Sunday, September 29, 2013

California Delta

We headed out Friday Morning for the maiden voyage of the Clipper. Meals planned, fresh water tank filled with the good water from our well (better water than bottled) rather than the city (or was it shitty) water they put in the tank when we picked the trailer up, and a short 2+ hour drive down Highway 88 and across Highway 12 to the Delta.

The California Delta is formed at the western edge of the central valley by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. We stayed at the Sacramento River/Delta KOA Campground.

When we looked for a place to stay we found, at this campground, the following descriptions:

" Backup to HUGE grassy area"

See any huge grassy area back there?

Or there?
Or how about around the trailer?

" with babbling brook"

Didn't babble

In places it was even stagnant
"Premium sites with shade trees and delta breezes"

Don't know how "premium" it was, but it did have shade trees and on Friday the Delta Breeze did blow. Remember I've talked about the "Delta Breeze" on a couple of occasions and it can blow up to 35 or 40 miles per hour and is still called the Delta Breeze. 

On Friday it was a nice breeze.

Before I go into Saturday, I wanted to show you the vista across from our site which, by the way, we were the only inhabitants of. 

Across the road and to the right:

This motor home hasn't been moved in at least two years.

Across the road and to the left:

The far trailer hasn't been moved since Dwight D Eisenhower was in office
So why did we stay? One, it was already paid for because you have to when you make reservations and is non-refundable unless you cancel 48 hours in advance. Two, it was quiet since we were by ourselves. And three, it was centrally located in the Delta area.

OK, so on to Saturday. We headed out after breakfast and our first stop was Isleton. Small town on the Sacramento River and not much going on. Big time place when they have the Crawdad Festival.

Next place was Locke. Locke was founded in 1915 after a fire broke out in the Chinese section of nearby Walnut Grove. The Chinese who lived in that area decided that it was time to establish a town of their own. They approached George Locke a land owner and asked if they could build on his land. An agreement was reached and the rest is history. 

The town is basically one street long and on August 2, 1970, Locke was added to the registry of national historical places, by the Sacramento County Historical Society, because of its unique status as the only town in the United States built exclusively by the Chinese for the Chinese.

Then we headed to Walnut Grove, but nothing there so we headed back to Isleton for lunch. Here is where it gets interesting. We ate at a Mexican Restaurant called Rogelio's. No big because we used to eat at a Rogelio's in Gold River all the time, but this one was not only Mexican food, but Chinese food too. Excellent Mexican food served by a Chinese woman. Sorry, but it just struck me as a little weird.    

After lunch we drove over to Rio Vista, but here again nothing big until they have the Bass Derby and Festival in October. Little town, lots of people, lots going on. I personally will be staying home. 

Did I fish while I was over there. Nope. I came across a couple of guys and all they were catching were little Crappie and Blue Gills maybe this <...............> big. OK, maybe they were a little bigger. Since they seemed to know what they were talking about I decided just to blow it off and hit the trout streams next week. 

From this experience, I would gauge any website description of a campground at 50% of what they say it is. 

See you next week.     


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sometimes Wires Get Crossed

Yuki and I planned to meet at Silver Lake yesterday morning at 0830. I got there at 0755 so I left a note on the windshield and headed down to the lake. 

I set up my red camping chair and proceeded to put out one rod with rainbow Power Bait. Just as the second one hit the water, the first one was doing the "fish on" bounce. As I was reeling in that one, the second one started bouncing so I just let it sit until I could get to it.

The first one was a 12 inch stocker Rainbow so I put it on stringer and grabbed the second rod. This one was smaller at about 10 inches and lip hooked so I gently put him back for another day. I was waiting for Yuki and from what I could see, didn't want to limit before he even showed up. So I put both rods down as parked in the chair to wait for him.

0830 came and went as did 0900 and by 0915 I decided to walk up and get my little Okuma so I could throw some Kastmasters and kill some time. I knew he'd be there and thought maybe he got delayed feeding the menagerie he has.    

Up in the parking lot I ran into the ranger and asked if he'd seen anyone in a white car or truck over by the boat launch and he said no. I fished the Kastmasters and a couple Panther Martins picking up and releasing two. Then I decided to drive over to the boat launch and see if I could find Yuki, but no one I could see looked like him. I was looking for the white cowboy hat he always wears.

Back to the Cubby (that's where I'd set up) and in about 20 minutes had the other four (a limit) on the stringer. Back in the truck I drove back over to the boat launch and then I saw a white cowboy hat sitting out on the point. Parked and with PB&J in hand, walked out.

The white cowboy hat was not on Yuki, but it was on his Daughter Marisa. Yeh, Yuki was there too. They had two on the stringer (both caught by Marisa) and after a short discussion about the road and Day Use area, we headed over there. 

Since I already had a limit I just walked down with them and showed them the "spot". They started catching and Yuki suggested I get my rod and help them fill two stringers. OK, I can have my arm twisted with the best of them. 

Photo's of everybody.................

Your's Truly
 I was actually standing right next to the Cubby.

Just to prove I actually catch a fish now and then
No fish story here.
Yuki & Marisa

Once again


After adding three to their stringer, I packed up and headed out. I'd made 5 trips back and forth to the truck not to mention the one out to the point and that was the extent of my energy for the day. When I left they had one stringer with 5 (a limit) and the other with 2. I had no doubt that the other 3 would be on that stringer shortly.

With the 4 I released and 3 stringers full, I'd say that 19 was a pretty good day.

Oh yeh, Yuki and Marisa were there at 0830, but were in her car. That's why I couldn't find them. 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Is Here

Fall fell this day at 4:44 pm est. Yesterday it rained like hell here in Northern California., but I will not show you pictures because I assume that pictures of water would be the last thing the folks in Colorado would like to see. I have great sympathy for them.

This morning it was 40 degrees outside and 60 degrees in the house. Donner Summit (on highway 80) got snow.

I fired up the wood stove for the first time this year.

I already miss summer.

Tuesday Yuki and I are going to hit Silver Lake in hopes that there are still a few fish around.

Friday we are heading out in the new travel trailer for three days on the Delta. I got some hints on fishing over there and I'll let you know if I catch anything. I will definitely be on unknown ground.

Happy Fall fishing.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

When You Least Expect It

I had two options this morning. Go up to Silver Fork and fish the down stream side of the bridge at Hells Delight Road where I fished last August 27th or pick a lake upcountry.

With a lot of stuff left to do today and the day will be running into tonight, I wanted to have as much energy as I could so I opted for a lake upcountry. I'll fish Silver Fork in the next week or so. It'll still be there.

I headed out at 0715 and after a coffee stop, got to Silver Lake a little after 0830. I've been passing up Silver Lake for a while and thought it was time to give it another try. Last couple times I've been there I've struck out.

When I opened my door to get out and pay the parking fee, the wind was blowing pretty good. Last time it was blowing just like this and I got blown off the lake. Not a good omen for fishing.

So instead of going to my usual place, I drove to the day use area and with gear in hand, walked down to the shore. It didn't look very deep so I cast out a line with just a sinker and as suspected, it was only a foot deep at maximum cast. That wouldn't do so I walked back in the direction of the place I usually fish and found a little cove that was somewhat sheltered from the wind.    

You can see in the picture below my little Cubby hole.


To the left of the Cubby

Back toward where it was shallow
You can see in the next picture the waves coming in because of the wind.

Wave shot
Another wave shot
I parked my rear in the red camping chair and rigged up the first rod. Both were just sinkers because I lost the hooks to the bottom when I was up at Upper Blue Lake last time.

Once I got one rigged, I cast out, tightened the line, and started working on the other. Before I could get bait on the second one, the first one was jumping all over the rock it was leaning on. With all the wave motion, I thought it was just the waves making the tip move until the line snapped out straight.

Wow, that was a hit and by the time I realized it, the fish had absconded the Power Bait. With fresh PB out when the first rod and followed shortly by the second one. It wasn't more than about three minutes and the first fish came to hand. It was a nice 10" stocker Rainbow.

From then on it was bite after bite and in just short of 45 minutes from when I parked my rear, I had a limit on the stringer. I hate to say this, but it was almost too quick. It seemed like I had just gotten there and I was on my way home. I had this nice little Cubby and didn't even get a chance to put my feet up on the rock in front of me (Look back at the first picture) and BAM, it was over.

I know, I know, all you guys out there are going "Aaaw poor baby". That would be everybody except Bob (I plow for fish) who ended up with the fish.

I was a gentleman and asked the Campground Hosts, at the day use area, if they would like a couple, but they already had five in the freezer they had caught.

You just never know, the conditions were just like last time and there was no similarity fishing one day to the next.    

Till next time.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Retirement Present?

We picked up our new travel trailer this afternoon. I mentioned it in the August 30th post, but I don't think anyone caught it. OK, Bob (I plow for fish) did.

It's not a retirement present because I retired way back in 2006, but the retirement money paid for it.

When we went camping mid last month we found out that these old bones do not get up off the camping mattress very easily and my wife didn't like being crammed in the back of the tent so enter The Clipper. 

The Clipper
It's 20 feet from ball to bumper, but is considered a 17 foot trailer.

Doggie Decoration

Small 36"
Sink & Vanity
Queen Size Bed

Stove, Sink, Microwave, & Fridge
Kitchen Table
GVW of 3518 pounds. Did not have a lick of trouble pulling it up the mountain to the house.

How cool is that?


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Go Where The Fish Are

With Winter just over the horizon, I thought I'd better add a little stock to Bob's fish stash. There are a lot of lakes up the hill, but the catching has been slim at best in most of them.

With the exception of the day during vacation where  I only caught two (I quit after only two), I've always caught at least three at Upper Blue Lake.

So I headed out at a bit after 7:00 and after a quick stop for coffee headed over Carson Pass and up Blue Lakes Road.

I've talked about the Rim Fire for a while and just to let you know, it's still burning, but is 80% contained. The reason I mention this is the picture below was taken at Upper Blue Lake on August 16th before the fire started on the 17th.

August 16th
This morning when I got to the lake, I thought I was back in Los Angeles. The air quality was terrible. It wasn't the chest hurting that smog is, but definitely eye burning.  

There is a mountain over there.
Can barely see across the lake.
I thought that if I caught a fish, maybe it would come pre-smoked.......Please no booing or hissing. 

OK, back to fishing. I set up in my usual place and put out two rods with rainbow Power Bait. Then I sat and sat and sat. An hour later I decided to walk back to the truck, get my little Okuma and throw some lures. A gold Kastmaster on the second cast brought an eleven inch Rainbow to hand. After that, nothing on that Kastmaster, but it told me something.

What it told me was that the fish were not out the 150 feet or so that I put the Power Bait, but closer to shore. With new Power Bait on the hook, I put both lines out about 50 feet and in less that 10 minutes the second Rainbow came to hand.

Then came number three, then number four, and finally number five. It only took about forty-five minutes from lure to limit. Interesting how way out produced not a bite, but in close was rock and roll time. I probably could have caught fifteen more had I stayed another hour. They were coming that fast.   

You can tell the season is coming to an end. There was a person here and there, but the place was a virtual ghost town. Campgrounds were closed although there were a couple of campers still around. Still time to hit this lake a time or two more before the snows come so maybe I'll wander up this way again in a couple weeks. 

I dropped the fish off at Bob's insuring my road will be plowed when necessary.