Saturday, July 30, 2016

Just A Quick Update

Been too damn hot to go fishing out here. Something like 8 days in a row over 100 degrees. Maybe one more to go.

What I really wanted to update, is the number of hits this blog has had since it's inception on January 7, 2009.

If it wasn't for all of you that continue to visit here, the mile stone of 400,000 hits would never have been achieved. Thank you, one and all for being faithful to this blog.

It's fast approaching another milestone in the number of posts, but I need to get off my butt and get out fishing so I have something to talk about. Hey, how about some cooler weather!

Just in case you didn't remember, Marisa (super fisher girl in the last post) is Yuki's daughter. I've sometimes referred to her as "snake girl" because she has this thing for, you got it, snakes. She's a Biologist by profession. Did I mention I hate snakes?

I'm going to try to get out next week, but after that, a trip up to Hope Valley, camping and maybe some Upper Blue Lake fishing or maybe Burnside Lake and definitely a little paddling around and fishing in the Inflate-a-yak. After we return I'm looking forward to several days of tests at the local hospital. I expand more on that once I find out what's going on.

Clipper update: It's days are numbered. We've narrowed the search to 5 trailers. I'll let you know which one we pick. 

Stay tuned.     

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

It's Was Ugly Last Week And This One Isn't Any Better

We got back last Sunday the 18th. Like I reported about the trashed tire, I was on edge all the way back home, even though we bought a spare.

I spent a portion of Monday removing the stuff we don't leave in the trailer permanently. The rest of last week was just too hot to do anything else.

One thing that came out of the blown tire is that the "Clipper" will not be with us much longer. I've been nervous and anticipating a blown tire incident since day one. With a single axle trailer you don't have much of a chance of maintaining control if a tire blows like this one did especially at 55 or 60.

My son, upon returning Sunday from a trip to Oregon the same weekend and following week we were up at Hendy Woods SP mentioned seeing a trailer and SUV in the ditch with blown tires. The "Clipper" will be replaced with a dual axle trailer, shortly.

Yesterday I put on two brand new tires from American Tire on the "Clipper". Funny thing, my friend and tire guy said he wouldn't sell the tires that were on the trailer. He said they were a bunch of junk.  At least we'll be safe until we can find another trailer.

Someone is fishing, it's just not me. Here's some shots Yuki sent from last weekends excursions.

I'll caption them as best as I can.

West Fork of the Carson River

Same creek

Marisa making us look bad

Marisa making us look worse.

French Meadows

Nice Brown
She's really is making us look bad. You notice there isn't any pictures with Yuki and fish. Just thought I'd point that out.

This week, blasting hot in California, as I suspect it is in a lot of the country. It's not supposed to get below 102 until next Saturday. Think I'll stay home an hug my air conditioner. The heat is becoming a killer on this old body.

At least there was something to report about trout fishing.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Camping Weekend

This post requires several titles, so I'll put them in as I post the story.

Post Title #1: An Aah Shit moment. 

On the way to the park (Hendy Woods State Park) we had a blow out on the trailer. Keep in mind that the Clipper is a single axle trailer. It blew about 100 feet from the nearest turnout on a very windy road going about 35 mph. I can't imagine what would have happened at 55 mph. Thus the disintegration of the tire (I think). The tires are almost brand new (3 years old with only 12 trips on them) so with a lot of tread still on them, one would think they'd be OK. I think we ran over something that trashed the tire.

I might also note that in a bonehead moment I forgot to check the air in the spare so even though I changed the tire, we still had to call AAA to air up the tire and I had him check the lugs just in case. I haven't changed a tire since 1976. Best to be sure all was well.  

Post Title #2: The Camp Site.

We had reserved the same camp site as last year (you can see pictures here), but this year we had a "new and improved" fire pit. Problem was when they changed it, they just scattered the ashes around in a circle, some places being about 4 inches deep. I scraped away a path to the pit and filed a complaint at the check-in kiosk, but with assurance that maintenance would take care of the problem, NOTHING happened.

New and improved fire pit.
Post Title #3: Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe.

Ran up to Fort Bragg and secured a new spare tire and rim. Can't  take a chance on driving back without one. Then headed for lunch at Queenie's. 

Home of the awesome Bleu Cheese Burger. Not so awesome this year. Medium burger was more well done, carmelized onions weren't, and overall just so-so. 

Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe
While we were driving up and down Highway 1, I managed a couple ocean shots. In the one below that big plume of white on the top right, is a wave hitting a rock.

Post Title #4: Three degrees of separation.

Our next door neighbor was a gentleman named Kyle (hope it's spelled right) and his daughter having a daddy/daughter weekend. In chatting, we mentioned lunching at Queenie's and also mentioned it was on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri's show. You know the guy.

Image result for guy fieri
Guy Fieri
Kyle mentioned that he, in fact knew Guy and there you have three degrees of separation again. We met Kyle, Kyle knows Guy. Wait, there's more in an upcoming post.  


Post Title #5: The family Crest.

Somewhere buried in the house I have a copy of the Kautz family crest. If you don't have yours, I would suggest getting it. You find out a bunch of cool stuff. On ours, it has chevrons and a bunch of other stuff, but the Screech Owl (You can hear it here) is the main focus of the Kautz Family Crest.

I've never seen one except this stuffed one in the information center at the park and since I forgot to take a picture last  year, made sure I got one this year.

Screech Owl
So there you have it. A five-in-one post.

Very busy this week so I don't know if fishing will fit in, but stay tuned.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

We Finally Made It And It Was Everything We Expected

To White Pines Lake that is.

I met Yuki at Wells Fargo in San Andreas and we headed to Angels Camp for coffee at Starbucks.

Once coffee was securely in the cup holders (notice I made that plural because we were in separate trucks) we headed up Highway 4 to the town of Arnold. Not enough space for a float tube and a kayak in the same truck.

I made a quick stop at Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods for a carton of red worms. I got mini crawlers since they stopped stocking red worms. Then I had to hunt Yuki down because he didn't stop. Found him in the Day Use parking lot at the lake. Well, I found his truck, he was no where in sight.

Once I located him, we drove over to a little (when I say little, it's about 4 feet wide and about 8 feet long) concrete launch ramp where we put in. Yuki in his kayak, me in the Float Tube Cumberland.

All I brought along was "3". There isn't anything in that lake big enough for a larger rod. Being the somewhat "good" fly fisherman I am, I started out with a Zug Bug. I wasn't 25 feet from shore, in fact Yuki didn't even have his kayak in the water yet, and I hooked up with the first Bluegill. I've never caught anything on a Zug Bug before. With-in five feet, hooked the second one. This time I took a picture.  

Second of the day
From there, past the park area, and on toward the far end of the lake, I got nothing else on the Zug Bug. For a while, I tried the Caddis Pupa (remember from Yosemite), but nothing there either.
Yuki catching up to me.
 Thought I'd better take some shots of the lake for your viewing pleasure.

The launch ramp is over there somewhere.
Yuki cruising by
The other side of the lake
 Down at the far end, Yuki hooked the only Crappie of the day.

Looks a lot bigger in the photo below.

IPhone Crappie picture
By this time, we were at the far end of the lake. In the photo below, it's way down in the back. 

The far end.
We fished around that area and brought a bunch of little Bluegills to hand and a couple small Bass. They were way too small so we put them all back.

To the right of the picture above is the dam which is in the picture below.

The dam
We continued to catch a bunch like the one below.

Not big, but fun none the less.
Yours truly far off in the distance
Yours truly a little closer
I did have a plan for fishing this lake. If you haven't heard, the heat wave of the past couple weeks has slowed down for now. If you can call high 80's a slow down from 100's. BUT with the cooling, we get what is called the "Delta Breeze". The Delta Breeze can come whipping through Fairfield and Vacaville at about 25 to 30 mph. It brings with it, cool air from the coast, but also makes it somewhat windy all over.

At the lake today, we had winds of about 5 mph with gusts maybe as high as 8 to 10 mph. When I first launched, I scoped out the direction of the wind which was from the dam (opposite side of the lake) toward the launch area. So I made my way around the side (fishing all the way) and when I was ready to call it a day, I was over on the dam side and let the wind push me across to the launch area. My mama didn't raise no dummy.

Almost to the end of the post and I guess I'd better admit to fishing most of the way around the lake with a hook and piece of mini-crawler. I know I mentioned being a "good" fly fisher, but sometimes you just have to do what the situation calls for.

How many did we catch? We both stopped counting at around 10 each. We caught a lot more and missed a lot more, but we had a hell of a good time. I don't think all the ones we caught were Bluegills (not counting the two Bass and the one Crappie), but like me being Entomology stupid, I'm also Sunfish stupid. It's just not that important.

No fishing next week, we're off to Hendy Woods State Park  next weekend. Click on the link if you'd like to see a bunch of pictures of the park. Heading to Elk, California for a burger at Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe (previously seen on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives) and then some wine tasting in Anderson Valley. 

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

On this Independence Day I thought I'd forgo the Confucius saying posted in the past.

So I went out on the net to see if I could find a good quote to express my feelings today.

Funny that the one I thought best was by someone that is not even an American.

“We hold our heads high, despite the price we have paid, because freedom is priceless.” – Lech Walesa

Enjoy the day and by all means, be safe. 

Image result for 4th of july pictures

 Mark and Katherine. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Some People Are Just Damn Lucky

Juan Lopez from the  Breaking The Bank blog (don't look, he hasn't posted in 8 months. Just too busy) arrived at La Casa Kautz at 7:15 so we could meet Yuki in San Andreas (yes, like the earthquake fault) at 8:00. Our plan was to fish Hobart Creek that feeds Spicer Meadows Reservoir because it opened today.

We got coffee at Starbucks in Angels Camp, got Yuki into the truck and headed to the creek. It took us a good hour and a half and being the Friday before the 4th of July weekend we expected crowds.                                                                            
When we got to the parking lot, it was all but empty. No one was fishing Hobart Creek. We found out why they wait until July 1st to open it for fishing. There wasn't any water in it.

See any water?
Plan B was to fish Spicer at the dam where I caught that one back on June 21st.
Juan & Yuki at the dam
Catching didn't pan out so we decided to run up the highway a couple miles to Lake Alpine and give it a try. Our guess was that it probably had a lot of people there, but we found a small spot where we could get a couple lines in the water.

In the photo below this young man was going to see if there were any fish in the lake. Reminds me of myself at that age. He went through a lot of trouble putting on fins and a mask with snorkel for a look around just about where he's standing and then got out. My guess was the water was too cold. I didn't talk to him after he got out, it was one minute he was floating around and gone the next. Don't even know if he saw any fish. We didn't see any.   
Snorkler in the making
While we were sitting, waiting for the first bite, I took a couple shots around the lake. I know you've already seen the lake before, but look anyway.
Over to the right
To the left
While Juan and I were sitting and talking I noticed Yuki fiddling with his fishing license. Then this guy showed up. In case you've never seen one before, this is what a Game Warden looks like. License check time. First time for me in a gazillion years.

Game Warden license check
Yuki license, check. Me, license check, Juan looking for his. Hold on, Juan is still looking. He's emptying his backpack. Ooops, no license.

"Follow me" said the Warden. We thought it was a good omen that Juan wasn't in handcuffs. He was gone a really long time though. We figured that since he didn't have his fishing license and was probably off to jail, continuing to fish would be like rubbing salt into a wound. We packed up with the hopes he would return by dinner time and we could all go home.

He did return about a half hour later. In the mean time a group of teenagers moved in where we were and started swimming, splashing, and being their general rude selves, so it was a good thing we decided to leave.

I was worried what Juan would tell his wife about the $500, $600, or so fine for fishing without a license. Oh, he had one, just must have left it home.

As it turned out, the Warden was able to call someone, check that Juan really did have a license, slapped his hand and sent him on his way. Some People Are Just Damn Lucky.

Yuki and I are going to try to get to White Pines Lake as soon as it cools off some. It was only supposed to be 91 degrees today. It was 101 when we got back to the house. Just too hot to sit on a lake.  

Stay tuned.