Monday, September 28, 2015

Super Moon, Super Trout, And Caples Lake

OK, this is going to cover a lot of ground, so hang on. Last night, unless you live in a cave, you know about the Super Moon/Blood Moon.

This is what we, here in beautiful downtown Jackson, California saw.

I can't see it, can you?
So, earlier in the night I'm watching the Chicago Cubs step on the Pittsburgh Pirates to the tune of 4-0. During the game, the announcers make a comment about a guy named Mike Trout (LA Angels Outfielder) who continues doing things a normal human shouldn't be able to do. And then they slapped this picture on the screen. Actually it was a short video, but this was what I wanted to show you. Mike Trout robbing a Seattle Mariners batter of a home run. Qualifies for Super Trout, don't you think?
     
Mike Trout
Now on to Caples Lake. With absolutely no expectations, I drove up the hill to Caples to soak some Power Bait and drown a couple night crawlers. Last time I visited Caples, the lake was almost full even in the throws of this humongous drought we're in. Not the case today. See the spot on the left where half a tree hits the rocks, that is where I usually sit during a normal year. About 15 feet above where I was today. 

The dead tree (you know the place) at the rear of the picture

The other way

Across the lake

Toward the far end

I'm just snapping my little heart out
 One rod with rainbow Power Bait, one rod with a crawler and a couple white floaty things to keep it out of the claws of the local Crawdad's and Kastmasters on my little Okuma. I know, I know, you're only supposed to use two rods with a two rod stamp, but who was there to say anything. I was the only, repeat only person on the shore or on the lake. Oh, I did catch a Crawdad with a worm on a hook. In fact I caught him twice. He obviously didn't see the humor in that because the last time I threw him in, he was gone like a shot. I had to do something to keep myself amused.

I suspect that little three rod sin was the reason I didn't get a nibble.

Couple hours later and back in the truck heading for Red Lake. It is just over the hill after all. Red Lake has been crappy lately to say the least, but with Fall here my hopes were that maybe, just maybe the Brookies were near the dam doing a little Brookie cha-cha. 

The water level of the lake was the lowest I've ever seen it in the eight years I've been fishing Red Lake. Very sad.
Normally underwater
Usually sit on those big rocks to fish.
But I gave it the old college try. Worked from the tree line in the top picture over to the dead log (make the picture bigger to see it) in the lower picture. I used 1/4 oz. and 1/8 oz. Kastmasters in silver (the best color for Red Lake), gold, and even tried the pink one. All I managed to do was lose my second Kastmaster of the day. I lost a 1/4 oz. pink one at Caples on a submerged stump.  

I have been officially skunked.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Weber Point, Stockton, California

Yuki, in his wanderings, ended up at Weber Point in Stockton a couple weeks ago. He said that he saw a guy catching Striper after Striper and another guy catching Red Ear Sunfish at this particular spot.

My last two Striper adventures were quite interesting so I said yes, let's go. First let me remind you of those two visits. First one was on the American River at Rossmoor Bar. I was throwing a Rattletrap and had one followup that was about a foot long and the second was more than two feet long. Didn't catch any though. The other adventure was with Yuki at New Hogan Reservoir and instead of catching a Striper, I caught a BIG Catfish. 

On to today. When we got to where he wanted to go I realized we were at Weber Point in Stockton, California. If you're a follower of KCRA 3 (Local TV station) they show this exact spot every night when they give the weather for Stockton. So here's a look.

Walkway along Weber Point

Toward the end and University Plaza Waterfront Hotel

On the left is the Stockton Arena
Stockton Arena is home to several sports teams like the Stockton Heat (hockey) and formally a soccer team, a couple football teams, and the Stockton Thunder.

The Sherman
The white ship above is The Sherman. The 144-foot ship was once called the General Frank M. Coxe. It was a steam ferry for the Army built in the 1921. Decades later, it will become a floating restaurant called The Sherman. From the looks of it today, it'll be a while so don't rush right down with plans for dinner. 

A full shot of the arena.
We fished from the side opposite the arena. I got a couple drive-bys from a couple small Stripers on a blue/silver Kastmaster, but that was it. I have no idea what to use for Stripers. Yuki struck out on that side of the water. Then we walked over to the side by the arena. Over a period of a couple hours, Yuki got a couple hits and one good miss on a Rattletrap. I fished four or five different lures and plugs, but nothing.

While we were fooling around with plugs and lures, we put in a couple lines with red worms in hopes of enticing some Red Ear Sunfish. The first to come to had was a small Bluegill (I think). I'm not so good at identifying Sunfish. It got to a point that we were having so much fun catching those little Sunfish, we forgot about Stripers.   

I really don't have bony legs. It just looks that way.

Bluegill I think
 Ooops, then I dropped one.
Sucker flopped under the rail.
 This was what was under the rail.

From what I can tell, a Redbrest Sunfish
Then Yuki got his first. A BIG Largemouth (or maybe Smallmouth) Bass.

Largemouth, I think. Smallmouth? who knows.
The Yuki added a small Sunfish of some sort (he wouldn't let me take a picture) and then another Bass (even smaller than that one) of which he wouldn't let me take a picture either.

So at the end of the day (about 1:30) I had caught 6 or 7 Sunfish and Yuki had one Sunfish and two Bass, but nothing that looked like a Striper. Then we went to In-N-Out Burger for lunch.

I think we'll do this again. Maybe next time with my little Okuma (2# test) or my 3 wt. fly rod. Could be fun.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Passing Of One Of The Greats

Yogi Berra passed away Yesterday at the age of 90. If you haven't seen article on MSN, go here.

There is a list of 50 Yogi-isms that will, if nothing else, make you laugh.

We'll miss you Yogi.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

What A Nightmare

Over the weekend I updated to Windows 10. When I went into the blog (this one) I didn't have a "New Post" or "Design" tab. All it had was "Dashboard". When I went to "Dashboard", it told me I didn't have a blog and start one right away, even though I accessed it through northerncaliforniatrout.com.

I went though all the Blogger forum posts, help desk (who told me someone else owned the Blog), had my wife help me, and emailed Mike (Troutrageous!) (who has helped me so many times in the past) who told me he had upgraded to 10 and didn't have a problem. From a suggestion from Mike I even changed my browser to Chrome.

By this time I was pulling my hair out (with tweezers since it's so short). I didn't know what to do.

So what I did was sit here and stare at the blog and Shazam! it popped into my head what was wrong. When I did the upgrade, Google changed my login. The problem is that I have two Google accounts.

Once I changed it back to the original Google account the blog opened like normal. The one thing I noticed on that account is that there were a bunch of Primary, Social, and Promotions (who cares) emails that I didn't realize were there generated from the blog. So if I didn't answer, it's because I didn't realize they were there and they went back to the dawn of time. My humblest apologies.

So I sit here eating a bowl of Tillamook Mountain Huckleberry ice cream, patting myself on the back. You should try the ice cream, man it's awesome and so is the Marionberry Pie one.   

I'm back in business although with a might less hair. And this is what my wife does for a profession. I don't know how she does it, but she says she loves it.

Fishing Thursday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Last Fire Update

Not wrapped up quite yet, but getting there.

Butte Fire (by our house) 70,760 acres (apparently toned down a few acres) with 49% containment. All of Amador County (we live in Amador County) evacuations lifted.

Valley Fire (Up by Clearlake) 73,700 acres with 35% containment.

A LOT of houses lost in both fires.

So I'll leave it at that. If you want to follow some more, here is the Yubanet link


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Staying Home

Just can't justify going up to Upper Lake and having a good time when so many friends and co-workers are sitting in evacuation shelters wondering if they even have a home left.

Latest on the Butte Fire (Amador and Calaveras Counties). 71,660 acres with 37% containment. 277 structures lost. 

Latest on the Valley Fire (up in Lake County) 67,000 acres with 15% containment. Two towns virtually destroyed. Middletown and Cobb. 585 homes destroyed and possibly another 100.

We're staying home.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Heading For Upper Lake??????

Before I get started I just went over 350,000 hits. A new milestone.  

We are still waffling whether to go or not. It's not so much the Valley Fire (Lake County by Clearlake 61,000 acres and 5% containment) or the Butte Fire (By our house 71,063 acres with 30% containment). How do you justify going and having a good time when all those people have been displaced and so many have lost their homes.

The decision will be made sometime Wednesday whether we go or not. 

In the mean time I decided to break out the tying vise a whip up a couple Buggers I'm short on.

So, follow along.

Thread and hook
Anyone that ties flies knows that (thread & hook). The hook is a TMC 5262 size 8. The thread is Danville 210 denier black.

I'm not going to go into that step by step of tying a Woolly Bugger. Most of you have tied hundreds. Besides I'm not all that good a tyer anyhow.
 
Pink Chenille
For the Brest Cancer Bugger, tie a black Woolly Bugger and just use pink chenille instead of black. Same everything else except don't forget the bead on the front (if you're a bead kind of person) like I did on all three flies I tied yesterday. I'm a bit out of practice.
 
Pink Chinelle, black hackle, copper wire.
 You know the program. Here's the final product.

Brest Cancer Bugger
So, for my next act, keeping in mind the Cal Trans Rig from last year. Forgot? OK, here: Power Eggs in this order, orange, white, chartreuse. I dug through boxes and boxes of fly tying stuff in my office and came up with the following.

Hook - TMC 5262 size 8 (of course it's the same as the one above. I already had the hooks out).
Thread - Danville 210 denier in fluorescent orange.
Tail - Fluorescent white strung Marabou from Kiene's Fly Shop in beautiful (although smoky at the moment) Downtown Sacramento.
Body - First Ultra Fluorescent Orange Chenille then Ultra Fluorescent Chartreuse Chenille.

Once again don't forget the bead on the front if you're a bead kind of person. 

And Presto, my imitation of the Cal Trans Rig in a fly. Will it work? Only time will tell.
 
Cal Trans Rig Fly
If we decide to go, I'll drop an Adios here before we leave.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Morning Fire Update

Not a lot of change. 65,000 acres and 15% containment.

Katherine's friend and co-worker that was evacuated a couple days ago and has been staying with us went home last night. She's no longer a Happy Camper now that she's back in her own home. Glad we could be there for her.

Not much else, evacuations and evacuation advisories now extend up to Pioneer and Buckhorn (the road to the "secret" lake starts in Buckhorn. There are also evacuations in parts of San Andreas (where I meet Yuki to fish up Lake Alpine way), Murphys, and Angels Camp (fish Angels Creek upon occasion). Just a perspective of the vastness of this fire. It takes me an hour to get from home to Angels Camp.

Damage currently stands at 86 homes and 51 outbuildings with 6400 homes still threatened.

Here's a list of personnel and equipment being used. Again just a perspective of the vastness of this fire.  

Total Fire Personnel: 3,852  
Total Fire Engines: 452  
Total Fire crews: 77  
Total Helicopters: 17  
Total Dozers: 94  
Total Water Tenders: 48  
  
The new fire we're also watching is the "Valley" fire up in Lake County by Clearlake. We're heading in that direction next Thursday for a weekend at Upper Lake.

The Valley fire was 400 acres (Yesterday at 1:24 pm) and still being reported that size when we went to bed last night. This morning Cal Fire listed it at 40,000 acres. This fire is South and West of Clearlake so shouldn't be a problem.

Sure hope it rains soon. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

And It Keeps Growing

Saturday Morning Update.

64,728 acres @ 10% containment. A whole lot of evacuations in both Amador and Calaveras Counties.

Katherine's friend and co-worker that was evacuated a couple days ago and has been staying with us looks like she might be able to go home tonight.

You can also look out here: Yubanet.com for additional information on West Coast fires. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fire Update

It's burning like there's no tomorrow. Don't have a current acreage, but it's way past 4000 acres.

This morning

Almost looks like it's going to rain
 Nope, it's all smoke.

One of those big tankers

On it's way for another refill
Taken from my backyard.

Several people my wife works with are being evacuated. I think it'll be a while.

Stay tuned.

Fire Close To Home

The Butte Fire. Located off Butte Mountain Rd. about 14 miles SE of Jackson. Our house is on the South side of Jackson and we can clearly see where the fire is.

Here a few photo's I took last night and first thing this morning.  

Around 4:00 pm
Same time
 At that time it was listed as 50 acres.

Around 5:30 pm
 Now listed at 100 acres.

About 6:30 pm

Same time
 At this point they said 160 acres.

We had dinner outside since the electric shut off about 6:00 pm. I tried to catch one of the water dropping helicopter as it passed right our house.

Traveling pretty fast.

Too fast to get a really clear shot.



One of the last for the night
 Power was finally restored at 10:45 pm long after we'd gone to bed. This morning the talking heads said that the fire had jumped the Mokelumne River and was burning near the Power House at the end of Electra Rd where we've fished many, many times. Current size is now 4000 acres and 20% contained.

The Mokelumne River canyon is also one of the most protected watersheds in the area. Unfortunately only the firefighters can protect it now.


Looking SE from our back yard this morning.
Yuki and I were planning to go back up to the "secret" lake this morning, but he spent a good portion of last night moving his horses to another ranch (possible evacuation) so we cancelled.

After thinking about this fire and how they can jet up a canyon I decided to stay home too. Although the "secret" lake is a long way from where the fire is I didn't want to take the chance of getting caught up in that canyon. We'll go another day.

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 4, 2015

When In Doubt, Panic

I will freely admit I'm not very computer smart even being married to a Business analyst in the IT department of the local casino.

So when Yuki sent me the video he took yesterday of me landing the big Brown and it came through sideways instead of up and down I went right to the source.

I emailed Mike Agneta (Troutrageous!) and asked if he knew how to fix it. Of course he did. He said to go to Windows Movie Maker (if I had it on my system) and rotate it. Five minutes later it was properly turned and then I had to figure out how to get it onto this post. 

I tried the Insert Image like I would a picture. Nope, wouldn't work. Tried making it a Word Document and changing it to a jpg file. Nope, wouldn't work. I fiddled with it off and on for about four hours and couldn't get the video on the post.

Then I accidentally set the cursor on the little black icon next to the Insert Image icon and guess what it said? Insert A Video. Don't I feel stupid................

Here it is. 

video

Now that you've watched the video, the "Oh Shit" comment was mine. Credit where credit is due. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Holy Brown Trout, Batman

Here's the plan. Like I mentioned on the August 25th post, Yuki has this thing for Brown Trout. So today we went to the "Secret" lake. You know, the lake everybody knows about. It's been more than a year since last I was here.Maybe I should write poetry.

First he fished at the corner.

Yuki at the corner of the inlet

Lake picture

Another lake picture.
 Then he fished at the inlet.

Yuki deeper into the inlet
When we got there, I cut off about 4 feet of the line on my little Okuma (2#) and with a double surgeon knot, tied it on the end of Yuki's rod. I added a size 14 TMC 100 hook. OK, I took some hooks from my fly fishing box and a BB sized split shot about a foot from the hook. Then on went the live cricket hooked through the collar.

While he was casting and removing green junk off his sinker and hook, I rigged up my little Okuma the same way and started over in the inlet.

It wasn't long before I hooked this little brown.


Closer so you can see how little.
A couple of quick photo's and back in the lake it went.

Lake look familiar?
I might mention, at this time, that the Blackberries (which are usually ripe this time of year) were sour enough to pucker your head.  That's not really relevant, but I just threw it in.

So, after a thousand throws (isn't a Brown the fish of a 1000 casts? OK maybe not.) with crickets and I even threw several Kastmasters, I returned to the inlet. Understand, I'm only able to cast out about 10 feet. A BB split shot doesn't give you a lot of throwing power.

After several casts, I hooked into one that I thought I'd never land. It ran and ran and ran and all the time I was yelling "Yuki, net". After five minutes of fighting I brought a HUGE Brown to hand.  

Being as careful as I could.

Wet hands to pick it up for a photo.

Anybody have a forklift?

My biggest Brown to date
I estimate (I didn't want to put it on the scale or measure it) it at least 24 inches and a good four pounds, maybe five. As easily as I could, slipped it back into the water and made sure it got it's wind back. Off it went. Two things I noticed about it was it looked like it might have had (at one time) line wrapped around it's nose. It had a crease from the side of it's mouth, across the nose just under it's eyes, and back to the other side of the mouth. The second thing I noticed is that it had a good "scar" by the back dorsal fin from possibly a fight some time recently. It looked kind of raw.

Those, unfortunately, were the only two fish of the day and I was the luck one to catch them (The Yuki hex?). We're going to give it another shot next week. Maybe I'll let Yuki do all the fishing.

Oh, on the way home we stopped at Munnerlyn's for an ice cream cone. 

Stay tuned.