Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It Finally Happened

I bet you thought I finally caught a Steelhead. Nope, sucked you right in with that one. I wanted to share the picture below. I took it Friday afternoon. It's a shot of my driveway about mid-day. I thought it was cool.

To the title. If you double click on the next picture you'll see the Dogwood in bloom. I've been whinning about the blooms and snow on the Dogwood for weeks now.
Well, it's finally happened. As I sit here typing at 11:45 am on Wednesday 4/28/2010, the snow is on the Dogwood blooms. I'm not sure how well you can see the snow, so that's the reason for the other picture.
Now that Winter is officially over in Northern California, I can get on to the business of catching fish upcountry. That is, after the multiple feet of snow melts, and the lakes ice out, and maybe it doesn't snow any more. Who the hell knows? Sooner or later, I'll get up there. Just wanted to share this, almost end of April, and it's still snowing in Northern California.
Till next time.
Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Creek

You'll remember this from the March 22nd post. I got some wrong information about this creek when I researching the name. I thought it was Gerle Creek, but come to find that it is actually the Middle Fork of the Consumnes River. No matter, same creek.

I wanted to fish this on opening day (Saturday the 24th), but previous plans negated that. Then I wanted to go yesterday and the mind was willing, but the body wasn't. So I got there this morning. From where the picture was taken, I walked upstream about a mile and started fishing back toward the bridge (where I took the picture). Started with a stimulator on a 6x leader and 6x tippet. There was something hatching, but I couldn't see what it was because it was in the middle of the river right over an eddy. Besides my entomology ability is less than zero and even if I saw the bugs up close, I wouldn't know what they were. So I guessed. Obviously I guess wrong because I didn't get any hits. All those bugs flying around the water surface and not a fish in sight.

Then I tried a Wiggle Tail to see if there was any interest in that. Nope, none there either. Then I thought it might be a good idea to see how cold the water was. Seemed rather chilly. Actually it was 38 degrees chilly. I used my handy, dandy thermometer on a retractor. Probably why I wasn't getting any interest. Fish were hunkered down and unless I stuck the fly in front of it's nose, it wasn't going to give chase. I didn't see any fish noses either. OK, so I was on a "fishing" expedition. By now, I had worked my way back to the bridge. I was having a lot of trouble finding places to cast (practiced my roll cast a lot, A LOT) where there were pools and eddies. You know, those places where fish hide. Take a close look at the picture and you can see all the trees on the side of the creek.

Crawled down the rocks and found a place I could stand and cast. Changed to 5x tippet because I kept snapping off the flies with a 6x. Tried Wooly Bugger, Wiggle Tail, Prince Nymph and even tried a black ant. Nobody was the least bit interested, so I gave up for today.
Now, I know there are fish in that creek because the Forest Service website says there are Rainbow and Brown. They would lie, would they? Really, I've fished this creek in other areas and caught fish, so they've got to be there. I think the water is just too cold. Maybe I'll hit this again, later in the Summer.

That's it for now. Rain and possible snow for the next 3 days. No flowers on the Dogwood, but we're close, really close.
Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work, unless you're a fishing guide".
Mark (Shoreman)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Thing We Went Yesterday

April 20, 2009, Sacramento sets a record temperature of 94 degrees. April 20, 2010, Beautiful Volcano, California (up on Shakeridge, we're 1000 feet higher than downtown Volcano, all one street of it) gets 3 1/2 inches of snow. Where's the justice.

Note to self, don't stand under a tree full of melting snow. Could be a hazard to your health.

Yesterday we were in long sleeve tee-shirts (for sun protection), hats (for bald head protection, both of us), and sun glasses. This morning at 1030, I'm brushing snow off the satellite dish so I can get TV reception to find out why it's snowing at 3200 ft, not 4000 ft as predicted and then shoveling snow off the deck so I can get out.

OK, it's probably my fault. I left the ladder (to get to the satellite dish on the roof and brush off the snow), the snow shovel, and ice salt on the front porch. Oh, and the brush I use to clean the snow off the cars so I can get the doors open without having a seat full of snow. You know, this stuff is not like the powdery stuff they get back East. This is known as Sierra Cement. Seems like it's 99% water. HEAVY.

Now, 1:05 pm and the sun is shining, the roads are clear and the trees have dropped most of the snow. We've got rivers of snow melt running down the roads and the pond is almost full again. Can you tell I'm done with Winter? OK enough whining...................

Sorry, I just ran outside. Thought I saw a flower on the Dogwood. Nope, clumps of snow. Guess we're not done yet. Got to be something to that legend.

Till the next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

A Monday in the Mountains

Wow, Monday is a day for posting on blogs. It took me about 2 hours to go through everybody's blog and get caught up on the weekend events. I suppose that's what you get when you, yourself go fishing on Monday. When you have a son that works a gazillion hours a week and gets very little fishing time with his dad, you take it when you can. Ken pulled a 4 day weekend and since it was supposed to rain today, and yes it is, we drove up to Ice House Reservoir yesterday to soak some Rainbow Power Bait. I wasn't sure what to expect because we got that big storm last week and, if you'll recall, there was already 3 feet of snow on the edge of the lake the last time I was there.

As it turns out, a good deal of the snow had melted, probably over the weekend (80 degrees in Sacramento on Sunday) and we had a clear path to the lake. We set up 3 of our rods (we both have two rod licenses) and Ken used his second to throw out a Panther Martin. Since nothing was interested in his PM, he put that out to soak too. We fished from 0930 to 1200 (had to be home at 1300 when grandkids got home from school) and managed to land 7. I'm not sure whether I caught 3 and Ken caught 4 or I caught 4 and Ken caught 3. We kind of lost count. We released one, Ken took one home for dinner, and I supplied Bob (I plow for fish) to keep his fish inventory up. Here are 6 of the 7 we caught.

While the PB was soaking, I walked around the shore and picked up trash left by the pigs that fished before us. I did find a few interesting things too. One was a rig with a rubber crawfish skewered with a hook bigger than I've ever used, even saltwater fishing. A nice fillet knife that somebody left after cleaning some fish (we did find the owner before we left). A slip sinker rig and a wad of line with 3 hooks, a snap swivel, and one splitshot sinker. All the metal rusted beyond use. I always take a walk around a lake or pond to see what I can find. last time at the trout pond, I brought home a clear bobber the size of a major league baseball.

Next time up to Ice House, I'm taking my float tube. Occasionally you see a fish "roll" when taking a bug from the surface. Yesterday I saw something, take something from the surface, it was out a ways, but the splash was the size of a childs plastic swimming pool. No fin, couldn't have been a shark, but what ever it was , it BIG. They claim that there are some really big Browns in this lake. I just need to get out far enough to see for myself. Enter the float tube Cumberland.

When we got back to Ken's house, his dog Noodle came out for a picture. Noodle is one of those designer dogs. A cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle, called a Berniedoodle.

She barks at me for the first ten minutes or so and then decides I look enough like her dad that I must be OK.

The three from Yesterday brings my FTCOL ratio to $1.68 per fish. On the same date, last year, I was at $27.03 per fish. A marked improvement.

That's it until it quits raining. Till then.

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Still No Chrome

Got to the American River about 0930 after the doctor's appointment. All is well with the doctor except he is still nagging me about losing weight, but then he's been doing that since I've known him. Fished about 100 yards of the river at Harrington access. The first place I've got a bump. Used 5 different flies without so much as a nudge, but I did see something jump. It was a little down river and about this.................................big. That's OK though, there was one of those Spey casting guys across the river and he didn't catch anything either.

That's it. Don't know where I'm going from there. Rumor has it that the Shad are already on their way upstream. They usually don't hit the American until mid-May, early June. I think I'll wait until there are more of them in the river.

Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fly Tying Update

As you know, I started tying my own flys. I know, because you're all my friends, that I can share the outcome with you. So, in order, here they are.
Top - Mickey Finn. If you've seen one, it's self explanitory.
2nd - Yellow Wooly Bugger. The Cutthroats seem to like yellow. An experiment in color.
3rd - I call this one the "Bumble Bee Bugger". Black & Yellow because the Cutts also like this color as I've caught several on a similar colored Mepps.
4th - Wooly Worm. Pretty much the same as Mickey Finn.
I've tied more than these 4, but these are the ones that turned out best. Practice makes perfect, so they say. Well, from what I've learned in the last week, Shoreman needs practice. Lots of practice.
Thanks for looking. I can take criticism too, I have broad shoulders.
Mark (Shoreman)

We Dodged The Snow Bullet

If you've been watching the news about the West Coast, you've noticed that we had a good storm go through Sunday & Yesterday. Wind, rain, snow. The weather guessers said the snow level was going to be 4000', but you know how that goes. Well, it rained both days. Several inches, in fact the pond (our pond, no fish) is the fullest I've seen it in a couple of years.
Although I have to tell you, it tried snowing yesterday afternoon. You know that time period when you see the flakes start dropping in the midst of the rain, but that was it.

Now that that's over, I can get back to fishing. Looks like Thursday, since I have a doctor's appointment first thing, I'm going to stand in the river waving a stick and see what happens. That would be the American River. I understand there are some small Steelhead (yes, I'll keep trying) still swimming around, so I'll swing a few flies and see what happens. Can't pass up a chance when it presents itself.

Trout season opens for creeks and rivers on Saturday the 24th. I have previous plans for that day, but plan to hit a creek or two on Sunday. More about that later.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today April 9th

First, another milestone. Today I hit the 50 follower milestone. I had no idea my blog, started to help fishermen & fisherwomen catch more trout, would gather such a following. Thank you, one and all, I'm humbled by your interest in my writing.

Second, went to the trout pond this morning. Was informed by the check in guy that the final stocking of the year occured two weeks ago. OK, I know there are still fish in the pond. Geared up and was on the water by 0830. Tried 9 different flies including a Mickey Finn produced on your's truly's own vise. Of course, they ignored everything. Finally broke down and put a size 8 black Wooly Bugger (the old standby) on and managed to hook one. Fought it for 30 seconds or so and it spit the hook. That was it for the day.

Enter Wes. Wes was fishing with a fly rod using an orange Power Worm under an indicator. He hooked something and it immediately headed West. Actually the "fish" looked like it was following another float tuber. Apparently what ever it was didn't realize Wes was on the other end of the line. In fact, he was all the way down to the backing on his reel. That's where this picture comes in.

Well, Wes fought and fought and finally got it close to his boat. That would be the next picture.

Then the problem occured. Wes' net was too small, but he managed to use the biffle bag concept and stuff that sucker in. I got as close as I could without interfering and got the pictures to be kept for posterity. You've got to double click on the one below and see it on the big screen.

This little sweetheart went 8 lbs 8 ozs on the Berkley Digital Scale. Nice catch, Wes. Oh yes, he was able to release it for another day. Took a bit of back & forth, but it finally got it's wind back and swam lazily away.

Even though I didn't catch anything, this shows that there are still some big ones in the pond. Power worms might just be the thing I use next time. OK, I'll be ashamed later.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Float Tube Exercise

What else do you get when you can't catch fish? We actually had a day of sunshine today and I tossed a coin to decide where to fish. Heads, the trout pond. Tails, Rancho Seco Lake. Tails won. Got out to the lake at 0830. Figured I catch something and I could tell Mike at American Fly Fishing that I did, because the last time he was out at Rancho Seco he got skunked. Geared up and started flippering around. Up and back. Across and back. Up again. Across, again. Didn't see anything that looked like a fish. Now keep in mind, they had a tournament at this lake a few weeks back and the DFG has stocked it several times since. Doesn't pay to be cocky.

I fished just about everything I had in my fly boxes and nary a bump. I even took a shot with one I got from Wolfy that looked like an orange Muddler Minnow. Thanks, Joe.

So all I got for my troubles was a bunch of exercise. That's OK, I'll be seeing my doctor for my regular 6 month visit on the 15th. I can tell him I AM getting exercise. I know he's going to ask, always does.

So maybe Friday, I'll wander down to the trout pond and see what biting there. Supposed to be sunny then, too.

Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Here We Go Again

Just as the last few micro patches of snow from last Wednesday's 5 1/2 inches were disappearing, Mother Nature decided to grace us with another 2 inches last night. As I sit here typing away, I can look out the window and watch it snow some more. IF, and I mean if, there are any flowers on the Dogwood (I can see that tree from the same window) you couldn't see them because the tree is covered with snow. All I can say is that Punxsutawney Phil should watch out, lest he come into the cross hairs of my rifle. OK, I'm not a hunter, you know that.
Just kidding.


Yesterday was the fly tieing class. The "fly of the day" was the Wooly Bugger. A good way to start since that's the one I use most on the lake. Below is a picture of the one I tied (bottom) and one I bought (top). Mine looks a little anemic, but I think it's just because the Chenille that was supplied was medium. It could have been a bit bigger and the effect would have been nearly the same on both. I also could have put a little more Marabou on the tail, but we were tieing "blind", that meaning, we didn't have a sample to look at.

OK, so I took the plunge. Bought all the tieing stuff I need for three flies. Wooly Bugger (black & yellow), J. Fair's Wiggle Tail, and Mickey Finn. I'm planning to use the yellow Bugger and Mickey Finn for Cutts and Brookies up on Red Lake, if winter ever get's the hell out of here.

Yup, still snowing, but slower now. Oh, the joy of country living.

That's it for this post. Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all my friends out there in fishing blogdom.