Monday, May 31, 2010

Fly Update

Mel suggested I show you my flys.

Wooly Bugger: White, Purple, Black/Burgandy, Burgandy

LT - Marabou Leech BL - Marabou Damsel Nymph
MT- Marabou Streamer BM - The Black Ghost
RT - Black Nosed Dace BR - Sprinkle Me Baby

Some Marabou dampened for the picture. That's where I'm at.

Memorial Day

I know I haven't posted since the 20th of May, but there's a good reason. That is, if you can call "Spring" cleaning a good reason. "Spring" cleaning started the weekend of 5/22 and finished this past Saturday. Roto-Rooted the whole house. Yesterday I had to have a day of rest. It was Sunday, after all.

In my spare time, I did have a little, I've been tying flys. I've gotten pretty good at Wooly Buggers (added white, yellow, bumble bee, and purple) and have added the following to my repertoire (thank you Merriam Webster). Other than the four from the April 13th post, I've added the Marabou Leech, Marabou Damsel Nymph, Marabou Streamer, Sprinkle me Baby, Black Nosed Dace, The Black Ghost, and I took a shot at a #16 Partridge & Peacock, but I think my fingers were too big for that little one. It kind of fell apart. I've got a chunk of other ones to try, but I want to use these first and see how they do.

This morning, I ran up to Bear River Reservoir to check and see if the gate was open. The gate was still closed (cardio walk to the water, but I did find a way around the gate for future trips). I also wanted to see what the water temp was and if it was warm enough to put the Float Tube Cumberland in. The water was 49 degrees. I think, warm enough to launch, maybe later in the week. The picture below shows the lake filling nicely. Didn't want to bore you with the other scenic shots around the lake. Yes, that is snow on the hill.

Got there about 0830 after stopping for the usual coffee at Cooks Station (now under new management). A little trepidation as to whether the superstition would still stand. Yup, it did. Five for the day (a limit), 2 released and 3 to Bob (I plow for fish).

Since I only had 3 in the bucket, with snow on them for the trip home, I wanted to check out the North Fork of the Mokelumne River for a spot to fish. The river crosses several roads on it's trip to Lake Pardee. I've already checked out Tiger Creek Rd and today I went up Red Corral Rd. Found the river and stopped to take a few shots. upstream on the left and downstream on the right.

Doesn't look very fast in the photos, but trust me, it was rolling. Since I tend to be a little wobbly, because of past medical problems, I felt it a little fast for me to fish, especially since I was the only one there. So I'll wait for the flow to decrease and fish it then. The steps in the left photo, is a raft out site. Nice pool too.

That's it for today. Wednesday I'm on my way to the American for Shad. We'll see how that goes.

How do you like my little Revolver Map. Each little turquoise dot is one of you stopping by to say hi. Also, if you're not watching the women's college softball world series, you are missing some really good softball games. The #16 seed Hawaii, knocked off #1 seed Alabama and the #15 seed Tennessee, knocked off #2 seed Michigan. Sent both teams to the WCWS. A must watch.

Until next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Check out the trailer

Sam and Kimberly, you know them from Pedal Boat Adventure,

have started restoring a 12' 1967 Santa Fe trailer.

I know it's cutting into their fishing time, but a worthy task. It'll be fun watching them as they work through taking it apart and putting it back together. Stop by and say HI.

Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Trip to Ice House Reservoir

I wasn't sure how the day would turn out since we were expecting a small storm in this afternoon. I went anyway. Got to the lake at 0900 and made the decision not to put in the Float Tube Cumberland. Couple of reason why not. One, the water was 46 degrees and I couldn't force myself to sit in that cold of water flippering around the lake. Second, the wind was blowing somewhere around 15 - 20 mph. Didn't want to fight the wind either. Thinking I never should have bought that thermometer on a retractor. OK, call me a weenie.

Gathered up my fly rod, vest, bottle of water, and assorted flys and strolled across the dam. Figured I'd fish somewhere in the lee of the trees or the dam or something. At least give it a shot. Half way across, I noticed a guy kind of hidden in the rocks fishing. He said he'd caught one, but that was all. I questioned, slip sinker, "yes", Power Bait, "yes", fluorocarbon leader, "no". More about that later.

Got to the other side of the dam and took up position on a point right by the spillway. Wind was calm here and since I've never fished this side of the dam, I didn't know what to expect. Put on the Montreal Bucktail Whore. Come on, I had to try it first. Two false casts and the fly dropped about 40 feet off shore. Well, the line dropped, the fly was no where to be seen. What the hell happened? Don't know, couldn't find it behind me and it wasn't on the end of the line. Oh well, I'll tie another. Put on a black Wooly Bugger and, Damn, the same thing. Line hit the water, fly was gone. Looked around, nothing. Put on another black Wooly Bugger, but this time I side stepped five feet and out went the fly. On the second cast, fish on. Then fish off. Couple of casts later, a good bump, then nothing. Tried a Thinmint, Green Wooly Bugger, and a black Marabou Leech and nothing. On one cast of the Marabou Leech, it got stuck in a rock behind me and guess what? Found the MBW snagged on that same rock. Never did find the black WB though. Flys must go to the same place as odd socks. I think that some day we will discover the fourth dimension and all the odd socks and lost flys will be there.

Strolled back across the dam and took up position at the place Ken and I fished last time up. Threw out Black WB, Olive WB, black ML and just couldn't get any interest. I went back up to the truck and traded my fly equipment for spinning and soaked some Rainbow PB. By then it was just me and the geese.

To make a long story short, from 11:00 to 11:50, I caught 8 and was able to release 3. Took the 5 home to Bob to replenish his stash. I still firmly believe that the fluorocarbon leader is the key to the slip sinker rig. Helps that they stocked last week too.

That's it for now. One of these days I'll get the Float Tube Cumberland back in the water. Summers a comin".

Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Just Couldn't Resist

I spend a lot of time out on the internet researching different flies I can tie, with the materials I have on hand. I can't just run down the street to the fly store and pick up this or that. It's generally an hour and a half drive, one way, to the nearest one.

So I look for things that peak my interest. I've found recipes for Marabou Leeches, Marabou Damsel Nymphs, Wooly Worms, of course the Mickey Finn, and several others. All of which I have the material for. But over the weekend I came across one I just couldn't resist. Since I had to go to Sacramento on Monday, to get the back brakes replaced on my truck, I made a trip over to Fly Fishing Specialities in Citrus Heights. They claim to have the biggest inventory of fly fishing material in the Sacramento area. With list in hand, I entered the store. They had everything on my list and it was an extensive one. They also had a few things I didn't have on the list, but took home anyway. I also found white hackle for a white Wooly Bugger that I've not been able to find anywhere, even on the internet.

OK, so what is this one I couldn't resist? If you've seen it before, make like you've just seen it for the first time, OK?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Montreal Bucktail Whore. Love the name.

Like I said, I couldn't resist. With a name like that, it's got to catch fish. The one above I tied. Here is the link to the one I found on the internet. You can see it a little bit better.

Wow, I didn't realize this fly tying was going to get so involved. I started it just to tie Wooly Buggers and I'm now up to 7 different flys. Oh well, it does give me something to do when it's raining and I'm not sure when it's going to stop. We got heavy rain yesterday and more due tomorrow. Even though, I am going up to Ice House and see if I can get the Float Tube Cumberland in the water. Try some of these flys I've been tying.

I'll report when I get back. Till then,

Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Elementary School Field Trip

I had the pleasure of accompanying my Grandson on a field trip this morning. My Son was away and they needed another chaperon, so I volunteered. As you can see by the first picture, the place is called Black Chasm Caverns. Now, I've lived up here for 6 years and driven by this place dozens of times, but never stopped in. You see, I'm a bit claustrophobic. Actually, I'm a lot claustrophobic, but when your grandson is involved, you do what you have to do. By the way, as the sign says, it is a National landmark.

Since I live 10 minutes from the place, I met his class at Black Chasm. The people that run the place, really have a handle on how to move these kids (all 70 or so in our group) through the place. They break up the class in 4 groups and based on what group you are in, either shop, eat lunch, tour the caverns, or sift through some "seeded" sand for gems. Charles is the one with the gray tee shirt and blue lunchbox. We had shopping first, then lunch second.

Then we went into the cavern. The next picture is the entrance. Right down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. With a stiff upper lip, I plunged forward. Actually I walked down the steps very carefully. They were wet and kind of slippery.

Once we got inside, I did managed to bang my head on the ceiling a couple of times. Doesn't pay to be tall in these kind of situations. I also had one place where I had to turn sideways to get through. Broad shoulders are a minus in this type of place. But once you got inside, WOW. You can see from the pictures how Nature can do some pretty awesome things. I could have included more pictures, I took 33. Love the digital camera. Not all came out as well, that's why I only put these in.

On the way down, while we were waiting for a group that was in front of us to pass, we had the chance to look over the rail at the lake (80 feet deep and 100 feet wide). Did I look? Oh, hell no. It was a long ways down to the lake. Probably the same distance from ground level to the top of the Empire State Building. Well, maybe not quite that far. Remember, I didn't look and there was not chance in Hell I was going to. After passing that group (this is not easy on a walkway that's only wide enough for one person) we got to the bottom. One hundred and twenty five feet below the surface. I'm not in a state of panic yet, but my knuckles were white.

We hung around down here waiting for the group behind us to get into position, then we trudged out. On the way down, it was stop and talk here, stop and talk there. On the way out, straight up and straight out. By the time I got to the surface, the legs were a bit wobbly, but I was surprised that I wasn't out of breath. At least not too bad.

The fourth and final part of the tour the sluicing the gems out of the sand. They give the kids a bag of sand and let them pour it in a screen box and pick out a handful of raw gems.

That's what I did this morning and part of the afternoon. Great fun. The kids were all on their best behavior and the teachers did a marvelous job. I think that will take care of any desire I have to go spelunking for a long time.

Till the next adventure. Oh, by the way, it snowed on the Dogwoods again Monday.

Mark (Shoreman)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

American River Today

Took a run down to Sacramento this morning to wet a line in the American River. Shad were starting to show and thought I'd try out some new flies. As it turned out, when I got down there, the wind was blowing right in my face at about 20 mph. I chose to go to Harrington Access instead of Gristmill across the river. Had I been at Gristmill, I would have been able to use the fly rod, but once I was at Harrington, I didn't want to drive all the way back around to get to that access.

I used my spinning rod with the 1/32 oz pink jig head and pink metalic grub that worked so well last year. I fished 4 or 5 different areas trying to find anything that looked like a shad. While I was fishing (and not catching) something hatched. Maybe one of the Entomology types out there can tell what it is. Best picture I could provide.
There were so many of these bugs and with the wind blowing, I had bugs in my eyes, ears, and up my nose. Probably more than you wanted to know. Had I been breathing by mouth, I would have had them in there too. On top of that, just when they seemed to be dwindling, the wind would reverse and right back they came. After an hour or so, I'd had enough to eat, so I packed up and moved on.
I figured, if the shad are coming from the Sacramento River, the American runs into it at Discovery Park (no, I don't know why they call it Discovery Park), the closer I get, the better chances of catching one. So I moved to the Howe Avenue access. No fish there, but one guy I ran into said they are catching them at Discovery Park. Go figure. Guess I just didn't get far enough down stream.
Still a little early, so I'll wait another couple of weeks and drop down again. See what happens then. Maybe I can catch a day when it's not so windy and try those 3 shad flies I picked up a while back.
That's all the excitement for today. Till next time.
Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, May 3, 2010

East Fork Carson River

Needed to practice my fly casting and what better place, than where I caught my first two trout on a fly rod. Got there at 0800 and climbed down to the water. Put on one of the Wooly Worms I tied and started casting. It went somewhere. Not sure if it was forward or backward, but all I had was line. Replaced it with a black Wooly Bugger. Proceeded to get it caught on a weed, 4 feet from shore. Did I mention, I didn't put on waders or wading boots? So I strolled out in my sneakers and unhooked the fly. No sense loosing a good $2.00 fly when it was right there. Damn, that water was cold.

Replaced it with a Tungston Beadhead Thinmint. Replaced that with a Wiggle tail. Couldn't find anything that looked like a fish. About that time I realized I was starving. I had breakfast at 0430 when I got up with the wife so she could be to work at 0600. One of the hazards of being a wheel. I know this well, I was a wheel for 40 years.

Drove to the Carson River Resort. I talked about Todd and the resort last Fall. Asked him what was catching fish. He said opening day was wild. One hundred and twenty two people camped at his place. Everybody catching fish. Everybody soaking Power Bait, Nightcrawlers, and Salmon Eggs. No body catching anything on flys. Great.

I grabbed a bag of Fritos and a diet Pepsi and headed back out. WHAT? Fattening Fritos and Diet Pepsi? It's one of those rules. One rules out the other. You know, it's like eating chocolate and drinking milk. Brown and white cancel each other out. Again, if no one sees you eat it, it doesn't count. Besides, Todd doesn't have a lot to eat in his store.

Back to the river and rig up with orange Power Worm. I put my shame aside. By the time I finally climbed down to the river again, the wind had picked up to such a velocity that casting was almost impossible. I spent more time untangling my line than it spent in the water. I finally gave up. The wind was blowing around 20-25 mph. While I was there, I dropped my handy-dandy thermometer on a retractor in the river. 40 degrees. Like the Middle Fork of the Consumnes, nothing was going to bite on a fly. Too cold. Called it a day.

On the way home, I checked out the upcountry lakes. Red Lake, I won't be fishing that lake until June. Caples Lake, June again. Silver Lake, one more time, June. They are still, completely iced over, although I didn't see anybody walking out on the ice. mmmmmm. Bear River Reservoir, another story. Lake is open, gate is still closed, and a foot of snow on the road. I'm willing to haul my gear the distance (about 1/2 mile) to fish. I didn't today, because I already had my cardio walk and it was past time to head home.

Still a lot of Spring, Summer, and Fall to go. Pictures of the lakes on the March 22nd post haven't changed, in case you want to take a peek. Now I have to flip a coin and see where I'm going next. American River for Shad or Bear River Reservoir for trout? Decisions, decisions.

Till then.

Mark (Shoreman)