Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Mark Hex

Exit the Yuki hex, enter the Mark hex.

Yuki met me at the house at 8:00 and after a stop at Cook's station for coffee and a 15 minute road construction delay, we arrived at Upper Blue Lake somewhere around 10:30.

I set up two rods with rainbow Power Bait, Yuki set up two rods with orange/garlic Power Eggs.

Since I forgot my camera, I walked up to the truck and got my cell phone.

That's where I sat
Sometime around Noon the wind picked up and the smoke in the two pictures below started to flow over the mountain and stink up the area. I think the smoke came from the fire out by Mountain Ranch close to where the Butte Fire burned up everything last Fall.

More smoke
OK, wondering about the Mark hex thing? The photo below is Yuki putting one of several on his stringer. He took first blood, then second blood, then third blood.

I think this was #3
Here he is with another one on.
Getting the idea? Oh, I caught one, ONE (on rainbow Power Bait) while Yuki caught 9. I did miss one that I got almost to shore before it spit the hook. It looked, by the color, that it might have been a Brown. I'll never know.

Even me using the same orange/garlic Power Eggs as Yuki (right out of the same jar), nothing.

Seems like the hex has moved in my direction.

Not skunked, just hexed.

Monday, August 29, 2016

I Normally Keep Politics Out Of This Blog

But I have to say something about Colin Kaepernick’s recent decision not to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner.

 Image result for Colin Kaepernick sitting down

Granted the 1st Amendment to the Constitution gives him the right, but by doing this, he dis-respects the flag that is the banner under which so many have died.

He dis-respects the flag that is the banner under which so many have been injured.

He dis-respects this country.

I don't give a shit if he thinks he should not stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. This flag represents ALL Americans not just black people and people of color.

When the Star-Spangled Banner is played and it doesn't matter if it is a football, baseball, or any other game, you stand to honor the flag, remove your hat (if you're wearing one) and put your right hand (or hat) over your heart to show respect for the country it represents.

I have absolutely no respect for this person, he might as well have burned the flag. As long as he plays football for the 49'ers, I WILL NOT watch a game even if they make it to the Super Bowl.

If you don't love this country and the flag that represents it, go somewhere else. See how well you're accepted there. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wow, Guess What?

Friday morning. I didn't have any pending chores to do. I didn't have any doctor appointments. I didn't have anything planned so I (please sit down for this) went fishing.

I didn't want to drive forever, so after looking at the DFW site for fish plants, I decided on Bear River Reservoir since it was the only lake near by that they planted this week.

I will admit that Bear River has been less than stellar for some time now, but a chance was better than a long drive. 

I pulled out of the house at 7:45 and after a coffee stop at Cook's Station got to the lake at about 8:30. It is a bit longer drive from Jackson than from the old house up in Volcano.

I didn't plan on "working" very hard so I set up two rods with rainbow Power Bait and firmly parked my rear in the red Coleman camping chair.

While I was waiting, I took a couple current shots of the lake.

The first dam
I usually fish near the dam, but there wasn't any flat place for the chair so I planted about 150 feet from the dam.
Across the lake

Coming around the lake

Down the shore to the left.
If you make the picture full screen, you can see a minivan behind the pile of rocks. I mention this because I recently learned that I have a nut allergy. That is, I have an allergy to nuts, idiots, and stupid people. The people in this van fall into the stupid category. Why would one drive a front wheel drive minivan down a sandy/rocky lake side to not only get it stuck (unable to get back up the hill because of the loose sand), but high center it on top of that? I believe that falls into the stupid category. What do you think?

Wow, nice looking truck.
Oh yeh, I came here to fish and fish I did. Somewhere around ten to nine I got the first hit, but missed the hook set. Shortly thereafter I got a second hit and missed that one too. Crafty little buggers they are. Finally on the third try I managed to bring this little (Rainbow about 9") to the shore for a photo and a quick release. Didn't even have to unhook him.
First fish of the day.
I caught one more and missed one more. That put me at about 9:30. A very interesting 40 minutes.

There was only one other "incident" between then and when I left (the minivan was still high centered way over there) about 11:15. It would be my guess that the school of little Rainbows I got the two out of were getting their fins kicked by something BIG because they were flying, hell bent for scales away from a spot maybe 50 yards from where I was sitting. When I say "flying", they were out of the water hauling fins.

At least I didn't get skunked.

Maybe I'll get to fish again next week. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Blog Shoutout

Several times in the past I've had posts about this place or that place that I've passed in my fishing travels. I wanted to give a shoutout to one blog I've been following for the past couple months.

Bill's Two Lane Travels is written by Bill Paxson who resides in Sacramento and has a tendency to wander the two lane roads of Northern California.

I've traveled a lot while in sales, back in the day, but Bill hits some places I never knew existed.

It's a good read, some interesting photo's, and a lot of good old California history.

Stop in, say hi and let Bill know I sent you. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cardiologist Visit

Just a quick update.

Everything is OK.

Although I have a couple other small tests, the heart is GOOD.

One other item. If you've read my book I refer to my fishing buddy in Chapter 12. Haven't seen him in a gazillion years. So I'm at the hospital doing the nuclear medicine test (last we talked, he was a Nuclear Medicine Technologist) and as usual I ask if the technician knows my fishing buddy. "Don't know the name", he says. I get home and do a Google search and he's all over the place. Most of the time when I think about him, I forget when I'm in front of the computer, but this time I had an epiphany and bipped out to Facebook (and you guys know I don't Facebook very well). Low and behold, there he is. A friends request and a day later my inbox is filled with emails from him. We have a lot of catching up to do.

Stay Tuned.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Food Post

So many times I've gone out to Alan's Blog Small Stream Reflections and seen these awesome dishes. Most are made with a myriad of meats and I end up slobbering all over the keyboard. 

One day, not so long ago, my wife was cruising through one of her 100's of cook books and she came up with this:

I give you the Mesquite Smoked Meat Loaf.

Still in the pan it was cooked in.
Covered with bacon for flavor.
The only drawback I can see, and you might not think it a drawback, is the house smelled like smoked mesquite all day. In fact you can still smell it today. 

But man, was it GOOD. Lunch today was a meatloaf sandwich. Dinner tonight might be meatloaf. Probably have a meatloaf sandwich tomorrow for lunch too. 

Alan, I hope this has you slobbering all over your keyboard.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Trials And Tribulations Of A New Trailer.

When I got the new trailer home, I noticed the wire that connects the truck to the trailer (had a loop) was sitting on the ground. I went out and picked it up. It had dragged, who knows how long and the wire was cut almost in two. Can't imagine how far I drove without brake lights. Apparently when they hooked up the trailer they didn't check the length of that wire.   

After a couple phone calls, one of the shop guys showed up at the house and put a new wire on. this one a bit shorter.

With that out of the way, I now have the problem of hitch weight. The old trailer was 275# at the hitch, this one is 410#. What does that mean, you ask? Without weight distribution, the nose of the trailer goes down and the back of the truck goes down. By doing this, the weight distribution is all on the hitch rather than throughout the trailer and truck.

Solution: An item called a Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch. Looks something like this:

Round Bar Weight Distributing Hitch - 1000 lb Tongue Weight
I'm picking one up at Camping World tomorrow and with new tires (slightly bigger), that should solve the (they call it dipping) problem.

If you have any further interest in seeing how this works, here is a video you can look at. It's 6:23 so If you want to pass, that's OK.

Weight Distribution Hitch

With those two things (hitch and tires), we're ready for the maiden voyage of the Freedom Express the last week of September. Heading to Upper Lake for 4 days of Inflate-a-yaking and the Float Tube Cumberlanding. Don't know if I mentioned it in the past, but this lake is spring fed (by two springs) and the DFW stock it all summer. I'll have to see if I can do better than two years ago (skunked). We passed last year because of the Butte Fire that was so close to home.   

That's about all I have for now except I meet with my Cardiologist on Tuesday to find out what the tests (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday last week) say and what the next step is. I'll let you know.

Stay tuned.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

OK, Here It Is

Coachman Freedom Express.

Door in the back
2 Propane bottles and 2 batteries
The back
Big dining table with under storage
The small slide out is part of the kitchen.
Side slide out
Other side
Other slide out. Note windows
Other side
 The big slide out is part of the dining table area.

Outside shower
Electric jack
Big Fridge and freezer. Good enough for ice cream. One has to have their priorities straight.
Shower. Almost bigger than the one in our master bath.
TV, Stereo, CD, DVD, & Blueray
Double sink.
Stove and oven. Scones for the first trip.
Microwave. Ignore the price tag.
Under sink storage.
Cabinets behind the bed. Same on both sides.
Bed is behind the TV. Full sized Queen for us long legged folks.
The model number is 233RKS. In most trailers, the number 233 would indicate a 23 foot trailer. The Clipper was 17FQ (17 ft), but this trailer is only 21'6". Not a whole lot bigger, but wider (8ft) and taller plus the two slide outs make for a LOT of room.

Next trip: end of September.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Things Don't Always Go As Planned

Headed up the hill around 10:30 am. Thursday. Check-in at Hope Valley Campground was 2:00 pm, but you can usually get into your space early especially on a weekday.

As I've mentioned many times in the past, California has two seasons. Winter and road repair. Highway 88 (the road all the way to Hope Valley) is ripe with road repair. Three different places to be exact.

First one, and you know they are all one lane, flag person, wait for the truck that guides you up that one lane road to come to your side, wasn't too bad. Maybe a couple minutes tops. The second one though, was somewhere around a 20 minute wait. Third one was again not too bad, maybe 5 minutes.   

OK, got to the camp spot, set up the trailer, and tried to decide what I was going to do next. As I mentioned in the last post, the wife had to work Thursday and Friday so I was on my own. 

The West Fork of the Carson River runs right by the campground (I've told you this before) and as usual there was nothing that looked like a fish in that water. So I headed up Blue Lakes Road and stopped by the bridge. Let me explain. The West Fork runs right along the left side Blue Lakes Road for about 5 miles and then crosses under the road at the "bridge". From there it runs along the other side of the road for a couple miles and then disappears into a meadow, never to be seen again.

I parked at the bridge and set up "3" with a Sloan's Paralyzer. Thought maybe a little top action would be fun. The creek up there is full of little 6" Cutthroats. There was probably 25 or 30 under the bridge, but not the least bit interested in anything "fly". While I was trying to entice them I looked downstream and it looked like there was a bunch of leaves floating in the water. More on this in a minute.

Since I didn't get any interest, my instinct was to work my way upstream and see what I could find. 

In the picture below, I got one good hit just below the big rock (center/bottom), but nothing else.

Upstream from the picture above

I worked my way back to the bridge and thought I'd try downstream from the bridge. When I crossed over the bride, what I thought was leaves wasn't.

Just look at the picture below. I don't know what or how. I can't say any more.  

I got up Friday morning, fiddled around the camp and then drove home to pick up the wife.

She finally got off at 2:00 pm and we headed back up the hill. Did I mention that the road work goes both ways? Yup, wait here, wait there, wait in the other spot. Down hill and back uphill.

Finally got to camp around 4:00 and since the day was mostly done, sat around the fire and had dinner. I don't know about you guys, but when I'm camping, bed time is just about dark.

Got up Saturday and the plan was to take the inflate-a-yak up to Upper Blue Lake, paddle around and pull a Kastmaster behind. Please keep in mind, before you say "why didn't you take it out yourself" that the yak is something we do together. Wife was just too tired after a blistering week at the zoo (her nutso job), so she stayed at camp and I drove to Upper Blue to just do a little lure casting. Since the plan was to pull a Kastmaster behind the yak, I was woefully unprepared for shore fishing. All I had was one of my spinning rods and a small box of Kastmasters.

But, never fear, the Shoreman was on his game, which is someplace I haven't been lately. Several people fishing in my usual spot, so I just walked a little farther beyond and started throwing the 1/8th oz. pink Kastmaster. A couple guys sitting to my left commented when I hooked the first fish after about 5 casts. They further commented when I hooked the second one about 5 casts after that. Two to hand in about 10 casts.

The third one took a little longer. I suspect they figured the pink thing wasn't edible. After that, I changed to all the other colors and gave them about 12 casts each, but that seemed to it for the day.   

If you make the picture below bigger, there is still a little snow on the hills on the other side.

Still snow
Then I decided to give Lower Blue a shot just in case. Didn't seem to be anything interested in Kastmasters in that lake. Probably just not where I was.
Lower Blue Lake
So I headed back toward camp.

Still a little snow left on the Nipple. Yes, that is the name of that peak. Really, I kid you not.

The Nipple
So no inflate-a-yak this trip. Next chance is Upper Lake the last week of September. I'm taking my float tube too.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I Realize It's been A While

OK, last post was July 30th. It's either been too hot to go fishing or life has been in the way, BUT that is about to change.

Heading out about Noon tomorrow for the final trip in the Clipper.

The Clipper
Three nights at Hope Valley Campground, one spent by myself as my wife has to work on Friday (occupational hazard), but if we don't occupy the space, it goes to someone else. So I'll drive down mid-day on Friday and pick her up for the rest of the weekend.

Paddling around Upper Blue Lake in the inflate-a-yak with a Kastmaster following and hopefully a fish or two since the DFW was kind enough to stock it this week just because we were coming up there. 

When we return on Sunday, Sunday and Monday will be used to empty the Clipper and then pick up the new trailer on Tuesday.

This isn't the exact trailer we're getting because ours has the door at the rear, but gives you some idea. More pictures when we get it.

Freedom Express
Then the rest of next week is assigned to multiple doctor and hospital tests. More on that later.

Oh, did I mention I passed the 70 mark last Monday? No applause needed. No booing either. 

OK, that's it until I get back.

Stay tuned.