Friday, August 28, 2015

Stilt Fishing

The wife and I watch International House Hunters on a regular basis. Yesterday we watched an episode where a couple was moving to Sri Lanka. They did the usual house search and showed some of the scenery around the area. Then they hit on a bunch of guys sitting on a pole, fishing in the surf and I was blown away. They called it Stilt Fishing.

Here are some pictures I copied off the Internet. I just wanted to share this with you because I'd never seen anything like it before.

Image result for stilt fishing

Image result for stilt fishing

Image result for stilt fishing

Image result for stilt fishing

Apparently a custom that dates back to WWII. Here's a little  excerpt from

The practice started during World War II when food shortages and overcrowded fishing spots prompted some clever men to try fishing on the water. At first they used the wreckage of capsized ships and downed aircraft, then began erecting their stilts in coral reefs. Two generations of fishermen have eked out this physically demanding existence at dawn and dusk along a 30-kilometer stretch of southern shore between the towns of Unawatuna and Weligama.

Apparently there are some actors out there for the tourist photo shoots too. 

Any way, I thought it interesting and wanted to share.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A New Lake And A Not So New Lake

Yuki sent this to me this morning. We were going up that way so we stopped to check it out.

 Mosquito Lakes at Pacific Grade Summit
Mosquito Lakes are a pair of picturesque mountain lakes which attract anglers from around the area. As soon as the highway opens - usually in mid-May - fishermen can be seen perched along the shores of the lake. It's a relaxed kind of fishing. Many people bring folding chairs and sit patiently waiting the trout to strike.
A campground is located next to the lakes and another is found only a short drive away to the east in Pacific Valley. Several hiking trails head out from near the lakes, making great day trips.
Many of the visitors to the lakes are not aware of the history of the area. Mountain men, explorers, emigrants, miners, and even Snowshoe Thompson all passed over Pacific Grade Summit during the 19th century.
Photographers and artists find plenty of scenes on which to focus their attention, from the cool reflections in the lakes to the broad vistas to the east.
Mosquito Lakes, Alpine County, CA


Mosquito Lakes, Lake Alpine, CA
Fishing is almost always rewarding at Mosquito Lakes. Everyone fishes from shore, often from the highway side of the lakes. A few more adventurous anglers work their way around to the rocks by the cabins.

Popular Baits and Lures

  • Spin Casting: Daredevle Skeeter, Panther Martins, Kastmasters, and Mepp's Lightnin'
  • Bait Fishing: PowerBait, Nightcrawlers, Salmon Eggs, Gulp Eggs
  • Fly Fishing: Adams, California Mosquito, Blue Wing Olive, Gnats, Woolly Bugger

On your way up to the lake a stop at Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods in Arnold is a good way to get the latest information on fishing conditions at Mosquito Lakes. While you're there you can pick up all the best lures and baits you will need to land that trophy trout.

Looks pretty good, huh. Now let's look at the actual Lake. This lake is actually two lakes connected by a small creek. This one is what I would call Upper Mosquito Lake.

Notice the brown water.

It's not very big.

Cool cabin only accessible by boat.

Far end of the lake.
Note the part above in red. Trophy Trout.

That look like a trophy trout to you? .

All four we caught were this size.

Full of lily pads too.

About 11:00 we packed up and headed down to Lake Alpine to give it a shot. When we passed it on the way up, there weren't very many cars or people to be seen.

Once again Yuki caught the first one.

I must be losing my touch. Two lakes and Yuki caught the first one at both. As a redemption of my fishing skills, I did catch the other three at Mosquito Lake. 

Lately, Yuki has had this "thing" for Brown Trout so the next trip we're going to the "Secret" Lake and see if we can get him a big one. 

Stay tuned.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cats, A Breed Of Their Own

Most, if not all of you know that we have two cats. Jasper, in the picture below is a Tuxedo Kitty. Black and white with the white "tuxedo" in front. Sophie is a Calico although not really Calico colored (white, orange, etc.). She's mostly gray with a sprinkling of brown in her coat.

In our new home, they like to sit on the window sills in the front of the house so they can look outside. They don't have a screened in porch like they did up the hill so this is the replacement. 

To try an compensate for the lack of screen in porch, we bought Jasper a harness (like dogs use) and a leash so we can take him outside, mostly in the back yard (for now). He's been out three times now and and seems to have overcome being 1/2 an inch tall. Let me explain, when I got the harness and leash, the girl at Petco said he'd hunker down until he gets used to it. I guess hunkering down means he is 1/2 inch tall. I know that's kind of strange, but we do for our "children" what we can.

That brings me to Sophie. Now Sophie could care less about going outside. She does, however, sit in the windowsills as well. You have to understand that Sophie is a little odd. When we got her she was sitting in the back of the cage at the cat shelter just as quiet as can be. I succumbed to charms quietness and had to give her a home. 

One would look at the picture above and think that Sophie is looking down at something on the floor. Nope, that is Sophie sleeping on the windowsill. Actually she sleeps sitting up quite regularly. A little odd, don't you think? She also spends a good portion of the afternoon sleeping between Dad's legs on the recliner. Kind of reminds me of Smudge. Maybe she is a reincarnated Smudge. Ya never know.

Well, no fishing this week. Wasn't in the mood and I stopped writing for the paper a couple weeks ago so I don't HAVE to go just to have something to write.  

Should have something next week. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Maiden Voyage of the Inflate-A-Yak

Once again, we find the wife and I at Hope Valley Campground, space 19. We had a dual focus this weekend. First to hang out and eat good. Second to do the maiden voyage of the Inflate-a-yak. You know, that Sea Eagle 370 custom inflatable 12'4" Kayak we bought last year.  

We arrived Friday afternoon just before 2:00 pm and set up camp.

Now, you might notice that this is a picture from last year because I thought, "I already have pictures of the camp site, why take more?" That's why the truck is my old Chevy. 

Across the road where the West Fork of the Carson used to be, OK it's still there, almost, and if I was a trout I wouldn't live in that water. It was warm, green, and generally not moving at all.

Across the road
On the other hand, I did get a couple shots of the sunset on Friday night, so enjoy.

Make it big, it looks prettier

This one too
Saturday morning on a trip over to the trash can (this is exciting stuff, huh) I came across this mushroom. Went back to the truck, got the camera, and snapped a shot. Sunday morning there about a dozen there. Mushrooms were sprouting out all over the place. Being mushroom ignorant, they stayed right where they were.

Some kind of mushroom
So, put the wife into the truck and headed for Upper Blue Lake. I want to note, at this point, that I did not take a fishing rod on this trip because launching the Inflate-a-yak and getting my better half a little training on kayak paddling was my main focus and I didn't want to be sidetracked by some big Rainbow Trout biting the lure I would have been dragging behind.

We got to the lake, did the "blow up the kayak" thing and plopped ourselves in and started out across the lake.

Second note, when I realized my camera was in the truck, which was parked a good two blocks away from where we launched, there weren't going to be any pictures. So if you want to bail at this point I won't hold it against you.  

We made it across the lake, turned toward the far end of the lake, and headed that way. did I mention the wind was blowing? Once again the weather guessers (who said there wasn't supposed to be any wind) were wrong. During the crossing, we did do a couple, OK maybe six or eight 360's that I'm sure was caused by that aforementioned wind. I doubt it could have been our paddling ability.

Once we got about 3/4 of the way to the other end, we decided that that was far enough and with the idea that we would still be able to pick up a fork and have dinner that night (arm muscles, you get it), we turned around and headed back. While Katherine went to get the truck, I deflated the yak and by the time she got back, pictures just weren't in the cards. I promise pictures at Upper Lake next month.

Yes, we've been able to eat, but just barely. Arm muscles are sore, all those other muscles connected to the arm are sore, but we had a good time and feel confident that Upper Lake will be a lot of fun. Besides that was the lake we originally bought the inflate-a-yak for.

Here, we almost looked like this although you'll never find us with matching clothes. 

Sea Eagle 370
 Back to fishing this week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Rebirth Of The Float Tube Cumberland

Picked up Yuki at the Wells Fargo parking lot in San Andreas, loaded his kayak into the truck, and headed to Starbucks in Angels Camp for coffee and a couple of crumb cakes.

Our plan for the day was to either launch the Float Tube Cumberland into White Pines Lake in Arnold or Lake Alpine further up the hill. Neither happened.

We took a sharp right at the road that went to Spicer Meadows Reservoir and a left to a lake called Union Reservoir (no, not the Union Valley Reservoir up by Icehouse).

When I left the house, the Float Tube Cumberland was almost completely deflated. We had to stop before Union because I thought the bladders were going to pop. Altitude increased the air in the bladders so much it made them like a very full balloon. On the way home, I let out a little air and by the time I got there, the bladders were like a wet noodle. Very dramatic difference between 1000 ft (Home) and 6600 ft. (Union Reservoir).  

Started out from where I took the next three pictures and flippered over in the direction of the dam.
Across the cove

The dam on the far side

The rest of the lake
I used my 9' 6wt. with a Thin Mint to start. Later I tried a big black Wooly Bugger and the pink/black one. I got what I think was one tap on the way over, but the rest of the trip was for nada. Yuki in his kayak trawled night crawlers and Kastmasters. He didn't get anything either all though when he reeled in the crawler line, it was empty, but he never noticed any hit. 

Nice and calm

Way out there
Around 11:00 and just like Silver Lake, the wind (that the weather guessers said wasn't supposed to be any) started to pick up. Since I was way over there (see photo) I decided to make a dash to the launch side. Now, at my last yearly checkup with my doctor, he said I should walk 2 miles a day. I figure I flippered enough getting across the lake that I should be good for at least two weeks (that would be 28 miles). Across the lake is a hell of a long way when you're fighting the wind the whole way.

Getting a little bouncy
But you'll be pleased to know that I made it and started towing the float tube back to launch. Sorry, but I was flippered out. For the last hundred yards or so, I tied the FTC to Yuki's kayak and let him tow it back. I was done in. Did we get any fish for all that effort? Nope.

Loaded up and headed to Lake Alpine (see photo's on the July 20th post) and set up a little West of where we were that day. Too many people swimming in the previous place. I put out two lines with rainbow Power Bait and Yuki put out one with rainbow Power Bait and one with a crawler.

Then the biting started. I took first blood, the caught the second one. Then Yuki caught one on the rainbow Power Bait. Then I caught three more. We wrapped it up at 3:00 with five on the stringer that Yuki took home. It ended up pretty good for a day that started out fishless. 

AND, the Float Tube Cumberland is baaaaack.