Friday, December 31, 2010

It's A Wrap

Well, I took one more shot at the pond today. Put on my thermals and my brand new wool socks that Santa brought me (73% Merlino wool) and hit the pond at 0930. Slept in a little since my wife didn't get home from work until 11:30pm last night.

Thought about the fish in the middle and on the bottom. Took a spinning rod with me as well as my fly rod. Launched the Float Tube Cumberland and flippered to the center of the lake. Put a blob of Rainbow Power Bait and dropped that sucker to the bottom. There it sat. Nada. Mean while I used the rust colored Seal Bugger and did a 360 to see if I could interest anyone. Nope.

Changed out the treble hook for a bait hook and put a mini-crawler on and dropped it to the bottom. Nope. Changed the sinker for a lighter one and dropped it to the bottom. Then reeled it up about five feet and slowly trawled while working Wooly Buggers in an assortment of colors. Then tried a Wiggle Tail in black. Nothing.

For 4 hours I tried the old Shoreman magic to no avail. While spinning the magic, I did notice that there was only 2 fish caught by all the, seemed like 30 or so people, fishing from the shore.

So, the 2010 fishing season (and year) ends with Shoreman, 8 short of his goal. I ended up with the "Fish to cost of license ratio" at 21 cents per fish. Not a lot of difference from 2009 (22 cents per fish) considering I doubled the number of fish caught.

Tomorrow we start all over again.

Happy New Year to all my friends out there in Blogdom. Watch the bowl games tomorrow, not that we haven't been watching bowl games for the last two weeks, and please, be safe.

Till next year.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Jinxed

Ever since I put the article in the Amador Ledger Dispatch on 11/26/10, I've had terrible luck at the Trout Pond. Last year (2009) I fished the pond five times between November 4th and the end of the year. I caught twenty-four in that period and was never skunked. Since I published that article, I've fished the pond five times and been skunked four of the five, with the one time only producing one fish.

I talked to the Ranger and he claims that they are stocking the heck out of the pond. Today I spent six and a half hours soaking Power Bait and got one hit, but missed it. There were about fifty people fishing around the pond and I didn't see but one fish caught. So where the hell are the fish?
I take that back, I did see one fish, chased up to the shore by this particular Cormorant. Had I been quick enough and grabbed my net I would have had at least one fish. But alas, twas' not to be.

Achieving my goal by the end of the year (Tomorrow) seems less and less likely. Rumor has it the fish are sticking to the bottom like they were glued there. Oh yeh, you know Comorants eat fish, right? Well, the Ranger wouldn't let me bring my .22 out there and shoot a few. Guys' got no sense of humor. Well, actually he does. I mentioned that the last two times I've been out there, he's come by and asked to see my license. I explained that prior to those times, I've only been asked once since I was 16. I also explained that since the first time he asked, I've been skunked. He quietly slipped away. I'd call that a sense of humor.
So, I figure I'm jinxed. What I need is a good exorcism (what would I do without Merriam-Webster). Maybe something without spinning heads and spitting green stuff, OK. Anybody out there know a good exorcist?
Might try once more tomorrow and see if I can scare up a couple. Let you know if I do. One last thing, Ed MacDonald from Wandering Fisherman is my 90th follower. Another milestone. Thanks Ed.
Till next time, or possible next year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Deer Porn

Most of you know that I'm not a hunter and specifically a deer hunter because of an incident years ago. I won't go into what happened, let's just say that it was enough to stop me from deer hunting forever.

This doesn't mean that I'm not an observer of Nature. Come on, I live in the mountains on five acres. Nature is all over the place. In the past I've seen much of the wild life that lives up here. I've told you about the bear in the trash can. I talked about the mountain lion in my front yard. I've seen bobcat, coyote, fox, turkeys in huge numbers, and deer. Which brings me to the title of this post.

I was sitting in my chair watching "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" because it had been snowing outside and the temperature was 33 degrees. Can't do much in that kind of weather, so when all else fails, watch a movie.

It had just stopped snowing and this small doe walked down the driveway and stopped just past the wood pile. The wall directly in front of my chair is all window. I can see about 2 acres from there. As I'm watching this doe, she squats and takes a p... Just like a female dog. You get the picture. I didn't think much of it except that I wondered how many of the deer hunters have ever seen that? To me it was kind of an odd thing to see, since the many times I've seen deer up here, they tend to scatter when you drive by or stop to look at them.

Ok, something to file away for future use. About 20 minutes later, still watching the movie, I notice a 4 point buck walking down the road. All of a sudden, he makes a bee line for that spot where the doe took a p... Sniffed it and then started looking in all directions for the doe. It was crazy, he was looking 360 degrees all at once. I thought he was going to get whiplash. Then he shot off in the direction the doe took and the last thing I saw was beige bucktail (a fly tyer for sure) heading East at a very rapid clip.

I don't know if this is mating season because I dont' know enough about the life cycle of deer, but that boy was sure interested. Reminds me of a teenager. Basically a hormone with hoofs instead of sneakers.

I tried to keep it as clean as possible. So on this December 29th, that and trying to keep my cats from killing each other, is how I spent the 2nd to the last day of 2010. Tomorrow, off to try to complete my goal.

Till next time.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Skunked Again

Back on Christmas Eve I mentioned that I had a goal set for myself that I wanted to complete this year. The goal has to do with obtaining 8 additional fish this year. I have two opportunities to complete the goal. One was today and the other one is Thursday. Why these two days? These will be the only two days that we aren't going to get rain and/or snow through the end of the year.

So, I ran out to the Trout Pond to work on this goal only to get skunked again. One more day to go to accomplish the goal.

But since I was out there, I did get a good video of the pond for you to look at. Here you go.

So take a look. There is no talking or music, just the sounds from around the pond.

Till next time. Oh, and don't forget to stop by California Dreaming and check out the pictures.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 Fishing License

I just went online and purchased my 2011 fishing license. Pretty simple. Here's the link to get you started (those of you in California).

Just click on the Online Sales and follow the instructions. took me less than 5 minutes. Only one glitch, they only take Visa and Mastercard. You can print a temporary license and the real one will be mailed to you and you should recieve it in 15 days or less.

If you need one that is other than a yearly resident license, I would suggest you go to one of the License agents (Go to the link at the bottom of the page and fill in your fishing store information to see if they are a licensed agent). Here is the link for you to go there direct.

I entered Fishermans Warehouse in Sacramento and it gave me their information as a licensed agent.

Happy fishing in 2011.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

With all the Christmas wishes out there in Blogdom, one could spend hours responding to each one, so I thought I'd just roll up the good cheer in one fell swoop. I like fell swoops.

I'm not going to say that this is my final post for the year because I plan to do some fishing next week. I have a goal I've set for myself and plan to complete in 2010. What it is, will have to wait until the last post this year.

On this Christmas Eve Morning, I wish all of my blogging friends a very Merry Christmas and I hope Santa brings you all you've wished for. I know you've all been good this year, because I've read about what you've done. No coal in your stockings.

Till next week.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

No Skunk Today

A while back, Joe from Flowing Waters (everyone knows him from the Outdoor Blogger Network) sent me a bunch of flies. This was back when I was just getting started fly fishing and he thought I could make use of them. Well, I've been trying without much luck, until today.

I spent about 4 1/2 hours flippering around the Camanche Trout Pond throwing all the tried and true black Wooly Buggers, Olive Wooly Buggers, Tungsten Beadhead Thinmints, chartreuse green Wooly Buggers, chartreuse and orange Power Worms and I even sank to the depths of fly fishing and put a live night crawler on, in an attempt to catch a fish and break the skunk. Nothing.

As I was digging through my fly box that held all my Wooly Buggers, I came across a few Seal Buggers that Joe had sent me. So I tried a black one and an olive one , but they couldn't interest fish one. Then I tied on a rust colored one and on the fourth cast (how do I know it was the fourth cast, you ask? I count casts, so I don't spend a lot of time on a color when it isn't producing) this little sweetheart below found it interesting enough to gulp. The fight was on.

Once I had it in the net, two things happened. One, I didn't put the camera in the Float Tube Cumberland, that's why it's sitting on the tailgate of my truck and two, thought I'd better bring it home for Bob, since I haven't replenished his stash recently. Been skunked a couple of times recently, if you'll recall.

So, how about the stats? 17 1/2 inches long, 2 lbs 4 ozs on the handy dandy Berkley digital scale. Not a bad way to break a skunk although it was the only one I caught today. Did have a couple of bumps, though.

Thank you, Joe for the flies and I'm thinking this is the biggest one I've caught on a fly rod. The first two I caught, right after getting my first rod were big, but I don't think, this big. Kudos to you, my friend.

Second thing today is that I ran into a guy fishing from a float tube that had read my article in the local paper and came out to try his luck at the pond for the first time. He didn't manage to catch one, but I'm sure he'll be back. Man, I was stoked.

Third, the local paper ran my fifth article in today's edition. If you want to take a look, here is the link:

It's got a good picture of the Shoreman and a nice little Big Bear Rainbow.

Well, that's enough tooting my horn.

Till next time.


Friday, December 17, 2010

No Stick Waving Today

Last summer I wrote about fishing the American River and made some mention of the flow of the river. In the pictures below, the water level was running at about 4900 cfs.

I took a shot uphill from where I was standing, fishing for Shad last summer.

Today I took a shot from an area right by that spot and from the top of the hill. Big difference in the amount of water in the river.

Then on the way out to Folsom to do some Christmas shopping (sorry guys, nothing for you), I stopped by Lake Natoma Dam and took a shot there. This is a very unusual sight. Most of the time the water is released out of a little chute on the far side of the dam. The unusual sight is having 14 of the 18 gates open and releasing water. Because of the impending storm, the Department of Water Resources is lowering Folsom Lake which is upstream from Lake Natoma. Double click on the picture and get a good look at lot bunch of water going into the American River.
I added a little video so you could get a grasp on the sound of the dam release.

Here's a quick recap of the releases.

Last Summer 4900 cfs
Tuesday (the 14th) I reported 16,000 cfs. It was actually 14,533 cfs.
Today........29,156 cfs.

Let me tell you, that is a whole lot of water. So much so, that Fire and Rescue has told boaters not to go on the river because if they have trouble, Fire & Rescue will probably not come out and help.

This is not the fullest I've ever seen the river, though. In 1986 we had so much water that the river was full, bank to bank and they were talking about blowing Dyke 8 (in the back of Folsom Lake) to relieve pressure on the dam. That alone would have flooded a good part of, what is now Rancho Cordova.

So, as the title says, no stick waving today.

Till next time.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Day Update

Just a quick comment on the last post. If I had to name a winner, it'd have to be Ryan. Come on, Angelina Jolie. How hot is that? The rest were great, though.

Ok, enough slobbering. Had a doctor appointment yesterday morning, so I packed up my gear and rode out to the trout pond after. Guy at the gate said they stocked last Thursday. Once I got in, decided I didn't feel like tubing and set up on the dock. One rod with Rainbow Power Bait and the other with lures. Three hours later and nary a fish, called it a day. Had a guy fishing next to me with nightcrawlers under a bobber and he managed to land four. Did I have any crawlers? Hell no. I've never seen anyone catch anything on crawlers out there before. Why would I have crawlers? Goes to show, you have to have EVERYTHING. Saw a couple of others caught here and there, but still a tough day.

Today, had to run to Sacramento for a couple of errands and thought I'd drop over to the American River, stand in the water, and wave a stick. On the way, I crossed the river and it looked extremely dirty. It was raining, but I didn't think it was raining enough to turn the water that brown. It also looked like it was running pretty high. When I was there, back on the 8th, the river was running at 3600 cfs. Today, according to the Resources Management Department on the Noon news, it's running at 16,000 cfs. That's a whole lot of water. In the name of safety, I passed on chasing those elusive Steelhead, at least for today.

That's it for today. Skunked once again after opening my mouth in the article that was in the paper two weeks ago and another day missed, chasing chrome. I did have a fourth article published in the paper last Friday. If you want to take a gander, here's the link.

We are expecting rain, at least through the 23rd (10 day forecast), so I don't expect the American will be fishable for a while. I might run up the hill in the next few days and scope out the lakes up there. I'll let you know.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Have You Ever Met A Movie Star, Face to Face

This has nothing to do with fishing, but something on the morning news cast triggered a memory and I thought I'd throw it out there and see what response there was.

Many years ago, I think it was in the late 60's, I was at the Los Angeles County Jail bailing out a friend. As I was waiting for him to come out and if you've ever done this, you know it takes a good bit of time. Sitting across the room was Carroll O'Connor. You know him best as Archie Bunker on "All in the family" and police chief Bill Gillespie on the TV show "In the heat of the night". He was there bailing out his son Hugh, who played Det./ Lt. Lonnie Jamison on "In the heat of the night". The sad part about this story is that Hugh committed suicide because of a drug habit. There is more to this tragic story. If you wish to read about it, here is a link to Hugh's story on Wikipedia.'Connor

Being the bold person I am, I walked over to him and asked him how much fun was it making "All in the family"? I was surprised by his answer and it changed my view of movie stars. His response was "It's a job, just like your's. I get up in the morning, go to work, and come home at night". We talked for a while longer, and then my friend came out and we left.

I'm sure that not all movie stars are like that, but he was a big star at that time and it left a life long impression on me.

How about any of you out there. Got any movie star stories?


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

Just a quick update. I've been running behind reading all your posts, but be assured, I have caught up.

Yesterday my plan was to run down to Sacramento, renew my river parking pass, and attack the elusive Steelhead with fly rod and nymphs. I've been reading up on Steelhead fishing and found out that there are other ways to fish them other than to swing wet flies, which was how I was taught. They are, after all, a Rainbow Trout. That's what I get for listening to certain "guides".

Here is how it went. Left home at 0730 with an hour of driving time to get to the Parks & Recreation to get the new river parking pass. Stopped by LaBou for a coffee and raisin custard croissant (I had to go out to their website to find out how to spell that) and then to the P&R office. Got there at 0830 and found the door locked. The don't open until 1000. CRAP. With an hour and a half to kill, I drove to the Gristmill access and paid $5.00 (wouldn't have had to if they had been open and I'd gotten my pass [$50.00] renewed). Since I was short on time, all I did was grab my spinning rod and a box of lures and walked up and down the gravel bar. Not how I had it planned and on top of that, they won't let up park on the bar any longer. I guess to many people got stuck.

At 1000 I went back to the P&R office, renewed my pass and since I had chores to do at home, headed that way. My original plan was to get the pass, fish for a couple of hours with fly rod, and nymphs, then head home to do chores. The best laid plans, you know the story.

One of the chores was to clean the wood stove flue. It'd been 3 weeks and since I burn a lot of soft wood, I have to faithfully clean it every 3 weeks (don't need a flue fire), yesterday was the day. For the last two weeks (you've read the posts) I've had 6 inches of snow on the roof. Can't clean the flue with snow on the roof. It's a might slippery. With the warm storm over the weekend, the snow was finally gone, it didn't rain yesterday, and we were expecting rain today, I had a one day window, so it was imperative I get'r'done.

Flue cleaned for another 3 weeks, now I'm free to hit the river again. I've got my parking pass, the latest storm will be gone by this weekend, but since it's my wifes birthday on Sunday, I guess early next week, I'll be back on the river waving a stick.

Thanks everybody for all the great posts. I don't always comment, but I always read them. Thanks for stopping by to read mine, too.


Monday, December 6, 2010

This Make Your Mouth Water?

My wife came across a company called King Arthur Flour Company out of Norwich, Vermont. They have a bunch of really good stuff for the baking people. The picture below is a loaf of bread made from ingredients she got from King Arthur Flour. The unique thing about this is that the dough is kneadless. Most bread you have to flatten, knead, roll, flatten , knead, etc. You get the idea.
This, you mix up the dough and put it in a plastic container (I suggest a couple of holes in the lid for escaping air), let it sit on the counter for a while (you have to read the recipe), let it sit for a while in the fridge. When it gets to a certain size, take out a chunk, shape it, and put it on a cookie sheet.

It ends up looking like this.

The really cool thing about this, is you can leave the bucket of dough in the fridge (I think it lasts up to a month), take out a wad and 25 minutes later, fresh bread. How good is that?

Here is the link if you want to take a gander.

Here is the link for the bread recipe:

And as usual, the disclaimer. I've got nothing to do with this company. I didn't get anything for directing you to their website. I've only put this here in case you want a real easy way to have fresh bread with that bowl of soup or chili now that winter is upon us.

Oh yeh, it's really, really, really, good.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Open Mouth, Insert Foot, Chew Wisely

As you know, I've been contributing to the local newspaper, writing fishing articles. Last Friday the article I did was about how to fish the Camanche Trout Pond.

Well, Tuesday I was finally able to get my wifes car out (you know, snow, two wheel drive, and all), so she could drive herself to work, and made plans to hit the pond yesterday. The temperature has been hovering around the high 20's to low 30's in the morning, so I planned on taking my time getting there in hopes of it warming a bit. I got there at 0900 (that's taking my time since I get up at 0515) and it wasn't as bad as I had expected. In fact, all I had on was a long sleeve tee-shirt and my vest.

Wadered up and off I went. I managed once around the pond before I went back to the truck and put on my hoodie. Was a tad cooler than I thought. Had these 3 custom color Wooly Buggers I wanted to try. Here is my thinking. Since the trout hit the Power Worms in bright orange and bright chartreuse, I made up a couple of Wooly Buggers with black marabou tails, florescent orange and florescent chartreuse chenille body, and black palmered hackle and a tungsten bead head. I also added a pink one like I used on 11/1, but this time with the tungsten bead.

I was ready. The fish weren't. In fact, the fish never showed up. Kind of like the Washington Redskins. I flippered around the pond for 3 1/2 hours and never got a bump. I wasn't the only one. I only saw two fish caught, one from the shore and the other caught by a tuber (who usually catches a bunch) just before I pulled my tube out. Tough audience. I put up my tube and gear in the truck and took my spinning rod out so I could fish off the dock with Power Bait and lures. Fished for another hour and a half and no fish there either.

So, the title of this post? Put a big article in the local newspaper about how to fish the pond, and come up empty the next time I go there. My wife says it keeps me humble. A tough thing for a Leo.

More storms coming in on Thursday, Friday and early next week. I'll have to see what I can do about getting out and maybe pursuing those elusive Steelhead.

Till next time.