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".