Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Week With The Folks

Even before they arrived my folks had requested a fly fishing lesson. So it was no surprise that when they touched down it was still high on their list of things to do.

We headed up to Big M Fishery in Lincoln. The guys at Big M took excellent care of us by providing shuttle service to and from the fishing area and even unloading our gear from the golf cart.

We spent the first hour or so going over casting instruction, as neither had ever fly fished. They both picked it up very rapidly and were soon out at the 30-40 ft range. Time for fishing with flies! A quick lesson on retrieving the fly and line control and they were off. Armed with their new casting skills and some buggers we started to probe the depths in search of some hungry fish.

Within minutes my Mom's line began to swim away and her voice cracked with excitement when she she yelled "Adrian, Adrian, what do I do?" Unfortunately not enough pressure was applied and the pull on the end of the line ceased. Another small explanation about fighting fish with barbless hooks and we were back to it. The first strip of the second cast resulted in another fish pulling on the end of the line. This time, determined to keep good tension during the fight, the fish arrived at the bank. This was my mother's first fish ever! Although not a monster by most measurements it was definitely huge for for the two of us and will be one that will not be forgotten. The look in her eyes as she touched its fins and then said 'thanks' as it swam away will stick with me forever.
As fatherhood aproaches me, I have spent even more time reflecting upon my past and things I would like to change for the future. I have a great appreciation for the sacrafices my parrents made, which have allowed me many great opportunities. Thanks for everthing Mom and Dad and for a great day out on the water. Looking forward to our next outing.

Also a special thanks to Shawn Pittard for his help throughout the day and for capturing some great pix.

The tug is the drug

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yuba Going Strong

We have had a few days on the Yuba over the past week and she is putting up good numbers of quality fish including a few chrome dandies. The mornings have been a little slow but by mid afternoon things have been in full swing with good evening hatches. We have been averaging a few fish per day on the swing but most have come on nymphs and drys. A fair number of Salmon are also in the system with 20-30 spotted each day (hopefully lots more to come). Egg hatch soon?

Fish and Game has been out starting their Redd surveys. If you see bright orange rocks on the banks an in the stream bed please avoid walking in these areas. Additionally if you see areas where the rocks look bright white, these are also redds and should be avoided. I have yet to see any fish staging but it should begin soon.

The tug is the drug.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Salt For Steelhead?

The muggy air caused every pore in my body to open and spit as we stepped outside. It was also a soothing break for my bone-dry eyes which had just endured 8 hours of recycled, fart filled airplane air. Yea baby, we are no longer in Kansas and there probably isn't a steelhead within 2000 miles. But we were in Mexico and on a quest for another chrome fish, Tarpon and the possibility of a slam.

We were hurried into a shuttle to head off to the place we would call home for the next few days. Before we even departed from the airport we were questioned by one of our shuttle-mates repeatedly about our plans. You know the type, the ones who can't stop talking. This guy had a very close vocal resemblance to Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait) from Police Academy. His voice almost cracking as he released his excited words in an not quite yelling but not quite talking voice. He even pulled out a bank wrapped wad of 100 one dollar bills, explaining that " this is the only way to go in Mexico....tip with lots of singles and you can get anything you want here!" I would have paid at least and extra $20 to be the next ones off the shuttle but our fate was sealed. We got to spend the following half-hour hearing about all his previous travels and his plans while in Cancun.

Once we arrived at our abode (The Blue Bay Club), checked in, cranked the AC, and got our first cervasa we were finally at ease. Now only a single res less night lay between us and some stalking on the flats (a few more cervasa and a good Cuban cigar made quick work of the evening).

The first morning started off with a short boat ride from the marina. The channel inlet into the lagoon area was like something out of a movie. Apocalypse Now flashed through my mind as we turned the first corner and got a view of the thick green vegetation surrounding the channel and lagoon. I was even so in ah that I didn't even reach for the camera.

We began by casting into the numerous holes along the edges of the mangroves. Because the water in this lagoon was quite deep we were pretty much blind casting to areas that looked good or to the rings left by a fish that had rolled. The entire time that we were back in this area fish were rolling back up in the mangroves and along their edges. The casting was somewhat tight and the gaps we were aiming for were sometimes only a foot or two wide with overhanging branches! We jumped a number of fish but most made one jump and then headed straight for the mangroves which caused one of two outcomes; a break-off or the fish coming unbuttoned. We did land one nice Snook.

The balance of the first day we spent outside of the mangroves on the flats. We had a few shots at some Bones and Permit but no fish to hand. A front also moved in and brought with it a good dose of wind and some heavy chop.

Day 2 was a complete bust as the winds were very high. In addition to the heavy chop it also caused very significant changes to the tides. The areas we attempted to fish for tarpon were quite high and it was our guides thought that most of the fish were back up in the groves instead of cruising on the edges.

The third day began with a beautiful sunrise and very light winds. 'Time to make up for yesterday' was running through my head as we tootled out through the marina. And it just so happened that was exactly what lay ahead of us.

We covered a few flats searching for the Bones and Permit. We did see three or four schools of bones but they were all on the move. We also came across a few Permit but just like the bones they were completely on the move. The next few hours we spend back up in a series of lagoons and channels sight casting to Tarpon and the action was unbelievable and almost non stop. This is what we had come for and we got our fair share. There is something sweet about spotting, casting to, and leading a fish until your fly disappears into the mouth of a crazy, pissed off Tarpon. A millisecond later the fish 5 feet out of the water thrashing. I have yet to experience anything else like it.

This trip was put together by Keith Kaneko of Angling On The Fly. Kieth has numerous destinations around the world that are all top notch. If you are considering a destination please give Keith a call as I am sure he will have something that will far exceed your expectations.

Trinity River Full Day Spey Schools

Once you hook a summer steelhead on the Trinity River, you’ll be coming back every year to view the beauty of the river and the possibility of hooking another feisty sea-run rainbow. The Trinity is one of the top steelhead fisheries on the west coast and continues to produce some of the largest runs in North America. During this informative spey casting and fishing class, you’ll be exposed to everything needed to make your time on the river more productive. We will float and stop at designated locations, both river left and river right, to work on spey casting and fishing methods. Learn how to become a better spey caster while increasing your knowledge about equipment and fishing a spey rod. Topics will include, but are n
ot limited to, equipment , casting styles , spey casting techniques from both sides of the river, casting and fishing sinktips, distance casting, and fishing methods. This school includes a river-side lunch, scenic float and casting and fishing instruction. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover one of California’s finest “steelhead-spey” rivers. Class size is limited to 6 people. October 10th-11th from 8am to 4pm. Recommended lodging near the Willow Creek area : The Bigfoot Motel (530) 629-2142, Gambi Hill Motel/Cottages (530) 629-2701, Coho Cottages 800 722-2223, Campgrounds: Camp Kimtu

Cost per person: $350.00

Date: October 10th and 11th 2009

Equipment List:

-Spey Rod Oufit (Rod, Reel and Line, if you do not have an outfit we can provide one)


-Wading Boots

-Valid California Fishing License with Steelhead Report Card

-Leaders: 9’ – 15’ Tapered Leaders 3x-0x, Tippet-0X-3X

-Summer Steelhead Flies: #8-#6- Green Butt Silver Hilton, October Caddis, Muddler Minnow, Sculpin,

Green Butt Skunk


-Polarized Glasses


-Camera w/ Batteries and Memory Card