Thursday, November 29, 2012

As Promised, A Post About Fishing

Tuesday was a day prior to the incoming storms that was somewhat dry. As usual, I had errands to run, but thought I'd take an early run up the hill and see if I could catch a fish or five. 

Plan A was to fish Bear River Reservoir if the gate was open and I didn't have to walk way down to the water. If that didn't work out, then I was headed to Silver Lake and Caples Lake as a last resort.

As it turns out, the gate at Bear was open and I parked down at the "beside the lake" parking area. You know the type of area, the part that will be underwater in the spring. Took my two rods with slip sinker rigs and put rainbow Power Bait on one and rainbow with a little Pro-Cure sweet corn on the other. While they were soaking, I exercised my little Okuma with a couple of colors of Panther Martin and a couple of colors of Kastmaster. I use the word exercise because I only have a two rod license and the Okuma makes three and I don't want to say I was fishing with three rods. On the other hand, there wasn't anybody up there except me, so who would have known?

I held out for a little over two hours and with nary a bite, packed it up and headed for town. It's not like I went out of my way, it's only a short detour and then down the highway to town. 

The dam

Across the lake

The hump of rocks
The hump of rocks just below the tree line is only out of the water late in the Fall when the level of the lake has dropped a lot. When the lake is full, the water is all the way to the trees.

A little further to the right of the shot above.
This brings us to this morning. I've been fishing Lake X and catching a brown here and there, but always on crickets and my spinning rod. This morning I went up there (we are in between storms and the worst is yet to come) with the intention of finding out what fly the browns will bite on. When I got there, I was surprised to see the water level a lot lower than last time.

The inlet
We usually stand on the top of that rise when we fish.

Up the lake
You can see from the exposed sides that the level is down.

The inlet
In this area (the inlet) the water is usually straight across not the rapids seen here.

Fly rod in hand, the first fly was (of course) the Thin Mint. I gave it eight, maybe ten swings and I think I got one bump, but it could have been a rock or twig, then changed to an olive Wooly Bugger. Same thing and then I tried a Zebra Midge under an indicator. Emily (The River Damsel) usually does well with this one, but not for me today. In desperation I put on an egg pattern that I would, use for Steelhead in the American and Voila  the fight was on.

I got him to the shore and then had to figure out how to get him off because of with the slippery shale on the side of the lake and the three feet of incline, I decided early that I wasn't taking a swim today. I got him close enough that I could almost reach him and then he decided he wasn't sticking around. He flipped the fly back at me and was on his merry way. I figure him to be 12 maybe 13 inches. A brown of course.

After that I tried a rust Crystal Bugger, black Wooly Bugger, another egg pattern, but this one kept getting all tangled up with the sinker, and finally back to the original egg pattern. Even tried a couple of colors of San Juan Worm, but one was all there was to be.

Oh, did I mention the skunk? Not a fishing skunk, but one of those little black and white ones? Country Kitty I believe they call them. Fortunately for me, he was on the other side of the inlet, but as he moved closer, the smell got stronger AND I was down wind. Speaking of wind, when I got there it was calm and by the time I left it was blowing about 15 mph and in my face, of course.

On the way out, I came across this guy standing on the side of the hill so I HAD to ask him what he was doing. He was collecting Lady Bugs. There must have been thousands of Lady Bugs on the side of the hill. He said he has some type of business that uses Lady Bugs for some environmental purpose and he spends weeks collecting them (he's from Oregon) and takes them back to his business. He had a bag full that he said holds about two gallons and his business need is about 700 gallons. So he travels down every fall and collects them from a bunch of different spots he visits each year.    

Lady Bugs
If you've never seen this phenomenon, double click on the pictures and take a good look.

More Lady Bugs
In my 66 years I have only experienced this once before and it is amazing. He says that this occurs every year and the area has to meet certain qualifications. A certain direction, a certain amount of sun, fall weather, and I don't know what else. He knew a lot about them.

That's it for this week. Storm coming in tonight and lasting through the weekend. They (the weather guessers) say this one will be bigger than yesterdays and the one Saturday into Sunday, even bigger yet. But fear not, we are 15 to 20 feet above the creek and I've yet to see the creek flood in the nine years we've lived here. 



  1. I think I'd be fishing with ladybugs... :)

  2. My though exactly about the ladybugs. This the color off or are they a little different color?

    1. Hey Howard. I think because it was a recent hatch that maybe they just haven't achieved total coloring yet.

  3. Never seen Ladybugs in that volume anywhere, anytime. I wonder if anyone has actually tied a Ladybug pattern. Might be worth a try!

    1. Here you go, Mel.

  4. A fine report there Mark.
    The inlet looks like a good spot, although a bit fast.

    1. Hi Alan. Not normally that fast when it's up to capacity.

  5. Mark
    Unbelievable amount of lady bugs, did you have a pattern that resembled them--if not I think I would come up with one. Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Bill. There is already one out there (see Mel's reply), but I don't think it would help, because where the Ladybugs were was a long way from any fishing water.

  6. I worked at a shipping company in college, loading trucks. One day we had a bag of those break open that someone was shipping, it was a total mess! I was told they use them for natural pest control.

    I would wonder if it's legal for that person to remove those from public land. Here it's illegal to take anything, plant or otherwise, from state or nationally owned property.

    1. You know what they say, "It's only illegal if you get caught". I have a suspicion that the land belongs to Pacific Gas & Electric and from what I've encountered in the past, they probably don't care.