Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Standing in a River Waving a Stick

There's been a couple of posts about John Gierach's book "Fool's Paradise". I read it at the end of last year and thought it a great book. For Christmas last year, my wife bought me another of John Gierach's book "Standing in a River Waving a Stick". I just wanted to pass along, that this one is just as good as "Fool's Paradise". I recommend it to everyone.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Yesterday I had errands to run in Sacramento and decided to "Stand in a River an Wave a Stick" for a little while. The Steelhead thing. I spent an hour and a half swinging flies, but didn't even get a bump. What I did get, was a dog barking for an hour and a half, just across the river, in someone's back yard. I'll bet the neighbors love them. I'm destine to kill something. Either that guy from the November 25th post, the guy from the February 2nd post, or that dog. Ran into a couple of guys as I was leaving and they said the dog barked all day Sunday too. They were ready to kill it. OK, I'm not going to kill anything, but the urge is there.

I think I'm going to give up the Steelhead thing and go back to just fishing for trout in the lakes, rivers, and creeks. They are much more cooperative. OR, maybe I'll try Steelhead with spinning gear a couple of times, since I've already paid for the Steelhead Card (twice I might add) and see what happens. I am a glutton for punishment.

OK, check out John Gierach's book. Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Big & Little of it

On Wednesday, I drove over to Lake Tabeaud (Taboo) to try the Power Worm thing that worked so well at the Trout Pond on Monday. I figured that I'd start at the inlet and fish out toward the open lake. There was so much slime (the only way I can describe it) on the rocks and dirt that I slipped going down and almost, I repeat almost, went into the lake. Enough said.
Since my left knee was one of the casualities of Wednesday and my back was the other, I decided to fish the Trout Pond today from the bank instead of the float tube. Hard to flipper when your knee went South on you. Set up the slip sinker rig with Rainbow Power Bait (I don't know why, since the trout have not been biting on any bait lately). Rigged up the other rod with a clear bobber full of water and an orange Power Worm. A dozen casts or so later, I hooked a 12", 9 oz (courtesy of my Berkley Digital Scale). The smallest fish that I've caught since going to the pond.
Fished a while longer with orange, changed to chartreuse, then white and nothing further. Tried all the colors of Kastmaster, black & yellow Panther Martin's, Firetiger Little Cleo, and even a white Mepps. I was not getting any cooperation. Finally I decided to try a Firetiger (F09FT) Rapala. That was the trick. On the 6th or so cast, landed an 18" 2 lb 12 oz fish. Couple of casts later, got a big bump, but didn't hook up. After that, the rest of the day was quiet.
Added a picture of the Big & Little of it below.
My neighbors down the street are having a nice trout dinner tonight courtesy of the Trout Pond.
Lot of surface action, but no interest in lures. Would have liked to be in the float tube. Probably could have done a little better. Next time.
Till the next adventure.
Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Float Tube Cumberland

These are the voyages of the float tube Cumberland. It's mission is to keep the captain (that would be me) afloat. It's on going mission is to seek out trout, in which ever lake the captain (me again) puts it in. So after the maiden voyage and the trip to Rancho Seco Lake, the float tube Cumberland is fulfilling it's mission. That is, seeking out trout and keeping the captain afloat.

Today, though, I wasn't sure the trout were going to come to the party. I got to the Trout Pond at 0730 and geared up. Flippered across the pond using the "secret" streamer, flippered back across the pond using a Clouser Deep Minnow, flippered back across the pond using a black Wooly Bugger, and finally flippered back across the pond using the "secret" streamer again. Boy, what a tough crowd.

Then I sunk to a fly rod low I never thought I'd stoop to. I put a #8 red hook and an Orange Power Worm on. I'm so ashamed. BUT, on the first flipper across, I landed one about a half pound. OK, I'm not so ashamed now. Then I missed one and landed another about a pound and a half. I'm getting less ashamed. The second one I landed, I cut the hook off so I could release him.

Then I tied on a regular hook and put on the other Orange Power Worm and flippered across the pond. Then I flippered back across the pond. Something is wrong here. So I snipped off the regular hook and put on a red one with a chartreuse Power Worm. Flippered back across the pond and was just turning back when I had a psychic experience. I had this feeling I was about to get a hit. Sure enough, a couple of seconds later, I was fighting another fish. Weird. One of those Twilight Zone things.

Turns out, this one wasn't one of those little ones, it was more like the one pictured below that went 4.15 lbs. Actually it looked just like that one and did I have my scale with me? Oh hell no. I estimate it went about 3 1/2 to 4 lbs. Lip hooked and released without weighing.

OK, I'm not ashamed any more. At that point, I figured it was a good day, and since I had a couple of errands to run, I called it.

FTCOLR (Fish to cost of license ratio) is now $3.03 per fish

Well, that's it from a sore, but happy Shoreman. Need more flippering. No pain, no gain.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Voyage of the Float Tube Day 4

I had a chance to get together with my son for breakfast on Tuesday, so since I was down in Sacramento I took the opportunity to stop by the fly shop. Thought I'd pick up some Wooly Buggers in size 8 for my next trip out to the Trout Pond. Well, you know the story. Focused on picking up size 8 Wooly buggers, and they're out of stock. So I substituted Crystal Buggers, size 8, in black, olive, and a rust color. While I was picking out my flys and chatting with one of the guys there, he picked up a fly and said, " guarantee you'll kill them with this out at the pond". And where have we heard that before? So I bought 3. Have to make sure I have backups.
Just so you know, I'm taking one back this morning because it's all chewed up. Damn trout all but destroyed the thing. Got to have a sense of humor about these things. The picture below is the first of 5 I hooked on that fly in a 3 hour period. You'll have to wait until I get back today for the name of the fly. It looks like a Bugger, but it's got another name. The fly is a Tungston Beadhead Thinmint.

All 5 were in that pound to pound and a half size. So once the trout had chewed up the fly, I put on one of the black Crystal Buggers (I wanted to keep that one to take back today) and sent it out. I did hook one, but due to a poor knot (my fault again) snapped the fly off and lost the fish.

Since I'm still building up leg muscle, I flippered over to the shore to make a stop at the little boys room and decided, since the wind was picking up and I wanted to be able to walk the next few days, I'd call it a day. When I was a kid in Florida, I could flipper around all day and never had any muscle pain, ever. This getting old is a pain in the ass or in this case, the legs.

Once I got my gear stowed in the truck, I took my spinning rod with a Firetiger Kastmaster and while talking to Rich's son, Mark, casted it out a few times. While I was there, Mark landed a very chubby 3 pounder. I on the other hand, didn't get a hit so I changed to the other lure I had hanging from my cap, the "frog" German Brown color Kastmaster. Managed to land one about a pound with that lure.

In between stowing my gear and talking to Mark, I met a young lady named Jane who was getting her tube and gear out of her little sports car for an afternoon of fishing. Jane, I would guess is a white haired woman in what seems to be her early 60's maybe? Just a wild guess and I hope I don't insult her by guessing her age. Very knowledgable about fly fishing and willing to pass along that knowledge. It was very enjoyable talking to her, in fact we spent, probably 20-25 minutes just chatting about fishing.

I'm off to Sacramento and I'll report my findings on the fly in the next post. Till then.

Mark (Shoreman)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Voyage Of The Float Tube Day 3

We were expecting a fairly nice day, today, so I threw the float tube and assorted amenities in the back of the truck and rolled out to the Trout Pond. Got there about 0800 and 15 or so minutes later, got the tube in the water. Turned out, the day was overcast, but not foggy. Fairly warm too. When I say fairly warm, I mean in the high 40's.

Flippered my way across the lake and about half way across, got a good bump on a egg-sucking leech (black, with pale orange egg). On the way back, I hooked up using the same leech and the 4# tippet I was using broke. Talked to one of the guys on a pontoon boat, who had caught several fish, and asked what he was using. Black Wooly Bugger size 8. I only had size 6, but put it on anyway. After a few circles and back and forth's, I hooked up one (scroll down to the picture below and it was the size of the bottom one in the picture of two), got it to the tube and again, the tippet broke. Tied on another Bugger and instead of casting it out, I yanked on it and guess what, the tippet broke. The hell with that, I clipped off the tippet and tied the Bugger directly to the leader.

Couple of circles and back and forth's and I hooked up again. This one didn't get away. It turned out to be the size of the other one in the picture below. About 15 inches.

So, you've been following along and know that I haven't gotten a fish on the fly rod since the first day, August 31st on the East Fork of the Carson River. All I can say is that today, "What a rush". I would have stayed longer than I did, but the old legs were giving out. Still not used to flippering, but did better than the last time and I'm sure each time will get better.

FTCOLR (fish to cost of license ratio) $5.05 per fish.

Well, that's it. Until the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

OBS Challenge

I was just over on Joe's site (Flowing Waters) and thought it was my turn to take up the challenge. Get people outside and enjoy the outdoors.

We the mountain people of Northern California spend a good deal of time in the outdoors. You know, raking Pine needles, burning Pine needles, cutting firewood, and stuff like that, but I don't think that counts. I try to get my neighbor Bob, you know him from previous posts, out with me as his time permits. Lately it's been too wet and cold to drag him to the lake, but Summer is coming. I also try to get my other neighbor, Roy out, when he's upcountry.

That brings me to my son, grandson, and daughter-in-law. I try to get my son and grandson out as much as possible, but my son is in that mode where he doesn't stop and smell the roses, he grabs one and smells it on the way. I used to be that way, you know the "Cats in the cradle thing". This past Christmas, the presents that son & daughter-in-law got, were fishing licenses. A step in the direction to get them out more. A father can only nag so much though.

Joe also mentioned getting out to other groups in blogdom. Well, I got a rather nice surprise on my post about Lake Amador on February 3rd. There was a comment from Mohammed in Iran. He said he doesn't fish, but after reading my blog, it peaked his interest. If he does decide to take up fishing, not only has the OBS challenge been fulfilled, but I feel I've made a very small step in International relations.

So there it is. Who's next?

Mark (Shoreman)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The One That Didn't Get Away

I needed to make a run to Jackson this morning to do a couple of errands. Since Jackson is half way to the Camanche Trout Pond, thought I'd make a quick stop and wet a line. Rain wasn't due till the afternoon, so I had 4, maybe 5 hours to fish. I could do the errands on the way home.

Put out one line with Rainbow Power Bait and put the "frog" Kastmaster (Brown Trout color) and started casting. After many casts, I switched to the Firetiger color. After a couple of casts, this big boy in the picture hit the lure and proceeded to scare the crap out of me. Scare me how? It hit the lure when the lure was about 5 feet from shore. Grabbed it and ran like hell. Funny thing, I saw him swim by a few minutes earlier and really didn't pay much attention to him as I tend to do with the ones that swim right off shore.

Well, as you can see, I used my "too small" net and got him in just fine. Tipped the new Berkley Digital Scale at a nice 4.15 lbs. Which, by the way, is a record for the Shoreman. Previous record was 3.90 pounder I took at Bear River Reservoir.

Continued to throw the Firetiger Kastmaster and brought in one of the two pictured below. The other was taken on a Rainbow Trout color Kastmaster. The cutting board these are sitting on measures 15", so you can see the size.

After that, it got quiet and I packed up and went to town to finish my errands. There never was a hit on any of the 4 or 5 colors of Power bait I put out. The only other fish that I saw was caught by the guys next to me and they were using Power Eggs.

Well, for a "quick stop", the day turned out pretty nice. Oh yeh, I was able to get the big one back in the water without duress and he swam off into the sunset. I suspect it will only be a matter of time before someone else nails him and takes him home. I wanted to release him just as a matter of respect because, "He was the one that didn't get away".

Till next time.

Mark (Shoreman)

Thank You

Two words not spoken enough. I was raised to always say please (the magic word) and thank you. I just wanted to take a minute to thank all my friends out there in our blogging community. Those that stop by, those that stop by and leave comments, and those that are first timers.

I could go on and on, get mushy, and cause tears, well maybe not tears, but I won't.

Simply Thank You, one and all.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lake Amador

It's a new year and I thought I'd take a trip out to Lake Amador and see what was shaking. I got there about 8:00 am, signed in and paid my $17.00. A buck more than last year. On top of that, they want an additional $2.00 to put your float tube in the water. I fished from the bank. Back in April of 2009 I profiled the Donaldson Trout and wanted to take a crack at them again. Amador is also famous for the Cutbow. You know what that is.

I parked on the opposite side of the dam from the resort and made my way to the water. I was surprised that the lake was so low. It was lower than the picture I put on the post dated 4/18/09. The one thing that could be a problem with Amador, is that the sides of the lake are very steep. I had to stomp out a little platform to stand on otherwise I would have slipped into the water.

Fished for about an hour with every lure in the tackle box and several colors of Power Bait on the second rod. Not a nibble. The lake posts the plantings and claim 3000 lbs a week and just short of 60,000 lbs this season. I sure didn't see any. Well, that's not quite true. I saw one swim by, right in front of me and if I had to guess, I'd say his speed was some where close to 60 mph. No moss gathering on that bad boy. Then moved to a flatter spot when a couple of Gentlemen left. Nothing there either.

I also watched the guys (probably a dozen or more) around me and they too, were fishless. The only one I saw caught, was from a boat in the middle of the lake. So other than Mister Speedy and the one from the boat, fish sightings were at an all time low.

That is, until I left the lake. Right below the dam, is what I gather to be the breeding tanks for the stocking program. All I can say is that there are three tanks, probably 20 ft in diameter and from the truck (you can't get nearer than about 100 yards) all I could see in the tank was dorsal fins and tails. BIG dorsal fins and BIG tails. I'd be willing to bet that there are guys with
AK-47's hidden in the trees just waiting for someone to jump the fence. OK, probably not, just my imagination going South.

So I think, based on last year and this trip to Amador, I'm putting this lake on the back burner and probably won't visit here again unless it's a last resort.

Oh, guess what? The Sun was shining and I was fishing in a tee-shirt for most of the morning. Got me a dose of Vitamin D for my trouble and I feel much better for it.

Rain for the next several days in beautiful Sunny California (there's a song "It never rains in California". That's a bunch of horsepucky.), so I'll be benched until next week. Then some more sunshine. Maybe I can get the tube in the water.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Steelhead and Idiot Fishermen

Last weekend I stopped by the American Fly Fishing Company and picked up a couple of new Steelhead Flies. Planned to drive down to the American River and try them out yesterday, but circumstances beyond my control didn't allow me to do so. Today, circumstances didn't stop me going. The circumstances came once I got to the river.

To start with, it was raining when I got there. You know me and rain. Not hard, mind you, but raining none the less. Got wadered up, vest on, and rod in hand when I discovered I couldn't find my Steelhead card. Usually keep it in my vest. Went through the pockets 3 times, bags, tackle boxes (yes I have multiple tackle boxes) and the only thing I could think was I lost it, or for some unknown reason, left it at home. Can't fish without it. Game Wardens have no sense of humor about those things.

So, what does one do? Run to K-Mart (closest) and buy another. Small cost of $6.30. Cheaper than running an hour and a half home and back. Did K-Mart have one, nope. How about Walmart (next closest), nope. All the way to Fishermans Warehouse before I could get one. By this time the "not hard" raining turned into pouring. It was also getting on to 10:00 am. Two hours wasted. Got back to the river, low and behold, it stopped raining. Wadered up, got my vest on, grabbed my pole and off to the river I went. Oh, I put the Steelhead card in with my fishing license this time.

Picked a riffle I had previously fished back when I met Rick & Ted and ran through it with a Freight Train fly. No bumps. Walked back up stream and ran through the riffle with a purple egg sucking leach. This is where the Idiot fisherman comes in. I'm fishing a stretch about 100 yards long, standing in the river, swinging my fly on about a 40 foot swing and this Idiot walks down to the river, sets his chair down about half way through my swing area and proceeds to cast his lure across my line. Oh, did I mention his dog jumped in the river? No, this is not the same guy I ran into earlier in the year. Two Idiots on the same river, go figure.

Pissed as I was, I reeled in and started back up the hill. As I walked by him, he says "Catch anything?" I replied, "No, but any chance I had of catching anything just went out the window". As I walk away, he said something I didn't hear and I turned and said "What?" He said, "You own the river?" I said, "No, I don't, but you don't fish over someone like you just did. You need to take a class on fishing etiquette". He was still mumbling something when I got out of hearing range. You'll would be proud of me, I didn't smack him, but I came really, really close.

After that, there was no going back to the river. The only thing going, was the steam coming out of my ears. I also didn't find the Steelhead card when I got home. Must have dropped it somewhere or maybe it'll turn up later.

Well, that's it for Tuesday.

Till the next time, remember: Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid. Stupid is forever".

Mark (Shoreman)