Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Ghost Of Carbon Canyon

Summer, the late 1960’s. This is a true story.

There were six of us who used to hang out together. Actually three of us were roommates. The other three were girl friends. The three guys decided we wanted to put a little scare into the girls by taking them to see the Ghost of Carbon Canyon. Yuk, Yuk.

Carbon Canyon is Southeast of Los Angeles in Southern California. Rolling hills that are common to the Chino, California area. As the story goes, a couple were parked at the local make out place at Carbon Canyon , doing things that couples do when parked, and somebody killed them. The ghost comes into the picture this way: He waits, at least we think it’s a he, on the hill top for couples to park below. He or she then comes down the hill to see if anyone is related to the person that killed the couple. If they are not, the ghost disappears. If they are, the ghost climbs over the gate and approaches the car with the intention to kill that person. Revenge for their own death.

The six of us piled into my 1959 Chevrolet and headed out. We kind of wandered through a few canyons telling ghost stories and generally being the buttheads that young men can be. Oh, this was going to be fun. Oddly enough, one of the places we went through was a little town called Sleepy Hollow. That was enough to put up the hair on the back of your neck.

We got to the “parking” spot and I backed in the car. Wanted to be sure we could get out in a hurry if need be. Another show of macho buttheadism. Sat there, talked, listened to the radio, and generally had a good time.

On the top of the hill in front of us, a light appeared. In that light, an apparition of some sort (all white mind you) also appeared. Six people in the car almost crapped. Then it got worse. The apparition started down the hill toward the gate. By then, I was trying to get the car started. You know how that is, when in a panic, you can’t even get the key into the ignition. Half way down the hill, the apparition and the light disappeared. Some calm returned to the car.

Thirty seconds later, the light and the apparition reappeared and proceeded to the bottom of the hill and approached the gate. At the instant it stopped at the gate, there was a huge ringing sound. The sound of a gong of some type is the best way I can explain it. By then I had gotten the key into the ignition and panic had returned to the car.

In the split second it took to start the car, we noticed the apparition crossing the gate and starting toward the car. Flying dirt and squealing tires on pavement and we were out of there.

We never went back, ever.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Guy's A Celebrity - Not

Jeeeze, you guys know me better than that. Although I do have to brag a little.

Check it out.

Please, no throwing stones.


Happy Halloween - A Little Early

Some of you on my distribution list have already seen this, but you can watch again if you want.

Click Here

Make sure your sound is on.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Day Of Firsts

I'd like to thank Dan Short for being my 80th follower. That's a first.

On to today. As mentioned when I posted yesterday, I went back up to Bear River with my fly rod. Got there just as the sun was peeking over the hill. I'd call this 0dark30.
Rigged up my lake rod with the intermediate sinking line and a brown San Juan Worm in size 10. Got a lot of bumps on it, but couldn't get any to hang on. Switched to a size 8 black Wooly Bugger and continued to get bumps, but nobody would hang on. So, I thought "What would the guys do?" Go smaller of course. So I went smaller. Size 10 was the smallest Wooly bugger I had, but that did the trick. Put on an olive WB and caught one small Rainbow on a size 10. I would have taken a picture, but I couldn't get the camera out of my back pocket and once I did, I couldn't get it turned on. I was just all thumbs. Didn't want to hold him out of the water too long.
An olive Wooly Bugger I tied. Another first.
Just so you can get an idea of how the day went, the fly on the left is the size 10 Wooly Bugger after the first fish. A bit beat up. The little thing on the right was a brown San Juan Worm. Really beat up.
Since that WB was pretty much trashed, I put on another (that I tied) and proceeded to land this Brown that I guesstimated to be 14 inches. By this time I had the camera out and sitting on a rock waiting for the next fish. At least I hoped for the next fish and got the shot.
After that, there wasn't any more interest in Wooly Buggers, so I switched to a black Jay Fair Wiggle Tail in size 8. Couple of casts and landed one in the 10 inch range. No picture. Too busy, I was on the Jazz. And of course, as soon as you're on the Jazz, Mother Nature slaps you back in line.
I tried several more flies (Wooly Worm, Clouser Deep Minnow, Beadhead Thin Mint, and a couple more shots with black & olive WB's). Got some bumps here and there, but nothing hooked up. Lost several flies on the back cast because of the rocks behind me. Found a couple, but I think I lost 4 or 5.
So I gave up on the fly thing and brought out the spinning gear for a little Power Bait dunking. Fished until 1:00pm, landed seven and put 4 on the stringer for Bob.
Ran into a couple from Modesto who weren't doing too well in the catch department. Inquired what they were using and found out it was chartreuse Power Bait. Gave them a half bottle of Rainbow and the catch was on. I don't know how many they got because I didn't see them leave, but the last time I checked, he was getting hits all over the place. Hope they got a bunch.
Word has it that the Trout Pond, you remember the Trout Pond from last Winter, has been stocked with 10,000 pounds of trout. Looks like next week I'll have to launch the Float Tube Cumberland in the Pond. I'll let you know how that goes.
Till the next adventure. Sorry, only two firsts (three if you count both the fish I caught on the flies I tied), but big firsts none the less.
As always, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Bakers Dozen

Last Sunday we got clobbered with a Winterlike storm. More than 6 inches of rain. My pond went from green stuff all over the surface to clean in one day. The green stuff went down the creek toward the canyon below. Ok by me.

The weather guessers said that the snow level would be high (8500 -9000 ft) since it was a warm storm. Then Monday morning they show snow at the cabins at Bear River Reservoir (elevation 5850').

Wanting to squeeze out all the fishing I could at Red Lake before it ices over. I jumped into the truck and up the road I went. Not know what to expect, I did a documentary as I drove up the road.

No snow here, but coffee at Cook's Station.

None here either. Above the Bear River elevation.

Must be getting closer, one would think.

There it is. Pretty high. Actually I hit the first snow at about 7500'.

That's as high as it gets.

Got to Red Lake at 0830 and sure enough, snow there too.

Not only snow, but wind. In your face, wind. Rigged up my fly rod with the intermediate sinking line and tried to put out a pink/black Wooly Bugger (trying to imitate a Rainbow Kastmaster). Wind in your face, I couldn't get it out more than about 5 feet from shore. Put a little split shot on and made it to, maybe 8 feet. Back to the truck and out with the spinning gear.
Remember back on the August 29th post? The one that was titled Brrrrrrr, Damn That Was Cold ? Huh, that had nothing on yesterday. I can't remember the last time I was that cold. I had on a fleece lined parka and fleece lined gloves with chemical heaters in both and still froze. Should have had my thermals. CRAP, they were in my gear bag and I forgot. Senior moment.
Anyway, I lasted about an hour and in that hour I managed two small cutts (9" or so) and one small Brookie (about the same) and that was all I could take. Back into the truck, turn the heater to blasting and head home.
Past Caples, past Silver Lake, and decided to see if the road to Bear was still open. Yup, open. Drove down to the lake and parked by the dam. Out with Power bait on one rod. Thought I'd better get some for Bob (I plow for fish) since the snow is coming. Before I could get the second one rigged I had a hit on the first one. Reared back to set the hook, nothing. What the hell? Back out again, same thing. What, the fish are getting smart? Not a chance.

Next time I let it hit and hit and hit and finally set the hook. A little 9 incher, lip hooked. Back for another day. Aaah, they are playing with the bait. Next one, same thing. Hit, hit, hit and a little 9 incher again. Back for another day. After wasting a half bottle of Power Bait, I noticed a couple of big ones crusing by the shore about 10 feet out. I'd been fishing at 25' - 30' out. Put on a ball of PB and dropped it right where I'd seen the fish. The bait never hit the bottom and, "fish on". A nice 11 incher.
Did I mention it was a hell of a lot warmer at Bear River? Hoodie, no gloves, and a slight breeze. managed to put 5 nice ones on the stringer for Bob and release the other 5 for a total of 13 for the day. A bakers dozen. The one thing I did notice is that I got a lot of followups when I reeled in a bare hook with a pine needle, that I'd snagged, on it. Think I might go back up tomorrow and break out the fly rod with a brown San Juan Worm or maybe a brown Wooly Bugger and see what happens. I'd be there today, but doctor appointment at 0930.

Well, that was an exciting day and cold, man I didn't think I'd ever thaw out.
Till next time.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Couple Of Fairly New Guys On The Block

I ran across a couple of blogs that I thought were good. They don't have a big following and I hoped that many of you would stop by.

First is Fly tying Old and New. Normand has some good looking flies on his site and he provides the recipe. He's from Connecticut and has 9 followers. I think he needs more.

Second is California Fly Fishing. Frank's a Northern California Boy and fishes the Truckee River (I've got to get up there) a lot. I think you'll like his posts.

Third is The Grey Sulfur. Dan talks about bears and Brook Trout. Right down my alley. He's only been posting since February of this year and has 15 followers. He could use a few more also.

I've passed these three along to Rebecca to solicit for OBN and should see them on board as soon as she gets back from her current fishing expedition. We are a big family, but always have room for more. I'll be stopping in as they post and hope you will too.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

A New Lake

Under strict instructions from the boss (the wife), I was dispatched to Apple Hill to obtain Mutsu Apples for apple pie filling. Hard instructions considering I reap the benefits of most of the apple pies. Since we'd been there before, I knew that Boa Vista Orchards was the place to go. The other thing I knew was that you don't go on the weekends in the Fall. It's a bumper to bumper, wait until mold grows on you, kind of trip.

After obtaining the apples, the next stop was the supermarket to get pie shells, lids for the canning jars, and Fruit Fresh, the stuff that keeps the apples from turning brown until you can get them canned.

That done, I was free to head up the hill for a day of fishing. I headed up Crystal Basin Rd toward Loon Lake. There are three big lakes on this road. Ice House Reservoir (which I mentioned in a few past posts), Union Valley Reservoir (which I've never fished), and Loon Lake.

The last time I was at Loon Lake (elevation 6500') was 15 or so, years ago and in the dead of Winter. The side of the road was snow about 9 feet high. It was like driving through a tunnel. Obviously I didn't fish.

So when I got there (knowing nothing about the lake) I picked a spot near the dam (dams are usually good for me) and walked to the water.

It had taken me several hours to make the run through Apple Hill, the supermarket, and the run up to the lake, that I just took one rod and a box of lures down. I used a fan pattern with Kastmasters in Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Firetiger along with Panther Martin's in gold & silver. I had no expectations and was rewarded thusly. Is that a word, thusly? Anyway, zippo in the catch department. That's OK though, I enjoyed the drive. Ended up driving some 200 miles all told.

We are expecting a storm to arrive starting tomorrow and go through Monday and as always, the storm arrives early in the mountains as you can see from the shot below. Just to omen of things to come.

I also put a couple of shots over on California Dreaming, so stop by and check them out. More to come. That's it for today. Till next time.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

My New Blog

I've bounced around this idea for a while now and decided it's time to go forward with my second blog. I've been inspired by the photo blogs of "My Optic Life", "The Florida Fotographer", and "A Year On The Fly" although Joel's are paintings instead of pictures.

Yesterday I launched "California Dreaming".

When I was coming back from the lakes, I was in awe of the beauty of the area in which I live, it being Fall and all. Many of you have commented about this as I've posted photo's with my reports. When I take pictures during a trip, I generally take a bunch and only post one or two. I wanted to have a venue to share with you, the rest of the shots (that I consider of value) I take. So here it is.

Please keep in mind that I don't have one of those cool Nikon cameras with a huge telephoto lens that takes wonderful shot each and every time. You know, the kind you see on the sidelines at a football game. I was at a Kenny Rogers concert many years ago and I remember a remark he made about a guy in the front row with one ot those types of cameras. he said "That guy in the front row is taking pictures of the hair in my nose". Not going to be those types of shots. Besides, who want to look at someone elses nose hairs?

Since I carry the camera with me all the time, I should be able to keep up a good selection of shots of Northern California for your enjoyment. I hope you'll come visit California Dreaming .


Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Day That Would Beat You Senseless

My wife had made plans to have lunch with a girl friend, leaving me free to wander up to the lakes.

Plan A - Take the Float Tube Cumberland up to Upper Blue Lake and flipper around while stripping a Wooly Bugger to see what happens. Everything loaded and off I went. Last night watching the local weather guesser, he noted that the wind was going to be from the Southwest (this is where storms come from in California) to the tune of 10 to 20 mph. Naw, couldn't be that bad up there. Yup, it was pretty close. Obviously I didn't launch the Float Tube Cumberland. The wind was in your face, somewhere between (keep in mind I don't carry a wind gauge like those remote TV guys do) 10 & 15 mph. So I took a box of lures and one of my spinning rods and soaked about 10 of them. Apparently the fish were hiding. This is what it looked like, weatherwise. If you double click on the picture, you'll notice a bird of some kind flying just to the right of the right side dead tree. Didn't know it was there until I got home and enlarged the shot.

Plan B - Red Lake. If I thought it was bad at Blue Lake, Huh. Wind off the mountain, cold, and in your face at least 15 mph consistant. In fact, it was blowing so hard, I could have used a little Superglue to hold my ball cap on. Fortunately when it did blow off, it was on the shore side. I did land one female Brookie in the 9" range (C&R) on a silver Panther Martin. That was it. I also managed a shot of the Fall color across the lake for your enjoyment. It's beautiful country up there.

Plan C - Caples Lake. Hey, they're on the way home. Parked and walked over to the sandy side of the spillway. Put out two slip sinker rigs with Rainbow Power Bait and parked my butt on a very nice, flat, rock. One small Rainbow hit immediately, lip hooked and released. That was it. Sat for another hour with the wind blowing (not quite as hard at Red & Blue), packed up and went home. So much for plan A, B, & C. Hope my wifes lunch went better than my fishing.

Till next time.


Friday, October 8, 2010

A Friday Trip

Well, Old Man Winter has come to the Sierras. We've had rain for the last three days and with rain comes snow in the high country. This morning, this was the scene just before Red Lake.

I was on my way to try Heenan Lake, this time without the float tube. Just fishing from the shore. This time I got a shot of the ramp I told you about on the September 24th post. From the parking lot to the water. Apparently not a problem for a lot of float tubers, as there were a bunch on the lake. You can see, if you double click on the picture, a truck at the bottom of the ramp.

This will give you an idea of the size of the lake. It took 5 shots to get all the way around.

I fished from the launch ramp as far as you can see, in the far left picture (of the 3) above. I used Kastmasters and Panther Martins in a fan motion to try and get as much coverage as possible. Then I fished from the launch ramp all the way around the corner in the right hand shot
(of the 2). A distance of about a mile.

I got no bumps, hits, or fish. The only comment I heard about a fish caught, was from a float tuber that got one by the dam early on and wouldn't give up what he caught it on.

That was it for Heenan Lake. There are supposed to be big Cutthroats in this lake, but I'm not sure, based on what I saw and heard, that this lake is worth the trouble.
So, since I had a little time, I would drive back to Caples and soak a little Power Bait. But you know me, I can't resist a stop at Red Lake. It's right there. Grabbed my rods and picked a spot a little farther than where I usually fish. Hooked two on a silver Kastmaster and the the one below on a Rainbow Kastmaster. It measured 14 inches. The colors were too beautiful, I couldn't keep it. All three went back for another day.
Around Noon, the wind came up (that good old wind off the mountain that drops the temperature about 20 degrees) and with the wind, the bite stopped. I packed up and headed home.

That's it for a Friday trip. Till next time.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deer Season

With the coming of Fall and the trees changing colors, deer season is inevitable. In Amador County, this year, it begins on September 25th and ends on Halloween. You all know I'm not a hunter, so this is just a report and a photo op.

A tree that I didn't know was on the property.

Generally when the first shot of deer season occurs, you don't see a deer (male or female) until weeks after the end of the season. They just seem to know. Last night, I had the pleasure of a couple of the boys from the neighborhood stoping by for a photo op. Here's what I gathered from the way they sauntered across my front yard. I was standing on the porch when I took these pictures.
La Te Da, not a care in the world.
Hey, who are you? Are you a threat to me?
Nope, let's keep going. La Te Da.
Guess they felt safe enough even though they weren't more than about 100 ft from me.
Last Friday when I was up at Tamarack Lake, I ran across a couple of deer hunters. they asked if I'd seen any deer? "Sure, in my front yard, all the time". Wouldn't tell them where I lived, though.
Till next time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A New Place Part Trois

Back to the Mokelumne for a third try. Had a dentist appointment and since I was already in town, thought I'd just run over to the Mokelumne and see if my previous idea would work.

Stopped and picked up a tub of mini-crawlers (what trout doesn't like a nice, fat, juicy, mini-crawler?) and drove up the river to the last area I had fished. Water was deep, fish were hitting the surface, and I was ready.

Tied on a couple of feet of 4# flurorcarbon on the end of my line with a double surgeon knot along with a #6 bait hook, threaded on a crawler and out it went.

That was it, it just sat there. OK, put a bobber on with 3 feet of line below and out it went again. Still sat there. Fish still working the surface hard. For what? I couldn't see anything that looked like a bug and I couldn't see what they were taking off the surface, but they were really going at it. Shortened the line below the bobber. Still nothing. Walked up and got my other rod with the thought of tossing lures.

Ran into a guy in the parking lot and he said he'd been trying to catch them on several occasions and couldn't hook one. Said they were Kokanee. That apparently is a horse (or fish) of a different color.

When I got home (half hour or so, ago) I looked up flies for Kokanee on the (everything is out there) Internet. Here's a list of what I came up with and if anyone has one to add, please let me know.

1. San Juan Worm (I have several colors, including red)
2. Red egg patterns (I have several)
3. Red Copper John ( I have one)
4. Pink Crazy Charlie (looks like a Clouser Deep Minnow and I think it's too big for these fish)
5. Mysis Shrimp pattern (something for my next "special" fly order because my fingers are too fat to tie itty, bitty, flies)

All the sites say red. I'm open for any help you can provide.

As far as the title of this post, I thank iGoogle translation because I have no knowledge of the French language, but I started it, so I'll finish it.

Till next time.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

You're Gonna Love This

Three or four times a year, my wife and I meet up with a couple that we've known for years and do the wine tasting tour thing. We generally hit the local wineries in either El Dorado or Amador County.

Today we decided to tour Amador County. The wife and I live in Amador County, so it made it easy to get from one, to the next winery. I know most of you have done this at one time or another, so you know it's stop, sip, and buy a couple of bottles.

The Shoreman being a non-wine drinker, for the most part, ends up being the designated driver for the group. We went here and there and stopped at one called Bray Vineyards.

Now you all know me and the weird flies (Montreal Bucktail Whore & Red Naked Lady) and of course, the outhouse thing in the last two posts. Well, I saw this and I just knew I had to share it with you.

Brayzin Hussy Red. A red wine.

What more can I say. Oh, they also had a Brayzin Hussy Blonde (white wine). If you've got a minute, stop by and check out their website.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with this vineyard. I received nothing from them for putting this on my blog. It's one of those things that I put here because I enjoy sharing these kind of things that I run across in my travels.

OK, so I'm a little weird. Life is too short not to have a good time.

Our friends at staying at the Volcano Union Inn in beautiful downtown Volcano (population 103). Again, I am not affiliated with this inn. I received nothing from them for putting this in my blog.

Here is a little history about the inn: The Union Inn Hotel was built in 1880 by four itinerate French Canadians for $400. It was a boarding house for hard-working miners and locals until the 1920's. It enjoyed a brief reawakening in the 1950's, and thereafter it was, by turns, vacant and empty, a private residence, and finally it was restored into a lovely destination in 2000 by the David/Burney Family. Now the Volcano Union Inn is reborn as a California Pub and Four-Room Bed and Breakfast in the picturesque village of Volcano, deep in the heart of Amador County and the California Gold Country.

Just a little something about the beautiful country Shoreman lives in and a wine with a real interesting name.

Well, until I'm off on the next adventure.


Friday, October 1, 2010

The Bare Butt

I let everyone that stopped by overnight, ponder this shot. Couple of commenters thought it was real. It's a mannequin.
It would be my guess that the purpose of this "piece of art" is the no dumping sign. Just a very artful way of expressing something we in blogdom are highly aware of. A good many of the fisherman out there are pigs.
Yesterday, as I was fishing and collecting junk, I came across worm boxes, beer cans, lids off Power Bait jars, and some assorted, discarded line. Oh, I did add a Luhr Jensen Krocodile lure (silver with an orange stripe, no hook) to the window sill collection.
That's the story. I hope I picqued your interest. A little humor is always good at the end of the week.
As always, thanks for stopping by.