Thursday, February 28, 2019

El Niño

If you've been watching the news, then you know Northern California has been getting hammered with rain and snow since, seems like forever.

We are in the grips of another El Niño. Lots of rain, lots of snow, and lots of flooding. The interesting part is that although Sacramento and points North are pounded, we (in beautiful downtown Jackson, about an hour South of Sacramento), have gotten very little rain.

Our Chief Weather Guesser drew a picture on a map about a week ago and put two lines on it. One just below Sacramento and the other about 50 miles North. That was where the rain was supposed to hit and hit it did.

As of yesterday the Russian River up in Sonoma County is over it's banks. Guerneville has been evacuated. Cache Creek is over it's banks. Closer to Sacramento, Dry Creek (North of town), Acrade Creek (in town), and that ever present flooding of Deer Creek when ever we get a little rain is happening.

Flooding on the nearby Russian River led to flooding in Downtown Guerneville on February 27, 2019. (CHP Air Ops Golden Gate Division)
Fear not, La Casa Kautz is high and dry.

The mountains, that's another story.

This Feb. 17, 2019 photo provided by City of South Lake Tahoe shows a car buried in snow in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.    Authorities say a snowplow operator inadvertently bumped into a car buried in snow and found a woman unharmed inside. Chris Fiore, spokesman for the city of South Lake Tahoe, highlighted the Feb. 17 incident in a Tuesday, Feb. 26  news release in order to urge safety precautions in winter weather.   (City of South Lake Tahoe via AP)
South Lake Tahoe
Here's the story behind this picture:

This Feb. 17, 2019 photo provided by City of South Lake Tahoe shows a car buried in snow in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Authorities say a snowplow operator inadvertently bumped into a car buried in snow and found a woman unharmed inside.

Cisco Grove on Highway 80 (Elevation 5643') looks something like this:

Image result for snow at cisco grove pictures
Gas Station
I couldn't find a picture, so you'll have to use your imagination. At Cisco Grove there is also a Chevron Gas Station. You've all seen the Chevron sign at the stations, right? 

Image result for chevron gas station sign
This one
At Cisco Grove this morning the snow is at the bottom of that little red V. What, maybe 15 feet?

Can you imagine what Donner Summit (Highway 80) and Carson Pass (Highway 88) look like? Donner is just over 7000' and Carson pass is 8652'. Both Donner Summit and Carson Pass have been closed for the last day or so. Cal Trans is just trying to clear the roads.  

Still, this morning, it's raining here and snowing upcountry. The snow pack is currently 150% of average. 

Going to be an awesome Summer. Plenty of water everywhere. 

Last, but not least is Folsom Lake. Folsom Lake is a flood control lake. Keeps Sacramento from flooding. In the past I've shown you the dam at Lake Natoma just downstream from Folsom Lake. When we fish for Shad in May/June we hope for a release of 5000 cfs. Currently the release is 25,000 cfs. A lot of water going down the American River. Folsom Lake has a capacity of just over 1 million acre feet of water. Needless to say the water is going out as fast as it;s coming in. 

Summing up the situation, South of Sacramento, we're in good shape. Sacramento North, think boat. 

Oh yeh, I sent an email to Yuki yesterday and asked if he thought we would be able to get out fishing any time soon. He was right to the point. He texted back No. 

I do believe I'm going to get out tomorrow and soak some Power Bait. Rain due again Saturday and most of next week. 

Stay Tuned. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

That darn fish finder doesn't work.

I mentioned last post that I got a Garmin Striker 4, 3.5" screen  fish finder.

Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional Transducer
Fish finder
Well, I got it put together. I contemplated mounting it on the side of my kayak, but you still need space for the battery. So I did it the portable way. You have a little tray about 10 inches in diameter that the fish finder attaches to, a little slot for the 12v battery, and a place to wind up the cord that goes to the transducer. 

So I put the fish finder in the kayak, opened the access hole in front of the seat, and suction cupped the transducer to the bottom of the kayak. 

I turned it on and nothing. Oh, it came on all right, but didn't show any depth or fish that I could see. 

So I called Garmin and told them the problem. Ran through all that I had done and what was showing on the screen. 

The Customer Service Rep that I was talking to then asked the definitive question. 

"Was the kayak in the water?"

Thought you might need a little chuckle this morning.   

Friday, February 8, 2019

I May Never Be Warm Again

A week in a nutshell.

Monday morning we had snow.

Monday Morning
Tuesday and Wednesday morning we had frost.

Tuesday & Wednesday

Thursday (Yesterday) I decided to take a chance and run out to Lake Camanche and soak some Power bait.
Thursday Morning
After I got my wife off to work, I headed out. Did I mention it was 25 degrees? Got to the lake about 9:00 and was set up with one rod and rainbow Power Bait, the other with white Power Eggs. When I got to the lake it was 39 degrees. Now I know y'all back in the mid-West think 39 degrees is almost Summer, but out here, it's cold. 

Just as I parked, there were a couple guys getting ready to launch their kayaks. I heard one guy yelling as he sat in his yak. "Little nippy?" I asked. He had stepped into the 50 degree water getting into his yak. I told him that's why I'm fishing on shore and not in my kayak. 

About 10:00 the guys at the end of the peninsula left fishless. About the same time one guy way out toward the island left fishless. 

That left me and a new friend named Peter from Sacramento. We chatted and I discovered we've fished the same places many times. Harrington Access of the American River for Shad, Sunrise access for Steelhead, Lake Amador, Lake Pardee, and many others. I'm surprised we'd never met formally until yesterday. 

Back to the cold. I had on my parka, Eddie Bauer fleece gloves, and even ear muffs and I was still cold. Either it was REALLY cold or I'm not handling it very well this year. 

I hung out until Noon and left. Peter was the only one that hung on. 

Between the time I arrived and the time I left the lake (fishless), the temperature had risen  1 degree. 

Peter didn't have anything on his stringer either. 

Probably too cold for the fish to bite.

Rain through next Tuesday and probably snow, again, on Monday Morning. 

Have no fear, Summer's coming. 

Stay tuned.  

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Irony Of Genealogy

When I started this journey into my past, they (I don't know who "they" are) said that if you don't want to know the answer, don't do a DNA test.

You know, because you follow this blog, that I write about fish, in this blog I wrote about fish for the local paper, I wrote stories for Sport Fishing Weekly. I recently did an article for, and I chase fish,

I mentioned, back on November 1, 2017 the name of my paternal Grand-father. After 72 years, thinking this guy named Joseph Dory was my Grand-father, I find out my "real" Grand-father is Henry Joseph Fish. Yup, I'm a Fish . 

Image result for fish emoji
Yup, that;s me

I also know this to be true because I have several cousins that I'm DNA linked to that have him for a Grand-father. Ironic huh.

OK, mentioned my fish finder for my kayak. I got a Garmin Striker 4, 3.5" screen with all kinds of good stuff (I guess) like GPS, Chirp, and ipx7 what ever that is. I've put it together as a portable unit (I could have mounted it to the kayak, but you still need  place for the 12v battery) so I thought portable was the way to go. The transducer has a suction cup attached to it so you can stick it to the bottom of the kayak (inside the guy said) through one of two accesses (those round holes with a cap on it). For now, it's ready to go, but until it warms up a bit it'll sit on my other desk. Fill you in when I finally take it out.

Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional Transducer
Garmin Striker 4

Fishing, maybe Thursday or Friday. Been raining since (seems like the beginning of the year) last Thursday night and is going to continue until tomorrow night. Might even get snow at La Casa Kautz elevation about 1200 ft.

OK, I think that's it for now.

Stay tuned.