Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things Are Back To Normal

Picked up my truck yesterday afternoon. They did a really nice job repairing it. Just to remind you what it looked like, here are the "before" pictures.

Here are the "after" pictures. Nice, clean, repaired, and shiny.

So, what is the first thing I do? Go fishing of course. I had three options. Amador, Camanche, or Pardee. Note they are in alphabetical order as to not give any one preferential treatment. Not knowing which one to go to, I flipped coins and used the odd man out strategy. Two tails for Camanche and Pardee and heads for Amador. Packed up the truck and headed out to Amador.

Fished the point by the spillway with Power Bait on one rod and Kastmasters (several colors) on the other. Water was murky brown and filled with debris. Most of this, I suspect, was from the rains we've been having, although the spillway was not overflowing very much. Nothing on Kastmasters. Fished the white Crappie jig. Nothing. Fished an F5 Rapala and an F7 Rapala in firetiger. Nothing. Check with several passing boats. Nothing. Guys along the shore, nothing.

After a few hours I decided to go fish the dam. I don't particularly like the dam because you can't fish Power Bait on the bottom as you get snagged on rocks almost immediately. Here, again, there was a large amount of debris so I passed and drove over to the Carson Arm and used the same as at the spillway. Again nothing.

No fish, but the day was not a complete loss. When I fish, I always have one eye on the rod with Power Bait, one eye on the rod I'm using for lures, and one eye searching the area around me for "stuff". One eye I keep in reserve in case something interesting happens on the lake.

Here is a list of the things I found today.

1. A big wad of fishing line that looked like it was 30 lb test. I'm not sure if it was lack of knowledge, or delusions of grandeur. I also picked a big wad of, maybe, 4 lb test. Threw both into the trash can.

2. Two bobbers. One white and red, the other yellow and florescent orange.

3. A couple of sinkers.

4. A couple of huge snap swivels.

5. Some kind of spring, bead, plastic something or other, kind of hookup thingy.

6. A white grug jig with a curley tail.

7. A 1/8th oz Kastmaster in the Brook Trout color.

8. And last, but not least, yes ladies and gentlemen, a GOLF BALL. A Top Flite XL, white with a red stripe. What it was doing half buried in the hill side I can't even begin to speculate.

Almost as much fun as fishing. Almost. Well, that's it for today. Just in case you haven't figured out the 4 eyes thing, I wear glasses. Old four eyes and all that. Also keeps you wondering. Next week, up to Ice House Reservoir. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Till then.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Almost Back

The latest word on my truck is that I will have it back on Thursday morning. Here is a small update on what's been going on. They tried two fenders and both did not meet their standards, so they had to get a brand new one. They had put a new hood on and sent the truck to be painted. When it got there, they found something, I can't remember what, that caused them to pull it back and buy a new hood. Then it got to the paint shop and the color was just not right, so it went back. Every time something like this happens, it causes a delay in completing the repairs. No truck, no fishing. On the other hand, my plan was to hook up with Yuki and drive up to Ice House Reservoir (off Highway 50) is on hold. Ice house is at the elevation of 5450 feet. With the storm that came through last week, the local remote weather guy was at a place called Blue Canyon (off Highway 80, elevation 5282, and not too far from Highway 50) and he was more than butt deep in snow. I'm guessing that it'll be a couple of weeks before we can get up to Ice House for ice out. Last year I was there on March 26th, but it'll be, maybe, mid-April before we get up there this year. Yesterday there was this bright light in the sky. I'm not sure what it was, but I think it was the sun. It's been a long time since I last saw it, so I'm not quite sure, but standing in it's shine, was warm, well as warm as 48 degrees can be. I took the opportunity to walk around the property to see if more trees were down, and only found one branch laying on the ground. All I have to do now is finish cleaning up what's already down. I'm over (way over) vacation, hiatis, personal time off or what ever you want to call it and ready to get back out and wet a line. I think my rods and tackle boxes are getting mold on them. They sit, forlornly in my shop awaiting the return of the truck where they've lived for the last two years and where it's at least, dry. It's all that moisture from the snow blower that's making them moldy. That's it for now. I might get one fishing day in on Friday and I think I might head over to Amador for one last fling. I'll let you know. Till then. Mark

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Still Here

We had another storm yesterday. The weather guessers said, snow level down to 2000 feet, rain in the valley, heavy at times, and wind 25 to 35 mph with gusts nearing 50 mph.

Here's how it went. Rained all day. Wind blew like crazy. Shoreman hugged the wood stove. I took my wife to work with the intention that if it snowed all day, I could pick her up and put the chains on the car so she wouldn't have to, just to get home. Well, like I said above, it rained all day and she finally had enough of the wind and rain in town that she called me to come pick her up at 4:00 pm. Half hour down to town (in the rain), pick her up, and a half hour back. Simple enough.

Four miles from home, it started snowing. This is on what's called Rams Horn Grade. Two miles of uphill, to climb 1000 feet in elevation. You get the picture. Did I put on the chains? Oh hell no, why would I do that for 4 miles. By the time we got home, there was two inches of snow on the ground and it's a good thing the road to the house is downhill, because if it was uphill, I would have had to chain up to get in. As it was, I had to chain up to get out this morning. We had six inches last night. Boy, this winter thing is getting old. Can't wait to get my truk back. Oh yeh, more to come tonight.

OK enough of that. Did you see the Outdooress post? I won the 100th post thank you gift. Me, the guy that NEVER wins anything. Wow, I'm honored. Since Mike over at did a post on the fly box he got from Joel at "A Year On The Fly" I decided to get one of Joel's prints. I've picked the place of honor, where it will hang in the nerve center of Northern California Trout. I'll take a photo and show you guys when it's ready to go.

My truck is still in the shop. Problems with replacement parts that the repair shop got, rejected, and had to order new ones. So it's taking a little longer that they anticipated. Should have it back on Tuesday. By then I'll be ready to get back to fishing. By then, I'll be ready to do ANYTHING away from the house. Oh, I forgot to mention, I fixed the snow blower. Managed to work the rock behind the auger up to a hole and got it out with a pair of needle nose pliers. Works fine now. I spent several hours clearing the 6 inches of snow off the drive this morning.

One more thing. The ski resort at Donner Pass (You know, the Donner Party got trapped up there and all that) which is 7085 feet at the parking lot has had 57 feet (yeh, feet) of snow as of day before yesterday. That's a whole lot of trout water once it melts.

That's it for now. Until next time.


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Little Things

In the last couple of weeks, I've come to appreciate the little things. Here's a list of the ones I've come to appreciate.

1. Electricity. We've had two outages with this last storm. 15 hours and 1 1/2 hours. Short term outages not like the last one (96 hours). Much to appreciate.

2. Hot water. Nice to take a shower with hot water. Goes with electricity making the water heater work.

3. Heat in the bathroom. Electricity = heater in the bathroom.

4. A light in the bathroom. So you don't have to take a shower in the dark. You also don't have to take a d..., OK I won't go there, in the dark.

5. 4 wheel drive. I had to purchase chains for the wifes car, since my truck is in the shop. Haven't put chains on a car since 1989. Can't wait to get my truck back.

6. Clean dishes. Goes with hot water and a dish washer that works, when the electricity is on.

7. Your snow blower. Once you get the rock out of the auger, it works. I managed to get the rock out this morning and could clear the turn around.

8. Wood Stove. Your electric heater (we don't have one) doesn't work when the electricity is off. Of course, helps to have wood, too.

9. Rain. You don't have to shovel it.

10. Bob (I plow for fish). He clears the rest of the road from my turn around to the street where the county plows.

So there you have it. The 10 little things I have come to appreciate. Kind of makes up for the whinning in the last couple of posts.

Till next time.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

I've Finally Crossed The Line

Yesterday morning I was down by the pond cutting up one of the many fallen trees on the property. You know, cut off a limb with the chainsaw and stack it on the burn pile. Cut another and put it on the pile. You get the idea. Across the pond, near one of the many, other downed trees, was a little pile of snow about the size of a softball. This was the last, little bit of snow left from the past month of storms.

That was until 3:00pm. Now the weather guessers said we might, and I repeat might, get some snow down as far as 3000 ft from the incoming storm. I hate Winter. It rained for all of 5 minutes and the snow started. At 3:30 pm I called my wife and told her it was starting to stick to the ground and she should think about coming home. Now remember, my truck (4 wheel drive) was in the shop getting repaired because of the little slapping it got by the tree I cut down last Saturday and her car is not 4wd.

By 4:00 pm I called to tell her we had a good 1/2 inch and it was snowing hard. I hate Winter. By the time she got home at 5:00 pm we had 2 inches on the ground and still snowing hard. By the time we went to bed, 5 1/2 inches on the ground and still snowing. Did I mention I hate Winter?

The time: 5:30 am. The phone by the bed is beeping as the electricity keeps going on and off. Every time the electricity goes off, the phone lights up a bright orange and every time it comes back on, it beeps. This went on every five minutes for about a half hour. I gave up and went upstairs. Oh, did I mention the electricity went off around 2:00 am? As I write this, we are now at 13 hours without electricity, AGAIN.

So, what about the title? What line have I crossed? The one that has to do with winter. I'm done. I hate winter. I hate snow. I hate rain. Can I have some cheese with that whine????

To add insult to injury, while snow blowing the turn around this morning, I got a stone jammed in the auger that's shut down the snow blower until I can get it to a repair shop and get it removed. I tried, but couldn't get it out. The repair guys are going to have to tear it apart, I didn't want to fiddle with because it's still under warranty. But to get it repaired, I need my truck back so I can take it to the repair shop, but that won't be until the end of next week or the first of the following week AND we are getting another storm tonight. Did I mention that the pull started rope broke this morning too. I hate Winter. Thought I should put that one in bold in case you missed the others.

They say that things come in threes. One, my truck. Two, the snow blower. Three????? Oh, one thing I forgot, had I left that tree hanging over the house last Saturday, it would have fallen on the house last night. I think I'll call ithe insurance company and let them know how good a decision I made in getting the truck slapped by the tree when I cut it down. It could have been much worse.

So I took the opportunity, this morning, to run down to town and pick up a set of chains for the wife's car, just in case the storm tonight and tomorrow turns out to be as bad as they are predicting. High winds, two to three inches of rain (at lower elevations), and a low snow level. I hate Winter. That's the line I've crossed.

OK, I'll shut up now. Thanks for listening. I realize it's not something interesting, but you've seen photos of snow before, so I'll pass on sticking any out here.

Till next time.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shoreman On Hold

Thanks for the comments, guys. I'm still here, but the truck thing is what's holding me up now. The repair guys say it'll be the end of next week until I get back my truck back. Then I can get back to fishing. Then Yuki and I are planning a trip up to Ice House Reservoir to see if it can be fished yet. More on that when it happens.

In the mean time, Yuki has been fishing the Middle Bar Bridge (outside Jackson, Ca) on the Mokelumne River and been catching a few. He's caught a couple of Browns on night crawlers and a few Rainbow planters on Power Bait.

For the next week or so, it's rain, rain, rain, out here. This morning at the Natomas Dam, they are showing a bunch of gates open. Yesterday the output was 17,156 cfs. A lot of water going down the American.

You can always tell when we have a lot of water coming down. We have a road just East of Sacramento called Scott Rd. There is an area that the water runs over the road when we have a lot of rainfall. This morning the road is closed because of the water.

That's it for today. Till I find something else interesting.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

OK, I Found Something Interesting

This morning I went out to fill up the wood box. We're expecting a storm this week, actually rain for the next six days , at least. I noticed a tree that was leaning over the house. Too much snow causes the tall trees to bend and break, like the one I showed you over on California Dreaming. This one was about 40 feet tall and half of it was hanging over the roof.

Wouldn't want it to break and fall on the house, so the most logical thing is to cut it down. I could use the wood next year anyhow. The question is, how do I cut it without it falling on the house?

Plan A - Cut it and pull it out of the way with the truck. Git out my 25 foot chain and wrap it around the base of the tree. Cut it below the chain and pull it from the bottom. Cut it up and throw the limbs in the burn pile. Good plan all around.

Got the chain out and the wife says "Maybe the chain should be a little higher". OK, makes sense. Moved the chain up another three or four feet. Hooked the other end to the truck (bumper hitch) and tightened the chain. Good so far. Got the chain saw, cut a notch about 18 inches from the ground and another cut on the other side. Cut about 1/3 of the way, stepped away and waited to see what happened. Nothing. Ok, cut it a little futher. Half way into the tree, stop and see what happened. Nothing again. Ok, cut the rest of the way to the notch. The tree dropped a little and pinned the chain saw blade in the tree. Crap........

Got in the truck with the intention of pulling the tree off the chain saw and off the roof. Nope, didn't happen that way. The tree dropped from the cut, landed on the ground, and immediately stood up and fell the other way. Good for the house, bad for the direction it fell. A couple of trees
guided it down, but not far enough to the side that it missed the truck.

Fortunately for me, sitting in the truck, it only slid down the side of the truck and didn't hit it a foot to the right or it would have hit right where I was sitting. As it was, it took off the side view mirror and put several dents in the drivers side and hood.

A couple of pictures for your pleasure.

The only thing I can say for this is that, better it hit the truck than the house and it would have crashed into the house, probably during the next storm. So we'll see what the insurance says about this.

Everybody is getting the cat pictures since Joe (Flowing Waters) started this 5 days ago, so here's my contribution of my two doing what they do best. Sleeping.

Double click and you can see them better.

Next thing. My friend Yuki is from Japan and he has a brother and his brother's family there. Yuki got an email and everything is OK with them. Only thing was that it took his brother 10 hours to get home from his office, after the earthquake.

That's it for now. Until I can find something else interesting.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shoreman On Hold

I drove out to Lake Camanche North Shore this morning with the intention of throwing in the Float Tube Cumberland. The weather was supposed to be in the high 60's to low 70's. When I got there, it was overcast, cold, and the wind was blowing. I decided to park myself on the shore and soak some Power Bait. Two hours later, and I was still sitting on the shore without a bite.

OK, plan B. I went over to the other side of the penninsula and fished in the cove where I had planned to fish from the Float Tube Cumberland. Nothing there either.

Plan C. I packed up and drove to Lake Amador. Checked in and went out to the spillway (which is over flowing again) and set up one rod with power Bait and another with Kastmasters. Just a note, I now carry 4 rods. Two for Power Bait, one for lures, and a new one with 2 lb test for grub jigs. Easier than changing all the time.

Didn't get anything on the Power Bait even though I fished it in the lake and in the spillway. Didn't get anything on Kastmasters. I did get one on the new rod with a white grug jig, but I don't think I set the hook enough and I got the jig thrown back at me. That and trying to tempt one in the spillway with everything in my tacklebox, that was it.

Which brings me to the title. I spent the drive home thinking about all the days I've been fishing in the last two years. At least once a week and many times twice. That's a lot of days. I came to the conclusion that I'm tired. Not tired of fishing, just tired in general. So I'm taking a vacation or hiatus or personal time off or what ever you want to call it for a few weeks. I'm pretty much done with fishing the lower lakes and the ones upcountry are still iced over, at least I think they are.

I checked my journal (Fish to cost of license ratio) from last year and I didn't start fishing upcountry until March 26th. I think I'll take off, until the end of the month, but I'll check out the lakes up the hill and see what's happening. I'll continue to follow all you guys out there and will post if I find anything interesting. I still have pictures to put over on California Dreaming, so watch for new posts there.

Till I find something interesting.


Sunday, March 6, 2011


The boxes have been found. Got a call from Cabela's yesterday afternoon. The man with the boxes was on the phone and wanted to get in touch with me. Got his phone number and called.

Here's the story. The UPS driver stopped at the corner where the cluster mail boxes are and gave the boxes to the gentleman standing there and asked him if he would deliver them to the guy that lives at the corner of Gold Creek Trail and Wildberry Lane (I live on Wildwood Way). The UPS driver didn't want to drive up the hill in the little bit of snow that was on the road. The man took the boxes home because the gentleman who lives on Wildberry Lane is only up here (it's like a Summer house) every 2 or 3 months or so. Because another couple are closer friends, he dropped off the boxes to him and asked him to email the Wildberry gentleman and let him know he has the boxes. Note: These three houses are up on the top of the mountain behind my house.

The email was sent and the reply was that he wasn't expecting any boxes from Cabela's. A check of the labels and it was discovered that they belonged to someone else, namely me. So Gordon (we're on a first name basis, now) looks on Mapquest and realizes I live right down the hill and checks information for a phone number. Can't find one (phone is in my wifes name) and calls Cabela's, who calls me, and gives me Gordon's phone number. I'm up the hill and find out I can see Gordon's back yard from my porch, get the boxes and I'm a happy camper.

Now, what to do with the UPS driver. Should I call them Monday morning and tell them I have the packages or let him come out and look for them? Remember, the guy he gave them to was not the guy who ended up with them. How evil are you guys?


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why Don't You Knock It Off With Them Negative Waves Moriarty

If you’ve seen the movie Kelly’s Heros with Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Donald Sutherland, and Gavin MacLeod (you know, the captain from the Love Boat), you know this quote. Imagine this, Donald Sutherland (Oddball) sitting on top of a tank during WWII and talking to Gavin MacLeod (Moriarty) eating some cheese and sipping some wine. What does it have to do with fishing you ask? Thursday I was waiting for a delivery from Cabela’s. Waiting and waiting and waiting. UPS tracker said it was out for delivery and there were some things I wanted for a fishing trip on Friday.

Late in the day, UPS tracker said it was delivered on Thursday 3/3 at 1:14pm. I happened to be on my roof, cleaning the flue for the wood stove and I didn’t see any UPS truck make any delivery. Aha, UPS delivered it to the Post Office (they do this sometimes) and I can pick it up there first thing Friday morning and have what I need for the trip.

Friday morning at the Post Office, 8:15am (before they open) and knocked on the pickup door. “No, no package for you from UPS”. OK, where is it, I wonder? Now I’m getting irritated. I’m half way to the lake and my options are: return home and tract the shipment, or continue out to the lake. What do you think? I went to the North Shore of Camanche Lake.

Drove out to the day use area and parked right by the lake.

(See: for pictures)

I set up both rods with Power Bait and pulled out my lawn chair. I wasn’t planning on a lot of strenuous fishing, just soaking up some sun and maybe catching a fish or two. Four hours later and still no fish in sight, although people on both sides of me were catching one every so often. OK, negative waves from the Cabela’s delivery were everywhere. All those negative waves going around, no wonder I didn’t catch anything. The more I thought about it, the more pissed I got. I decided to wrap it up, go home, and find out where my delivery was. It was Friday and if I didn’t do anything soon, I’d have to wait until Monday to check.

I got home, looked up the number for UPS Customer Service and called. Electronic answering and won’t let you speak to a human until you’ve given the electronic “person” all the information it requires (pissed level goes up three notches). Finally after five minutes of yelling “Customer Service Representative” I finally get a human. Explain everything and give her all the information AGAIN (pissed level up 2 more notches) she says that according to her information, the two packages were delivered to my address on Thursday at 1:14pm (pissed level up 2 more notches). I explained that the packages were NOT delivered to my house because I was on the roof cleaning the woodstove flue and NO UPS truck came to my house. Told her I wanted the phone number for the local UPS facility and was told they don’t have that phone number (pissed level up one more notch). The only help she could offer was a trace on the packages and it would take from 8 to 11 days to get an answer (pissed level up 2 more notches). By this time I was yelling at her for a supervisor.

Had to explain everything all over again to the supervisor (2 more notches) and told her I wanted to know where my delivery was. Her response was that she would call Cabela’s and let them know the shipment was lost and she would, also, put a trace out on the shipment. I told her that I wanted a call, today, from the local facility and I want to know where the driver delivered the packages. Within 10 minutes, I had a call back from the local UPS facility. According to them, the packages were delivered to a “neighbor”. Why, she didn’t know, but would get in touch with the driver and call me back. I told her that I got a package delivered today and the driver didn’t have any trouble finding the house. She said that the driver that delivered the packages on Thursday was not our usual delivery driver.

She called back at 4:30 and told me that the driver had delivered the packages to the neighbors, the nice couple in the new house on the corner (where Gold Creek Trail and Wildwood Way meet. They don’t meet). There are no new houses in our area. I drove around the area just to see if someone had built a new house I didn’t know about and couldn’t find anything. Called her back and told her the driver was going to have to pick up the packages and deliver them to me. She said Monday was the soonest he could do it.

So you can see where the negative waves come in. I still don’t have my delivery, I’m still pissed, and if that driver delivers my boxes on Monday, you’ll probably hear me all the way across the globe. I’m a Leo or I used to be before they changed that whole astrological chart thing and I don’t get mad (pissed yes, but mad, no), I get even and I have all weekend to figure out how.

There is still next week. Till then, thanks for letting me vent.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's Raining Wahoo

I never thought I'd be happy to see rain, but today I am. Another storm came in last night and it's a high snow level storm. The rain is actually melting some of the snow we still have on the ground. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. Now I'm starting to see all the trees that are down and all the cleaning up I'm going to have to do later.

Yesterday I drove out to Lake Amador with the Float Tube Cumberland in the back. It was supposed to be near 60 degrees, but was 27 degrees when I left the house. I had high hopes, though. When I got to the lake it was cool and a bit breezy, so after check in, I drove over to the point by the spillway. Couple of guys from Sacramento already had three on the stringer in the 3 lb range. The outlook was good.

One rod out with Power Bait and the other with Kastmasters. Two hours and nothing. Not even a drive-by. They were fishing in the spillway, I was fishing out in the lake. At 10:00am, I packed up my gear and went over to the launch ramp to put in the Float Tube Cumberland.

In a previous post, I showed you a picture of the stock truck across the lake. See below.

Well, yesterday they used a different method to stock. A kind of square, bulky boat of sorts to ferry the fish out to the dam area. I was already afloat and tried to keep up , but you can only flipper so fast and he pulled away. I wanted to get a picture of him dumping the fish, but it just wasn't to be because the second time he came out, I was on the other side of the lake from where he was. Sometimes you just can't win.

I fished Wooly Buggers in assorted colors, Thin Mint, and grub jigs in a couple of colors on my lake fly rod, but couldn't even get a bump. When it started to get windy, I decided to wrap up the float tube thing and head back to the launch ramp. It was a lot faster going back (with the wind) than it was going out (bucking the wind) but a lot easier casting on the way out with the wind behind you.

After I stowed the float tube away, I drove over to the dam where Rich and Mark were fishing. they already had 2 or 3 on the stringer and had released a couple. I set up one rig with Power Bait and promptly list my rig to the rocks on the dam. I stayed with lures the rest on the day. Used Kastmasters, Rapalas, Sonic roostertails, and grubs. The only action I saw was one drive-by and one that hit right next to the shore, on Brook Trout colored Kastmaster. The score was fish 2 Shoreman zip.

Called it a day at 2:30pm and drove into town to run a couple of errands. Always good to work your errands into a day of fishing.

That's it until the next time. Till then.