Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meet Jay & Glenn Fair

Got to American Fly Fishing Company about 0900 and introduced myself to Jay & Glenn Fair. What great guys. Come to find out they live just up the road from Sacramento about an hour or so. Jay was tying up some of his speciality flies and had made up a package, for those of us attending, to take home and take a shot at tying a half dozen new flies. The packet also included a simple, but cool tool for shaping hackle. No, I'm not going to tell you what it is.

Glenn & Jay Fair
While I was watching Jay tie flies, he was talking about the look of his flies. The thing he said that stuck in my mind was that they don't have to be perfect, just "buggy" enough to catch fish and the ones he was tying, catch fish. 

Since we were expecting a big storm to roll in this morning, I said my goodbys at 1030 and headed out. The wind was already blowing at a good clip and the rain was not far off. I headed east to Folsom to run a couple of errands and then headed up the hill.

Before I ever got to Folsom, the rain started and by the time I got home, it was raining hard. Now, at 3:15pm it's snowing hard. Weather guessers said snow down to 4000ft. (Again, we're at 3200 ft.). Got to love a job that you can be wrong most of the time and still get paid for it.

I didn't spend any money, but once I get the new flies tied, you can bet I'll be ordering supplies.

Again, what great guys and photogenic too.

Till next time.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Line Slap - Line Snap

Finally, a day without rain. Never thought I'd be saying that this year.

Got out to Lake Amador at 0830 after the usual stop at Starbucks.

The sign at the entrance is still showing 4000 lbs a week being planted and a total this year of 101,200 lbs. so far. 

Plan A was to a little sight fish with my fly rod, around the point by the spillway and then along the side to the dam. After check in and a drive over to the point, the wind was blowing pretty good so I canned the fly rod part and took my little Okuma with 2# (Plan B)  and a plastic case with assorted Kastmasters and a F-7 Rapala in Firetiger.  

The first thing I noticed was the water level was markedly higher than the last time. The water was past the buoys toward the spillway where the last time it was, well way out where these guys were fishing.

Last time
Now this area is under water and with that happening, it's bringing in the fish to the area that was so good a year ago January & February. The water is half way between the  buoys on the right and the left side of the picture. I'll cover the reason I'm explaining all this shortly.

I started by casting a Brook Trout colored Kastmaster along the right side of the buoys. Second cast of the morning got a hit followed by another on the fourth cast and a hook up on the sixth. As is my practice, the first caught was about three pounds and put back for another day.  

After that, it got quiet there, so I moved around the point and headed for the dam. Being the Chatty Cathy I am, I took up a conversation with the gentleman below as he pulled in this nice Cutbow on a Firetiger Rapala. Pete came all the way from San Francisco to fish Amador this morning with his friend Steve. Both did well and I'm not sure of the count, but I think Pete had two or three and Steve had two or three as well.

As I was back fishing the point again, I noticed several fish swimming inside the buoy area just like last year. The other thing I noticed is the wind all but died. Now was my chance to get the fly rod out.

Up to the truck, string the rod, put on my vest, and dig out three boxes of flies.

Plan C was to fish inside the buoys and target the fish swimming there. The first thing I tried was one like a Muddler Minnow with one of those little white tufts (very technical fly tying jargon) on top. It produced a drive by, but no take. Changed to a size 6 Wooly Bugger in Olive  and then the same size in black, but no interest.Then I went to the old stand by size 10 Tungsten beadhead Thinmint which brings us to the title of this post. The line slapped the rod and then  the line snapped. I must have had a flaw in the leader because it snapped above the tippet and the double surgeon knot. But, oh was that one hell of a hit.

Things are looking up at Amador. It's almost January and February in late March.  

Unfortunately that was all the interest I could get and with my back giving me fits, called it a day. One (this one) can only do so much standing on ones feet for an extended period of time. I cap out at about 3 1/2 hours.

Saturday I'm on my way to Sacramento and the American Fly Fishing Company to see if I can get a picture and a little conversation with Jay Fair. I'll let you know.

Till next time.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Book

I put a little teaser in the last post about the book I've written.

I recently read a book by another (and quite well known) author about his adventures and I thought mine were as good, if not better. So, for the last six months or so I've been writing my little heart out.

I put the book together, contracted with a publisher, and the book is on it's way.

I'm not sure if any of you (with the exception of Kirk Werner and his Olive the Little Wooly Bugger series) have ever gone through this process, so I thought I'd walk you through it as I'm walking through it.

With my publisher the first step is getting getting the manuscript to the Submission Representative which I did last Friday. Step two, where I'm at now, is for the book to go to through copyediting process. They look, tweek, correct, and make sure I have all the right grammer in the book. Completion of this phase in about two to three weeks.

When I contracted with the publisher, he asked if I had mentioned the book or had anyone read the book. I told him I hadn't and he wondered why. He thought it would be good to start getting the word out that the book was coming. So I did, yesterday.

For those that want to read it in hardback or paperback, it will be available on For those more techy, it will be available for Kindle, Nook, and a couple of other electronic tablets (I can't remember which ones).

Callan (Fish Whisperer), Phillip (drakensview), and anybody outside the US, unless you want to pay a gazillion $$$$ for postage, that is probably your best bet.

I'm still a ways away from having it ready, but you'll know how it's going just as soon as I do. My next step is to do a "stunning" photo of Moi for the "about the author" section. That's this weekend. While the copyediting is being done, the graphics department is working up a cover based on the title of the book.

There you have it. I'll share the title as soon as I have the graphics for the cover completed.

Stay tuned.


Monday, March 26, 2012


Comes in like a lion, goes out like a ....LION. We're expecting rain (must be all that was saved up from November, December, January, and February because we didn't get much during those four months) the rest of the week.

Supposed to go something like this: Tuesday, rain - Wednesday, rain - Thursday, rain - Friday, partly cloudy - Saturday, rain. And that, my friends, wraps up March.

You all know I don't do rain very well. Old guys tend to melt when they get wet. You know how sugar melts when it gets wet. OK, no sounds from the peanut gallery.  

Hopefully April will not be "April Showers bring May flowers", but April will bring some sun. I could do with a little dry ground since I have a bunch of trees to cut up.

Maybe I can slip out on Friday. I'll let you know if that happens.

My book is at the publishers. Any interest?


Friday, March 23, 2012

Lake Pardee Today

Short and sweet. I got skunked again. Wasn't any better than opening day, but at least the water level is rising.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Little Cooling For You

Back on the 9th, I did a little warming for you when it was cold. Today I'm doing a little cooling since most of you have been in the 80's this past week.

We had a little snow last night.

I hope that has made you feel better.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Beak Bump

Did a little research on the beak bump and here's what I found:

The American White Pelican  (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) male develops a fibrous plate on the upper part of their beak during the mating season. Apparently these boys are ready to "Rock & Roll".

American White Pelican

Couple of other things about the American White Pelican is that they don't dive for fish like the Brown Pelican, they scoop them from the surface, their bones are air-filled, and they have air sacs in their bodies. This separates them from other species of Pelican that dive from great heights to catch food.  

Height: 4 feet
Wingspan: 9 feet
Weight: 17 to 19 pounds

This bird had the second largest wingspan of any bird in North American with the exception of the California Condor. This is one BIG bird.  

And they are still eating the fish in the Trout Pond.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Between Storms

 I thought I might have a 4 hour window between storms this morning so I headed out to the North Shore of Lake Camanche. I picked Camanche over the other lakes for one reason. I can park near where I'm fishing and if it started raining, I could load up quick and head out.

Got to the lake at 8:30 after a coffee stop at Starbucks. Set up two rods, one with Rainbow Power Bait and a dab of garlic and the other with Chartreuse Power Bait and a dab of sweet corn. Sometime during the hour I was there, I also swung all the colors of Kastmaster I had in the tackle box, but nothing there either.

I took some pictures of the incoming storm.

North Shore Boat Launch

Nobody but me

Across the lake

More across the lake
At 9:30 on the dot it started raining. So much for a 4 hour window. More like 1 hour. The first rain was a mist more that rain so I just went about my fishing business and ignored it. A little bit later it stopped and then started again, but this time a little bit harder. Half hour later it stopped and then started again harder still. This time it was enough to make the chair and my tackle box wet. I hung on for 15 more minutes and then packed up everything and left. The only fish I saw was one milling around on the surface down the lake a ways.

I took a picture of this pelican because it has that horn like bump on it's beak. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be that way, but they all have it. All the other pelicans I've seen over the years haven't had that horn thing. Weird enough to show you. 

The day didn't quite turn out the way I planned, but there's always next time. Till then.


Friday, March 9, 2012

A Little Warmth For You

We are expecting rain most, if not all, of next week. I wanted to clean the wood stove flue. It's been 4 weeks since I last did it and that makes me a week late doing it. So what does a good home owner do while he's waiting for the wood stove to cool enough for cleaning? He goes fishing, of course. I figured if I killed about 4 hours it should be cool enough to clean.

With the temperature expected to be in the low 70's I headed out to North Shore of Lake Camanche for a little warmth and Power Bait soaking.  

I thought you might enjoy sharing some warming pictures of the lake just in case you're buried up to your wazoo in snow.  

To the right

To the left
 Water is about 2 feet lower than the last time I was here.


Across to the right
 Oh yeh, I caught this bug eyed Rainbow while I was there. It came in at 2lbs. 2ozs.

Bug eyed Rainbow
A guy fishing next to me asked if I wanted the one he caught because one was no good for his smoker. I accepted and dropped both off at Bob's (just in case I need my driveway plowed next week).

Hope you warmed up a tad. Yes, the flue is clean. One other thing, since I stopped using the white rod holders I've not been skunked. Superstitious????


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No Tenkara Monday

Yuki and I got to New Melones Lake at Tuttletown around 9:00 and didn't see any surface activity. I took my Tenkara rod down to the shore just in case. I set up one rod with Rainbow Power Bait and set up the Tenkara rod in hopes that there would be some fish feeding on the surface.

While I was waiting, there was a ripple here and there, but too far out to reach with the Tenkara. I couldn't see anything hatching and since it was so far out, I went back to the truck and got my fly rod with floating line. Yuki brought his fly rod too, so we added two feet of 4# tippet and a BWO spinner. I put on the CDC Para Spinner that I caught the last one on and was able to reach out to the area of the ripples, but catching one wasn't in the cards.

In between all this happening, I caught two (about 11" and 12") Rainbows on the Power Bait and Yuki caught one on my rod while I was down the shore chasing the ripples. This one was small (maybe 9") so we put it back for another day. All this happened by 9:30 or so. By Noon, having not gotten another bite we packed up and headed over to Glory Hole.

I wanted to try my new slip sinker rig, but it turned out not to be necessary. The egg sinker rig worked just fine. The first half hour produced one nice and frisky 12" rainbow for Yuki and broke the hex that has been on him since we started fishing together. What hex you ask? It's always been that when we fish together, I catch fish and Yuki catches his after I go home. Not yesterday.

We hung out until 2:15pm and called it a day. It was so nice that we both got a bit of a sunburn just sitting and shooting the bull. I think that unless there is a major hatch when I'm at the lake that Tenkara will be saved for the small streams when trout season when it opens the last Saturday in April.
A very nice day at the lake and this morning it's snowing. What ever happened to "it never rains in California?"

Till next trip.


Friday, March 2, 2012

A New Type Of Fishing

Not Tenkara, that's next week.

I went to Lake Amador this morning for a couple of reasons. One, it was the closest lake to home and two, I didn't want to go a long distance because I only wanted to stay a short time. Yuki and I are going out to New Melones Reservoir on Monday, but after two days of snow (about 3 inches over both days) I needed to get out of the house. 

Probably should have stayed home because the lake looked like this.

Foggy and Cold
So, a new type of fishing. If you've ever fished in a lake that has a lot of fishermen using Power Bait then you understand when I say that there is always a bunch of Power Bait balls floating around. In most cases they move with wind. That's what I had this morning. You also know that when you have this "condition" that an occasional trout will cruise by sucking those balls off the surface and sticking their nose up at you because no matter what you throw at them, they will not take it.

What I've been working on is sight fishing for these trout with Power Bait. It hasn't worked until this morning and what I found out is that they only took one color (chartreuse).  This Cutbow (what is in the lake) cruised by and would suck a piece off the surface then move a little farther and suck another.

I got my Okuma with 2 lb test Fluorocarbon and put on a #18 treble hook to hold the bait on better. then I got a old jar of chartreuse Power Bait out of my tackle box. It was pretty stale because I've had that jar for probably 4 or 5 years, but I managed to make a ball. Then I'd watch for the fish to suck a piece off the surface and throw mine in the area.

So far, so good. The first time it grabbed mine, I jerked the rod and had Power Bait flying by my head. Minor hook setting adjustment needed. The second time it took mine, I set the hook, but the fish was already gone. Another hook setting adjustment. Third time was the charm. I waited a short second, set the hook, and the fight was on. After 3 minutes of reeling in and the line going back out, one of the guys fishing next to me put the net under it and brought it in.

I didn't want the fish so before anything was done, I asked them if they wanted it and they did so we took pictures (I got four on my camera and they got six or so on their camera), got out the handy dandy Berkeley Digital Scale and it weighed in at an even 4 pounds.     

4 lbs.
Notice how much more foggy it was then. This fish must have been the one causing all the ruckus on the surface because after I caught that one, no more showed up until much later. A couple of hours later I chased another one down the shore, but it wouldn't take the bait until it fell off the hook and then it sucked it right down. How did it know the hook was gone? I also tried pink Power Bait, but it didn't get any interest.

The main thing Today showed me is that if they are surface feeding on those balls of Power Bait, you have to dead drift it or it will be completely ignored.

Oh, did I mention that 4 lbs. on my Okuma is a personal best (by one whole ounce) for 2 lb test?

OK, that's it for today. Monday with Yuki at New Melones and maybe the hatch will happen and I can try my new Tenkara rod. Maybe there won't be a hatch and I'll try it anyway. I'll let you know.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Angler Wise Ultralight Fishing Blog

Yesterday they posted a video called "Fishing Under Ice". If you haven't been over there and seen this video, I highly recommend you stop by and watch it. I've watched a couple of times and am amazed.

Check it out.