Saturday, April 27, 2013

Opening Day 4-27-2013

Rolled out of the house at 0645, damned near the middle of the night for a Saturday morning. Got to Cooks Station just as they opened, in fact I wasn't sure they were open. Note to self: Take off the sun glasses, you can see inside better next time, and you'll know they are open.

Coffee in hand, headed uphill to Cat Creek Road and the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River at Cat Creek Campground. It took me almost 30 minutes to drive the eight miles down the windy road to the creek. Still several spots of snow on the side of the road.

Still a little snow here and there
Once there, got my hip waders on, my vest filled with fly boxes, my fly rod rigged, and my Tenkara rod rigged. As I was doing all that, an older gentleman and his son (possibly grandson) pulled up and walked down to the pool below the bridge to do some crawler drowning.   

So I wouldn't interfere with them I crossed the bridge and walked down to the pool below the pool below the bridge. I've always had good luck in this pool and wanted to be the first to fish it this year.  

Pool below the pool below the bridge
I tried my Tenkara rod first with a new fly I got from American Fly Fishing Company a couple of weeks ago. Don't know the name of the fly, but I think it's called aggressor or something like that. Didn't get any interest on it so I threw out an orange stimulator on my regular fly rod (I can get more distance with the regular fly rod. You can see in the picture that it's about 100 feet from the bottom of the picture to the top). Didn't take long to bring the first fish of the day to hand. It was  a nice little feisty rainbow about seven inches long. 

On an orange stimulator

I caught a couple more and then went back up to the bridge and across to the upstream side. Right off the bat, I brought to hand two more small rainbows.

While I was walking upstream, I came across these fungi or what ever they are and thought I'd take a picture for you.
I have no idea
As I progressed up the creek, I fished pool after pool and the brown below was the first brown of the day. I like him so much I took two photo's of him. Just makes me look like I caught more fish.

First Brown

Same Fish
At just about that part of the day was when I did a back swing with my Tenkara rod and on the front swing heard this loud snap. I didn't know quite what happened until I looked at the piece of the rod just above the handle. There were four vertical cracks in that piece of the rod. One of the cracks was almost seven inches long. Looked like carbon fiber failure to me. I've notified Tenkara USA and am waiting for the next step.

Last year in this section of the river I came across part of a suction dredge. What I came across was the suction hose and the intake hose ( I know this stuff because I used to do that). It was further along in the summer and I figured someone had just left them there (although it's been illegal to use a suction dredge in California rivers for several years now) until the next time they came to the river. Today I found another part of the suction dredge. In the picture below is the motor, gas tank, air compressor, and the water pump. From the looks of them, I'd say that who ever owned it, abandoned it. From the looks of it I'd say it spent a good part of this winter underwater. The shape it's in, no one will be using it again.  

A definite NO_NO
This is another one of those dandy pools that are up and down this creek.

Up stream a ways
Having never been a Boy Scout, but always being prepared, I had my fly rod with me when the Tenkara took a dump. Better to drag it along than have to walk back a half mile to the truck and then a half mile back to where you were. This little Brown below came somewhere along that stretch of the creek. Could have even come out of that pool above. I just don't remember.

Second Brown
After a half mile or so I walked back to the truck, took a little break and then wandered back down to the pool below the bridge and the pool below the pool below the bridge and fished for a little longer. By then I was tired enough that I had to struggle just to get back up the hill to the truck, so I called it a day. I tell you it's hell getting old.

The count for the opening day of the 2013  trout season was 8 brought to hand and probably a dozen missed, long distance released (you know how those go), or in some cases short distance released at your toes. Not too shabby for three hours on the creek. Why only three hours? It seems that once the sun gets on the water, they lose interest and besides that I was just plain worn out.

Till next time.



  1. Excellent healthy looking trout, Mark! Nice opener. Thanks for taking us along.

  2. I'm glad you got out for the opener...beings you're so old and all. Pretty fish and strange fungi.

  3. Sounds like it was worth getting up so early! Sorry about the Tenkara rod.

  4. What a wonderful way to start the season, except for the rod.
    Those wild browns are stunning.

  5. Mark,
    Going up to fish below Beardsley tomorrow with Mark and met them steelhead fishing in Sac. May also try the river by Italian Bar road below Twain Harte. We were going to try the river above Lyons but the road down does not open until Memorial Day. I will let you know how we do.
    P.S. Nice fish...did we fish there last year?

    1. That was one of the places we missed. Maybe this year.

  6. Nice day, and gorgeous pools. And those are beautiful fish, especially First Brown and Same Fish.