Saturday, June 30, 2012


For those of you that have my book "Fishing, Ghosts, and My Mother's Gray Hair" what I'm referring to is on page 31, 3rd paragraph down.

One time, at the beginning of lobster season, a storm had just gone through, and the water had a visibility of about a foot, but it was the beginning of the season, and the lure of lobster cooking on the stove was too much to keep us out of the water. I was snorkeling offshore about one hundred yards and estimated I’d be over a reef, so I took a breath, tucked, and dove for the bottom. Half way to the bottom, all I saw in my face mask was the tail of a shark. A big tail, maybe three feet long. I gasped (not easy to do underwater) and headed for the surface. Once on the surface, I yelled “shark” and headed (with hopes of making it) to shore. Obviously, I made it, or I wouldn’t be here writing about it.

What I didn't mention in this paragraph was that there were three of us diving that day. Last week I was talking to my friend Dave in Missouri (my boyhood best friend and still a best friend) and he was one of the other two diving that day. When I yelled "Shark", he looked down in the water and all he saw the the dorsal fin (a big dorsal fin) glide between his legs. Then he headed for shore. 

Neither he nor I can remember who the third person, but it didn't surprise me that Dave was the other person diving with me. After all, we were best friends and we lived to talk about it.

So there's a little more to whet your appetite of those that haven't gotten the book yet.


Friday, June 29, 2012

East Fork of the Carson River & Wolf Creek

Party Head is gone and I'mmmm Baaaack. I would have gone yesterday, but I was still a little woozy.

OK, plan for the day was to drive a lot of miles (74 to be exact) to where Wolf Creek meets the East Fork of the Carson River. Like the West Fork it's called River, but this time of year it's more creek than river. 

Left the house 0700 before the wife left for work and after the usual stop for coffee at Cooks Station, it was drive, drive, drive past Bear River, Silver, Caples, and Red Lakes A right turn at Woodfords, past Markleeville and the Carson River Resort and finally the left turn on Wolf Creek Rd.   

Scoped the creek up a mile or so and decided to stop and fish here. 

First fishing spot upstream

Same spot downstream
Tried first with my Tenkara rod and then switched to my fly rod with floating line for long distance. Nada on either. Moved downstream and tried another spot and nada there too. This is supposed to be some hot spot for mongo trout, but I sure didn't see any.

The plan for the rest of the day was to fish the East Fork on the way back so I packed up and headed for the River. Just as I hit the stop sign for the turn back to the East Fork I crossed a small creek. I think that was Wolf Creek and not where I was fishing. That didn't sink in until I was back down the road and at the Highway 4 bridge. Oh well, next time. 

Highway 4 Bridge
When the DFG plants they put a few in here just to keep things interesting.There was another gentleman fly fishing just upstream from the bridge so I politely asked if I could fish upstream from him. With his approval I moved to a spot just below a set of rapids and started with Tenkara and used the other rod for the long casts. I didn't get any interest, but in talking with that gentleman, he said to go ahead and fish by the bridge. I let my Green (reasonable facsimile) Stimulator float down a couple of times with one drive-by. I said good by to him and moved to the other side of the bridge.

A lot of casts and a lot of drive-bys, but I couldn't get a hookup to save my life. Back into the truck and off to another place. Float, drive-bys, then move to another place and so on, all morning.

Finally about 1:30 I got my first fish to hand (and the only one today) in the area below. 

First fish on Friday
It was a first on Tenkara for the East Fork of the Carson River. Remember this was the place I caught both the first and second on a fly rod way back in August 2009. Actually is was just upstream about a half mile from here. The one today was a little Rainbow about 7 inches and sent home for another day.

So the day ended up with the count Mark - 1, fish - 15 or 20 or maybe 25. All I know is I missed a lot. I wonder if the fly is too big? I'm using a size 10 and maybe I need a 12 or 14 or 16? any of you Tenkara guys out there have any ideas?  

Hey, this fly fishing is a learning process isn't it?

One other thing, it was wet wading day and the water was a blazing 61 degrees.

Till the next adventure.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Mountain Lion

I had forgotten I had scanned this picture. This was taken from my front porch. I was VERY close to the front door. I think it was somewhere around the summer of 2006. Thought I'd share it with you.  

As far as fishing, I've been down with that inner ear thing again (last time was about 4 years ago). If you don't remember it's like being drunk without the party. Lasts about 4 or 5 days and then goes away.

I'm back out tomorrow and I'll let you know where I go.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My New Blog

I've been a wood worker for many, many years. Back in the 80's I quit my job with the idea I was going to own my own business and make a fortune. I had been doing craft shows on weekends now and then and felt I had a good product. So the plan and you know I always have a plan, was to do the 8 to 5, 5 days a week making my product and selling at craft shows. HA. It was more like 14 hours a day 7 days a week, BUT I did make a bunch of money.

Then one day while I was in the Bay Area (that's San Francisco Bay Area) my former employer called me and offered me my job back with all the demands met, that they had refused when I left and all benefits restored. Now I was back to 8 to 5, 5 days a week and I was only working at my business for the remainder of the craft season.

Fast forward to the present. When I retired in 2006 I thought I'd take up the craft business again since I had all this spare time on my hands. I made  up a bunch of planters, that had sold so well at craft shows, and then started searching for shows. Well, I kind of jumped the gun because the show promoters that I wanted to show with weren't in business anymore. Guess the economy got them too. So I packed the planters away and left them for another day.

I decided to launch my new website this week and put all those planters out there for sale. Let me give you a little explanation of what they are. They are made of pine wood and they come in many designs. I have four basic designs, the Cabin, the Church, the School, and the Outhouse. Since these are basic designs I wanted to note that I own the patents on these four designs from my previous business. Why do I mention this? Just so somebody doesn't see these and say, "Wow I could build and sell these".

From that point, the planters are all custom in nature. One of a kind, if you will. The other nice thing is that with custom planters, the sky if the limit. You have an idea, I can probably make a planter to match.

I'm starting with the four basic planters posted one a day this week and then I'll post the custom ones from then on. They make unique gifts for someone you want give a gift that they won't find any where but at Mark's Original Wood Planters,

Even if you are only browsing today, the planter you see (or an idea you have for one) might be just the right present for that special person. Come on over and take a peek.    

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Still The Same Guy

You'll notice that the Shoreman has retired and in his place is the, well me. A lot of this has to do with the way Blogger connects blogs. Blog's you say? In the past I had Northern California Trout and California Dreaming (pictures I didn't post on NCT), but it got to a point that I found spaces for all the pictures and didn't need California Dreaming anymore. Change is good.

Well, there's other things in the works and I'll have a new blog coming out shortly, but it's not related to fishing so I decided to retire Shoreman (although I'll always be the Shoreman) for the real me.

So when you look at my profile and don't see Shoreman or the guy who lives on five acres with the wife and three cats (sheding cats, cat hair everywhere) don't fret, the wife is still there, the cats are still there, the hair is still there, it's just a new and improved profile, but the same old geezer.

Oh, and just to soothe the souls of those out there, Northern California Trout isn't going anywhere. 


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

West Fork of the Carson River

This is the creek/river (I list it that way because it's called a river, but this time of year it's not much more than a creek) that they usually dump the trout under the bridge at the 88/89 intersection then everybody in the "secret circle" descends in mass and fishes it to extinction.

My plan for today (and you know Shoreman always has a plan or three) was to fish this creek/river elsewhere. The question was where to start. I picked the creek along the road in Hope Valley because I would come to it first. How's that for ease of decision? Keep in mind that this creek/river runs for miles and miles. A LOT of miles.

After a swing by Cooks Station for coffee and drop off some books (you know which one), I headed up Highway 88 past Bear River, Silver Lake, Caples Lake, and Red Lake taking the turnoff to Hope Valley. It was only a couple of miles until I hit the creek.  

This was the first place I fished. Note the HUGE boulders (I know they look small, but some of them were the size of a Volkswagon) I had to navigate just to get to the water.

West Fork at Hope Valley
A couple of casts and "fish on". This a Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (futurely referred to as LCT).

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
This one came on the green (reasonable facsimile) stimulator.

Another pool
Another Cutt, same fly.
Note the color on the bottom of the gills
After a good Cardio hike, 4 Cutts brought to hand, and 400 mosquito's murdered, I moved to another part of the creek. I had forgotten just how many mosquito's there are in that part of the valley.  

Upstream from the 88/89 bridge
I walked a half mile of this part of the creek and had a few drive bys, but no hookups. I tried to interest one in a pool that was a good 16", but it wasn't having anything to do with what I offered.

Then off to another section of the creek. This one downstream a couple of miles from the 88/89 bridge in country more like the first stop. Here again, there was a bridge to fish buy, but there was an Asian Lady fishing, who had caught one, so I went upstream a ways so as not to interfere with her fishing. I worked my way down to a  nice pool and missed a nice hit by one a good 14 inches long. I moved to another hole, but didn't find anything.

Walking back to the truck I noticed that she was leaving so I worked my way down to the creek so I could fish under the bridge and then downstream. I got several hits in and around the bridge, but missed them all. Then I started downstream. Saw these flowers and snapped a shot.  

Yellow Something
Somewhere along that hike I landed one more Cutt for a total of five today. All small, the biggest maybe 9 inches, but fun on Tenkara. OK, I waited until the end to say it.

Stopped by Red Lake on the way home (I couldn't help myself), but it was the same old, same old so I kept going.

I think that's it for today. Don't know what's next, but I'll let you know.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Almost Fell Out Of The Chair

This post is more for the locals, but I was cruising out on the DFG fish stocking site and I made a shocking discovery. This week they are stocking Silver Fork of the American River. I think the last time they stocked this creek, I was still in diapers. OK, it hasn't been quite that long, but I think the last time was before Silver Fork went on the "no Stock list" back in, maybe 2008.

I fished it last summer with my fly rod and caught one small rainbow, as I recall, but had written it off since it's been forever since they stocked it. I figured it now fell into the same category as the Cosumnes as a non-stocking creek. Definately a Tenkara creek. 

I consider this huge that they are stocking it again. Now if they can only get up to Bear River, Silver, Caples, and Red Lakes. So many places to fish, so little time.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tenkara - Ken - Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Father's out there.

I picked my son Ken up at his house at 0715 with the intention of fishing the North Fork of the Cosumnes River by his house. I cross this river four times, every time I go to his house. Twice going and twice coming back. Our plan was to access it at the bridge on Happy Valley Rd.

If you look at the two pictures below, the access is anything but happy.

Down Stream
Up Stream
We hiked up a path on the hillside about a quarter mile before we could find a path down to the river. Once we did, I got Ken set up with the Tenkara rod and the green (reasonable facsimile) stimulator. I picked a spot where a little pool was and said "fish there". First cast with the Tenkara rod and "fish on". Wasn't very big, but it was the first of the day. If you double click on the picture, the fish is right below the butt of the rod. See, not very big. Gently released and on to the next pool. 

Ken's first fish on Tenkara

When in doubt, sneak up on  them
We fished a little further upstream, but the boulder hopping was just too much so we climbed out and headed for the same creek, but way up by Caps Crossing.

We stopped before getting to Caps and fished a part of the creek that had easier access. We had follow-ups, drive-bys, and hit and runs, but couldn't get any to stay on the line. I even had a couple come across the pool (you could see the V-shaped wake) only to turn away at the last minute. 

So my Son and I spent Father's Day morning chasing small fish on small streams and loved every minute of it.

I want to make a note, for the record, that the only fish caught today was by my son and not by his father, when his father took him fishing on Father's Day. Come on, that's a joke. I was happy being out stomping through the creeks with him. Besides he's a father too.     

I mentioned on Mel's blog (Rainbow Chaser) about the people camping where we were fishing (not designated campgrounds) and how I could smell the smoke from the camp fires. I do hope they are careful because it is hot (mid-90's), dry (humidity about 15%), and windy. Ripe conditions for a wildfire. Besides it's not my place to say anything and they were there for a wedding. A couple got married right by the creek last night and I hope the best for them. They probably wouldn't listen anyway.

Well, that's it for Father's Day fishing. Till next time.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Television Interview

Well, I wanted to surprise you with the video of the interview of my book that I did on local TV last Friday the 8th, but the station didn't post it. I sent them an email as asked where it was and all I got in return was Thank you for appearing, but we don't archive most segments. It ran live 8 times from Friday through Sunday. Sorry you missed it. 

How's that for a crock? So much for my 15 minutes (or in this case 6 minutes) of fame. I guess I just stick to writing.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Almost Friday

Happen to see Matt Cain's (SF Giants) perfect game last night?

I had a couple of errands to run in Sacramento today so I figured (with the suggestion of Blake from Illinois Wisconsin Fishing Blog) I'd do a little Shad fishing in the American.  

As I was heading out the door I noticed this moth in the bug zapper. You've got to have a bug zapper to keep the moths and other undesirable bugs from getting into the house and terrorizing the cats. This guy was at least 3 inches long and I felt sorry for him, just look at the "deer in the headlights" eyes on him. So being the big softie (my wife says I am) I am, I shut off the zapper and wiggled him out and on his way. Sitting on the deck I could almost see a sigh of relief on his face.

OK, on to Shad fishing. SOP is to cast out the little pink jig, let it swing, and then reel it in. I spent the first hour doing that without any interest. The only interesting thing, for you Carp guys, was a 12" Carp that kept cruising back and forth in front of me. Didn't care about my pink jig though.

Then into the second hour I started seeing "small" Shad cruising the shoreline about 5 feet off shore. I figured that I'd hit them as the swing got to the end because the line was in that 5 foot channel. Not a chance, not even a drive by.

So I waited and when the next group started by, I cast my jig just upstream from them and let it cruise right into the middle of them. I could see the jig, I could see the Shad, and I could see the Shad suck in the jig. Sight fishing for Shad, what a concept. Well it turned out to be a little bigger than "small" in fact it was more like 18" and about 2 pounds. Small by Shad standards, but it cleared the skunk.     

By 11:00 it was already 85 degrees and I was sweating like a pig, so with errands to run, I packed up and headed for the air conditioned truck. I guess I used to handle warm (that warm) weather better when I was a flatlander, but living in the mountains had thickened my blood and hot is 75 degrees now. Next time I'll just go a little earlier.

Sunday is Father's Day and I'm fishing with my son on the Cosumnes up by his house. Tenkara - Ken - Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes.

Till then.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Went into my book "The Complete Book of Western Hatches" and found a picture of what I think is this bug. They called it Chloroperlidae (Adult) Green Stonefly.

So, in my dry fly box which has about 10,000 flies (maybe not quite that many), I have one called Trude Royal that is supposed to be a Stonefly. Maybe somebody who is a might more Entomology smart than I am could suggest a reasonable facsimile or maybe the Trude will be sufficient.

I want to take a shot this Sunday when I go with my son to the North Fork of the Cosumnes outside Placerville. For those not familar with Placerville, California, it was called "Old Hangtown" in the gold rush days. There was once a manniquin hanging off one of the buildings right in downtown, but I guess some people don't have a sense of humor.

"There's gold in them there sluice boxes". There was a lot of gold mined in the Sierra Foothills, but that's another story. This one is in the book. If you're interested, see the top left of the blog on how to order "Fishing, Ghosts, and My Mother's Gray Hair".

On the suggestion of Blake Hamilton "Illinois Wisconsin Fishing" blog, I'm off to the American River for a little Shad fishing tomorrow. Let you know what happens.

Till then.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tenkara - Roy

Have you ever seen such a stressed out cat? This is Jasmine.

Life of Riley
I picked up Roy (my neighbor) at 0730 and after a coffee stop at Cooks Station we were on the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes at Cat Creek Rd by just after 0800. Today was Tenkara initiation day for Roy. We wadered up and walked down to the pool below the pool where I've had good luck in the past.

I set up the Tenkara Iwana with the orange stimulator (reasonable facsimile) and after a few practice casts, turned Roy loose. I hung close and gave him some pointers about holding the tip up so only the fly was touching the water, what a "dead drift" was and how to go about it. A little roll cast instruction. you know, stuff like that and what parts of the creek to find the fish. 

Roy scoping out the pool
It wasn't long before the first rainbow came to hand. Notice the waders? Water temp 50.4 degrees. A might chilly for wet wading.

Roy's first fish Tenkara
After he was feeling pretty confident, I went back to the truck and got my fly rod with floating line just to hit a couple of spots that a little far for the Tenkara rod. We caught one here and one there and steadily worked our way down the creek. It got to the point where he was calling the bites. OK, it's going to bite now and damn if it didn't. When we got to the last hole I told Roy that we were going to have to sneak up on them since the sun was hitting the water pretty good.   

Making like a tree?
We managed 4 apiece on a section of river that was about a half mile long and missed a bunch. It's a little different than just chucking out some Power Bait and letting the fish gobble it.

This little bug landed on my arm and if any of you entomology experts out there can tell me what it is (so I don't have to look it up, lazy slug that I am) I'd appreciate knowing. Also note Roy (in the background) had a proper hold on the Tenkara rod with the line properly wrapped on the spool.

Bug of some kind
Well, that was Roy's introduction to Tenkara. He had a good time, caught some and lost some, but I don't think he'll be running out any time soon to drop a couple hundred on a Tenkara rod. That's OK, I mean it's not like he doesn't just live next door.

Now I have to decide where I'm going on Thursday. Brave the heat and fish for Shad on the American or take a drive up to the West Fork of the Carson River and fish Tenkara. Guess I'll have to let you know.

Till next time.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Surprise Post Friday

OK, I missed it, but it's not my fault. I can't access what I wanted to post so you'll just have to wait until maybe Monday or Tuesday. Here's a hint. TV interview.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tenkara Thursday

Let's try a new place. OK, not new to me fishing it, but new to me Tenkara fishing.

I stopped at Cooks for coffee and then backtracked to PIPI Valley Rd. The road that goes to the campground and where I fished on Sunday also goes to Caps Crossing Campground another 10 miles from PIPI. I've camped at Caps Crossing and fished there on many occasions. I would say that the total sum of fish caught on this creek which is the North Fork of the Cosumnes (PIPI is the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes) is two. One I caught a long time ago on a single salmon egg drifted into a pool. The other one was last year with my fly rod and some dry fly. It's too much trouble to go back and find out what one.

So after a ten mile detour (somebody mis-marked the road) I got to the creek where I wanted to fish. Wadered up, put on my vest, and got the Tenkara rod out. The picture below is where I started fishing and was 10 feet or so from the truck.  

The start

I'll give you a total after the last picture, but this was one of the pools upstream from where I started.

A nice pool
See, I remembered the camera this time. This is where I fished last and pulled out of the creek.

The final riffles
Remember, two total ever in this creek. Today, 8 brought to hand and released and 8 to 10 missed. I fished a new orange stimulator (not a stimulator but a reasonable facsimile) I got from the fly shop earlier this week along with the old orange one that is getting beat to shit and a Royal Wulff in size 10 that I picked up at the same time. They hit all of the flies presented. All 8 were little Rainbows in the 6 to 8 inch range. 

The more I think about fishing this size of creek, the more I feel that Tenkara was designed exactly for these creeks. You don't need more than the traditional Tenkara line and about 4 feet of 5X tippet. Any more than that and you're going to be feeding your flies to the bushes. 

I'll be back up here shortly. I want to fish the other direction.

Tomorrow I've got a special post for you, so stop by and check it out.

Till then.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tenkara Sunday

I'm not one that normally fishes on Sunday. It's not a religious thing but more of a personal thing. I'll explain as I wander through this post.

The first reason I went fishing today is the wife went to Sacramento to have a "Girls only" lunch and shopping day with her daughter and granddaughter who turned 14 on May 30th. What better reason to go fishing? The second reason is that we are expecting a storm (I thought summer was here), with rain and possibly snow in the mountains, starting tomorrow and going through Tuesday. So I thought I'd get in a day of fishing in before it got here.

Plan of attack: hit the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River at PIPI Valley campground. This is the same stream I fished last Wednesday just further downstream. Got started a little late and arrived at the river at 0830. Wadered up, got my vest on, and tied an orange stimulator (that's the only fly I used today) on my Tenkara rod. I had enough confidence, after not breaking it on Wednesday, that I only took that rod. I walked down stream from the bridge somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 mile. When I was stuffing my vest with fly boxes I noticed that my camera was not in my "holds everything" backpack so I apologize for no pictures.    

The one thing I've found about this creek is that it fishes best in moving water rather than those slow pools and it also fishes best when the creek is in shadows before the sun gets on it.

OK, so I won't drag this out. I fished back toward the bridge and probably and equal distance on the other side. I brought 9 to hand (all Rainbows) and missed 15 to 20. They are still faster than I am, but I'm working on that. All in the 6 to 8 inch range. By 11:30 the creek was pretty much in full sun and the horde of creek swimmers arrived. People swimming in the creek is the main reason I don't fish on weekends.

I've known of this creek for years. I've fished this creek for years and caught very little. I had no idea there were that many fish in this creek since it isn't a creek that is stocked, making everyone of those little guys a native. So let me make this statement (and Mike [Troutrageous] doesn't have my arm twisted behind my back) that if you haven't tried Tenkara and you have small streams around your place, you are missing one hell of a good time. 

Stay tuned, my son and I are going in three weeks just for him to try the Tenkara rod and we will be fishing this same creek in another location. I also have a couple of other spots on this creek picked out to try and I have to get back to the Silver Fork of the American and give that a shot.

Till next time.