Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Trout Recipe

We ate the Cutt's on Monday for Dinner. I have to say, they were wonderful. My wife ate the small one and I ate about 3/4 of the big one. It was all I could stuff down. We had it with a rice and Broccoli in a cheese sauce.

So, I asked my wife about the recipe. The one targeted was in a grilling book she had just gotten and looked really good. Of course, all those recipes look good in the book. I looked it over and asked "Did you use this recipe?" Now, I've been married to this woman for 13 years (next month) and I should know better. "Of course not" was the reply. "What did you use", I asked. The answer was the usual recipe for her. A little of this, a little of that, some Shilling Onion & Garlic powder, some Dill, some Garlic Salt, couple of other things. Could she reproduce it, not a chance. It's just the way she cooks and I can tell you, by the spare tire around my waist, that she cooks really well. See, she used to own a catering company and also does really well on categories relating to food, on Jeopardy.

So, I'm sorry I can't pass along a good recipe for Cutthroat Trout unless you want me to get you the one from the book, but then there are a zillion book recipes out there and probably a zillion not in books. All I can tell you, is that the fish were great.

Till the next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, June 28, 2010

East and West Forks of the Carson River

Nope, never made it.

From the last post, thanks you guys for noticing it rained the whole time I was up at Bear.

One other thing I wanted to mention, first, is that I have one follower (he doesn't show up on my followers), and I'm honored to have him follow my blog. His name is Glenn, and Glenn just retired. Glenn was the Sheriff of Alameda County in the Bay area, and served the community for 29 years. Congratulations on your retirement and I hope you have as much fun as we, the blog community, does.

On the way by Red Lake, I stopped because my wife has a new recipe for trout that she wants to try. You know the story, "don't bring home any Browns or Rainbows", so I thought I'd wet a line and see if I could pocket a couple of Brookies on the way by. I got there at 0830 and put out the worm under a bobber like Bear River. Didn't work, all I got was a couple of, some type of bottom feeding sucker fish. Not carp, looked more like a perch with a vacumn nose. Around 1030 I got the first hit on Rainbow Power Bait (Both are Cutthroats and the big one is 15" on the tape) and the second one (11") right behind it. I caught a 3rd one the same size as the 11", but put him back. I only needed the two for dinner. From then on, nothing until I left at Noon.

By that time, it was too late to venture over to the Carson, so I wandered back to Caples. When I got to the parking lot, I took the picture below because I can not recall ever seeing the spillway running water.
Caples is at capacity and there is still water running into the lake. I walked down the sandy side of the spillway (where I like to fish) and in several places had to cross snow piles on the bank. There is still a considerable amount of snow at the 8000' level and above. I fished for just a short time on that side because the wind was directly in my face and was blowing all the twigs and other debris in the lake up against the bank. I packed up and went over to the other side (the one with all the rocks), only now there are few rocks above the water line. Made fishing that side easy and it was leeward.
Put out one rod with slip sinker and Rainbow Power Bait and the "worm under the bobber" on the other. Sat for a while, fiddled for a while and finally noticed that I was getting bites on the Power Bait, but they were just light taps. Once I figured that out, I was able to land and release one Rainbow and one Brown, both about 10". The worm under the bobber wasn't doing anything, so I had an epiphany (I don't know what I'd do without Merriam Webster). Tie on 24" of 4# fluorocarbon leader to my line (just like the fly rod) using a double surgeon knot and a bait hook on the end. Thread on a mini-crawler and chuck it out there. This is where the song by Tracy Lawrence comes into play. You know the one called "Time marches on". One of my favorites.
So, I'm balancing between the one with Power Bait and the teeny, tiny hits and keeping the worm out there. I notice the line with the Power Bait twitching, so I held the worm rod in one hand and the PB rod in the other. I was concentrating on the PB rod, when something hit the worm. Had I not been holding the rod, it would have been gone. The line got tight, straightened, and before I could even react, it snapped. What ever it was (and there are some big fish in this lake), it grabbed the worm and jetted. Now, you're going to say, "probably a bad knot at the hook", maybe "the double surgeon knot didn't hold", or "fray in the line". The break was one foot off the top eye. He hit it, straightened it, and snapped it before I could do anything. Like to have another shot at that one and maybe I will. It's a long time until ice over.
So fish for dinner and if all works out, I'll share the recipe. Might do the American later in the week for Shad. Have to go to Sacramento (Fisherman's Warehouse) and get a couple of lures for the trip to my Brothers and Big Bear Lake on the weekend of July 9-12.
Summer has hit with a vengeance. Yesterday in Sacramento - 103, today 103. I looked at the thermometer at 4:00pm and it was 94 here at the house. Nice and toasty. Warming up enough that I think it's time to launch the Float Tube Cumberland next time up the hill.
Till the next adventure.
Mark (Shoreman)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Comment Moderation

I turned on the comment moderation button to try it out. I missed a question from Rebecca because the comments don't show up in the number listed on the bottom of the post. I know this sounds confusing, but what happens is that there are 5 comments and only 4 show up on the number of comments listed. Since I had looked at it when there were 4, I missed one. But, I've apologized to Rebecca, answered her question, and did a good amount of groveling. I can grovel with the best of them.

Which brings me back to Comment Moderation. I tried it, didn't like it, and shut it off. I've never gotten a derogatory remark and until I do (and you don't have to send me one just to see what happens), it'll remain off. So what I think what I'll do is begin my next post by answering any questions posed on the previous one.

So, here we go.
Rebecca, Shad run from Mid-May to the end of June. If you get down, I'm at your service.

Mel, Charles has trouble focusing just like any youngster, but he did have fun.

Bill, thanks, and all you have to do is let me know when you're coming down.

Owl, remember the June 2nd post? 3.21 lbs took me almost 4 minutes to land that one.

Matt, Charles has been fishing for a couple of years, now. Like I mentioned to Mel, he still has trouble focusing. He'd rather play in the water than fish. Kept him in reach just in case he fell in. He did manage to get most of himself wet, though.

Bear River Reservoir this Morning.

My wife needed to be at work by 0715 this morning, so I took the opportunity to run up the hill to Bear River and see what was happening. Weather report said sunshine and blue skies with a temp of about 87 in Sacramento. Right....... Should have been a clue that we had a wet deck when I left. I stopped at Cooks Station for coffee and night crawlers. Got the coffee, but new management hasn't gotten all the kinks worked out yet. They were wormless. Ran by the resort when I got to Bear River and picked up a box of mini-crawlers. While I was parked at the resort, I noticed that there was a scuba diver out in the lake by the boat docks. I asked if anyone knew what was going on, but no one had a clue. A mystery that only the diver could resolve. Strange.

Over at the dam, put out one rod with Power Bait and the other with several lures. Nothing on either. Did I mention it was raining? Changed the PB rod to a bait hook on about 30" of 4# fluorocarbon leader, crawler, and a plain old red & white bobber. Almost immediately got a hit and landed one small (about 9") Rainbow. Did I mention it was still raining? Lip hooked and released. Put the line back out and before I could re-rig my other rod, had a second hook up. Did I mention it was raining harder? Did I mention I had to sit in the truck a couple of times because it was raining really hard? Finally got both rigs out and alternately caught fish on both. Did I mention that my jacket was soaked? So was the t-shirt I had on under the jacket. I ended up catching 7 and bringing back my 5 limit for Bob (distribution center Bob & I plow for fish, Bob. Same guy.). I probably could have brought up my fly rod, but was still recovering from the pulled muscle in my back from last week and using a fly rod only makes it worse.
It seems that the weather, did I mention that it was rained all 3 1/2 hours I was up there?, didn't deter other fisherpersons from drowning worms. I saw a few caught, but the majority of people showed up just before I left. A lot of motor homes and trucks with camping gear rolling in. Going to be a zoo up there this weekend and next weekend, 4th of July. I'm staying home.
That's about it. Cloudy and wet, but the fish were biting. As I sit here typing this, I'd like to mention that the sun is shining and the sky is blue, right outside.
Till the next adventure.
Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday & Today

Wandered up to the Comsumnes at PIPI Valley yesterday morning. Wanted to try my luck nymphing that creek now that the flow has slowed. Water temp at 0800 was 48 degrees. I tried a Prince Nymph and a Copper John. Nothing. Walked back to the truck and put on a #8 red hook and a pink Power Egg. Nothing. Water was right, don't think there are any fish there or if they are, they are few and far between, because I sure didn't see any. Covered about a mile of the creek and even took a bunch of time fishing under the bridge with nymphs and Power Eggs. Next time I think I'll try a small Panther Martin and see what happens.

Here is what the creek looked like

Today was Father's Day with my Son and Grandson. They took me out to breakfast and then we went to the American River to try for some shad. My Son has not fished shad before, so this was a new experience for him. Because of breakfast (couldn't pass that up) we got to the river at 10:00. I rigged both their poles with the little pink jig we use and we walked down to the water. Charles (Grandson) lost interest pretty quickly, but Ken (Son) kept casting. I hooked one and handed the pole to Charles. He got it in and I took the picture below.

Then I caught one, and then Ken caught one. A little later I hooked a second one for Charles which he fought to shore and then the bite stopped. Nobody went home skunked. As we were leaving, Ken said that he would be over here again, during his lunch time, since his office is just around the corner from where we were. So, the introduction to shad fishing was successful for my son and grandson. A good Father's Day outing.

Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Last Two Days of Vacation

First, I'd like to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the father's out there.

Thursday morning I got up at the crack of dawn (0500) and drove back to the Owens River where I fished Wednesday afternoon. At 0520 I was rigged up and on my way across the cow poop to the river. Now, I remember the guy from the shop in Bridgeport saying streamers work good in the morning on the Walker, so I rigged up a #8 black Wooly Bugger to start the day. Two good hits later and I'm minus one black Wooly Bugger. Bad knot I think. Not sure. One more Bugger and one more good hit and that was it. The sun was up and hitting the river.

Changed to a Prince Nymph with a Copper John dropper and spent the next half hour or so untangling the mess. Went to just the Copper John (copper color) and the thingamabobber and worked the slow water over a half mile area I fished the previous night. Didn't get much action (didn't have any more of the "hot" nymphs because the shop was closed) and worked my way back toward the truck. Came across a little hole under a tree that I missed on the way by and dropped the Copper John in. Wasn't 30 seconds and "fish on". The nice little 9" Brookie in the picture below.

By then it was getting near 0900 and we had a long drive to our next destination, Kernville. I was hoping to fish the Kern River while I was in Kernville, but the focus was more nostalgia than anything else.
Back in 1963 (I know, before a lot of you were born), just after my parents moved to Los Angeles, we came up to Kernville to visit my Cousin who lived 4 miles West of Kernville. We stayed in this exact motel below. Also where my wife and I stayed. See the nostalgia here.
Across the street from the motel is a park on the Kern River. No park back in 1963.

The river itself, in the picture below, is where my trout fishing began. Not here at the bridge where I took the picture, but miles upstream. Also with a lot less water than was running Thursday. I talked to one of the maintenance guys working in the park and he mentioned something about 8700 cfs. A lot of water.

Well, what we really came to Kernville, with the exception of the nostalgia part, was to have dinner with that same Cousin. Just happens that my Son Ken, is named after this Cousin. The Cousin (and I am ashamed of this) whom I haven't seen since my Father died in 1968, a year before Ken (my son) was born. But, meet we did, discussed a lot of family history, and got a picture of him that I can show Ken.
Which brings me to Friday, the last day of vacation. The drive home was nearly 400 miles. The distance from Los Angeles to Sacramento. We pulled out of Kernville at 0800 and arrived home at just before 4:00 pm.
So that was the vacation. Didn't go quite as planned and I think the next time we'll go some place and stay a few days rather than one place a day. Back to fishing locally until July 9th when Ken and I are going to So Cal to meet up with my Brother and run up to his cabin at Big Bear Lake to do some fishing up there.
I'll drop in a couple more photos of Bodie with some history, on future posts.
Till the next time I get out, maybe Tomorrow or Tuesday.
Mark (Shoreman)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Second Post Today - Vacation Wednesday

One thing I missed from Tuesday was this grove of Quaking Aspens that we passed on the way to Bishop. Couple of things about Aspen Stands, they are typically clones representing one or more genetic lines. They can span an area as small as 2.5 acres or up to 50 acres. All stands spread by root suckering. Roots spreading to make more trees. A mature tree is often
60 ft high and 2 feet in diameter. Extraordinary trees can be 100 ft high and 3 feet in diameter.

Wednesday morning we left Lee Vining and traveled south to Bishop. We went on the June Lake loop that has several lakes including Grant, Gull, June, and Silver Lakes. I had been this way back in the 70's and wanted to fish Gull Lake. What a change 40 years makes. The place I fished previously was so different, I missed it on the first drive by. Back then, it was road, parking lot, lake. Now it's park, tall trees, condo's, motels, and you can't even see the lake from the road. Instead of fighting all that, I by passed it for another place.

The next stop was Convict Lake. Wind speed: pushing 30 mph. Nice lake but for the wind.

Had one of those light bulbs go off in my head. Drive up to the front of the lake and get behind the hill. Should be calmer, right? Not so, AND, just as we got there, so did the DFG stocking truck and about 10,000 people. They were on him like wolves on a dead deer. I wanted nothing to do with that riot.

On down the road we went and stopped at the Sierra Trout Magnet Fly Shop on the north end of Bishop. Chatted with the guys in the shop, picked up 4 nymphs (made in China and really small. Chinese must have little fingers. Size 16, I think) that are supposed to be really hot on the Owens River along with Thingamabobbers (forgot my indicators) and directions to the "hot spot". The spot (another one of those Scenic Wild Trout Rivers) was located downstream from Pleasant Valley Dam. Had I not had specific instructions from the fly shop, I would never have found the place. The land around the river is flat, scrub brush, and fenced to keep cattle in, which means lots, and I mean LOTS of cow poop.

Found a turnout to park, rigged up and walked to the river. Now you have to keep in mind, I've never really nymphed before, so this was a new experience for me. I put on one of these "hot" little nymphs (made in China), I have no idea what it was called, but I bought 4 just to have enough and a thingamabobber above the surgeon knot with a 6x tippet and into the water it went. "Fish the slow water" was what I was told, so fish the slow water I did. On the 4th cast, or so, I hooked the fish below.

Ha, belly picture.

Didn't realize until later that all I got was his belly. You'll have to take my word for it. It was a Brown, about 9 inches. Fished for another couple of hours and managed to lose all four of the nymphs to bushes, snags, or whatever. Called it a day. Thursday Morning I'll be back for another try.

Till Thursday's post.

Mark (Shoreman)

I'm Baaaaaack

Since I posted on Wednesday, I've not been able to get an Internet connection at any of the motels we stayed at, so now I'm playing catch up.

First thing I'd like to do is answer Clif's question about the cards for my blog. I decided, way back when I started this thing, that the best way to let people I meet know about the blog would be to have some type of note, card, or something to let them know where to find me. What I ended up with was Avery Business Card stock with Northern California Trout on the top, the URL in the middle, and my name on the bottom. That way I can carry (in my tackle box, truck, vest, etc) a small hand full and when I run into somebody fishing, I can say "Here, stop by my blog and check it out. Might be some help for you to catch more fish". So thats the story on the cards.

Monday afternoon was the East Fork of the Walker River where it runs out of Bridgeport Dam. Here are the pictures of up and down stream from where we where. you can see it's kind of shallow like I mentioned in the Tuesday post.

Wednesday morning we left for Bodie State Historical Park. Did I mention it's a ghost town? Here is the official landmark sign and a panorama of part of the town. I took 59 shots of the town and didn't want to download all of them. I'll stick in a few on the next bunch of posts.

Below is the reason you don't Take anything from Bodie.

The next five pictures are from Lundy Lake mentioned in the Vacation Tuesday post. Left, across, and right from where I was fishing.

First one on the left and the big one on the right.

The two below are Mono Lake on the left and the Tufa Towers on the right.

That's some of the pictures from Monday & Tuesday. I'll pick up Wednesday next post.
Till then.
Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vacation Tuesday

We left Bridgeport and went to Bodie State Historic Park. The town of Bodie was named after Waterman S. Body (also known as Bodey) who discovered gold there in 1859. The change in spelling of the town has often been attributed to an illiterate sign painter, but it was a deliberate change by the citizenry to ensure proper pronunciation. Body died the following year and it was two more years before the site was rediscovered. In 1879 Bodie boasted a population of 10,000 and was second to none for wickedness, badmen, and "the worst climate out of doors". One little girl, whose family was taking her to the remote and infamous town, wrote in her diary: "Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie". A phrase that became known throughout the West. More on this after I get back. I took a gazillion photos and will share a bunch.

After we left Bodie, drove to a little town called Lee Vining. Right on the edge of Yosemite National Park. Got our motel and wandered over to the local sports shop to find out where to fish. Lee Vining sits on the edge of Mono Lake. A lake reduced in size by the water being diverted to Los Angeles starting in 1941. The size of the lake has been reduced by 1/2 and the salinity has doubled. The change in the ecosystem of the lake caused calcium-carbonate spires and knobs to form and are now called Tufa Towers. I have pictures and more later.

Back to the sports shop. Mono Lake was obviously out, so the next option would be stream or lake. Guy sent me to a lake called Lundy Lake. Seven miles back and five miles up the canyon. Beautiful high mountain lake. Crystal clear water, surrounded by snow covered mountains, and fairly easy access. He said, fish with salmon eggs. I picked up a jar at the store (got to pay for info, you know) and drove over to the lake. On the way to the lake, I noticed a small stream running along side the road. More about that later. Got to the lake, set up where he said (left of the boat docks) and put out one rod with salmon eggs on a slip sinker rig. Yeh, the other one went out with Rainbow Power Bait. Who am I to listen to the locals that are supposed to know everything. You guys know me better than that.

The rig with the salmon eggs produced one nice fat 12", and I might add, beautifully colored Rainbow. Pictures of the fish in the water to follow. I released him for another day. But the Power Bait, the first one I caught was in the area of one to one and a half pounds and again, beautifully colored. I gave that one to some young ladies fishing next to me that had a few on a stringer and were taking them back home. The third one was smaller, about 11", so I released him for another day (pictures to follow). It was warm, but windy on the lake, so I called it after about 45 minutes. Gave the girls some info on the fluorocarbon leader, couple of cards for my blog and rolled down the road. By this time is was 1600 and the sun was dipping behind the mountains. Sun dips fast when the mountain is 8000 or 9000 ft.

But on the way back, I HAD to stop at that stream since I wouldn't be by here again. Rigged up my fly rod with floating line, a small red bait hook, and a pink Power Egg. I drifted a small area at a day use site and I think I had one hit right by a bunch of bushes hanging over the water. Tried a couple of smaller areas, but didn't see anything. Hard to get to the creek after that. Too many bushes on the side, no access.

Well, that's day 2. Today we're off to Bishop and planning to stop on the June Lake Loop and see what I can turn up there.

Till I can get back online.

Mark (Shoreman)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finally an Internet Connection

Hi everybody.

Day 2 of the vacation and we finally got an Internet connection. Yesterday (Monday) we pulled out of the house at 1000, got over the hill, and stopped at Wolf Creek Restaurant in Markleeville for lunch. A place I would recommend to anyone passing through Markleeville. On the way over, passed the West Fork of the Carson River. Running high, but not flood stage by any means. A lot of people fishing at the handicapped parking area.

Passed the East Fork of the Carson on the way over Monitor Pass to Highway 395. It was running high also, but not flood stage either. Down Highway 395 past the West Fork of the Walker River. This river was at, what I'd call flood stage. No fishing here. Then on to Bridgeport and checked into the motel. The motel was on the side of a small creek about the color of rootbeer. I checked in with the local sporting goods shop and the guy there said that the creek "might" have small trout in it, but he wasn't sure. He sent me to Bridgeport Reservoir if I wanted lake fishing or the East Fork of the Walker River for fly fishing.

The East Fork of the Walker River is a dedicated Wild Fishery so artificial lure and barbless was in order. Before I left the sport shop, I asked the guy what was catching fish on the East Fork and he said Caddis was best during the day and streamers just after sunrise.

Got to the river and wadered up, rigged up my rod with floating line, and the wife and I walked to the river. I surprised when I got there that the river was only about 20 feet across and probably 2 feet deep at the deepest part. Good tailwater with a lot of fish (Rainbows & Browns) per mile. I don't have a figure, but will research when I get back.

Happened to have an Elk Hair Caddis in my dry fly box, so I crimped the hook and tossed it out. The first thing I noticed, or didn't notice was the fly. With the water being so shallow (middle if the river was mid-calf), there was a lot of white water on the surface and completely obliterated the fly. You just couldn't see it. I switched to a Marabou Streamer in black. While I was tying it on, I had another one of those idiot fishermen walk right through where I was fishing, right in the middle of the stream. You know how I feel about them. Fished about a half mile of the river with the black one, a burgandy one, olive one, and finally put on a black nosed dace, just to try. Nothing turned up anything. Fish 1, Shoreman 0.

That wrapped up day one. I have some pictures and will post them when I get home. Can't download them to the laptop. I'll put out day 2 the next time I can get a connection.

The fishing got better today. Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Off for Vacation

Planning to hit the Eastern Sierra next week for some rest for the wife and some fishing for me. I don't have any expectations because I've heard rumbles of flooding on the East Walker River and heavy run off on a lot of the other streams.

ALTHOUGH, I bounced over to the DFG stocking site and next week in District 6 (Inyo & Mono Counties) the plan is to stock 41 creeks and lakes. I think I can take advantage of several of those locations.

I'm taking the laptop and am not sure if I'll be able to post during the week, but if I can, I will. If not, as soon as I get back I'll start updating.

I'll also try to keep up with what everyone else is doing.

Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman or Vacationman as the case might be)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What a Difference 4 Days Make

Last Sunday I posted about the ice still on Red Lake, Caples Lake, and Silver Lake. Well, this morning all were open. Caples still had some ice on the back side, but the majority of the lake was open. What a difference 4 days make.

Red Lake was open and I've been chomping at the bit to get up there and try out some flies. Grabbed my rod and fly bag and was out the door at 0630. Stopped at Cooks Station for coffee and was at Red Lake at 0730. My usual fishing spot was open and the out look was good. I picked today instead of tomorrow because it's supposed to be really windy tomorrow.

I guess someone forgot to tell the weather guessers that the wind was supposed to be tomorrow not today. Off the snow on Carson Pass (8000 ft elevation), down across the lake and right in your face at, and this is only a guess, 20 to 25 mph. The only good thing is that it came in waves and if you've ever fish a lake when it was windy like this, you know you can see the gust coming.

So I rigged up my fly rod with the intermediate sinking line and waited for a lull. During those lulls, I put out (about 20 casts each) a Bumble Bee Bugger, Marabou Streamer in both burgandy/black and red/yellow, and a yellow cone head rubber leggs thing (kind of looks like a Wooly bugger) I got at the fly shop. Nothing. Again, I think the water is too cold. I've been using a stripping finger cover and it damn near froze on my finger.

During this time, I had my small spinning rod out with the usual slip sinker rig and Rainbow Power Bait. I caught something, but I have no idea what it was. I got it out of the water and held it up by the hook, but before I could get a good look at it, it flipped off the hook and back into the water. It was about 8" long and looked like a sardine. Thin and skinny.

After an hour and a half of this cold wind in my face, I'm talking hoodie, and gloves, I packed up and went back to Caples Lake. Found the same spot I fished on Sunday (the other side was still a foot or more snow) and put out 2 lines of Power Bait. I managed one small Rainbow and that was it for a good hour of fishing time.

Packed up and on the way back, stopped at Bear River Reservoir. Since I was there the last time on Memorial Day, the lake has risen at least 20 feet and is at capacity. Fishing off the dam itself, using my fly rod, I put out a Sprinkle Me Baby and an Olive Wooly Bugger, but nothing here either. The only fish I saw was caught by floating a night crawler under a bobber, was a pretty good sized one, about 12 or 13 inches.

Nothing to show for a bunch of wet flies, now drying on my desktop. Guess I'll just have to wait for it to get warmer. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of the low 50's up there.

Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

American River and Shad 2010 Part 4

I got to the River at 0730, donned my waders and walked to the spot where we fish. Since last weekend there has been talk about the big water releases from Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River. I didn't even think about increased releases or to even look at them in the American. Last Wednesday the release from Lake Natoma Dam was 4929 cfs. Today the release is 6706 cfs. Doesn't seem like a lot more, but in the picture below where we stand to fish, it's the difference between water that is ankle deep, to water that was half way up your thigh. See, you have to get out past the bushes on the side to drift your jig. A pretty steep drop. The river flow is right to left.

OK, back to fishing. My old brain has been working since the last time I was down because, damn it, I want to catch a Shad on my fly rod. So logic tells me to use the same jig that I use on a spinner. Problem is, once you put the jig on and add a couple of split shot (to get the jig to the bottom), you have a 1/2 oz of weight on the line. Solution? Put a smaller jig head on and less split shot. Drop the line out a ways, let out some more line, back swing and, snagged in the weeds. Sure, I got a picture of that too. This is DIRECTLY behind where you stand. Lots of places to catch your jig.

I did manage to get a bunch of casts with the fly rod and even got one big hit, but the time I spent untangling the jig from the bushes, out weights any chance to catch anything. So I went back to spinning. I did manage to land one and since I was no longer skunked, went back to the fly rod. I am a glutton for punishment, but I am determined. After another hour of weed fishing, I called it a day. Catching all those weeds wears a person out.
On the walk out, I snapped a picture of the California Poppy (State flower) for your enjoyment.
Well, that's it for Shad fishing until I get back from vacation next week. We're taking the laptop, so if I find any interesting lakes or streams, I'll report back. I still think I can get one more day up at Bear, maybe Thursday or Friday. I'll let you know.
Till then.
Mark (Shoreman)

A New Milestone

Noticed this morning that I now have 60 followers. I never thought that on January 7, 2009 when I did my first post on this blog, that it would ever grow to what it has. 60 people that are looking at what I write. Not everyone, all the time, but a lot. The little revolver map tells the tale.

A lot of you stop by and see what I have to say and many of you leave comments. I appreciate ALL of you taking time out of your day to do this. It means a lot. I've made a lot of new friends in the last year and a half and I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you.

I'm looking forward to the future posts where, if I can achieve it, helping someone, anyone catch more fish. That's what this blog was designed for and that's the way it will stay.

I started this post at 6:22am this morning, put it on hold and ran down to Sacramento to dip my rod in the American for Shad. It's now 1:45pm and I'm going to do another post on that trip.

Thanks again to each and every one of the 60 followers.

Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Visit By The B-52 Moth

Since everybody in Blogdom is getting Naturefied (I don't think this is a real word, but fits), I thought I'd throw in something. This morning while I was hosing off the front deck, I noticed this huge moth sitting on the table. Since it was so big, I snapped a photo and thought I'd share it with everyone. I'm much better taking pictures when I don't leave the camera in the truck.
I did a little research and found out this moth is called the Polyphemus Moth. The Polyphemus Moth is one of our biggest moths, growing up to a 5 1/2 inch wingspan. It has brownish-yellow wings with a black and white, wavy line on each. It has a small, mostly yellow eyespot on each forewing (front wings), and larger blue, black, and yellow eyespots on the hindwings. Underneath, the moths' wings look like dead leaves.Polyphemus Moths are usually found in forests, but can also be seen in marshes and parks.
After the egg hatches, it becomes a big fat green caterpillar (Caterpillars are bright green with yellow stripes and red and silver spots. They also have a brown "v" on their rears. They grow up to 3 1/2 inches long.) which eats everything. Maybe not everything, but the list is long.
My thanks to the Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools website for the information on the Polyphemus Moth. If you wish to see more on this HUGE moth, here is the link.
Till next time.
Mark (Shoreman or maybe Mothman)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Aaaaah Ice Out, Sort Of

I wanted my wife to have a day of peace and rest, she works very hard during the week, without my mug to look at, so I headed up the hill with the intention of putting the Float Tube Cumberland in Bear River Reservoir. I stopped for coffee at Cooks Station and off I went. At the turn off for Bear River, I changed my mind and decided, since it's been getting warm, to see what Silver Lake, Caples Lake, and Red Lake look like.

Silver Lake is opening up nicely, but still ice on the lake. I bypassed Caples in the hopes that Red Lake would be open. I got as far as Carson summit and the only open water on Red Lake was about the size of a fifty cent piece. It was probably a bit larger when you got to the lake, but that's what it looked like from the 8000 ft pass. Besides, it was on the wrong side of the lake. You'd have to 4x4 it through snow drifts just to get to that side.

Turned around and went back to Caples Lake. As you can see from the pictures below, it's opening rapidly.

The open area is about 30 feet from the shore. Then ice and snow on the other side. That's the side I'd rather fish, but beggers can't be choosy. Wormed my way down the boulders to a spot where I could stand, sit, and put my tackle box. With the ice still on the water, I didn't think flies would be the way to go, so I put out two rods with Rainbow Power Bait.

The first fish was a 9" Rainbow. No picture, everybody knows what a Rainbow looks like. Second fish was the Brown in the picture below. About 13" and lip hooked. Released both the Rainbow and this Brown, plus the next Rainbow which was about 13" too.

All 7 of the fish I caught today (I brought 4 home) , were holdovers since there hasn't been any stocking here yet. Five Rainbows and two Browns. The problem I had using two poles, was that the fish were not biting very hard. My guess was the water was too cold for any aggression. The line would straighten and if you weren't holding the rod, FISH GONE. Of course, the line that straightened was always the one I was not holding.

I did see a couple of surface hits on what ever was floating by, so I went up and got my fly rod with the sinking line and tried a couple of flies. Tried Mickey Finn, Black Marabou Leech, and a Black Wooly Bugger. Thought something bigger would interest them, but no cigar. Just too cold.

Exciting, but I still would have rather fished Red Lake. Soon, very soon.

That's about it for now. Heading down to Sacramento to hit the American for Shad early next week. Have to wait a little until the toasting I got today turns from bright red to brown. Want to get one on my fly rod while they are running hot and heavy.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

American River and Shad

Talked to Rich via email the other day and told him I was coming down to Sacramento today to beat on the Shad for a while. Rich said he'd meet me at the usual place, but not until about noon as he had a doctor's appointment.

I rolled out of the house at 0730 when the wife left for work and got to the river just before 0900. Ran into a couple of guys in the parking lot (Bob & Ed, Bob is one of this blogs followers known as Tulefrog) and chatted for a while, got wadered up and was on the river at 0900. The usual spots were taken so I moved upstream a bit and started casting my shad flies (I picked up at Kiene's fly shop) on my fly rod with the intermediate sinking line. Didn't get any interest, but as I reflect on the day, I think I just forgot how to fish for shad. The other thing about swinging a fly rod on the river is that there is a bunch of bushes all over. You do a lot of roll casting. Next time down, I'll have a better idea of what I'm doing.

So back to my spinning rod with 4# line and the little pink grub on a pink jig head I used last year. Picture below.

Twenty, thirty casts where I was and nothing, so I walked back to where Bob & Ed were fishing. Sounded like they were catching a few, so I'd thought watch and take notes. Turns out, in chatting with them again, they know Rich and Mark (everybody knows Rich and Mark) and Mark taught them how to fish for shad. Small world, huh. Well, they invited me to slide in beside them and the catching started.

Between about 10:00 and 11:30 I caught 3, Bob caught 3, and Ed caught 3. The guys had to leave at 11:30 for a previous appointment, so I took the opportunity to run to Der Weinie Dog for a couple of chili-cheese dogs and a soda.

Got back at Noon and went back to the usual spot and started fishing again. landed one and then Rich and Mark showed up. We chatted for a while and then I hooked another (this makes 5). This time Mark had his handy dandy Rapala Digital Scale, I left mine in the truck. Another dummy move because I left my camera in the truck too. Sometimes I am a real bonehead. Anyway the last one I caught look something like the picture below, except bigger.

It weighted in at a hefty 3.21 lbs. For the next hour or so I swung the grub and couldn't find a shad interested in biting. By then I was pretty much done for the day, so I wrapped it up, said my good by's and headed back to the truck. Man, I have to say, I was sore. Sore from standing on a sloping river bed, sloping river bank, and sore from just being fried by the sun. What a great day.
Well, that's it for this adventure. I'm thinking about putting the Float tube Cumberland in Bear River Reservoir on Friday. I'll see if I can swing it.
Till the next adventure.
Mark (Shoreman) OH, one quick teaser. Eastern Sierra. Very soon.