Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Reel Meaning Of Fishing

Yesterday was over 100 and too hot to do anything but go up to the higher elevation lakes to cool off. I talked my fishing partner into going with me by saying we will only stay a short time. Of course,that is fishing time. Five minutes equals one hour.

The lake was stocked with many small triploid rainbows.They thought they were wild fish, because all of them were eating the insect hatches going on all over the lake. We tried numerous flies, me on my fly rod and she on her Ugly Girl  pole with a bubble.  Ferne is not ugly, the pole is a pink wrapped Ugly Stick, hence the name Ugly Girl pole. I needed to clarify that so as not to incur any bodily harm. Ferne picked out a wet fly  pattern with gray wings called Alexandra, and began to get bites. Being the astute fisherperson I switched to a gray emerger  fished wet, because I was trying my new Cortland 444 camo sinking line. I like the way it handles. But I think it is because of the Blue Sky Leader I use. This leader makes me a much better caster, because it easily turns over the fly, making a perfect cast out of a not so perfect cast.  Final tally, six fish caught and twenty six missed.  A fun time in  the heat.  As you will read in my guest bloggers post, it is not about how large or how many. In Fernes own words………………. IMG_3278 It is summer and I have not been doing as much sewing as I would like, but the activities I have been doing are definitely building some skills that I will use in future projects.  Yesterday I spent a little time with my fisherman at the local pond called Grace.  The fish were jumping and the people were lined up at the little bit of shore IMG_3276available to fish from.  Fish were being caught by young and old a like, but not by me so the search was on for the bait the fish would want to eat.  To find it I have found that have to look around you and boy did I see a lot.  I saw reeds where fish could hide to stay cool, the different colors in the water let you know where the deep sections are and this is a place fish like to hang out.  Someone thought the fish might like IMG_3284 Cherrios and I heard another person mentioning that she had been using Velveeta Cheese and that didn’t like that either.  I saw when I really looked that the fish were jumping up to catch a certain bug that must have just hatched and they were like little white mayflies.  Changing my lure to something that most resembled the bug got the fish biting my line and when other fishermen see that they all want to know what you are using, this is where fisherman learn to lie because in order to keep your status as the guy catching the fish you can’t give away your secret. IMG_3279

As the fish weren’t biting much I got bored and started looking around me and thinking about how fishing is not really about catching but more about taking in the environment where you are fishing.  Listening to the sounds of the  birds, the fisher people, the buzz of bees and mosquitoes, and so much more.  IMG_3280Butterflies don’t make any noise, but they are always there and so beautiful to observe, but hard to catch on film .  Being a gardener I am always admiring the flowers and plants and how nature is such a better gardener than me, she knows just what looks good together and grows well together, it always amazes me.

I also enjoy the movement on the water.  This was helping us see just where most of the active fish were which was also where the water was deep and cool and the bugs were hanging out.  So casting into just the right spot with just the right lure IMG_3286and dragging through this spot with just the right speed to look like one of the bugs and the fish were biting on my line.  I really don’t care if I catch a fish and we usually let them go anyway, but the thrill you get when one tugs on your line always gets my heart racing and wakes me up from the fishing trance.  Of course, I am always thinking this is the big IMG_3277one I have waited my whole fishing life for, but it usually is not and that is okay.  Fishing for me is not all about catching the big one though my oldest son totally disagrees with me, he claims that if he doesn’t catch fish and if they are not of a decent size he has wasted time.  I tell he to rethink that and take a look around him and soak in the environment around him.  That is what fishing is all about, but catching is always fun too, because the elusive fish is a beauty to behold and natures color combinations are always an inspiration to the artist side of me and could show up in a quilt or a painting project some where in the future.IMG_3289  

Catch a little inspiration by looking around you!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fishing around Shingletown, Lake Shasta, Grace, Nora,and Kilarc

IMG_2334We cleared the weeds,painted the house,planted the garden, cut the walnut trees, now it is time to go fishing again. Started out by taking a charter on Lake Shasta with Ben Raimondi of Fish'in Comfort, (530-238-9789). Ben is the number one  guide on Shasta. He gives you your moneys worth in fish and knowledge. We caught and released limits of trout.  Two things I do not like about Shasta are the cocopods and the too numerous bass.  The cocopods make the trout  have sores all over their body. It does no harm to the meat, but sure makes them unappealing to the eye. As for the bass, they are all over the lake. We put on some BassWax crayfish scent on one of the lures, put it back down and caught two bass in 30 min.  Now I will get lots of hate e-mail , because we ATE them! Bass taste better than trout. Try them. Keep the small 12 to 14 in. sizes. The  lake and fishery will not miss them. The remaining bass will only get bigger. Just remember any large fish of any species should be released to breed. I would rather catch ten  large  than twenty smaller fish any day.

Fish and Game finally gave the OK to plant our local lakes ,Grace And Nora. They put sterile fish in both ponds.  It was worth the wait. The fish are from 10 in. to my personal best 19 in . What is nice about the two lakes is that you can fly fish them both. I finally got  to use my latest bargains from Cabelas. I picked up  a 3wt. Galvan large arbor reel and a matching Sage rod for a super price during the winter . I am not the best fly caster in the land, so Grace was perfect for me . Twenty foot  casts are all that is needed. I have had many 30 fish days on both ponds since. All that is needed is a size 14 to 18 nymph  weighted down with two tin split shots 18” up the 6x tippet. Cast out and drag back just over the bottom.  The take is nothing more than a slight stop.

I even cheated one day when the fish refused to take the fly. I put a black olive Berkley 1“ leech on the fly.  This combo got the trout to bite.  What was nice about this set up was the trout took the combo like a fly.  All were hooked in the jaw, so I could release them with the help of my Brodin Ghost Net, the best release net on the market.

IMG_2416This leaves only Kilarc to report on. We went up to this scenic reservoir during the rains and caught  some small brown trout. Yesterday I went up alone and tried my luck. Lures only caught one small brown. I needed to cast 100 feet out with my fly rod. That was not going to happen. So the old  water bobber filled with split shots and a fly  was the ticket. A size 14 bead head  in any brown or pheasant body on a 6 foot leader did the trick.  The further out you cast the bigger the browns you caught.  The fish were right on the bottom. Two other people were doing the same thing as I was but without the weights.  They fished too  high and caught nothing.  I started out at the crack of noon, full sun, 80 degrees, and crystal clear water, just the perfect conditions for a sun burn. I fished till 2:30. Much to my surprise  I caught fish, big fish.  The largest was 15 inches. These browns were great fighters, leaping two feet out of the air and  then going straight to the bottom.  I caught 18 fish with 7 over 12 inches, 5 0ver 14 inches.  ALL released.  I DO like the taste of brown trout, but these fish look so beautiful, I have a hard time killing them.  It has gotten so bad that I do not like any one keeping one.  But each to his or her own ideals people have to eat,  just let it be planters!

IMG_2333Hat Creek is soon, but after the touristas  go home. Lake trolling for kokanee on Whiskeytown Lake is next cannot wait to go trolling again!!!! 

Regular posts will be the norm.  So remember to keep your leaders light and keep only the F&G planters.

The reel report, fish caught by Ferne reported by Michael.

God Bless!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good Bye Bay Area, Welcome Shasta County

No new posts for a few months. But for a good reason , we moved to Shasta County, about 20 miles from Mt. Lassen. as the years crept by, the fishing in the Bay Area has gotten worse. Chabot seems to be stocking smaller fish. A couple of years ago you could catch 6 t0 10 pounders regularly. Now a 3 pounder is a whopper. Del Valle is still good , but a boat gets you the most fish. Rental prices have gone up to be very expensive. The ponds in Santa Clara are still fun, but you need to be there when they plant, or else no fish. The last place to remember is Los Vaqueros. This deep lake was going to be the best fishing lake in California. In the beginning it semed to be true. You could catch 30 trout,and have a striper hit your bait almost every time out.Then salmon were added and you could also catch at least 1 every time out. But then something happened. The fish stopped hitting. The algae bloomed. Boat restrictions came into affect. The fish are there but no longer can you catch them in great numbers,or any size. No answers from the water district, no fisheries biologist to test the ecosystem. Nothing but hours of trolling for one or two fish. I hope they get their act together or flood the lake to double the size as is in the future plans. Then there will be no fishing.

So, before that happens we moved. Now we are looking forward to new waters and new lures to try. I have already begun. I tried Berkley Minnow Heads for the first time and they seemed to work in the local lakes. Looking forward to continue to report on the REEL ways to catch fish

God Bless Ferne@ Michael


Sunday, June 28, 2009


Testing a new blog writing program…looks like a fun one!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Smallmouths, Bluegills, Rainbows, Brookies,and Browns

Well the derby is over. Again just like last year when a crappie was my biggest fish, I failed to get a trout over three pounds. This time it was a 7lb 2oz catfish that was my largest fish. I caught about 100 trout, all under two pounds. Too bad the derby was not a cumulative total weight derby.

We decided to take a trip up north to see what we could catch in the many streams and lakes in Lassen co. The snow had melted and the streams were running. Our first stop was Shingletown, about 25miles East of Redding. Where does one go to find out about local fishing spots? Why the bakery of course. Stocking up on the largest donuts I have ever seen, I got the info. Two small lakes, Nora and Grace, were the local secret spots. Drug Ferne out of the quilt shoppe and on to Nora. Stopped at Nora which is only 4 acres and saw some small fish but no where to fish so on down the road to Grace, a 7 acre lake. Here we saw fish rising every where. Put on the 1/16 oz Wyld spinner and cast out. Soon a fish was on! The first fish of the trip was a beautiful Brown trout. A couple of rainbows later we headed on down the road with 3/4 of the donuts left.

Our plan was to drive to Burney, about 45 miles north and use the motel as a base camp. Driving past Hat Creek we arrived in Burney. Checked in and then out to fish the Wild Trout section of Hat Creek, barbless hooks only. Mother nature had other ideas. We no sooner rigged up when thunder and lightning lit up the sky. We were fishing right next to a METAL BRIDGE. Lightning? not a good mix so we got the heck out of there! Driving back, hail and wind and rain made sure we did not go back. We did manage to take some pictures of the locals.

The next morning we went to Burney Falls, the Eight Wonder of the World. Within two miles you can fish for planted trout, totally wild trout and warm water species like bass and blugills. We did it all. First we went to see the falls and then drove 1 mile to Lake Britton. Here we walked around the shore and saw that the Smallmouth Bass were on their nests. Not having any plastics in the tackle box , I dug out some Rebel Cat'r Crawlers, a one and a half inch sinking worm imitation. WE cast out and let it sink on the beds. Soon I had a nice two pounder on. Caught a few more , Ferne even got her first Smallie . It was the biggest of the five we caught. I even caught a giant bluegill bigger then any I have caught in 45 years!

After going swimming for a lure stuck in a log we went trout fishing. First we tried the planter section above the falls. Had two on but nothing sticking. So we went to the Wild Section. The fly fishermen had beaten the waters for two hours before we go there and did not get a thing. I was not expecting anything when I tied on the 1/4 oz barbless Wyld Spinner . I picked a spot where the river flowed under a tree. I made ten casts and nothing. I was ready to let Ferne try but I did not want to go swimming for the lure stuck in a tree where it would no doubt land, so I make one last cast. I got a hit! I was so surprised that I did not set the hook. I made another cast and ,FISH ON!!! A perfect 13 1/2 in Brook Trout came to shore to be photoed and released. After that we hiked and enjoyed the flora and fauna. It was getting to be lunch time so back to the motel and then out to try to catch a fish at Hat Creek.

We chose to go to Cassel a stocked section of Hat Creek, not near a metal bridge. After finding the right location near the bridge we started to catch rainbows, nothing big but great fighters. Ferne caught her rainbow,and I caught a few dozen before kissing the last rainbow good bye.

A great short trip, lots of fish, lots of photos, and lots of giant donuts. (It took us two days but we ate them all.)

Until we loose ten pounds, God Bless

Ferne @ Michael