Friday, March 28, 2014

A Spur Of The Moment Trip

We've had rain off and on for the last week and are expecting more in the next week. Since today was one of the few "non rain" days, I needed to get out. Frankly, I was tired of being in the house.

I hopped in the truck at 0715 and headed to New Melones Reservoir. I didn't expect anything since they haven't planted in about four years, OK maybe a couple months. Anyway it's been a while. 

What I first noticed is that the water level is down from the last time I was there even though we've had some rain since. The log sticking out in the picture below was a foot under water the last time.  

Lake Level Gauge
I set up one rod with rainbow Power Bait and on the other one I put on a crawler under a bobber. Everybody's been talking about crawlers under a bobber so I figured, what the heck. While the bobber was floating with the wind and the Power Bait rig was sitting, I took a couple pictures.

It's not so much the hill, but the green on the hill which is normally underwater this time of year. See what a little rain will do. 
Across the lake

Across and to the left

A little farther to the left.
In the picture above, all those stones are the parking area for the highest launch ramp. 

All these places should be underwater. That's the drought we are experiencing.

Two hours later and having tried: crawler under a bobber, crawler on the bottom with a couple white foam things (I got them at the sports shop because they didn't have any marshmallows), a crawler by itself, a crawler with garlic Pro-Cure scent, rainbow Power Bait, pink PB, pink PB with garlic, chartreuse PB, rainbow PB with garlic, I gave it up.

I put my gear into the truck and grabbed my fly rod with the ever faithful Thin Mint. I walked back down to where I was fishing and on the second cast, hooked and landed the only fish of the day, a 13" Rainbow. Just as I hooked up, so did this gentleman who was Bass fishing next to me. His name is Melchor and he's from Riverbank. Riverbank is over toward Highway 99 and the Modesto area.

Since I know nothing about Bass, I'm guessing it's a Largemouth, female, and about 2 pounds. Melchor seemed to know what he was doing. He was using, what looked to me, to be a black rubber worm of some sort. Apparently it worked because a little later he landed another Bass, but this one was more of a Guppy sized one. 

I worked my way all around the area and by 1:00 pm the wind had picked up sufficiently for me to throw in the towel and call it a day.

I took this last picture as I was leaving. My guess is that this is the beginning of the storm we are expecting to come in tonight and last into Sunday Morning.

Front of the storm
For the next seven days we're expecting rain with a day or maybe two, clear in between. We're a long way from being out of this drought, but we'll take all we can get.  

Till the next time I can get out.


  1. Mark
    I suspect that bass was in the spawning mode---from the looks of those images it may take while for you guys to get the water levels back to normal-thanks for sharing

  2. Probably spawning, but none the less, a nice Bass. Would have been fun to hook that one on a fly rod. Happy to hear that the faithful Thin Mint produced for you. Sometimes I think, we just fish flies that we are successful with and have some history with more confidently than we do others.

  3. I do have to say that you've got some great looking lakes Mark. I hope you get a lot of rain but not enough to flood. Those lakes need some water.

  4. Thank you mark for putting me on ur blog keep up the great work hopefully we meet again

    Melchor Calderon