Monday, April 30, 2012

Too Late

I wanted to fish Ice House Reservoir while there was still snow on the ground and maybe a little ice still on the lake. No ice, no snow, no fish. So, I'll just share some photo's I took. 

South Fork American River
 Too much water to find any fish.

See, no snow.
Ice House Reservoir.

Ground Zero if you will

The Dam

The Goose, right above the big rock in the center.

For Ed.

Just Cuz.....
Ground Zero part 2 was in the middle of the dam. At the first spot, it was just a little too shallow. From the dam, all I did was lose tackle.

Book Update: Still waiting for books. I did find this out on the Internet.

Maybe up the hill later this week. If Ice House was clear, maybe Silver Lake or Caples might be. I already know Bear River is, but the gate is still closed (or was last Friday). 

See Ya.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Opening Day

It's Saturday and opening day of the general trout season in California. This means that you can fish most places, and when I say most, there are a few places that open a little later, like Memorial Day weekend and such, but most of the creeks and rivers are now open.

When I got to Angels Creek I ran into three guys fishing in the hole I wanted to fish. Being the gentleman I am, I waited for them to catch their limit and pack it in. While I was waiting, it was mentioned that a couple of people fished the hole yesterday (the day before opening day), but according to them that was OK because the hole was below Highway 49, what ever that meant. OK my ass. There are no special regulations on this creek that allows fishing before opening day. Where is a Game Warden when you need one.

On top of that, when the three of them left, they mentioned they had 17 fish. Wait a minute, 3 times a limit of 5 = 15 not 17. Where is that Game Warden???

Plan A: Fish Tenkara. Not one bit of interest in anything on the surface.

Plan B: Fish with my fly rod with floating line (hell, it's only 3 feet deep) and a Thin Mint. No interest there either. Besides, the fish were all stockers and they were hugging the bottom so hard their fins were wearing off.

Plan C:  A man and his two children grabbed a spot next to me and were fishing orange Power Eggs and catching fish, so I went back to the truck and grabbed my little Okuma and a couple of jars of Power Bait. This was strictly fish in the barrel, fishing. Cast out a pea sized piece of Power Bait and reel in a fish. By the time I got around to doing this, they had, I think half dozen or so. I kind of backed off so the kids could catch more and just looked like I was fishing. The dad and son were doing OK, but his daughter seemed to be learning. At the beginning Dad would cast out, hook a fish, and give her the pole to reel it in. By the end, she was casting out, hooking, and reeling in her own fish. I think a new fishing girl was born. When they left, I think they had a dozen or so. I had caught 4 by then.

It seemed that the hole was fished out, so I packed up and drove to the local convenience store for a bag of ice to cover the fish and then drove to the hole by the park. There are 4 good holes to fish this creek and I wanted to see if anyone was catching anything in the others. There were two guys fishing the the park hole, but no one catching anything. Wonder if earlier fishermen cleaned it out. Anyways, after they left I gave it 15 minutes or so and didn't see anything and called it a day. I stopped by the other two holes, but here again no one was catching anything.

Yesterday I drove up the hill to check out the Consumnes River at Cat Creek Rd and PIPI Valley (I fished these two places last summer and caught a couple of native Rainbows) with the idea of fishing them tomorrow with my Tenkara rod, but a couple of things will prevent this. One, Cat Creek Rd. is still under a couple of feet of snow and inaccessible. PIPI Valley was accessible, but the river was about 4 times it's normal size and off color. Snow run off. So I'll wait on those for another day. Got to get this Tenkara thing going.

I'm thinking a trip to Icehouse Reservoir is on tap for some of those nice holdover Rainbows. Maybe next week. Oh, I gave the 4 to Bob for credit for next years driveway plowing.

That's it for today. 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Book, Here We Go

You can not know how nervous I am writing this post. I've written this book, gave you teasers about it, but now the reality is setting in. It's almost here and I need to find out who of you are brave enough to want one. Here is what the cover will look like.

Book Cover
There are two options available.

1. Hard Cover at $24.99
2. Paperback at $15.99

The book is right at 100 pages and should be available in 2 to 3 weeks. What I'd like to do is get a list of those who want to pre-order the book and who want me to put my autograph on it. If you want something special with the autograph like "To the best fly fisherman in the world", I can lie with the best of them.

I'm working on getting a Visa/Mastercard account set up that will also take American Express and Discover card too. 

The plan is that once I get my hands on the books, go to the Post Office and find out the postage cost is, then send an invoice with the total amount.

If no autograph is required and I promise I won't be crushed if you don't want it, it will also be available on and electronically for Kindle, Nook, and a couple other online book stores or I can send just a book from here.

The author website should be up and running shortly ( and the book can be ordered there as well. Remember, on a new job it's quite common for things not to go well at first.

To those brave souls out there, drop me an email at with your name, address, hard cover or paperback, and anything special you want with my John Hancock.

Thanks everyone.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I started out the day with a bit of an upset stomach. Not enough to stop me from going out to Rancho Seco Lake, but enough that I didn't stop for a cup of coffee.

I got to the lake at 0830 and after check in and driving to a new spot, I launched the Float Tube Cumberland with the intention of fishing the new poppers I got from J and M Flies. From where I launched I figured the area to the left (facing the shore) would be a good place to start. It had bushes in the water and cattails along the shore. Even though you can't see it by the calmness of the water, there was a pretty good breeze blowing. Another reason I chose this cove area over other places on the lake, it was calmer than the open water.

Once I got to the far side (way to the left) of where I wanted to fish, I set out a slip bobber rig with a red worm (what Crappie in his right mind could resist a red worm?) as an indicator or fish finder, if you will. On my fly rod I started with a popper called Lucious Lemon.  

Way to the left

Little further left

To the left
Four things occurred to me during the time I was on the water. First, there was absolutely no interest in the red worm. Second, I didn't get a cup of coffee from Starbucks (you know where this is going). Third, I didn't get any interest in any of the three colors (Orange Spotted Green, Gray Ghost and the lemon one above) of poppers (I don't even know if I was using them correctly, but they were popping) or the Road Kill I tried. Four, maybe the water was still too cold. I didn't stick the thermometer in and find out the temp, but they were still stocking trout as of last week. 

But I did try all the places I would be if I was a Crappie. In the bushes, in the cattails, and under the dock. I guess that's the price you pay for not stopping for coffee on fishing morning.

As the morning progressed, the wind picked (storm coming in) up to where it was a fight just to keep the float tube parallel to the shore and not be pushed out into the lake. Once I got back to where I launched I fished the worm under a bobber around the area, but still no interest so I packed it in. 

That's OK though, I'll be back once the water warms up some. Oh, did I tell you I got skunked? I guess you figured that out already.

That's it until Saturday and opening day. Supposed to rain Tomorrow and Thursday, but it shouldn't affect Angels Creek since it's fed by the power plant and has a steady flow.

Till then.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Update

I'm sitting on our screened porch out back, it's 82 degrees and the sun is shining. I'm looking at trees, the pond, and watching a gray squirrel here and there. Life in Northern California.

How about that Yankees/Red Sox game yesterday. Yankees came back from being down 9-0 in the 5th to win the game 15-9. Damn good game.

Book update: I've approved what they call the Interior Galley and the Cover Galley. The Interior Galley is the book itself and the Cover Galley is the front and back covers for hardback and paperback. Electronic version should be available about a week. Once I know for sure, I'll tell you the name and where to find it if you wish to get it electronically. I will be getting the author copies (1 hardback and 1 paperback) in about two weeks. Then when I get the rest, I'll let you know. I still have a few things to finish before I'm ready to rock and roll, but should be ready when the books arrive. As soon as I know when to expect them, I'll give a shout for names and addresses for those that are brave enough to want one.

Tuesday I'm off to Rancho Seco Lake to try the new poppers I got from J and M Flies. They arrived n Friday's mail and they look Fantastic. Temperature is supposed to be 78 with high clouds so it should be  great day to launch the Float Tube Cumberland and do a little popping.

Saturday (the 29th) is the opening of the general trout season and I'm off to Angels Creek with both my fly rod and Tenkara rod. Should be a fun day.   

Bloggers new look: Years ago, when I was still working, upper management made us take a class called "Adapting to Change". It's now become a good saying for changes like the one Blogger keeps making. "It's a good thing we took the Adapting to Change class or we would never be able to adapt". Change, like death and taxes, is inevitable. Somebody always has a "better mouse trap".

And no, I'm not starting weekly thing.  

Till next time.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Shout Out

Hey everyone, there is a somewhat new guy on the block that needs some followers. Drop over to Baitrageous,  sign on as a follower (he only has 4) and check out what he has to say. I think you'll his blog. He's got some pretty good cartoons about trout fishing. Oh yeh, he's teaching his 16 year old daughter to drive. I'll say no more.

Check him out.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Aaah, A Spring Morning

 7:30 am temperature 47 degrees

Down the driveway

Behind the house

Just past the unplanted garden

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


 In the last month or so I've been talking about the line slap-line snap problem I've been having at Lake Amador. First the leader broke and then the line broke at the double surgeon knot. Then I went out and fished a brand new leader and of course, didn't get nary a look.

With the opening of regular trout season a week from this Saturday (the 28th), my mind has been on fishing places other than the lower lakes (the ones not frozen over). Since I've been banging away at the book thing pretty hard, I thought I'd take a run out to Lake Amador and give it one more try before next weekend. As it turns out, today was the right day to go out there because it's going to be windy for the next couple of days.

I got out there at 0915 which is a little later than normal. I took my cup of coffee and walked down by the point to see if anyone was catching anything. There were a couple here and there on stringers which was a favorable outlook. I also noticed that no one was fishing in the buoy area which was somewhat strange since there is always someone fishing there.

Plan A: I put on my waders and wader boots. The spillway was full to overflowing because of the rains last week. Vest on, fly rod with floating line rigged, and size 10 Tungsten Bead Head Thin Mint tied on, I walked down the path to the spillway.

Sloshing (wasn't very deep, but too deep for just sneakers) across to the other side I started casting. I would start from the edge and then move out into deeper water (about knee deep) until I could hit right by the buoy. I was casting about 40 feet (I have a marker on my line at 35 feet and was beyond that) and just short of the buoys. I would do a 180 fan and then move toward the other side and do another 180 fan.

In the same spot as the slap & snap's from before, I hooked up and landed the one below. Since it was a catch and release (first of the day) I didn't measure or weigh it, but estimate it at about 3 lbs., WHICH would make it a personal best on a fly rod (previous was 2lbs. 2ozs.).   

3 lbs.
But this one was not about a personal best, but about catching that elusive one (and I'm sure it wasn't this specific fish) that kept getting away. Oh yeh, Tungsten Bead Head Thin Mint, but the third of the day. I lost the other two somewhere in the bushes behind me. When you're doing a 40 foot back loop and the fly goes AWOL, they're a little hard to find.

When I finished crossing the spillway area and went back across again, I changed to a size 10 Tungsten Bead Head Wooly Bugger in white that I tied a long time ago. Plan B was to fish a Wooly Bugger that looked like the white Crappie jig that I caught the big one on last year.

Same spot as the previous catch (because when I set my rod down to take a picture of the one below, it was on the same piece of driftwood as the first time) I hooked up and landed this one that I estimated to be about 2 lbs. Again released for another day.     

2 lbs.
So, all in all not a bad day for a couple of hours throwing flies at buoys floating in the spillway. I'm waiting for the poppers that Jeff from J and M Flies (Fly Fishing & Tying Obsessed) has made up for me and if they get here by Saturday, maybe I'll take a run out to Rancho Seco Lake early next week and give them a whirl. Way past time to get the Float Tube Cumberland wet.

For those of you that are interested in getting the book (don 't expect it to be a huge novel, but it will be available in hardback or paperback) when it becomes available, I'll put out a shout and ask for names and addresses (so I can get mailing costs and such) and you can be sure they will all come to you signed by yours truly, although I don't know why (just kidding). So hang on it'll probably be another month or so.

Till next week or until I think of something else to say.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Book, An Update

It's moving right along. Found three more errors in the manuscript which are being corrected.

Got copies of the book covers for hardback and paperback, but they need a small change.

Got and approved the Press Release and got a look at the number of places (159 to be exact) all over the country, where they are sending the book for review. There are newspapers, TV & radio stations, and magazines. I'm holding my breath on this one. Reviews can be killers.

Now I'm waiting for the corrected manuscript and book covers so I can approve them. Once that is done, it'll be 2 to 3 weeks and I will have a hard copy and paperback copy to hold and kiss and sleep with (maybe not sleep with) and rub against my cheek. Yuk.......

Then the fun will begin.

More later.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Book Is Moving Along

As we walk through the process.

My book got out of Copyediting yesterday with 16 corrections or adjustments if you will that I had to make decisions on. These don't include all the changes in capitalization, punctuation, grammar, spelling, and word choice mistakes. Quite an interesting process. I got the manuscript back with page by page and line by line notations of what they corrected, what they deleted, and what they added that I missed.

When I wrote the manuscript I used Word spell check and this company, being a professional book publisher, blew Word spell check right out of the water. They use what's called the Chicago Manual of Style and every page had corrections. Kind of makes spell check look bad. 

The corrections were made and the manuscript was forwarded to the graphics department.

The next step is the cover graphics. I'll be working on that this coming week with my contact in that department.

One note for those who have followed this blog for any length of time, some of the material in the book you've already seen and a lot you haven't, so don't be surprised.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Calm Before The Storm

Since I spent all day yesterday raking and burning pine needles (yes, it's that time of the year again) my aching body needed a rest. So what better way to rest than to go fishing.

Got out to Lake Camanche at 0900. Why 0900 rather than 0830 as is usually the "get to the lake" time? The way I go to the lake goes through the little town (Population 23 I think it said) of Buena Vista (also the home of the Buena Vista Band of Miwuk Indians). When you get to only stop sign, you have the option of going straight and turning on a certain road to the North Shore of Lake Camanche which is the way I usually go, or you can turn right (according to the sign) and go to the north shore that way. I decided to go to the right although I didn't plan on taking a tour of the farms and end up  back out to the main highway. I apparently missed the sign for the turn off to the lake.

Once I got back to the lake (or in this case, to the lake), I put one rod out with Rainbow Power Bait and the little Okuma with a brook trout Kastmaster. While the Power Bait soaked, I threw the brook trout, rainbow pink, the old rainbow pink (I still have it in my tackle box), silver/blue, and when I threw out the firetiger one I finally got a hookup. In fiddling around trying to find a place to get down to the water and get the net in position, I let the line go slack and the only fish of the day went on it's merry way. I think they call that a long distance release.       

Off and on during the rest of the morning, I had the other rod out with Power bait too, sometimes with rainbow or chartreuse, or pink and sometimes with sweet corn or anise or garlic scent, but the fish didn't seem to want PB of any flavor today.   

Storm Coming

I took a little picture of the incoming storm which is the main reason I was out today. If you follow the national news then you know we're expecting rain (and possibly snow at our elevation) over the next four days starting this afternoon. Since I rarely fish on the weekends (to many knot heads out there) this morning was my last chance this week, so I took it.

Not a terribly exciting report, but I did find out that Camanche plans to continue stocking until Mid-May or until the water gets to 70 degrees. That will work out well because the regular season opens on Saturday April 28th. Besides, once the water gets warm, the Copepods will be back. I can't wait to get the Tenkara rod out on one of those little creeks. Eighteen days and counting.

Till next time.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mission Aborted

I had to do a couple of errands in town today so what better than to run out to Lake Amador and take another shot at what ever was snapping my line.

Got to the lake at 0845 after gas and coffee, rigged up my fly rod with a new 5X leader (9 ft), but no tippet. Put on my vest and tied on a size 10 (thought I'd better throw that in) Tungsten Bead Head Thinmint directly to the leader.  I worked the area to the left of the buoy's up and down 4 times and nary a run, hit, or Crappie. The wind was blowing enough that I couldn't see into the water even with polarized glasses so sight fishing was out of the question. After an hour and a half, my back was telling me to SIT. 

The Spillway
So I took up residence about where I took this picture from and put out one rod with Rainbow Power Bait and 1/4 oz Brook Trout Kastmaster on the little Okuma. Worked the Kastmaster along both sides of the buoy's and a fan across the lake. I did get one follow-up on the first cast inside the buoys, but that was it. I also did the same with a 1/4 oz Firetiger Kastmaster, but nothing there either.

After that little workout, I plopped my butt on my chair pad and put the other rod out with chartreuse Power Bait. Quiet, nothing, reeled in and put out Power Bait with a little Pro-Cure sweet corn. Reeled in the other rod and put out chartreuse with a sweet corn. Still nothing, so I reeled in one rod and put fresh rainbow Power Bait and a little Sweet Corn and tossed it out down the buoy line to about the third buoy. Wasn't but a couple of minutes and I hooked the one below.

Before I landed it, I asked the nice people next to me if they wanted it. A yes or no answer would produce a different effect. A no and I would have cut the line and let it go. A yes and I get a photo and weight. They opted for yes and you can see from the photo, 4 lbs 15oz. on the handy dandy Berkeley Digital Scale. They'll be having trout for dinner tonight. 

4lbs. 15 oz
Before I pulled out, I put a little white Crappie jig on my Okuma and did another up and back along the buoys, but zip. Then off to do my errands.

Maybe early next week I'll take another shot at the spillway with my fly rod and see if I can find that elusive fish. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sometimes You Just Can't Believe Him

Hi everybody. Thanks for the good words. Actually I do know the difference between Blue Gill and Crappie. Most of this back and forth is just use of the literary license to keep things interesting. I was going to use literary bullshit, but I didn't want to insult anyone.

When you've had a father that was as avid a fisherman, as my Dad was ,and you grew up on the inland lakes of Wisconsin, you know Crappie from Bluegill and a Northern Pike from a Walleye or a Muskie. 

I use this type of writing just to keep things interesting. I've somewhat launched myself into a third career with all this writing stuff and as long as everyone keeps coming back, I guess I'm on the right track.

On the other hand, until I got the the book called "The complete book of Western Hatches" for my birthday last year, I was and still am for the most part, Entomology stupid, but I am making progress. This part is true.

But you can't know how much I appreciate all of you that stop by on a regular basis. If it wasn't for you, there would be none of this. So if you think I'm yanking your chain on occasion, you're probably right. Hey, life is too short to not have a good time.

One other thing, I got a comment from our friend John (Musings of Murphyfish) and he has a new blog. Jump out and say hello. It's called "Still the Monster" I don't about you, but I've missed his wanderings. Willow, you still there?



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Man On A Mission

Remember last Thursday? The Line Slap - Line Snap? Well I was on a mission to get that sucker today. I got to Lake Amador at 0830 after the coffee stop and was gunning for that (what ever it was) that snapped my line. I rigged my fly rod with the floating line (I wanted that sucker, no not a Carp, on my fly rod), put on my wading boots (without waders just in case I needed to get into the water), and vest. I didn't have a decision to make, the Tungston Bead Head Thinmint was all I planned to use.

Plan A was to walk to the other side of the spillway and fish from one side to the other. When I got to where I was going to start, I walked up a little hill to get a better look to see if any fish were swimming near by. I did see one, so I started my casting, first on the outside of the buoys (If I hooked a good sized one, he would make a run toward the lake and I didn't want to have to try and turn him so he wouldn't tangle in the buoy cable) and then on the inside.

A half dozen casts later, I hooked the Crappie (You guys know I don't have a clue between Crappie and Blue Gill) below. I've worked hard in other lakes and all I've caught are those little ones and here I catch a big (this one was probably close to a pound) by accident.    

After I took the photo and put it back for another day, I walked around the point to the lake side. I didn't get any interest, but a guy in a float tube called "Aren't you Mark? Shoreman Mark?". After answering "Yes" we talked about current conditions and a few friends we have in common (he mentioned he reads the blog all the time) then he moved on and I fish a little further along the shore. Kind of scary when people start recognizing you because they read your blog.

OK, back to the spillway and near where I caught the first Crappie, I hooked up again. I took this picture of the other side so you wouldn't think I took two pictures of the same fish. Kind of hard to tell them apart. Could have been the same fish, but I would think he wasn't dumb enough to take the same lure twice. Any of you crappie experts out there got any thoughts on that?
Same one?
With the two crappie interruptions out of the way, I was still on a mission. I didn't have to wait long because it wasn't more than about twenty feet and again, it was a Line Slap and a Line Snap. This time it broke the line at the double surgeon knot. I had on a new 5X leader and new 5X tippet.

I fished for another hour or so working up and down the spillway area, but it just wasn't going to happen today. That's OK, there will be a next time.

Till the next adventure.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Outdoor Blogger Network Prompt

Spring - Can't get much more Springier than Daffodils.


Double White