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.



  1. Mark
    I am thinking the water temps were too cool for the popper yet or even the Road Kill. The water temps need to be 68 or above to get any action on the poppers. Any popper is effective if you let the bug just sit there for a few second before you move it. After you have worked the popper for a distance of about a foot, then pull it up and cast again. I am really looking forward to see if you get some action with the poppers.

  2. Yeah, I've got some Owl Jones Zazzy Poppers I've been waiting for a warm up to use. Know I'm on the other coast, but I'm sure we'd be in the same boat (or tube). Good luck on Saturday!

  3. Luscious lemon, love it. Great photos.

  4. That looks like a beautiful lake. Just be patient my friend, the fish will come.

  5. Yup, nice day too, Mark. Your mention of Angels Creek got me to wondering… I'm thinking of dropping by Angels Creek this weekend as part of a circuit with my son for Opening Day weekend. (We’ll likely be doing some drive-by fishing, hitting numerous spots up and down Hwys 108 and 4.) Had fun on Angels last year picking up rainbows everyone else missed…sure do enjoy that part of fly fishing…as well as some browns rising to big ol’ rubber-legged stimulators… But, the question: We fished right there near Angels Camp, near the park…are there other stretches of the creek that are just as accessible?

    1. Hi Patrick. There are three places I fish the creek. First is by the park. Second is right across from the fire station. There are two pools close to each other that usually have fish in them. The third place is off Finnigan Lane. It's right where 49 & 4 meet. If you are coming from New Melones direction, it's a left turn. If you are coming from San Andreas direction, turn right. There is a pool about a half mile down the road ( and right along side the road) that usually has a fish or three in it. I drive a silver Chevy P/U with a black tailgate. If you make it and I'm there, be sure to say HI.


    2. Thanks Mark...and we'll keep an eye out for you. And if you see a black Accord with amateur radio plates (and antenna), look for a guy with a funny cast...that'll be me or my son.

  6. Bill seems to be the expert on poppers I think he's got the right idea. Don't give up on em