermen have to say, I accepted the one he offered me and tried it. First fish hit it so hard, almost pulled me off the dam. Just kidding. I was "hooked". Been the best lure for this lake ever since. Solid Silver and Solid Gold seem to work the best. Although, We (my Son & I) have had days when Panther Martins worked best. Brings us back to having an arsenal of lures. A lot of other fishermen I've met there also say that Power Bait works well. I've always gotten a limit before I resorted to Power Bait, so we can only take their word for it. In an earlier post, I mentioned about stopping at Cooks Station for coffee before heading up the hill. The last day fishing in December at Red Lake, I did stop for coffee, but I only caught one fish. The ice had already started settling on the lake and open water was 10 or 15 feet from shore. Not being able to get a lure out, I drove to the other side, which was clear, and walked back across the dam until I came to the edge of the ice. I saw a swirl back the way I came and threw a silver/yellow Panther Martin just beyond. I hooked a Brook Trout that was every bit of 2 pounds and about 16 inches long. He was such a nice specimen, I could only put him gently back into the water. I figured that since this was probably my last fishing day in 2008, I'd just end it with that memory.
2008 was a great fishing year for me even with the surgery and recovery at the end of May. I hope this information I provide gets you memories like the one above.
Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Friday, January 23, 2009

You've got to read this

I was going to talk about lakes over on the other side of Carson Pass, but I just read an article in Fish Sniffer that everyone should read. So today all I'm going to do is put a link to Dan Bacher's article in Fish Sniffer and the link to the DFG website where it shows what lakes are being stocked and what lakes are not going to be stocked because of a court decision.

Dan's article: http://fishsniffer.com/dbachere/090121troutplantban.html

DFG Website: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/stocking/

This court decision is going to greatly impair fishing in Amador, Alpine, El Dorado, and a lot of other counties. Check it out.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caples Lake

Well, they pretty much emptied Caples this year. But thanks to a bunch of dedicated fishermen, a lot of the fish in the lake were saved. Most were transplanted to Silver Lake and some to other lakes.

El Dorado Irrigation District plans to start restocking the lake this Spring. According to the plan, EID will be restocking the lake with 31,200 pounds of trophy rainbow and brown trout - approximately 12,400 fish along with 9,000 pounds of catchable rainbows, or about 18,700 fish. By autumn 2009, some 175,000 fingerling and sub-catchable rainbows and 50,000 fingerling mackinaw will join the larger fish. It's a ten year plan so, nine years of additional stocking will begin in 2010. If you are a Mackinaw fisherman, it's going to be years before there are any trophy sized fish in this lake. If you are a trout fisherman, keep your fingers crossed. If you are a shore fisherman like I am, maybe sometime during the summer, things might get back to the way they were.

Now, how and where in the past. I fished the spillway area on the sandy side. Over the "hill" from the bathrooms. I've fished mainly from the spillway to about 100 yards out. This area has always produced good numbers of fish for me, although I've seen people fishing all around the lake. That's the where. The how, is I use my slip sinker rig. That's an egg sinker above a swivel with 18" of Florocarbon leader and a #14 or #16 gold treble hook. I've caught both Rainbow and Brook Trout this way. For bait, I use Chartreuse or Red/White/& Blue Power Bait and had the best results. I haven't used the new Gulp bait in this lake since I didn't acquire it until after they drained most of the lake. You can bet I'll be there to try it as soon as the lake can be fished.

Between Silver Lake and Caples Lake is Kirkwood Lake. I've not been there and don't know anyone that has fished it. I intend to try it this year and will report what I find. There is also Salt Flat Reservoir. I've never fished this one either, but might try it this summer too. There's also a bunch of mountain lakes to fish, if you don't mind hiking miles to get to them. Since I don't have a quadrunner or a dirt bike to get to some of these back country lakes and at 62 years, I'm really too old to be hiking those kind of distances, I'm happy to fish the lakes I can get to.

This brings me up to the top of Carson pass on Highway 88. Next time We'll drop over the pass and talk about fishing over "there".

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


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Silver Lake

There are a lot of big fish in this lake. I mentioned earlier I've only fished it once and caught 3 Rainbow about 11 inches. A lot of stuff I read is written by fishermen that fish this lake by boat. A good article is the one written by Mark Wiza in the Fish Sniffer dated June 27, 2002 where Mark talks about his record 22 lb Mackinaw he caught in 2002 at ice out. I intend to fish this lake more this year and will report as I do.

Here are a couple of pictures I took the day I was there. Might make you want to take the drive even if its just for a picnic.

These were taken at Ferguson Point Picnic area in September 2007. If you plan a trip I suggest you don't do it on a holiday weekend. My wife and I tried it last Labor Day and there were so many people and dogs swimming in the lake, we just turned around and went home.
Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sportsman Expo and Mather Lake

Went on Sunday 1/18. Had a little trouble finding the fishing area that was not for fly fishing or the hunting area. Turns out it was in the back with the boats. I went with my Son, and his Brother-in-Law both who fish with me when time permits. I'm glad we found it because I was able to pick up a reel for my new Ugly Stik I got for Christmas. I was able to purchase a Daiwa 1500B Sweepfire reel from Fisherman's Warehouse space at the show price of $15.00 and they paid the tax. A good deal since they retail for about $30.00. I was also able to pick up a couple of new lures from a company called Rocky Mountain Tackle Company out of Utah. They make mostly trolling lures, but check out their website. A lot of cool pictures (108 to be exact) of fish caught locally and in Utah. Here is the link. http://www.rockymountaintackle.com/ They have an online store. I met several of the guys from there and picked up some info about fishing a couple of local lakes that I haven't done very well at. So in the future, I'll let you know how the new lures work and how the information I got pans out.

I also met with a couple of guys from Fish Sniffer. If you don't know about Fish Sniffer, here is the link to them. http://fishsniffer.com/ There is a lot of good information on this website about fishing all over Northern California. They fund this website from subscriptions to the print edition, so if you can, subscribe and support them. You might also check out Cal Kellogg's book "The Trout Fishing Handbook". I bought this book as soon as I saw he had published it and was so impressed I bought a copy for my Son. There is a lot of great information on all kinds of trout fishing in the book. I might also note that I met Cal at the Expo. If you want to get his book, call him at 916-685-2245. He's since published a second book (The Delta Fishing handbook), you might want to check this one out also, just in case you fish the delta.

The rest of the booths had various products and a lot of the booths were outfitters. Many of them in Alaska. So that was the jist of the Sportsman Exposition.

Just a quick note, I went by Mather Lake this morning after a doctor appointment. Figured, as long as I was in Sacramento, might as well drop a line and see if anything was biting. To my disappointment, there was a lot of grass/weeds growing in the lake just like last time I was there. I wasn't able to cast out one time without reeling in weeds on my lure. After about 15 frustating minutes, I left. I talked to one other fisherman there and he was pretty upset about the weeds also. I wouldn't waste my time with this lake until the weeds are gone, if they ever are.

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


Monday, January 19, 2009

Bear River Reservoir Part 2

I touched on a couple of things that work for me in Part 1. Mainly Panther Martin's and Berkley Gulp Trout Dough. Previously I've mentioned a couple of colors of Trout Dough. There are actually 7 colors. I've caught trout on 4 so far. Got the other three colors for Christmas. Will try them soon. I've caught trout at Bear River on many different "baits". I've found that each time I go to Bear River, something different catches fish. Here are a couple of examples.
1. Silver Panther Martin.
2. Gold Panther Martin.
3. Silver Panther Martin & Gold Panther Martin
4. Wouldn't bite on either, but would bite of burgandy/gold Little Cleo.
5. Wouldn't bite on any of the above, but bit on a "Brown Trout" Tasmanian Devil lure. I noticed this morning that you can now buy these at Cabelas.com. The only place I could find them before was the resort at Bear River.
6. Wouldn't bite on any lure, but would hit Trout Dough.
7. Wouldn't touch a lure or Trout Dough, but would hit a floating nightcrawler.
8. Wouldn't touch a lure, Trout Dough, or nightcrawler but would hit a meal worm.
9. I've also had days when they would hit anything I would throw at them.

I have to let you know about meal worms. You can get these at most places that sell bait. They work really well with the slip bobber rig (mentioned in a previous posting). I found a place in Bighorn ( just east of Pioneer, CA) that sells meal worms that are HUGE Most meal worms I've gotten were about 3/4". There are at least 1 1/4" long. It's a little feed store next to the Shell station right on Highway 88. First time I tried these, I put one in the water and as soon as the bobber flipped up, it started to be pulled down or to the side by a fish. I was never a meal worm bait kid of guy, but I am now.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, to fish Bear River Reservoir, you need an arsenal of baits if you're going to catch fish. I have a tackle box full of lures, a gear bag full of things like power bait, bait scents, salmon eggs, etc. I have 4 rods rigged with different set ups, I take along nightcrawlers and meal worms. By the way, keep your nightcrawlers in the fridge (if your wife will let you) and your meal worms warm and they should last you a couple of outings, if the time between is not too long. When I get back home, I have a plastic tub with dirt in it that I throw the extra nightcrawlers in. Might need them some time. Haven't figured out the meal worm thing. Some say just put in some oatmeal. I'll probably try that this summer.

Next time I'll update you on the Sportsman Exposition at Cal Expo this past weekend. Till then, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Saturday, January 17, 2009


One day I was fishing at Bear River and a guy walked up to the lake carrying, I think 3 or 4 or maybe more rods. I thought, " What could he need more than one rod for?" I've hinted that I use more than one with the comments about one with Power Bait and one using spinners. I've also noted that I was introduced to "slip bobber" fishing. I now carry 3 rod/reel combo's and will be adding a 4th as soon as I get a reel for my new 5' Ugly Stik.

Here is how I have them rigged. My 7' Ugly Stik with a small black snap swivel for lures. I has a Mitchell 300 with 6 lb test line. My "quick change" rod.

A 5' Ugly Stik with a Mitchell 308 and 4 lb test line. This is set up with an eggsinker above a swivel and 18" of Florocarbon leader. I use a #14 or #16 gold treble hook for Power Bait. It can easily be changed to a regular hook if I want to use crawlers.

A 4 1/2 ' Diawa Graphite rod with a Ryobi Graphite reel and 4 lb test line. I use this one with the slip bobber rig. I rig it a little differently that others. First I put a bobber stop a little ways up the line. then I put the plastic bead, slide on the bobber, and tie on a swivel. Then I attach 18" of 4# Florocarbon leader and a #10 gold hook at the end. I also put a small split shot sinker about 8" up from the hook.

Some rig slip bobbers with a swivel, then on the leader, a couple of split shot followed by the bobber, followed by another couple of split shot and then 8" or so below, the hook. I guess it's what works best for you. Trial and error usually solves any thing that happens like having your leader wind around the bobber.

My last rig, when I get the new reel, I already have the 5' Ugly Stik, will be a slip bobber rig with a #14 or #16 gold treble hook. I've found that some Power Baits don't float like you would want them to, so instead of putting a marshmallow under the Power Bait to make it float, maybe this will work. I'll report what I find out.

Having multiple rigs makes your changing baits a simple matter. I don't know about you, but even tying on a hook in 40 degree or lower weather becomes a difficult thing. Once your fingers "freeze", for some reason they don't work so well. Oh Yea, if you're fishing in these kinds of conditions (and they occur frequently in our area) don't forget the chemical hand and foot warmers.

Next time I'll be at part 2 of Bear River Reservoir. Remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Friday, January 16, 2009

Bear River Reservoir - Part 1

Since the storm last month, I haven't been to Bear River. When I was at Cooks Station the other day, there was a considerable amount of snow still on the ground. I would suspect that Bear River being a bit higher, the snow would be rather thick there. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind trudging through snow to get to a lake or stream, but with the road closed at the corner to the resort (which is closed until spring both the resort and the road), it's a long walk hauling your gear, especially if two things are present. First is a bunch of snow on the road and by the lake. Second if the lake itself is frozen. There are a number of fishermen out there that ice fish. I'm not one of them. Call me chicken, but you're not getting me out on the ice. I don't care how thick it is. I was talking to one fisherman last summer that said a guy was ice fishing last winter and fell through. Granted he was apparently where he shouldn't be, but fell through anyway. Thanks, I'll pass.

So let's talk about Bear River in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and sometimes Winter. Let's start with where I fish. I spend most of the time on the near side of the first dam. One, you can drive down almost to the lake. Two, it's a nice little area to get settled in and fish the day away. I have, on the other hand fished the other dam also. I start at the near side of the second dam and fish around the point to the far side of the first dam. It's here that I was first introduced to "slip bobber" fishing. Other than those two areas, I've never needed to look for other places on the lake. I'm sure there are lots more and if you'd like to let me know, I'd be glad to try them and let you know how I do.

Now that you have the where, let's talk about the how. I found that if you get to the lake before the sun hits the water, a Silver Panther Martin works really good from the side of the dam out about fifty feet. Once the sun hits the water, I switch to gold. There are days when you can throw everything at the trout and you're pretty much ignored. So then you have to be creative. I always have the two rod fishing license (this year $54.05) so I can lure fish with one and "bait" fish with the other. Maximizes your catching ability.

Last Summer, when I got the Cabela's Master Fishing 2008 catalogue in the mail, I noticed this stuff called Gulp Trout Dough. It's advertised that field testing showed it worked 55% greater
than competing brands. I bought a couple of jars of the color called Orange Pulp. I always have to buy two. One for me, one for my Son. If I buy a new type of lure, I have to buy three. One for me, one for my Son, and one for my Grandson. Grandpa's do stuff like that.

One day I put this trout dough on my "bait" rod and stuck it in the rod holder. I barely casted my lure out when I got a hit on the trout dough. Reeled in the fish, rebaited, and cast out again. By the time I reeled in the lure on the other rod, I had another bite on the trout dough. Reeled in that fish and the rest of day went on just like that. Couple of ladies fishing next to me asked what I'd been using and I gave them a good finger full to try. We all went home with limits. In this case, no hits on the lures I tried. There is a moral to this story, but it will come during another writing.

I'll talk more about Bear River the next time in Part 2. Until then, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pardee and New Melones Reservoirs

Yesterday morning I went to the DFG website and noticed that Pardee Reservoir was scheduled for planting this week. Well, it being Wednesday and the middle of the week, I thought there might be a good chance they had already planted. So I packed up my gear and drove over there. Twenty miles to Jackson and another fifteen or so to the lake. Closed. I looked at several websites and none mention that the reservoir is closed until February 6th.

So I decided to drive out to New Melones Reservoir and try there. The fishing report on the aforementioned local news paper report dated 1/8/09 said: "Trout: Easy limits bank Anglers". I figured, OK let's see. I went to the marina and got a copy of the fishing report. Note that it was dated 1/5/09. and it also says: "Trout: Easy limits for bank anglers". I found the news paper report to be almost word for word the same as the fishing report I picked up at the marina. This morning I went to the New Melones website and low and behold the same report with a few minor changes is now dated 1/12/09.

Bank anglers are finding easy limits of planter trout in the one-to-two pound range. Glory Hole Point, Angels Cove, Tuttletown, and under the Highway 49 Stevenot Bridge are all good places to fish. Tie on some rainbow or chartreuse glitter Power Bait or a marshmallow/crawler combo (be sure your bait is floating off the bottom and not in the silt), or throw a gold or shad-patterned Kastmaster or a yellow or rainbow-trout Roostertail- we are seeing plenty of ‘bows caught on lures, too.

Copied and pasted from their website. I fished Angels Cove yesterday. I used rainbow and chartreuse glitter power bait (Berkley Gulp Trout Dough in Chunky Chartreuse, Rainbow Candy, and Orange Pulp) Nada. I used Kastmasters in Gold, Silver, Silver/Blue, and Orange. Nada. I tried Panther Martin's in both gold and silver. Nada. I tried Little Cleo in gold/burgandy. Nada. I even tried a Tasmanian Devil in a German Brown color. Nada. If bank anglers are finding easy limits, I didn't find any. Twice I've fished New Melones and been skunked both times. Either I'm not in the right place, or I just don't have a handle on this lake yet.

The one good thing I did find though, was a good Cardio Workout walking up from the marina and from the lake. It's a long way down to the water and a long ways back up.

That's my report for yesterday. Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".


Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Most fishermen I've know have a superstition of some sort. I'm no different. I met a guy last summer when I was fishing at Red Lake in Alpine County. He said he never goes fishing without a net or Annette (Annette being his wife's name). I'm not sure which one he never goes fishing without. My guess is he takes both just to be sure. I know a lot of guys never go without a special hat, hat with a specific lure, lucky shirt. You get the idea.

My superstition is I always stop at Cooks Station for a cup of coffee on the way up the hill. Every time I do, I catch at least 4 and almost always a limit. Now I know this to be true because one Saturday I went early (they don't open until 7:00am) and didn't catch anything. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Another superstition I have is not necessarily a superstition, but more common sense. I put new line on my reels every year. Some say why waste the money. The line I have is still good. Could this have been the case with the first two "big ones" that got away? The line on that reel was from the previous year. Another coincidence?

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


Monday, January 12, 2009

Highway 88 Corridor

Happy Monday Morning to all. Since I live in a little town called Volcano near the Highway 88 Corridor, I focus most of my fishing in that area. That doesn't mean I don't fish other areas. There are several lakes that are accessable off Highway 88 that are very good at producing limits of trout on a daily basis if you know what bait to use and when to fish.

Bear River Reservior has been a particularly good lake for me this past year. Mostly Rainbow with a few German Brown thrown in for good measure. Silver Lake, It holds a special place in my fishing heart as I mentioned earlier, it was what started me lake fishing. But for some reason, since I'm already that far up the highway, I tend to bypass Silver Lake for those beautiful Eastern Brook Trout in Red Lake which is just over Carson Spur in Alpine County. Caples Lake has always been good at producing Rainbows and Eastern Brookies although is was a little dry this year due to repairs on the dam.

Don't think I catch fish everywhere I go because I don't. I've fished Tiger Creek Reservoir on several occasions and been skunked every time. I've also fished Ice House and Sly Park lakes and been skunked. The only exception was the day I caught the Small Mouth Bass at Sly Park Lake by mistake. I was fishing for trout. But I don't give up, because I know people who catch limits at these places on a regular basis so I'll keep trying.

Next time I'll talk about specific lakes and what I've used to successfully catch trout at that lake. Again I want to express that I'm not claiming to be an expert, I only want to let you know what works for me and maybe it will help you put more fish on the table.

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


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fishing with the Kids

Yesterday I listed the DFG website for trout plants. Today I'd like to talk about a couple of places in the Sacramento Valley that I've found to be good places to take your kids. I once mentioned to an acquintance "caught a limit of trout yesterday at Mather Lake". The response I got was "where is Mather Lake".

Sunrise Blvd south of Highway 50 to Douglas Blvd. Make a right and go about two miles to Mather Park. This used to be part of the Air Force Base, but is now accessable to the public. It's, I believe, a county park and has the usual $5.00 daily fee. DFG stocks this several times during the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Check the link from 1/10/2009. It's a really nice, well kept up park and while you are fishing, or after, it has nice picnic and play areas for the kids. I took my Grandson there last fall and he caught his first trout.

OK, part of this blog is to let you know what I used to catch the trout. I've fished this lake several times and each time different lures have caught fish. The first time, the Panther Martin 6-PMR-G 1/4 oz (Gold/black) worked. The next time Panther Martin 6-PMR-S 1/4 oz (Silver/Yellow) worked. Another time Little Cleo (burgandy/gold) worked. I guess my point is, you need a selection of lures to catch trout. I spoke to one fisherman the day I was catching fish on Little Cleo and he was having good luck with a lure called Mack's Wedding Ring.
I've usually found that if you cast out a lure five of six times and don't get at least a hit, I change to another lure. The time I was fishing with my Grandson, a couple fishing next to us asked how I changed lures so fast. I told them "snap swivel". I use a small black snap swivel to change lures. Saves the time of tying on lures and also reduces your line twisting and knotting up.

Another good lake is Rancho Seco Lake. Again a county park and a $5.00 fee. I was there one day last fall and caught a limit on Panther Martins. A young boy about seven was there with his dad and he had a silver lure of some kind (I've not be able to find one like it) and was catching trout as fast as he could cast out.

My suggestion is to check the DFG plant posting on a regular basis. They plant places like Hagen Park Lake, Gibson Ranch Lake, and a bunch of other lakes in the valley.

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


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shooting fish in a barrel

The title of today's writing has to do with the easiest way I've found to catch fish. The California Department of Fish and Game has a website: ( http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/FishPlanting/index.asp )
that tells you what week and where they are planting trout. Just pick the region that fits where you live. If you can "catch" the plant, you are almost assured you will get a limit. I've found, most times, you can catch a limit, the day they plant, a limit the next day, and usually 2 or 3 the following day. Like shooting fish in a barrel. That is, assuming (try not to use this word very often) you can go fishing 2 or 3 days in a row. And I might add, that this works in both streams and lakes. Remember that you can only keep 5 per day and 10 total in your possession in most places. One quick note, ALWAYS read the DFG's rule's & reg's to make sure what applies to where you are fishing. Also, I've found that the best bait for trout plants is Berkley Power Bait. I'll talk more about bait and lures later.

Remember "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work."

Till next time


Thursday, January 8, 2009


I guess I should start at the beginning. The question is: What would make a fisherman change from stream fishing to lake fishing?

In the Summer of 2007, my Wife and I decided to go on a picnic. We stopped at Bear River Reservoir off Highway 88, but didn't stay. Rode further up the road and stopped at Ferguson Point picnic area at Silver Lake. Nice warm Sunday afternoon, so I figured I'd drown a couple of worms. I wasn't much of a lake person at that time, but since I was there I thought "why not?" That afternoon I caught 3 nice Rainbow Trout about 11 inches. Had trout for dinner that night.

Since I was fairly busy that year, the next opportunity I had to go fishing was September. I took a shot at Bear River Reservoir since I was fishing alone. Being a stream fisherman, my gear was a 5 ft Uglystik with a Mitchell 308 and 4 lb test line. What did I know? I tied on a gold spinner Panther Martin with black body and yellow spots (6-PMR-G 1/4 ounce) and casted out. About the 4th cast, a trout hit the lure, jumped three times and broke the line. I thought maybe a flaw in the line. So I tied on another and casted out again. About the 2nd cast, another trout hit the lure, jumped twice and broke the line. OK, that pissed me off. They were BIG fish. Called it a day. Why lose more lures, I had a bigger rod at home.

Couple of days later, I went back with my 7 ft Uglystik (I like these rods) and my trusty Mitchell 300, which has been discontinued by the way, and 6 lb test line. A little note on the Mitchell 300. I had one when I was a kid and it took me years to wear it our. Fortunately I got one before they were discontinued. Back to fishing. Same lure, same place, another hit. This time I was able to get him to the shore. Looked like about 3 pounds, spit the hook, and I jumped in the water to try and catch him. Fisherman will do crazy things to keep a fish that size. I was a little dense about having net at that time, but I learn quickly. I went to the resort and promptly bought a net. More about nets later. Nothing more that day.

A week or so later, I returned to Bear River (wouldn't you?) to try again. I brought my neighbor along. He lives in the bay Area, but has a home around the corner and was up for the weekend. He caught the first fish of the day on a blown up worm. Held up his net and asked "should we keep this one?" I told my neighbor I was going to walk around the corner and fish in this other area. For me, around the corner could be anywhere in a 3 mile radius. As it was, I just went over the rock outcropping and fished on the other side. Same lure, Same 7 ft rod, new fish. This time I had the net and I carried it back to my neighbor and asked him "should we keep this one?" We took it to the resort and weighed it. 3 lbs 9 ounces. Trout for dinner that night. A little note on big trout. I found this one tasted dirty compared to smaller (11-13 inch) fish. This is just my opinion.
That's the big boy on top. Couple of days later, same rod, same lure, and one weighing about 3 pounds. Didn't keep this one. Put him carefully back into the lake. With that said, I think that would be enough to make anyone a lake fisherman.
Ya'll have a nice day and remember, "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Year

This is my first shot at blogging. I've been fishing all my life and wanted to share my experiences with all my fellow fishermen. I contacted a local news paper about putting this information on their website and they pretty much blew me off, so I started this blog.

I've lived in Northern California since 1975 and have mainly fished streams and rivers for trout. In 2007 I discovered lakes. OK, I know a lot of you fish streams and lakes and want to know what this guy knows that I don't. For some, probably nothing, for others maybe I can help them catch more fish. I figure if I put out here what I do and how I do it, it will help somebody have a nice trout dinner once in a while.

Last year I had a major surgery at the end of May. Before and after I did as much fishing as I could (I might note that I'm currently retired) until the snow hit in December. So for the time being, I'm doing some other stuff around the house that I've let go, we live on 5 acres in the mountains, but fishing is always on my mind. Did I mention I caught 130 trout and 1 Small Mouth Bass last year? A lot of the trout were catch and release. One can only eat so much fish. The Small Mouth Bass was a quirk. I was fishing for trout and it hit the lure. He got to go home too.

OK, I could go on and on, but then it wouldn't leave anything for another day. Just remember, "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".