Friday, December 16, 2011

Top Ten Reasons Why I Still Fish Part 1

This is part one of an article I've written for the local newspaper.

10. Beautiful sights in Nature. Some years ago, I was camping up with some friends at a place called Gold Lake in Plumas County. The area is peppered with small lakes. One in particular is Upper Sardine Lake. We decided to take a drive over and do some fishing in this pristine high mountain lake. To get to the lake, at that time, there was a short but extremely rough four wheel drive trail from the lower lake to the upper lake. Now, all you can do is hike from one to the other. The reason is that, once you started up the trail you couldn’t stop until you got to the top and then you had to jam on the brakes or end up over the top and into the lake. Being the good guy I am, I let my friend go first. I’d already been up there a couple of times so I knew what to expect. Up the hill he goes, low range and spitting rocks all over the place. He gets to the top and what does he see? There was a young lady lying on a towel, soaking up the sun, without a stitch of clothes on. You have to believe both were surprised. My friend was so shocked, that he almost, almost ran into the lake. She, on the other hand, scrambled for her clothes. So I keep fishing in the hopes that I too, will come upon a fair maiden, devoid of clothes, lying on a towel, soaking up the sun, on some high mountain lakeshore. One can hope, you know.

9. The elusive Steelhead. I started after chrome in October of 2009 on a trip to Oregon to fish the Deschutes River at Maupin. The trip, as far as the Steelhead fishing goes, was a disaster. You get a short sighted guide that will fish one way, and one way only, you tend to disparage the whole Steelhead fishing thing. On the other hand, I’m a trout fisherman and what is Steelhead? It’s nothing more than an oceangoing Rainbow Trout. Here in the Sacramento area, we are at the bottom of Steelhead country, but we still get out share in the American River. In the past, I’ve concentrated on Steelhead on a fly rod, but next time, whatever it takes. So, for reason 9, they are still out there, and I will be back out there after them. They say Steelhead is the fish of 10,000 casts; well I’m close to 20,000 so it’s my turn. Watch out Steelie, I’m coming to get you.

8. Berkeley Rainbow Power Bait. I’ve got so many bottles; I have to keep fishing so I don’t waste it.

7. The cost of each fish. The cost of my fishing license in 2010 was $63.47. This includes the standard license, a second rod stamp, and a Steelhead report card. I maintain what I call a “Fish to license ratio” spreadsheet. It does several things. One, it keeps track of the number of fish I catch. Two, it tells me what the cost per fish is (this is only the cost of the license vs. number of fish, but doesn’t include gas, entrance fees, etc). Three, it tells me (Ok I have to read it) what I caught where. Kind of like a journal.

6. Blogging. If I don’t fish, I won’t have anything to write about. I started my blog in January 2009 and once you start a blog, it gains a life of its own. I started it, mainly because there weren’t any reports around that told local fishermen what was being caught and where, and that is exactly what I wanted to do. Since then, it has 139 followers from around the world. Just to name a couple of places that people stop by from: Malaysia, Wales, Fiji, and South Africa.

Part 2 tomorrow.