Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roy Still Needs More Practice

My neighbor Roy (you know him from previous posts) is up from San Mateo, so we planned a day up at Caples.

Rolled out of the house at 0730 and stopped at Cooks Station for coffee. This time I let him buy because he blamed the last crappy trip on the fact I paid for coffee. Coffee in hand, we headed up the mountain for Caples Lake.

I picked the same place (the dead tree) as I fished in the last post ( so maybe we'd catch a couple of fish. We got there at 0830 and I didn't even bother with lures, just put out two rods with Power Bait and Roy put out one (he only has a one rod license until next year).

I took first blood with a 11 inch Rainbow. Roy took second, with one the same size. Things were looking good because it was only a half hour into the day. Then I took #3 and #4 for the stringer. We hung out until 1030 then decided to run down to Silver Lake and fish the rocks. We had decided that if Silver Lake didn't pan out, we could always run down to Bear River and try there.

We got set up on the rocks and I had barely thrown out my first line and I had one on. Then I caught the second one and a third one. In between fish, I was over yakking with a couple of guys next to us. You know me, get me near another fisherman and the next thing you know we are deeply into swapping fishing stories.

I walked back over to where Roy was and he had caught one and put it on the stringer. I caught one more and at this point we had five on the stringer. Since we already had four in the bucket and five on the stringer (you only get 5 each), I pulled in my rods and let Roy have at it. Good teacher and neighbor and all that.

Now comes the controversy. I put one line back out and Roy put his out and they were this far apart.............. Roy got a bite and when we got the fish in, my line and his line were tangled. Once he got the fish off, I got his rod and my rod to separate the lines and guess what? The hooks were tangled together. So the controversy is: was the fish on his hook or on my hook? We'll never know, but he takes credit for the fish. I concede, it was probably on his hook, maybe......

OK, so a much better day because he bought coffee. I'll know better in the future. Next week Fall is going to roll in here like a herd of elephants. They are saying rain at least Monday through Thursday. Might put a damper (yuk, yuk) on fishing.

Till the next adventure, remember, a bad day fishing is better than any day at work unless you're a fishing guide.


Friday, September 23, 2011

A Day In The Life

Today is Friday September 23rd, 2011 and this is a day in the life of Shoreman. The wife is off today so what should Shoreman do? Go fishing of course. It's a two fold idea. One to let the wife be home with out my smiling mug around and get out to the lake, since I've been housebound for the last week with a remodel of the kitchen floor.

0545 - Rolled my lazy butt out of bed. Turned on the coffee maker and ate a bowl of cereal, a banana, and took the necessary medications I do each morning.

0630 - With a commuter mug of coffee in hand, kissed the wife goodbye and hit the road. On a side note, it's still a bit dark at 0630 in beautiful Volcano (not downtown, we're up on what's called Shake Ridge).

0715 - Got to Carson Pass and was only held up about 2 minutes (remember the 2 hour delay because of blasting rock was still in effect).

0730 - Arrived at Red Lake (which is still green).

0745 - Parked my butt by the lake with one rod out with Power Bait (as usual) and the other with 1/4 ounce Kastmasters. There turned out to be no interest in Power Bait nor with 1/4 oz Kastmasters, so I changed to my Okuma with 2# test and 1/16 oz Kastmaster in silver. Between 0745 and 0845 I landed two small (about 6 inch) Cutts and had two hit and runs. A little photo of Red Lake for your enjoyment. Looks pretty much like all the others I've taken during the summer, huh?

0900 - Wandered over to the West Fork of the Carson River where Highways 88 & 89 meet. Been some big Rainbows taken according to the local forums, so I thought I'd give my Okuma and a 1/16th oz Panther Martin a shot. From what I could see, it looks like the stock truck comes and dumps right under the bridge and combat fishing occurs. There is a hole right by the bridge and as far as I could see, it was the deepest part of the "river". The rest of the "river" is around 2 to 3 inches deep. Waste of time.

0930 to 1030 - I spent driving on some pretty good 4wd roads trying to find a place called Scotts Lake. I went as far as I felt safe driving and turned around at a creek washout that was too deep to try and get my truck across. It was by dirt bike or horse from there.

1030 to 1040 - Waiting for passage across Carson Pass blasting area again. Ten minutes wasn't too bad. Could have been two hours.

1050 - Arrived at Caples Lake at the dead tree, set up one rod with Power Bait and the second one with Kastmasters. No interest in Kastmasters so I put the second one out with Power Bait also.

1130 - Caught one 12" Rainbow and as I was putting it on the stringer (for Bob), caught a second one on the other rod. it was about 12" too.

1140 - Missed a hit.

1145 - Missed another one.

1210 - Caught number 3.

1240 - Caught number 4.

1:15pm - Note I've gone off military time. Packed it up and called it a day. Stomach growling and in need of sustanance. A view of Caples from where I parked my truck. Note that it is September 23rd and there is still snow on the mountains.

1:30pm - Caples Lake Resort Store for Diet Coke and Famous Amos cookies. They don't have a lot of stuff for consumption.

2:15pm - Stop at Bob's for a bucket swap (drop off the fish and get an empty bucket for next time).

2:30pm - Home.

4:25pm - Writing this post, kids (cats) fed, and Shoreman signing off.

Till next time.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Background Picture

In honor of the last post, the background picture is Silver Lake.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I've Got Worms

Not those kind, get your mind out of the gutter. I've got nightcrawlers. Real live ones. This time I checked and made sure they were alive. So, 0730 and I'm off to Silver Lake to catch those big ones that are biting on blown up nightcrawlers.

Got there about 0815 and with sunshine and blue skies, the outlook was good.

Did a little more research and thought I'd try the West Lake Road. Nice road, nice cabins, no access to the lake. Back over to the East side. Now everybody (maybe one or two people) said to fish the inlet. Ok, have no idea where the inlet is, but maybe somewhere on the East side? Got to that side and all the access points are nice sandy beaches, that are about a foot deep, out 100 yards or so. Great if you're swimming, lousy if you're fishing. Kept going and came across a small (truck width) road I've not been on before. Follow it to the end and there's a nice parking area with another truck and three guys getting ready to walk down to the lake and fish. "Good place to fish?" I ask. "Yup". "Mind if I wander down and drown a couple of nightcrawlers?". They turned around and walked away. Didn't even answer. Friendly sort, they were. Must be that undesirable fisherman thing.

So I grabbed my gear and walked down to the lake. It was about 1/4 mile across big boulders and some scrub brush. I just followed the path and ended up at a nice rock and wouldn't you know it, right next to the inlet. The three guys? Never saw them.

It's now 0845 and with one rod with Power Bait and one with a blown up nightcrawler, I was set to go. At 0910 the rod with Power Bait went "twang (you understand twang)" and I put a 11 inch Rainbow on the stringer. Figured I'd better keep some for Bob. Winter's coming. At 0920 I put the second one (about 14 inches) on the stringer. It came on the Power Bait too. From then until 1030 all I did was soak Power Bait and drown worms. There were no fish to be had.

Packed up, hiked back up to the truck, and drove out to Ferguson Point to try there. Someplace different. Fished until Noon and then moved again. All I got on the two rods was crap off the bottom. My next stop was that rock I fished back on September 1st, but this time I didn't have to wade out to it. The lake had dropped some and I could walk to the rock. There were a couple of girls fishing on the rock to the right, but they said they hadn't caught anything. More about them later.

I set both rods out, one with PB and the other with a blown up nightcrawler. Didn't get any interest on either rod, so with past experience on my mind, I set up both with Power Bait. The school went by and I had one on and then the second rod hit. I reeled in the first one and put the fish (still on the hook) in a little indentation in the rock (filled with water) and reeled in the second one. As I was unhooking the one I just reeled in, it flipped up and back into the water for another day. Too bad, it would have gone a good 14 inches. The second one went on the stringer.
By this time the clouds were starting to gather. Remember, we've had thunder and lightning storms for the past 5 or 6 days. Then it started to rain. It looked like this.

Then it stopped raining. Then it rained again, then it stopped. Then the school came by again and I had another one on the stringer. Then it rained again. Then the school came by and I had the 3rd and final one I could take today (I already had two in the bucket, in the truck, on ice).

Two of the three girls from when I got there, came back and were fishing again, but still hadn't caught anything, so I went into teaching mode. They were waiting for me to leave, so I had them come over and rigged one of them up with my slip sinker rig and while I was rigging the other, the first girl caught a fish. We talked about pliers for taking out the hook, I gave them a jar of Rainbow Power Bait, having rags to wipe off your hands (I left a couple), and this blog, for future information.

I hope they caught more because that's what we're out there for. Things are definately looking up.

Till the next adventure.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Snuck Out To Wet A Line

Last night was interesting to say the least. All day it was overcast and the wind was blowing, but when the sun went down, it got really interesting. In all the years I've been listening to weather forecasts, I've never heard any of the weather guessers mention wind being pushed in front of a storm system until yesterday morning. So yesterday evening I paid attention and sure enough, as the storm approached, the wind picked up.

Now, you say, "What's the big deal with a little wind"? Have you ever watched a little wind blow a 200 foot tree back and forth across an area of about 15 feet? Kind of makes you hold your breath and hope that sucker doesn't snap. I'm not talking about one tree, I'm talking about 40 or 50 trees all moving at once.

That's what it was like last night with the addition of a lot of lightning (according to the weather reports 200 - 300 strikes per hour), a bunch of thunder, and a whole lot of rain. You guys back in the Mid-West know what I'm talking about.

I changed the background picture to reflect how it looked here this morning. Since the sun was shining, I decided to run up to Bear River Reservoir (20 miles from the house) before this afternoon's deluge comes. I stopped at Cooks Station for coffee and hit the lake at 0830, at the usual spot by the dam. I would have picked up some crawlers, but they were out, so it was Power Bait and lures.

One rod out with Rainbow Power Bait and I used my little Okuma with 2 lb test and a small Brook Trout Kastmaster. Nothing on the Brook Trout Color, so I changed to gold and then to silver. Third cast with the silver and I had a nice 9 inch Rainbow on. Got it in (lip hooked) and gently released it for another day. After that, nothing on Kastmasters.

Then came the fun part. Put on a Rainbow Trout color F-9 Rapala to see if I could get any interest. Well, that went south when it got tangled in a bunch of line and broke my line. It was only 5 feet or so off shore, but deep enough that I couldn't get to it.

Plan B - tie a "crap" Kastmaster on the rod with 4# test and retrieve it. Good plan, but the 4# broke leaving the "crap" Kastmaster with the Rapala.

Plan C - go back to the truck and get the rod with 6# test and retrieve both lures. Tied on second "crap" Kastmaster and managed to get it tangled in the line, but pulled it in close enough to grab. Line broke, but I did get something for my troubles. A couple of small egg sinkers, a small split shot, and one of those 8" wire leaders with a barrel swivel on one end and a snap on the other (fodder for the window sill). A second cast and I snagged both the Rapala and the "crap" Kastmaster. Mission accomplished. One other thing, while I was walking around throwing the small kastmasters, I found a very tiny red/white bobber that will also be a part, on the window sill.

The rest of the morning produced nothing on Power Bait and nothing on any lure I threw out there.

That's it for this adventure.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Not About Fishing, Mostly

We've lived here in Volcano for seven years this last July and gardening had been a nightmare. We have an area off to the right of the house that fenced (to keep the deer out) and has a sprinkler system installed. The first two years I tried the usual stuff. tomatoes, Zuchinni, Bell peppers, chives, and such. It was a disaster. The ground is bad, the sun doesn't shine there very long, and the only thing that has survived is the little bunch of onion chives. We even put in a box system to no avail and then tried containers with "garden soil". Still couldn't get anything to grow.

This year, as a last ditch effort, I put three pots on the porch and put three different types of tomatoes in each. Early Girl, Roma, and Beefsteak.

Take a look........

I'm astounded at the number of tomatoes on each plant. The plants themselves are just about six feet in height and this is the beginning of the mass of tomatoes turning red. I guess you just have to find the place they like the best. Too bad they can't tell you and you spend so much time testing. We also have a half barrel of Basil for Pesto. That will be next weekend.

So, fishing. Last Monday (Labor Day) I must have pulled a muscle in my neck. I wasn't able to turn my head to the left, even a little, until Friday and then only a little. Since Friday we've been having those afternoon thunder storms in the mountains and for some reason, in Amador and Calaveras Counties, earlier in the day. Now, I'm not a chicken (you know this because I've gone face to face with the bear, almost), but when it comes to lightning the last place I want to be is sitting on a rock, out in the lake. This thunderstorm thing is supposed to last through Tuesday, maybe Wednesday so I think I'll just hang out at the house and wait it out. We've had thunder already this morning. Oh, and the stiff neck, still there but getting better.

I'll be back to fishing shortly, so hang in there. As soon as I can, I'm headed back to Silver Lake to try the blown up crawler trick, but this time with live ones.

I'd do something on the 9/11 thing, but all you have to do is turn on the TV and you can see all you want. By the way, I did have a friend that was in one of the towers when it happened. He lived to tell the tale.

Till next time.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Winery Saturday Part 2

John, WINE dog. Not Whine.....

Part two starts at Fitzpatrick Winery also in Fair Play. You can tell by the name, it's all Irish. It's also a lodge, so if you want a nice place to stay in the Shenandoah Valley, here's one of them. This is the main entrance and the wine tasting room is on the right side. This was a short stop for one bottle of red and a glass with the winery name to replace one that got broken.

A couple of scenery shots from the deck, of the surrounding hills.

Our next stop was Granite Springs Winery just down the street. Zipping along we went by this winery and that winery, but didn't see Granite Springs. Turning around and going back, Ron being the navigator guided us to a turn off only to find they weren't there any more. Too bad, used to be good wine at this place.

Since Granite Springs was gone, we stopped at a winery called (get this) Toogood Estate Winery. Driving up to the wine tasting area, we passed several signs that said "Toogood Caves". Not going into no stinking cave...........

This is what the front of the place looked like. Looks like a cave to me.

The had a small tasting area in front, but you ahd to go insdie to purchase the bottles, so in through the door we went. Can you see that little light way in the back? Yup, it's back there.

Grabbed a couple of bottles of Muscat Canelli and then it was time for dinner. This is another winery with cool names for wine. Here's three: Foreplay, a provocative red wine. Bomb Diggity, another red, and Who's your dude?, red again.

We had reservations at a restaurant in Placerville called Sequoia (by the way, the Sequoia [tree] is the only tree with all the vowels in it's name. A little trivia for you.). Like Maranello's, a very nice restaurant. Katherine and I started with caesar salad, Ron had soup (house soup) and Suzanne had fried sweet potatoes. For dinner I had Black & White. It was a small filet mignon with a couple of huge prawns on top with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. Katherine had crab stuffed garlic prawns with rice and vegatables. Ron had lobster that was one of the daily specials with rice and garlic mashed potatoes and Suzanne had (I believe) Mediterranean Artichoke Chicken with summer roasted potatoes. I had my nose stuck too far into my filet, to pay too much attention to who had what. This is our third or fourth time eating here, and each and every time, it was to die for. If you get out Placerville (also known as Old Hangtown) I would recommend the Sequoia Restaurant. And no, I got nothing for this endorsment.

Fishing will be in short supply next week as I have two trips to Sacramento and one to the dentist that will take up 3 of the remaining 4 days of this week. If I can make it Friday, I'll let you know and if I can't, Sunday for sure.

Till then.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Winery Saturday Part 1

A lot to report about yesterday and our semi-annual winery trip with our winery touring friends, so I'm doing it in parts.

We met up with Ron & Suzanne in the McDonalds parking lot in Placerville at 1300 and headed out. Ron was navigating and our first stop was at Holly's Hill Vineyards in Placerville. Since I am the designated driver and don't do any tasting, I had time to wander around and shoot some pictures.

Here is the 2011 crop or future wine on the vine. OK had to put that in. Cute huh?

Some more grapes.

And some more.

A bottle of white and a bottle of dessert wine and we were on our way.

Second stop was Oakstone Winery in a little town called Fair Play on a road called Slug Gulch Road. Got to love the name. As you know, I always like wines with neat names. Remember Brayzin Hussy Red from Bray Vineyards? Well, Oakstone has a Slug Gulch Red. No pictures, but the most expensive stop of the day so you know the wine was good. By the way, I was the guy with the credit card and the designated pack mule since I wasn't tasting.

Third stop was Colibri Ridge Winery also in Fair Play. In the past I've mentioned dogs I've met. trout dogs, striper dogs, well yesterday I met a wine dog.

Meet Rufous.

And yes, Rufous has a wine named for him. Rufous Red. We didn't get any Rufous Red, but then I don't get to pick because I don't drink it. While I was wandering the tasting area, I took this shot of future releases.

To get a shot of all the barrels, I wasn't able to get a closeup of one with Rufous Red on it, but I know there were a couple, at least.

So, that's part one of the tour. Tomorrow I'll post part two which is the rest of the wineries and an outstanding restaurant where we had dinner.

Till tomorrow.


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Background Picture

I change them every once in a while just to keep everyone interested. This one is of the East Fork of the Walker River near Bridgeport, California. Bridgeport is on the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada's, south of Carson City, Nevada on Highway 395.

East Fork is one of those protected trout places. You can only fish artifical lures with barbless hooks. The bag limit is 1 from the last Saturday in April until November 15th. The fish has to be a minimum of 18 inches. From November 16th through the Friday preceeding the last Saturday in April, the bag limit is 0.

I fished this river last Summer and if you remember the post, I mentioned the guy walking right down the center of the river? Well, I think the guy in the picture is him.

So keep watching as I change the picture from time to time.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thank You Trout Gods

Monday I received an email from a gentleman that lives in one of the neighboring towns with thanks for the columns I write in the local paper. He also wanted to let me know that he and his daughter had one of their best fishing trips this summer at Silver Lake (pictures of the trout included in the email). He used a slip sinker rig with a pumped up (air) crawler.

If you've followed along for any time, you've noticed that I rarely fish Silver Lake. Why, you ask?. Last time I fished there, it was off a place called Ferguson Point picnic area and all was well until 10:00am when 9 cars arrived and a million people (maybe 30 or so) ran from the cars and jumped into the lake right where I was fishing. Put a bad taste in my fishing mouth.

But based on Brian's email, I thought I'd better give Silver Lake another try (just in case I was missing something). With errands to run on Tuesday, I picked up some cat food (stops them from gnawing on my legs), a few other things, and on the way back I stopped and picked up a box of night crawlers.

I did a little research on Silver Lake on the Fish Sniffer website and picked an area to try.

A shot of Silver Lake from my perch (to be explained later).

There isn't a road that goes all the way around, but if you don't mind walking, there are trails. I picked a spot that wasn't too far from the road, but not a distance I couldn't negotiate. Got down to the lake and found the water was very shallow out to an outcroping of rocks and then deeper from there out. I walked to the best looking rock and it wasn't too bad, the water was only a foot deep at the deepest part and parked on a rock similiar to the ones in the picture below. Actually I was right next to these.

Now I'm ready. Take one rod and put on some Rainbow Power Bait on a slip sinker rig and cast it out. The other rod, I changed the #18 gold treble hook for a #6 bait hook and got ready to put on a nice big juicy crawler. I opened the top of the box and all I saw was mold and slimy, what was once crawlers. Note to self and others: Check them suckers when you buy them to make sure they are alive. I didn't because I've always gotten good crawlers from this place. Won't happen again.

So, I fished with one rod with Power Bait and Kastmasters on the other. Kastmasters didn't produce anything nor did Panther Martins, but the Power Bait did. I got there at 0830, had one on the stringer by 0900, the second one by 0930 (by this time I had both rods out with Power Bait) and between 0930 and 1130, I put three more on the stringer for a limit. I'd show you a picture, but you've all seen dead trout before.

A couple of guys came and parked on the rocks in the picture using pumped up crawlers and managed one while I was there. A couple of guys over on another set of rocks were using Power Bait too and landed one, but missed several hits.

Thank you Trout Gods. Now I have seven for the smoker and will be firing that sucker up this weekend. Saturday is out because we are meeting our wine tasting friends for a trip to the wineries and dinner, but there is always Sunday & Monday. I'm not sure what recipe we'll be using that's a decision for the cook, but I'll let you know how it turns out.

Oh yeh, remember that post from July 31st about the Maranello Restaurant? This is the email from our friends.

"We went to Maranello's Saturday night for dessert. We were quite surprised when Maria the manager came out to visit with us. She remembered the four of us dining with them. Especially, since Mark's blog made it all the way back to the Owner's daughter and Maria had printed out the blog and posted the review in the Kitchen. She wanted to let you know the blog made her and the pastry chef's day!! She even brought the copy from the kitchen out for us to see it!!! They are trying very hard to make Maranello's a fine dining establishment and getting those kinds of reviews make there jobs so much more enjoyable. They take their reviews very seriously. You really made their day!!!"

Not that the Shoreman doesn't already have a fat head, being a Leo and all.

That's it for this adventure.