Friday, February 28, 2014

I Can Admit When I'm Wrong

Judging myself to be correct 99.7% of the time (Sounds like Rush Limbaugh, huh) I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong.

The restaurant that Juan and I ate at last Tuesday was indeed Chuy's Taqueria not Choy's Taqueria. I apparently couldn't read the receipt very well. So ignore the comment about ethnic diversity in Winters because Juan says there isn't that much. He should know, he lives out there. 

The other thing is that I found out, doing research for another article, that the "Green River" name for the song by CCR came about from a soda that Tom Fogerty used to drink (as a kid) that was a green, lime flavored soda called Green River.

You may now chastise me for opening my big mouth before in gauging my brain.

I didn't have to post this, but thought you'd like to know.

I really need to go fishing. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Come Back Home T'Green River

Unless you were born in the last five years, you've probably heard of Creedence Clearwater Revival. You've probably heard the song Green River too. If not, go here: CCR Green River. It;s worth a listen.

Today I drove out to Woodland and with Juan Lopez from Breaking The Bank Blog in tow, we (actually he drove) headed out to Putah Creek or as you now know it as Green River.

It's my understanding that John and Tom Fogerty used to vacation on this river and that is the basis of Green River. I could be wrong, but just go with it. 

Putah Creek is one of the premier tail-water fisheries in California, if not the country. It's fed by Lake Berryessa and is one of those catch & release, artificial and barbless kind of places. Having done a little research I knew that BWO's are the fly to use here. I just happened to have a BWO fly assortment I got for New Melones that included everything from A to Z - BWO size 20. For someone who normally fishes size 10 & 12, size 20 is mighty small.

The research also said that nymphs under an indicator was the way to fish this river. We were ready.      
In the first picture it was at the #1 (listed as #1 through #5) parking spot. Sorry for the spots, but the picture was taken into the sun. I wasn't even sure how well the picture came out because after taking it I couldn't see anything for the next 10 minutes.

Downstream spot #1

Upstream spot #1
 While I was there I met Rob. Rob has fished this river since forever and had a really good handle on how to fish it unlike yours truly. As you can see he has a fish on and that was the only fish I saw today. 



Rob estimated the Rainbow as being about 16" which for this river isn't a lunker by any means.

Downstream #3

Upstream #3
I think that by now you can see why this is called Green River.

This was another area of parking #3. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see Juan to the right of center.   
Upstream still #3

Downstream still #3
We gave it our best, but t'was not to be. After wearing ourselves out, we headed back and stopped in Winters for lunch. I wouldn't normally mention this, but if you'll remember when my wife and I went to the Delta last fall we stopped at a Chinese/Mexican restaurant. Today Juan and I also ate at a Chinese/Mexican restaurant (Choy's Taqueria). Goes to show the ethnic diversity of this area.   

Since we're expecting rain for the next 4 or 5 days, I don't suspect I'll be out again until next week. If I can sneak out, I'll let you know.

Don't forget to check Juan's blog (link above) to get his perspective on our trip.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy Friday

Thanks everyone for the good words on the skin cancer. I actually meant it more as an instructional post than anything. Cover your head, you don't need this, trust me.

Next Tuesday I'm meeting Juan, Breaking the Bank blog, to fish the green river. Don't look for it on the map, I'll explain in the next post. You might wander over to Juan's blog. He won a super video on Rocky Mountain National Park and gives a good overview of it. Worth a look.

If you're into or looking into Tenkara, stop by Tenkara Normandie and check out the first volume (DVD) of Discovering Tenkara. You might want to pick up a copy. 

I plan to spend the day burning pine needles, yes it's that time of the year again. Can't get out today because I have an appointment nor tomorrow because of an appointment then too, so I'll just wait until Tuesday.

Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Wanted To Go....

Some time ago I mentioned that I get this "fuzzy" head thing. I described it like a drunk without the buzz. Kind of like an inner ear infection, but it's not. It's not a stoke or anything like that, just makes walking (and obviously not writing or talking) around hard. At times I have to use a cane just to get to the bathroom. It lasts 3 or 4 days and then gone for another year or two.

This time it started last Tuesday (the day of the skin cancer surgery), but was gone the next day. Then it came back on Sunday, Monday it was gone. It was back again yesterday and into today.

The fly fishing club, that I'm a member in good standing,was having a fish out this morning at Lake Amador and I really wanted to go, but.......

Too many factors involved that tell me to stay home. Mainly the fuzzy head, but the chance of rain (can't get the bandages wet), and it's supposed to be windy, but I wanted to go........

The rest of the week is supposed to be bright and sunny (of course), but the days are booked so I guess next week will be the first chance I can to get out.

In case you wanted to see what the skin cancer looked like, this was August 22, 2013 right after my doctor looked at it. He said it didn't look like cancer then. 

The problem was that no matter what I put on it, it would never heal or go away.

The picture below is after he took a chunk for biopsy on January 11, 2014 and the cancer was found.

The doctor who removed it said it was a good thing I didn't wait any longer. Probably would have taken more of the ear. He only took a piece the size of a half of a postage stamp. 

The doctor said the graft to replace the skin taken for the cancer removal is healing well as is the place they took that skin from. The "donor" spot should heal in a couple months and the graft could take from 6 months to a year. At least I no longer have that wad of gauze and tape that looks like a "Teddy Bear" ear. Probably should have put one on the left ear to match.

That's it, thought I'd just do an update and let everyone know I'm OK. I'll let you know how it goes next week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Friday Update

First let me say that the hit counter went over 150,000 today. Thank you all for stopping by and reading what I write.  I certainly appreciate each and ever one of you.

Next, I planned to fish Lake Pardee for the opener today, but complications have put fishing off for another couple days.

Tuesday I went in to have the skin cancer removed from my right ear. Simple, go in, have him whack it off, go home and hit Pardee today. Wrong. He whacked it off all right. A chunk about the size of a half postage stamp.

Then his partner (really cute lady doctor) came in and started talking about a skin graft. That's OK I said, I'll just be on my way. Can't, have to cover the ear because you can't leave cartilage exposed. All right, have at it and she did.

Cut a chunk out of the area behind my ear and sewed it on the hole on top of the ear. Put humongous bandages on both places and sent me home. My wife calls my right ear the "Teddy Bear Ear". With all the gauze and tape it sticks out farther than Will Smith's ears. Sorry Will.

With my ear looking like I have some abnormal alien fixture attached to it, I just don't feel like I'd like to go out in public until I can get a reasonable bandage on it, thus no Pardee today.

The other thing she mentioned in passing is that I can't get either site wet for weeks. That in itself presents bathing problems. It's the old towel bath for anything above my chest and that sucks.

Which brings me to the next fishing excursion. Next Wednesday I'm supposed to do the Amador Fly Fishers fishout at Lake Amador. The problem here is that it's supposed to rain Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week. I suppose I could out a plastic bag on my head and cut holes for my eyes and mouth, but if you watch the movie Django Unchained that doesn't work very well.

I didn't mention the bleeding on Tuesday night did I. The "donor" site decided it was going to bleed around 7:30. Called the doctor and was told to put a bag of frozen peas on the spot and hold it for 20 minutes. 20 minutes of frozen peas is really cold, BUT it did stop the bleeding. 10:30 is started again. 20 minutes of the frozen peas and the bleeding stopped, but this time my wife changed the dressing and put on a big hunk of gauze and taped the crap out of it. Surprise, no more bleeding. Now a big wad on my ear and on my neck.

I made an appointment to have the "Teddy Bear Ear" removed in the 4 to 7 day period instructed by the doctor. Let's look at the days. Today is day 3, Saturday, Sunday, Monday (day 6 and a holiday), and finally Tuesday it will come off. Then it's going to rain. Remember, can't get it wet.

Kind of embarrassing having those big wads sticking out all around your ear. I mentioned the abnormal alien above, people look at you that way with big wads of gauze taped all over your head. I think I'll stay home until Tuesday.

I may never go fishing again.............  

Monday, February 10, 2014

That Will About Do It For Now

It's been raining constantly since mid day on Friday. At La Casa Kautz we've gotten something like 15 inches of rain. I closed off the drain tube (18") in the pond to hold some of the water. Yesterday I opened it a little because the pond was ready to overflow. The water was already running out the secondary drain. It's not a big pond, probably 6 feet deep at the deepest, but I use it to help replenish the aquifer. Keeps the well running clean and clear.   

Remember I mentioned in the last post the people watching the rise in Folsom Lake? It was 2 inches at the time. Since then the lake has risen 15 feet. Good, but it needs a lot more. The capacity of Folsom Lake is 977,000 acre feet. The current level is 214,581 acre feet or 22% of capacity. Average for this time of year is 41% of capacity. It still needs a lot more.

Starting at the top of the state, Shasta Lake saw no increase with this storm. Lake Oroville had a 3% increase, Folsom I mentioned above and New Melones had no increase at all. Guess we'll still be fishing on the lower launch ramp area.

These are the four major water storage lakes for Northern California. Shasta feed the Sacramento River, Oroville feeds the Feather River and eventually runs into the Sacramento River. Folsom Lake feed the American River and eventually into the Sacramento River. New Melones feed the Stanislaus River, into the San Joaquin River and eventually into the Delta.

OK, it can quit for now. Four days of solid rain is plenty. Let's have a couple days off.

Not much else to report. No fishing until Friday's opening of Lake Pardee.

Stay tuned. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It Never Rains In California

So the song goes, but we are in day 2 of 4 days of solid rain. It started around Noon yesterday. The creeks are running again, my pond is filling, and once we get through Monday, there is supposed to be a couple more days next week.

Certainly not enough, but a damn good start.

There were people out at Folsom Lake standing on the shore watching the water rise. Folsom Lake feeds a lot of the Sacramento Valley with drinking water. Rumor had it that the water would run out in two to three months should we not get any rain. OK, it only came up 2 inches yesterday, but I guess it was enough to get them excited.

Most of the American River and the rivers and tributaries of the North Coast are closed to Steelhead and Salmon fishing because of the low water. My friend Glenn said he was up a couple times where we fished last year and said he was able to walk across the river right where he is standing in the picture below.

He said that there were no Steelhead to be found in the river.

I'm going to try Lake Pardee on Friday (opening day) as long as the ear (skin cancer surgery on Tuesday) will allow me to go. I'll let you know. 

Till then.........

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Not Quite As Exciting As Last Week

After yesterday's heater hose disaster, I got on the road to New Melones at 0745 this morning. When I stopped for gas in town I thought it a good idea to grab a cup of coffee since it was 24 degrees when I left home.

Some people question my sanity Float Tubing in that kind of weather, but rest assured it wasn't quite that cold at the lake. Maybe 35 with the water temperature at 51.6 degrees. I got there about 0915 and had the Float Tube Cumberland in the lake by 0935 or so.

I tied on the Muddler Minnow that Bill Trussell sent with a tiny split shot to hold it under and flippered over to the cove that was so good a week ago yesterday.

Worked it for a good hour and again, nothing. Either the fish in the lake were not biting, or they just don't like the Muddler. In any event, I'll try it again when the fish are biting so well they are jumping into the float tube.

For today, I went back to the ever faithful Thin Mint. I worked my way around the little cove on the far side of the launch ramp and after about 15 minutes hooked up a 14 inch Rainbow.  It looked so much like the one below I figured I could just use this picture instead of taking another.

14 inch Rainbow
I know that was lazy of me, but get over it.

On the other hand, the second one I caught was considerably larger so I did take a picture of that one.  
Considerably Larger
With that one back in the lake I flippered across the launch area being careful that I didn't hit any boats coming off the docks and preceded to the other side to an area I've been looking at, and wondering about, since we started fishing late last year. Directly across from where we bank fish.

I got over there, worked my way along the bank, around the cove, and back toward the launch area. I did run into my friend Jim and Bear the dog. He reported three on the stringer biting on crawlers. He said they wouldn't touch Power Bait.

One final shot at the cove on the other side of the launch (again being careful I didn't run over any boats being launched) and around 1:00 pm called it a day.

All that flippering for two fish, but well worth it. I did take a stupid pill this morning so no problem with the hip arthritis.

I took a little shot of the incoming storm. We're expecting snow Thursday morning at 3200 ft.(actually they are saying down to 2500 ft.) so my house is back where it belongs. 

Storm coming
I wanted to remark on a comment Howard from Windknots &Tangled Lines made on January 27th and I quote "It's nice that contrary to rumor, you can fix stupid." No Howard, I'm sorry you can't fix stupid because stupid is forever, but what you can do is make it hurt less. That is what the stupid pill does.

Oh, and the considerably larger trout was and 18 inch Rainbow.

That'll wrap it up for now. I probably won't be out until late next week at the earliest. Tuesday is the cut off the ear and get rid of the skin cancer day so I'm not sure how enthusiastic I'll be until I see what the doctor does. I'll let you know. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

So Much For Fishing Today

I rolled out of the house at 0745 with New Melones in mind and the Float Tube Cumberland in the bed of the truck.

As I was slowly working my way through San Andreas (speed limit 30 mph) I noticed the "low coolant" light came on. Not to worry, the temperature gauge hadn't moved so I continued. I thought I'd stop in Angels Camp and get a jug of antifreeze and top off the tank.

I stopped at the Chevron Station where there was a mechanic (I know that's odd, but Angels Camp is a small town) and asked him what I should use. He suggested I stop at O'Reilly Auto Parts down the street and get, I forget what type it was, and picked up a gallon. Explaining that I was just as auto stupid as I am Entomology stupid one of the guys inside was nice enough to put it in. I probably could have gotten it in the right place, but since he offered.......

With the coolant tank topped off I headed for New Melones. I made it about three miles and noticed I was steaming all over the place. I pulled in at Glory Hole Sports and shut off the engine. Carefully (because I couldn't tell if all the smoke/steam was steam or a fire, I was hoping for steam) I opened the hood to find a whole lot of steam coming off the engine and one of the hoses that goes to the heater element hanging down from a broken connection.

Needless to say AAA towed me to the GMC dealer for repairs and I spent the rest of the afternoon watching "Love it or List it" on their TV. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.