Sunday, October 30, 2011

Slip Sinker Rig ReDoux

In my travels, I run across a lot of fishermen especially out at the lakes. When I ask what they are using, the answer is usually Power Bait. "Are you using a slip sinker rig?" Most say yes. "Are you catching anything?" Some say one or two or nothing yet. I try to explain what I use, but it's hard without a picture of some kind, but I always leave a card (An Avery business card stock with the name and URL for Northern California Trout and the newspaper I write a column for)and say "Stop by and check out the blog. A lot of good stuff there".

Then there are times when I sit within a 100 feet of a guy fishing with a "slip sinker rig and Power Bait" who catches nothing while, I walk away with a limit. I know I've said it before and I'll say it again that I feel bad when that happens. My mission and the mission of Northern California Trout is to help other people catch fish.

So I wanted to do another post on the slip sinker rig on my rod with 4# test line and add in things that work for me.

Here is a picture of my slip sinker rig. Double click so you can get a good look at it.

Start with the sinker: Egg or sliding sinker in 1/4 oz, 3/8 oz, or 1/2 oz depending on how much wind is blowing.

Barrel swivel: #7 gold barrel swivel. You can get them anywhere. Why #7? Seems to work the best with all three sizes of sinkers.

Leader: 4# fluorocarbon leader 18" to 24" depending on how far out you are fishing. If you're fishing in a lake with a lot of undergrowth, you can always lengthen the leader to 36" if necessary. I use Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and Maxima 100% Fluorocarbon Leader. I've been asked why I don't use 2# and the reason is that I've had it break too many times fighting a fish. The only time I've used 6# was in the Camanche Trout Pond when the fish were consistantly running big. I had a 6# leader snapped by one fish in the pond.

The hook: You can get gold treble hooks in various sizes. #18 (smallest), #16 (bigger), #14 (bigger yet) and so forth. A #18 is my hook of choice. Why, you ask? When fishing Power Bait (lets mention that I always use plain old Berkeley Rainbow Power Bait), all you need is enough to cover the hook (the ball should be about the size of a pea). Fishing with Power Bait, the phrase "bigger is better" does not apply. I took my Grandson fishing up at Red Lake one fall and he got into the "bigger is better" syndrome. Being a smart Grandpa, I gave him a bottle of Power Bait that I didn't use and said, "have at it". By the time he was done, the bait ball was the size of a golf ball. He didn't catch anything on it, but had a really good time.

Now comes the kicker. When I first started (I should say got back into) this fishing thing, I came across a guy out of Lake Tahoe by the name of Mark Wiza. Mark is a great fan of Pro-Cure bait scents. In many of the stories he wrote, he talked about this scent or that scent and the fish he caught using it. So, being a listener to those who know, I stopped by Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento and picked up a half dozen bottles.

Anise was always a good scent for trout. Back in the day, before Berkeley Power Bait (you might not be old enough to remember), we used to make our own floating bait out of Velveeta cheese, anise oil, and a packet of stuff that made it float. Throw it all in a pan on the stove (without telling the wife), heat it up, stir it around, and let it cool. Floating cheese bait.

Sweet Corn, well you've heard in the last bunch of posts how that works. Trophy Trout flavor. Haven't caught anything on it, but the cats like it. I also have a shad flavored one and a krill flavored one, and one or two more.

The scents come in a squeeze bottle and are easy to apply to your power bait. Could make the difference in being skunked and catching a limit. One other thing, when you apply, don't be shy. Hey, poetry..........

I hope that helps someone out there. I was approached at the supermarket yesterday by a gentleman I've talked to for years and is just now retiring. He wants me to teach him to fish. We'll be starting, probably in spring, and wants to learn everything. Aaah, a clean slate with no previous bad habits. I can't wait.

OK, enough blabbering. Till next time.


Friday, October 28, 2011

The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy, Day Of.........Fall?

Planned to go up to Bear River with Roy, but he bailed, so I went alone. Since I was going by myself, I waffled about staying home, no I'm going, no I'm staying home, OK I went.

Out the door at 0730 and stopped at Cooks for coffee. Got to Bear River Reservoir at 0815 and drove down to a level spot by the lake. The place I usually fish is on a slope and I wanted to try out my new Coleman fishing (most people call it a camping chair, but this one is specifically for my truck and fishing.) chair. To do that I needed a kind of flat place.

Here's the new chair. I'd tell you what model, but I think it was made especially for Walmart (where I bought it), but I couldn't find it on their website.

So, let's define the title of this post. This is the Lazy part. Sit in a comfortable fishing chair with bottle holders in each arm. Works good for a water bottle, but too small for my coffee mug. I'll keep it anyway.

Now for the Hazy part. They have these things (best as I can describe them) called prescribed burns. The California Department of Forestry (referred in the future as CDF) picks an area and burns all the undergrowth and pine needles. This helps with controlling a future wildfire as long as this burn doesn't get out of control. Oh yeh, they have in the past and probably will in the future. By doing this controlled burn, it causes a bunch of smoke in the area, hence the hazy part.

Now for the crazy part. After I got the chair planted and my butt in the chair, I put out two rods with Rainbow Power Bait on a slip sinker rig and, of course, sweet corn Pro-Cure gel. There was no plan to catch anything, I was soaking up the sun, vitamin D, and generally relaxing. Then there is the best laid plans of mice and men. The first twenty minutes of sitting there soaking and relaxing produced two 10" Rainbows for the stringer and one that broke the leader (I think the leader was frayed a bit). A bit crazy, three fish in 20 minutes. The other 3 for the stringer came between 0835 and 1015. A limit and I'm on my way home. So much for lazy.

The Fall part, around 30 degrees when I got there. Line out and hoodie on with my hands in the pockets. By the time I left, it was 50 something and t-shirt weather. That's Fall at 5850 feet.

Roy and I will hit Bear again early next week. Hopefully it'll be just as good.

Till then.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roy Scores At Amador

Since I did the post on the hatchery at Lake Amador last Wednesday, I wanted to take a try at swinging a Thinmint at those big Cutbows out there. They've planted 10,000 pounds since the plant started. The other thing on the agenda was that the last time Roy and I fished, he made the comment that he had never caught a fish on a lure.

With Roy's son John up for the weekend and leaving today, we hooked up yesterday morning and headed out to Amador for a days fishing. The plan was for Roy to fish lures until he caught one. We got to the lake at 0830, signed in and headed over to the spillway where we usually fish. Sunday night I had put together a lure box for Roy with the best lures for Amador and the ones I've caught fish on before.

This is what it contained: 1/4 oz Kastmasters in gold, silver, silver/blue, and firetiger. Rapala F7 in firetiger. 1/4 oz Red Sonic Roostertail. To finish off the box, I put in a couple of small black snapswivels for fast changing of lures.

While Roy and John fished lures, I worked my way around a couple of points with my fly rod and a thinmint. It was a bit windy, but not so much that I couldn't get a good roll cast that put the fly out about 35 feet. I got a couple of good bumps right off, then nothing. After a while, I changed to an olive Wooly Bugger and then black, but nothing. One would think they'd be hitting the crap out of the flies since the fish were jumping all over the place, but it was not to be. After a while it got windy enough that my roll casts were hitting 20 feet out and then 15, so I quit with the fly rod.

In the couple of times I had talked to the people at check in they told me that the fish were in
2 - 3 feet of water and to fish the surface. I went by the truck and picked up two rods with 4# and headed back to Roy & John. I put on a 1/4 oz Kastmaster in Brook Trout color and caught the first fish of the day. Not the big one I was looking for, but about a pound. Roy snapped some pictures and back into the lake it went. No keeping any fish until the water cools down. Still running at about 70 degrees on the surface.

After a couple of hours of casting lures and flies, I put both rigs of Power Bait out (definately not in the top 2 or 3 feet of water) and waited. First fish was another pounder, snap a picture and released. Then I decided to get my Okuma with 2# and my crappie jigs from the truck and left Roy to tend my two rods. As I returned, Roy was reeling in a pounder for his first fish of the day.

I left one rod out with power Bait and fiddled with the Okuma and crappie jigs for a while and then went back to two rigs with power Bait. Caught and released one more and then Roy scored his first on a lure. The Red Sonic Roostertail did the trick. The interesting thing is that lure is the same one I caught my first two Cutbows at Amador on.

The count for the day went like this. Roy caught two (one of PB and one on the lure) and I caught four (one on the Kastmaster and three on PB). John, unfortunately got skunked, but not for not trying. He casted his little heart out, but it was not to be. Maybe next time.

Roy has all the basics now and teaching class is over. We're going to hit Bear River one more time before he heads back to the Bay Area and we'll see how he does.

Till then.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Fisherman's Elbow

For the last 3 or 4 months, my elbow has been hurting like hell. I've had this before, but not for a long time. Back then they called it tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis - you try to pronounce it, I can't). I've only played tennis a couple of times in my 65 years so to call my problem "tennis elbow" is a bunch of hoke.

So I had this brilliant idea that I'd call it Fisherman's elbow and in doing so, I had to give it some really unpronouncable latin name. With that in mind, I went to Google and did a search for fisherman's elbow. What a crock, somebody had already idenitfied it, but they haven't given it a cool latin name. They'll probably use the same one as tennis elbow. Yeh, they did. I found it on another website.

I did come across an interesting article on a website called and if you want to read it (there are some pretty funny parts), here's the link.

OK, so what do you do if you have this affliction? You can get one of these handy little things that wrap around your elbow (I have an Ace one) and press on the muscle so it keeps the pain away or you can do drugs. I vote for drugs.

OK, I thought it was a good idea when I started looking into it. So what does Shoreman do when he is afflicted? He goes fishing, of course. Not going to let a little thing like fisherman's elbow keep me down.

Pulled out of the house at 0730 and stopped for coffee at Cooks Station (tired of hearing this yet?) and got to Bear River Reservoir at 0815 (it's not very far). There were a lot of people fishing, but nobody in my usual spot. They must have known I was coming. Never mind, it's a fathead thing.

Put out one rod with PB and set the second one up with a gold Panther Martin just to see if anything would hit. Nothing did, so I put the seond one out with PB too. Somewhere around 0900 I caught one in the 10" range. After that, I didn't get much interest for the next 45 minutes, so I decided it was time to experiment. I'm the one who lives to the code of "give them what they want and they will come". On one rod I put on fresh PB and added some Pro-Cure Anise for a little licorice smell. On the other one I put fresh PB and added some Pro-Cure Corn smell.

Corn was the trick this morning. In the next 30 minutes, I put 4 more on the stringer for a limit and packed up. I walked up and down the shore to see what others were catching and it was one or two per stringer. I did what I could to help them, but without the Pro-Cure corn (today's key to Bear River) it was going to be a slow day.

When I stop for coffee I always talk about going fishing, but it never crossed my mind to ask them if they want any trout. This morning I did and since they said "sure" they'd love some, I dropped off the five for them.

That's it until the next adventure.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lake Amador Hatchery

Back on the post dated October 6th; I mentioned that I might get the chance to tour the hatchery at Lake Amador. Today I got that chance.

First I want to note that the test they ran the week of October 9th; was a success and they began stocking those beautiful Cutbows or Donaldson Trout that inhabit the lake. They’ve made a little change in how they stock compared to years past. Instead of stocking 5000 pounds each Wednesday at 10:00am, they are stocking 1000 pounds daily (I’d tell you where, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy), but at different times. The problem with the previous stocking program was that even though it was posted that no fishing was allowed until 5:00pm on stocking day, fishermen would run over there as soon as the stock truck was out of sight and start fishing. This way the hopes are that more fish will make remain in the lake and not be caught, right off the bat. As of today, they’ve planted 7000 pounds of fish ranging from 3 to 6 pounds. The biggest caught so far this year was last Sunday and it weighed in at 6.23 pounds.

I met with Lee Lockhart (head hatchery guy) at the check-in and we drove over to the hatchery. I would tell you where it is, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy on this too. I will tell you that it is not the place you pass as you drive up the dam to the lake. That is a Sturgeon farm for caviar.

I did more of a pictorial review of the hatchery rather than a lot of words. You know how the saying goes, “A picture is worth a 1000 words”. So, I’ll start out with the “little guys”.

Their first "real" home.

These are “fingerlings” about 6” long and this is their first stop on the long (about 2 years) trip to the lake. Notice the netting over the tanks. It keeps the Cormorants and Kingfishers out. It would be a bird smorgasbord. Even though the net is there, the birds still manage to sneak in once in a while.

When they get a little larger they are transferred to these bigger, round tanks for the next phase of growing. The ones in these tanks are about 2 pounds.

Here’s a little video of a tank full of 2 to 3 pound fish.

They are appreciative little guys. If you’ve seen that little “feed the fish” thing on the side of several blogs, you can imagine then, that when a human walks by the tank, the fish immediately swim to that side and get all excited. Kind of like Pavlov and the dog thing.

Then the last stop before the lake is this holding pond with fish from 3 pounds up.

In the past, eggs were purchased and the trout were raised in the hatchery, but recently they have been keeping brood stock and raising the trout from the eggs harvested from brood females and fertilized with males kept in an adjoining pond.

Here is the tank with the females, many are ready to spawn.

In the tank next to it, are the males.

Let me tell you, these are some BIG trout. Most are 5 pounds and above, and I mean way above. There was no taking my fishing rod out of the truck while I was there either.

I’ve been to the hatchery at Natomas where they grow Steelhead and Salmon to put into the American River, but this was where the fish I caught, the beginning of last year, were raised. To recap what I caught, it went something like this: 4lb – 8oz, 3lb – 15oz, 2lb – 15oz, 4lb – 12oz, 5lb – 2oz, and my personal best, 7 pounds. Some of the ones I saw today would top 7 pounds, easily.
I’ve heard several guys complain about the $17/$18 to fish here, but I can tell you it’s a lot cheaper than the hundreds to thousands that some pay to fish at those fancy lodges and catch fish that are a lot smaller.

Then let’s talk about Mark (post dated January 25, 2011) who is 9 years old and caught his first fish at Lake Amador. I estimated it to be around 4+ pounds. Well, his Dad sent me an email and it turned out to be 5lbs and 21” long. I’m sure that set him to be a fisherman for life.

So if you’re in the area, why don’t you run out there and cast a lure or two. Want some hints? Try Kastmaster in gold, Brook Trout, or Fire Tiger colors. Try a Rapala F7 or F9 in Fire Tiger or maybe just a plain white Crappie jig. There’s a lunker lurking in the depths with your name on it. Better go get it.

Till next time.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Red & Silver

Monday morning, weather's nice, time to go fishing.

Left the house at 0730 and stopped for coffee at Cooks Station. I know you guys are going to think I'm a glutton for punishment, but I have high hopes for Red Lake and Brook trout. I managed to get past the Carson Pass blast area with only a 15 minute wait. Got to Red Lake at about 0845. My plan was to see if I could rustle up a Brookie or two on Kastmasters and if I could, the switch to my fly rod.

All I managed to rustle up were those little Cutts that are around 6". Three to be exact. As has been my experience with Red Lake, if silver doesn't work, try gold. Well I tried all the colors in my tackle box and both colors of Panther Martins to no avail. I just can't get a Brookie to show it's face up there.

So I headed back down the hill. This time the hold at the blast area was 25 minutes. Made me wonder, since I was the first car in line, why the flag guy kept looking at his watch. I think he was timing the wait.

Next option was Caples. As I passed the lake, it had whitecaps on it, so I opted for Silver if it wasn't too windy. As it turns out, it was calm and glassy. I went out to the rock I normally fish from and set out two rods with PB. As I was sitting there, I noticed several pretty good sized trout cruising by about 5 feet off shore. They seemed to be surface feeding, so I took my Okuma with 2# and tied a #18 gold treble hook on the end (no sinker). I put a small dab of PB (I'm still using rainbow) on the hook and waited for one to swim by.

The first one came by and I dropped the PB three feet in front of it's nose. It made all kinds of dashes at it, but wouldn't take it. Same thing with the second one.

OK, time for plan B. I walked back to the truck and swapped my Okuma for my fly rod with floating line. My first shot was with a size 16 stimulator. It just swam by and didn't show any interest. Second try was with a Thinmint. Nada. Guy across the way made some mention about grasshoppers. Ok, Dave's Hopper. Nope. Last on the list (and I was getting tired of standing in one spot looking for fish) was a Black Gnat (Sorry Bill, didn't have yours with me) and once again, nada.

Couldn't get any interest on flies (what they seemed to be feeding on was a small gnat of some type. You guys know I'm Entomology stupid), but I did get a bunch of casting practice. I have a marking on my fly line at 35 feet and I was consistantly casting past that. You know, that old
10 & 2 thing, with one back swing and then lay it on the water.

I did manage one 10 incher on PB and gave it to a couple fishing next to me. They didn't speak English too well (Russian, I think), and I had some trouble explaining that one fish wasn't worth taking home. But I finally made myself clear and they added that one to the 4 on their stringer. Today was a day for slinging flies and practicing casting.

Wasn't a particularly productive day, but I did manage some sun (we always need a little more Vitamin D) and added a little color to my truck driver tan. Don't want to be running around with out a shirt when your a geezer. Scares away the other fishermen and the fish.

Onward to the next adventure. Till then.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Star Among Us

Yesterday I was reading through my new copy of Fly Fisherman Magazine and came across this section. It's one of those "letter to the editor" places although they call it Tight Lines. You know how I am with names of articles and names of flies. What caught my attention in this "letter" was the fly called Two Bit Hooker. Hmmmm, interesting.

When I got to the bottom of the "letter" I noticed who sent it in. Yes, it is our fellow blogger Cofisher from Wind Knots & Tangled Lines, Howard.

Double click for a good read.

Now, I didn't just run out and write this without consulting Howard. I didn't want to embarass him without his knowledge that I was going to yell this across the blogosphere.

A big thanks to Howard for talking to us lowly bloggers, now that he has published (somewhat) in a really big magazine. We are awed by your friendship.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Float Tube Cumberland At Camanche

Ever since last year I've wanted to put the Float Tube Cumberland in Lake Camanche from the north shore. I mentioned in the post last Monday that I might and today I did.

I left home at the usual 0730 and drove directly to the lake. No coffee, no nothing. Got to the lake at 0845 and aired up the FTC, gathered my fly rod (with intermediate sinking line), couple of boxes of flies, and all the other stuff that goes with float tubing.

Pushed off at 0900 and on the way out, snapped a photo of Shoreman's truck from about 300 feet out. I always taking pictures from shore, thought I'd give you a change of scenery.

Had a specific path in mind and headed to the right from here. I got a new rod holder (you know, the kind that straps to the float tube) from Bass Pro Shop and set it up with a spinning rod and a #7 Rapala in Fire Tiger color, just to trail behind and see if anything showed interest. Just to be done with this rod, nothing did.

About half way to my turn around point, I got my first hit at about 0915. I'm guessing a pretty good sized fish, but in screwing around with trying to reel in the excess line and not paying attention to keeping a tight line (the bane of every fisherman's existance) it managed to send the fly back at me.

At the turn around point, I did a 360 turn and casted in all directions just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. As I started back the way I came, I saw a fish roll about 40 feet to my left. I was hoping for just that, because they did a lot of surface feeding on Monday when it was raining and I wanted to give sight fishing a shot.

The cast was just across where the fish had rolled and I didn't get to strip the fly more than about 2 feet and it hit. The fight was on and then the fight was gone. When I stipped in the line, the line had broke at the double surgeon knot, but on the tippet side. This was about 0930. I have to think the tippet might have been worn, old, frayed, who knows, but lesson learned. Tie on new tippet at the beginning of every trip. It was a big one too. Maybe 3 pounds.

Flippered back across and did another 360 and flippered back to the other turn around. A distance of maybe a quarter mile. Flippering back toward where I launched, one of the shore guys yelled at me that I was crossing his line. Like me on the surface was going to effect his rig on the bottom. Besides, I was 150 feet off shore and I doubt he could even cast out that far.

Just after our little sparing session, I hooked up again. This time I didn't have to worry about the slack in my stripping apron because the fish took all that line and then some. I worked it in and got it into the net as soon as I could. Pulled out the fly and with a quick photo, back into the water it went.

Not the most perfect picture, but you get the idea.

I estimate about 19 inches and around 2 pounds. Didn't want it to be out of the water any more than necessary since the water was still warm. It did swim away, back into the depths for another day. I wrapped up the day at Noon and headed out for some lunch.

So, what was the magic fly? What is my first choice when fishing a lake? A Tungsten Beadhead Thinmint of course. Today it was a size 10 and worked wonderfully.

Till the next adventure.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Invasion of The Turkey Vultures

All of a sudden they decended on the pond. Must have been 25 or 30.

Double click for better view.

Then they were gone.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day At Camanche

Back on the 6th, I wrote about the down country lakes. Since then, I've heard a couple of good reports on the local forums about Camanche Lake, so I decided to give the North Shore a shot.
Left the house at the usual 0730 and after running a couple of errands (gas in the truck, coffee at Starbucks, and a stop at the auto store to pick up an air freshner, because the one I had was out and the truck smelled like fish) I headed out to Lake Camanche.

Got to the gate at 0845 and a spot to fish at 0900. Put out two lines with Power Bait and proceeded to set up my camping chair. I wasn't planning on too much physical fishing today. It was a holiday, after all.

Nothing much happened until 1000, then it started raining. Oh, I knew it could happen, but the weather guessers said most of the rain would be in the foothills which is the reason I went downhill rather than uphill. Huh, what do they know.

On a positive note, as soon as the drops started to hit the lake, the fish started feeding on the surface. I brought one rod in and put a gold 1/4 oz Kastmaster on my Okuma with 2# test and let it fly. Gold was not the color of choice, so I switched to Rainbow Pink (Kastmaster calls it Rainbow Trout color) and on the third cast, got a hit. When landed, the Rainbow was about a pound and a half and about 18 inches long. I didn't want to hold it very long. I wanted to put it back because it had a "sore" (best way I can describe it) on one side. The "sore" was about the size of a dime and looked like it was bleeding. I didn't think the fish would last long and thought it would be better to live the rest of its life back in the lake. I wasn't sure what the "sore" was, but didn't think human consumption would be a good idea.

After that, pink was no longer the color of choice so I switched to silver. The second hookup was somewhere in the area of about 2 or so pounds. I got to see the fish, but it decided it wanted to stay in the lake and threw my lure back at me. Then the rain got heavier. Fortunately it was a warm rain because I didn't have a rain coat, just my hoodie. I wasn't expecting rain, uphill remember.

I fished until Noon and finally gave in to the wet shirt, pants, and hoodie and called it a day. The only thing that I considered detremental to the lake was that the water was still pretty warm. I didn't have my thermometer, but would guess at the water temp being near 70 degrees at shore. My assumption (hate using that word, but it fits in this sentence) is that even if fish were caught, they would be "mushy" because of the warm temperatures. Good time of the year for catch and release though. Might be a good time of the year to put a float tube in the lake because there was a lot of surface action and some of them were pretty good size fish.

Going to try to get one more day in this week. Maybe go back to Camanche and put the Float Tube Cumberland in and trawl a rapala, now that I have a rod holder for the tube and throw a Thinmint or Wooly Bugger and see what I can scrape up.

I'll let you know if it happens. Till then.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh The Snow

On the last post, John and Howard wanted to talk smoking. We've gone over the Tri-Tip, chicken, and trout. The next thing to be smoked was pork chops. We got a deal at the supermarket on "almost" boneless pork chops so I bought a, what are they called, bonus pack. You know the ones I'm talking about that have 50 pork chops in the package instead of two. This particular package only had 8 in the package, but they were the size of a dessert plate. About 8 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.

The cook put them in a brine (don't ask me what was in it besides salt) and then in the smoker for 1 hour. We used Cherrywood for this smoke. They were wonderful, sorry you missed them. That's it so far for smoking.

I headed out of the house at 0730 this morning with the intent of hitting Bear River Reservoir for a quick fishing trip. Stopped for coffee at Cooks Station and headed up the hill. The snow started showing at 5500 feet, so I expected snow at Bear (5800 ft) and wasn't disappointed although there wasn't that much. The higher up peaks had a lot more and the ski resorts are now making snow for those downhill folks.

Arrived at 0815 and with one rod with Power Bait out, used my Okuma with 2# test and a gold 1/16th oz Panther Martin. With no interest, I switched to a silver 1/16th oz Kastmaster and then gold. Still no interest. As I was fiddling around with lures, I caught one on the Power bait that was 13 inches and put it on the stringer. I switched to a Rainbow Trout 1/8th oz Kastmaster and the third cast produced one small (10") Rainbow put back for another day.

Then I caught another one on the Power Bait, but was lip hooked so it went back for another day, also. Then one on the Kastmaster which did that "flip off the hook, back into the lake" trick.

The rest of the two hours I was up there (0815-1015) was two rods with Power Bait and me sitting on my butt. In those two hours I caught six more and was able to release two more putting a total of five on stringer. Two of those six were hooked at the same time. That's fun. You're reeling in one and your other rod is bouncing around in the rod holder.

Not a bad morning. Two hours of fishing and home in time to do chores. Chores? Who wants to do chores. What the hell is wrong with me? I should have stayed up at the lake and did some more catch & release. Next time.

The five I brought home, I kept cold with Natures ice (snow). Saves a few bucks by not having to buy ice from the store. Dropped them off at Bobs to build his stash.

Next week we are expecting mid 80's in Sacramento so the weather up here should be very nice. Just might have to go fishing again.

Till next time.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Winter Arrives

The storm hit last night and is was a pretty good soaking. I would guess upwards of two inches of rain.

This is mostly for the locals..........

Yesterday I had errands to run down in Sacramento, so I picked today for my trip to the down country lakes for a seasonal update. Besides, yesterday it rained all day and today was supposed to be intermittent showers and I had a few errands to run in town.

My first stop (in the pouring rain) was Lake Camanche. They have not started stocking trout this year, but will be starting in a week or two. They are having their 2nd annual Derby Day coming up on October 15th and want to have some fish in the lake. They will be stocking the Trout Pond at the south shore entrance at the same time. People are already filling the camp grounds in anticipation of the first stocking. As for the Trout Pond, if you’ll remember last year, the pelicans were in mass and as they dumped the fish out of the stock truck, the pelicans were scooping them up as fast as they hit the water. So far this year the report is that there are no pelicans to be seen at the pond. One can be hopeful.

Now for Derby Day, October 15th, it starts at 0700 (or safe light) to 3:00pm.

  • There will be 10 tagged fish, including one with a $25,000 tag on it.

  • Prizes will be awarded for the 5 biggest stringers.

  • $10 big fish option (90% payback). Not sure what this means.

  • Includes a BBQ lunch.

  • And a raffle benefiting The Ed Waldo Children’s Fund.

Tickets are on sale now.
· $30 if purchased by October 7th (that would be tomorrow).
· $40 if purchased between October 7 – 14th.
· $50 if purchased on the 15th.

Good luck to everyone participating. As for me, I won't be there. The best bet for a derby like this is from a boat and as you know, I'm Shoreman.

Stop number two was at Lake Pardee (it was still pouring, maybe intermittent pouring?). As of September 30th they have stocked 77,000 pounds of Rainbow Trout. They will be closing on November 6th, but will reopen around February 17th or so. This year I'll be there on opening day.

The last stop of the day was Lake Amador (yes, it was still pouring). You know, where we got those big Cutbows this past January & February. So far, in 2011, they stocked 113,300 pounds of Trout. Starting next week they plan on doing a test stocking of about a dozen small trout just to see how they will fair. If they do well, the stocking will resume shortly thereafter. There is a chance that yours truly might get a guided tour of the hatchery. If that comes about, I will surely share my experience with all of you.

If you don't remember this picture from last January 7th, this is the spillway at Lake Amador where we did most of our fishing. Notice the buoys. Today it was dry (Ok, it was raining) all the way to the right of the buoys at least 30 feet. Sorry I didn't get a picture, I left the camera at home, but you get the idea.

That’s it for today’s adventure. As the upcountry lakes start winding down, the down country lakes are starting to ramp up. As for the weather, our intermittent showers are still pouring and upcountry, the snow level (per the Noon news, you didn’t think I was going up there too, did you?) is just below 5000 ft (we are at 3215 ft). The next seven days or so are supposed to be warmer, so I don’t have any expectations of the snow staying for very long, at least at the lower levels.

Till next time.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I don't know if any one else is having the same problem I'm having, but I'm just about ready to trash both Blogger and Google.

I've put several comments on blogs that are on my blogroll, and when I press "Post Comment" they just disappear. This is not something new, it's been happening for some time now. I've logged out and re-logged in and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.

So don't dispair. I am reading your posts and I'd love to make some comments, but this crappy system sucks and just won't let me. It's really frustrating to write a 5 or 6 paragraph comment and have it just disappear.

I'm out there, I'm reading your posts, and I'm trying to let you know I do, but if you don't see anything, the next time you see Blogger or Google, shoot it.



Monday, October 3, 2011

Winter's Approach

Sitting here typing this post, I'm listening to Boomer Radio. If any of you Geezers out there don't know about it, here is the link: All oldies and the great thing, it's FREE.

We are expecting rain, starting this evening, so I thought I'd take a shot at Red Lake before the snow, yes snow, gets here. I'm hoping that the approach of this storm would trigger the Brook Trout spawn at Red.

Rolled out of the house at 0730 (as usual) and stopped for the standard cup of coffee at Cooks Station. Blew by Bear River Reservoir and stopped at the Peddler Hill Overlook for a panorama shot of the lake for your enjoyment.

Here it is..........

Sorry, it was a little foggy up there.

Now, remember the blasting area at Carson Pass was to be completed by September 30th which would make it a good day to take that shot at Red Lake without waiting the nominal two hours. I even stopped at the rest area, to go to the bathroom, so I could jet right over Carson pass and drop down to Red Lake. They weren't done........ Got stuck in line (at the stop light) from 0835 until 0900. From what I could see, it'll be next September when they are done. Good luck when it starts snowing.

OK, got to Red Lake and since the wind was blowing 15 to 25mph with gusts to 45mph, I opted for one rod with 1/4 oz Kastmasters. I walked from the left side of the dam about 1/2 mile along the shore. I worked the Kastmasters like this. In about a 150 foot span, I fished a silver one, then a gold one over the same area and finished up with a silver blade Panther Martin (the one with a yellow body and red dots). All three have been good at this lake. Then I'd move 300 feet to the right (back toward the dam) and do the same routine.

At my first stop I noticed a little Fall color so I took a shot for you.

I worked all the way back and across half of the dam and I didn't see anything that looked like a
Brook Trout. All I got for my efforts was two of those little (6"-7") Cutts I've been getting there all Summer. Probably the same two I caught before. While I was standing on the dam, I took a picture back toward Carson Pass of some of the clouds from the incoming storm.

At 1015 I packed up and headed back over the pass. Coming over the delay was 35 minutes. Going back the delay was 50 minutes. Finally got through and on the way by, I noticed that Caples and Silver Lakes both had whitecaps on them, so I passed and headed for Bear River in the hopes I could tuck into the side of the dam and maybe fish without the hurricane winds. Wait, hurricane winds are from 75mph up. Ok, so Tropical Storm winds.

Got to Bear at 1130 and parked at my usual spot with two rods out with Power Bait. I fished from 1145 to 1245 and put 5 on the stringer for Bob and lost one to that old "flipped off the hook and back into the water trick". Just as I was leaving the helicopter below was landing in the parking lot on top of the dam. I think it's used for maintenance/inspection of the lake. I've seen it on several occasions, but not that close. Wonder if one could trawl with it?

Well, that's it for today. Oh yeh, the storm is due to start tonight, but the snow is due on Wednesday (depends on what TV station you listen to) down as far as 6000 feet. That would cover Red Lake, Caples Lake, and Silver Lake. Going to be white up the hill. Later this week I'm going to take a run out to the lower lakes to see what the outlook is. I'll let you know.

Till the next adventure.