Monday, August 29, 2011

Smoking Trout One Fish At A Time

Early this morning I checked a couple of the local forums to see if anybody caught anything over the weekend. Since I was going to make a run up the hill this morning anyway, I figured I should find out if anything was happening.

One particular forum showed a bunch of pictures of BIG Rainbows being taken on the West Fork of the Carson River.

Plan A - Drown some crawlers in the West Fork of the Carson River. If nothing happens, take a run up to Upper Blue Lakes and soak some Power Bait. If all else fails, stop by Red Lake and see if the Brookies are biting yet.

Always good to have a plan until you run into that damn construction on Carson Pass. Last time it was 10:00am until 1:00pm and hang out until the stop light turns green, then jet through. Not today. Now it's from 3:00am until 12:30pm and 2 hour delays while they blast rock to do, what? Avalanche control, falling rock control, screw with the fishermen, who knows. When I got to the pass, the line of cars waiting for the flag guy was about 20 deep and didn't look like it was going to be moving any time soon. You get this impression when the drivers are walking around their cars with that 1000 yard stare.

Plan B - Take a stroll down to where the creek out of Woods Lake runs into Caples and fish for Brookies. Parked, grabbed by Okuma with 2 lb test, my tackle box, and my net. Started down the hill, and down the hill some more, and further down the hill until I could hear the creek. The further down I went, the more I became concerned that I would be able to walk back up the hill. I calculated I was about half way down when I turned around and went back to the truck. I was weezing and gasping for breath when I got back up the hill. Good thing I didn't continue down. Man's got to know his limitations (Clint Eastwood - Magnum Force).

Plan C - Fish Caples Lake. Good thing I have backup plans. 0830, picked a spot on the highway side where I had caught fish in the past (there were a couple of guys fishing the dead tree) and set up one rod with Power Bait on a slip sinker rig and my Okuma with a crawler on a #6 bait hook, no weight. Proceded to get the crawler caught in the rocks, so the next one went 30 inches under a bobber. About 0900 I got a good bite on the crawler, but missed the hook set, so I tossed it back out in the same place and within 30 seconds a 13" Rainbow was on. I got one other hit a little later, but it, that was it. Pulled out just after Noon.

Took this shot of the hills behind Caples. Keep in mind that today is August 29th and there is still snow on the tops of the hill, OK mountain. A very rare occasion, indeed.

So, now I have 4 fillets in the freezer as I continue to collect enough trout to smoke, one fish at a time. It would be OK with me if we could speed things up a bit, hint, hint, Oh Great Fishing Gods.

Think I'll try Bear later in the week since it's just up the street. Let you know.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Bear Encounter, Almost, I Think

You all know from previous posts that I've had some bear problems in the past. Most recently Tuesday the 16th.

Since that time I've been vigilant about watching my surroundings when I'm out on the property. This morning I went out to the hot tub, that we never use because it's too far from the house (about 100 yards), to see if there was any water in it. I've had it covered for the last two years, but the tarp is showing signs of deterioration and might be allowing water into the hot tub. When I pulled the cover off I found water in the hot tub, in fact it was full. It was a bit dirty, but nothing green and slimy growing in the water. So I drained it.

It took several hours, during which time I did some cleaning of the tub and the grounds around the area. The last of the water needs to be almost sponged out. While I was doing that I heard something up the hill, across the creek from where I was working. It sounded like teeth clicking.

Out on there is a video of a Black Bear making a noise they call clacking their teeth or jaw popping. This is exactly the sound I heard. First up on the hill behind me, then again out aways from where I was, but down the hill on the same side of the creek I was on. They say Black Bear do this when they are agitated or nervous.

I never saw the bear, if it was one, but I think it's time to start carrying a sidearm when I'm walking around the property.

What do you guys think about the sound I heard?


Friday, August 19, 2011


I put it back and it seems to be working. Keep your fingers crossed.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fishing Is Like An Ice Cream Cone

Fishing is like an ice cream cone, once you think you've got it licked, it drips all over you. To put it another way, just when you think you've got the key, somebody changes the lock.

Tuesday I thought I had the key to Bear River Reservoir. Today, somebody changed the lock.

Picked up my neighbor Roy and headed up to Bear River Reservoir for another day of, how did I phrase it on Tuesday? "A little sit on my butt fishing". Yes, that was it.

Stopped at Cooks Station for coffee and got there at the same time (0815). Sat on the same rock as Tuesday. Fished in the same approximate area and caught nothing. Well, that's not entirely true. I did catch one Rainbow about 14 inches, but that was it for the day. No more bites and Roy didn't get any either. A guy I met last year sat in the spot that the guy next to me was in Tuesday. He fished the same places and used the same bait (crawlers) and he got skunked too.

So, what was different today, than two days ago? I've already told you. Somebody changed the lock. I don't know....... Fishing Gods hate me today? I bought coffee instead of Roy? That's what he says because he always buys. I had a light blue t-shirt on instead of dark blue? Who knows. Tis the way of the fishing nomad.

So, instead of continuing to whine about how crappy the fishing is in Northern California (the forums will back me up), I'll just show you pictures of our new babies.

This is Jasmine.

This is Sophie.

Jasmine is a prim and proper little girl and Sophie is a tomboy who has adopted Jasper. Where Jasper goes, so goes Sophie. Well, he needed some company since we lost Smudge and I guess he got more than he asked for.

Till next time.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Morning Of Trash Pickup And Fishing

When I got up this morning at 0455 I noticed the motion sensor lights behind my shop were on. Nothing unusual because the deer set it off, the foxes set it off, the raccoons set it off, so I didn't pay it much attention other than listening if there was anything going on. I didn't hear anything, so I went back to bed for another 15 minutes of "I doubt I'll get any more" sleep.

Got the wife up at 0515 (this is our normal time to get up), had our coffee, and listened to the news as we usually do on a weekday morning. After I got dressed I continued to do my morning chores like watering our trees and three huge tomato plants (that's another post). In the back of my mind was that nagging light from 0455, so I wandered down to the shop and around behind.

Since all the trash from the trash can was on the ground in a big heap, one can only assume a bear decided I needed something else to do this morning. Now, the trash can (one of those green 90 gallon things with wheels) is chained to the shop. It also has a chain is wrapped around the can and both are held with padlocks. The bear managed to get one paw inside the can and pull everything out. Guess the motion sensor light doesn't scare him any more. Bet my .357 will.

Once the wife was off to work, I drove to Cooks Station for a cup of coffee and then on to Bear River Reservoir for a little sit on my butt fishing. Put out one rod with Rainbow Power Bait and the other with a blown up mini-crawler on slip sinker rigs.

The first fish came about a half hour after I started fishing on the crawler. After that it was all Power Bait. Since I haven't caught many recently, I kept all five for Bob. Got to keep him in fish. After all, Winter is coming. The key to today's catching was pitching my bait as far out as I could. I estimate I was fishing at about 150 feet from shore. I would have made Tim Lincecum proud. What! you guys don't watch the San Francisco Giants. Get it? Pitching - Tim Lincecum. You guys are a tough audience.

That's it until the next time. Oh, no dip in the lake this time.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Comedy Of Errors

Yesterday, August 8th, my 65th birthday, retired, old, and going fishing.

Plan A: Hit Caples Lake on the sandy side of the spillway, plop my butt on a rock and soak some Power bait.

Stopped at Cooks Station for coffee and assurance that I would catch a limit (the old superstition thing). Back in the truck I passed a sign that mentioned the road work at Carson Pass (beyond Caples) with up to 2 hour delays from 10:00am until 1:00pm. It's only 8:00am and I can get past the road work, sit for 3 hours fishing at Red Lake (five nice Brookies for the smoker was just too much to resist) and cruise back after the 1:00pm cut off time. Cool. Scratch Caples Lake.

Plan B: Screaming up Highway 88 at a blistering 45 miles per hour (in some places and 35 in others), I stopped at the rest area to take a l... and back into the truck. Up the road to Carson Pass and in the middle of the road is a stop light. What the hell is a stop light doing in the middle of Highway 88? And of course, I hit it just as the yellow turned to red. There I sit, waiting for a green light, waiting to drive down to Red Lake which is just a couple of miles ahead, and sitting at a red light in the middle of an interstate highway. How weird is that? Four minutes later I get a green and I'm off. One half a mile down the road is a light for the traffic coming the other way. Wonder what they were thinking. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Sorry, sometimes my mind just slides into the gutter.

Got to Red Lake and grabbed my tackle box, two rods, net with stringer in it, and pad for my boney butt. Walked to the place I usually fish and started down the little, rocky slope to the waters edge. Now, you're going to love this. The first rock I stepped on gave way, I slid down the side of the dam, hit the bottom and was immediately catapulted 5 feet into the lake. That would have been good on You-Tube.

Wet from head to foot, I stood up, threw my two rods up on the shore and grabbed my tackle box before it could float away, which it was trying hard to do. Stuck it up on the shore and grabbed my net, which was now empty, picked up my stringer and crawled out of the lake. Sure glad it wasn't November or December. The water wasn't bad except it was a bit green (algae).

Back to the truck, pulled off my t-shirt, squeezed it out and laid it on the truck hood to dry, put on my hoodie and back to the lake to fish. Not much stops an old Geezer from fishing. Reached for the clippers on my license lanyard and discovered, no lanyard, license, or clippers. Back to the truck to see if I left it there, but it was not to be found. Keep in mind, I've yet to wet a line unless you consider it was wet from our little dip. Back to the fishing spot and scan the water. Can't see the bottom a foot from the shore. Put on a Kastmaster with a treble hook on the end and slowly retrieve it hoping to snag the lanyard, but no such luck.

Crap, I'm fishing anyway. Out with Power Bait and Kastmasters on the other rod. suddenly a shift in wind and I see my pliers (which I didn't even know fell in) laying on the bottom, three feet off shore. I'm already wet, so I walked in and grabbed them, but no sign of my license.

In the second half of the second hour the wind started to pick up, as it usually does up there, and with wet jeans, socks, and sneakers, I started to get chilled. Packed up and headed home for a warm shower and some dry cloths.

Now I had to deal with the construction at the pass again and it was nearing 11:00am. Was I prepared for a two hour wait? Probably not, but when I got to the stop light (that is really weird having a stop light in the middle of the highway) it was green and I blew through, well I actually went slow because there was a bunch of people in front of me, and rolled down the road.

When I got home and unloaded some of the stuff, I found that my license had fallen down in front of the seat and slid under. I must have taken it off when I pulled off my t-shirt. They say your mind is the first thing to go. Want to know what the second thing is? I didn't think so.

Oh yeh, and I didn't even get a bite.

Till the next idiotic adventure.


Saturday, August 6, 2011


Well, Shoreman turns 65 on Monday. I'm not looking for happy birthdays (but if you want to leave one, I won't mind), but what I am looking for are those good smoked trout recipes you guys have.

My wife couldn't wait for Monday to give me my birthday present, so here's a picture.

Looks like a trash can, huh. It's a Masterbuilt 30 inch Electric Smokehouse Smoker. As I type this, it's sitting on the porch going through the curing process.

If you'll remember the post about the Maranello Restaurant and my wife having the grilled prawns with the applewood smoked bacon on them, I think the smoker is for her as much as it is for me.

So, if you have a good smoked trout recipe (or any other good smoke recipe, for that matter) and you think I should have it, why don't you shoot me an email at Better to do it that way than clog up comment section of Blogger.

And Bob, I know you'll see this and think your trout days are over, but I plan on sharing the smoked trout with you and some fresh too.

Till next time.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Some More Slabs

I had plans to make a run out to Rancho Seco Lake yesterday, but circumstances beyond my control, prevented me from getting there, so I headed out there today.

Since I had so much fun with the little Crappie, Blue Gill, what ever they were, up at White Pines Lake, I wanted to try for some on my fly rod at Rancho Seco Lake. There are rumors that record size Crappie lurk in the lake. I wanted to find out if there was any truth to the rumor.

I launched the Float Tube Cumberland at 0830 next to the dock in the picture below.

I did the usual worm under a bobber to locate the school and found them in the cove to the left of that point you see off the end of the dock. As soon as I did, I put on a black gnat with a red tail, that I had tied, under a thingamabobber. They seemed to like that and I landed and released several. Now was the time for the black gnat that Bill Trussel (Fishing Through Life) sent me. Damn if they didn't stick their noses up at it. Sorry Bill, but I keep trying. It's hard to understand how they will take one fly and ignore another that looks almost exactly the same. The ones I caught were in the 4" to 6" range, but nothing that would lean toward a record.

My next thought was to work the reed bed on the right side of the dock area. That's the picture below.

I fished all the way from the dam back to the dock and there wasn't a thing there that resembled a fish. Go figure.

I did use the Handy Dandy William Joseph point and click thermometer to check the temp and it varied from 70 to 73+ degrees. It actually got a bit warm in my waders, but I'd be hard pressed to flipper around all that growth on the bottom with out the waders on, because some of it is just inches below the surface. Last thing I want to do is have my bare legs in that gunk. You become a weenie when you get old. No booing or hissing please.

Well, no record Crappie today, but a bunch of fun catching those Crappie, Blue Gill, what ever they are, on a fly rod. I'll be back to try another part of the lake on another day.

Till next time.