|Humping way too much weight for what we are doing.|
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Arriving just in time for my weekend trip, the C&F design Chest Patch will be my primary local water fly box. Fly selection is of no real consequence with out local trout. They are aggressive and will generally take just about anything you throw at them. As a result, I refuse to cast anything but dry flies at them. Sure I could catch more fish and larger ones at that if I went subsurface but I'm content with fishing them "properly." But how I look at it is, if I wanted to nymph I would just go to the Sierras and catch some fat fish instead of trying my luck at the local dinks.
As anyone who fishes with me knows, I am a big fan of C&F design boxes. This patch will replace my old C&F MSF Fly Patch and Protector that is now on the bottom of some Deep Creek pool that fell off my vest years ago. While the ideal of that product was good the execution was poor. The patch is connected by a pin that is glued on to the system insert. The glue is weak and failed on me, thus I lost several awesome flies that slay the local waters. The Chest Patch design is similar as it appears to use the same glued on pin system it also has clips that can be attached via split rings for fail safe in case the glue from the pin fails.
Monday, May 28, 2012
I fished my "home" carp water and the water has come up from the last time. Odd, I have no ideal how water ever gets in there as we have not had any significant rain from the last outing. Let's just hope they keep it at these levels. With all that water, it fished well today. Spotting them was easy. Armed this time with my Sage TCR 6wt and Tibor Tailwater lined with a less than ideal warmwater bass tapered line, I managed 3 to the hand (5lb, 4lb and 4.5lb) and one that I lost right at the beach when I got lazy and tried to muscle the fish too hard and the fly flew out of its mouth. It was at least 6.5 lbs but most likely in the 7+lbs range. It fought hard and it took me at least 8 minutes just to get him at the beach. It zig zagged throughout the river taking line zinging my reel. Now that's how a reel should sound. Throughout the day I missed three that were most likely fouled and slipped off. It seems that Chul's bad luck has rubbed off on me as I filled my Wellington boots three times with ass water as I sunk in the mud. Probably end up with some third world fungus on my feet because of it.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
|By local standards this Brown is a trophy.|
|Rattlesnake crossing the trail.|
We made it to a one of the huge pools and I managed a 12 inch brown trout that looked as if it came from the Owens River. If I showed this photo to anyone, they would be shocked to know that this fish came out of this dinky water. It's shocking. We moved to the next pool and it seemed the fishing halted quite a bit. Even getting dinks was proving difficult. On this pool I managed another brown that while not as big as the last was a nice specimen. It was probably 9-10 inches. I missed a few more and lost a few good ones when my tippet failed. Continuing to move upstream, Chul fished a pool where he missed a nice 10 incher the last time he was here. This time he managed to coax him to hit the fly and took him out of his slot that it called home. We arrived at the waterfall and at my second cast I managed a nice rainbow. Chul had a nice fish on until he bumped his rod on an overhead branch and lost the fish. Several casts later the hole shut down.
We started to make our way out fishing a hole here and a hole there. Chul managed a few dinks but the fishing had shut down on the river for whatever reason. Perhaps its the changing barometric pressure or something but we were convinced it's the wacky weather that is coming in. We hiked out of there and got in the car and headed down the mountain. By this time it was past eight and when we reached the bottom we found our selves on the wrong side of a locked gate. Oh crap! It was past 8PM now and pitch black. I saw a silhouette of a man on the other side of the gate and when he came into the light of the car I noticed it was a cop. I got out of the car and he let us know that the gate closes at 8 and you can be cited it you don't make the closing time. I apologized and he opened the gate and let us go without incident. I thanked them and wished them a good night.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
|Me with a 6lb carp wearing the stupidest pair of fit over sunglasses ever.|
|The fly bent from fighting the carp.|
|Tuck wet wading even after I warned him -WTF are you thinking?|
Saturday, May 19, 2012
|My best fish of the day.|
We made it to the trail head and hiked the trail beyond where we dropped in the last time. Finding a safe entry point was proving difficult and finding some fly fishermen already on the water moving downstream was discouraging. After looking at a few sketchy areas we finally found an entry point and after made our way down carefully navigating over a rocky area. Our entry point lead us into an area that required that we swim through a deep large pool to make it back. So before we decided to get wet we ate our lunch not only to lighten our loads but also to make sure our food doesn't get waterlogged if we couldn't get it out of the water. After lunch we fished a few downstream holes before we started our swim upstream.
|Erica making the swim|
We did manage some nice fish but none the beasts we were looking for, many respectable fish in the 8 inch range or so. I managed to hook a large fish, it looked like a 12 inch fish in the water so it must have been at least 14 inches, while on top of a boulder. While trying to find a way down safely the fish came undone. Past this area we ran into the group of fishermen we saw above from the trail. I chatted with them for a while and watched one of them catch a solid 12 incher using his nymph. hey told me they knew very well the swimming hole we just went through. Two of them had exactly the same experience as I.
|Miner's Lettuce. It has a slightly peppery flavor.|
After chatting we moved upstream they moved down. We caught several throughout the day. Chul managed a solid 12 incher or so in a section of water I would have never fished. It was slow almost stillwater section of a long pool. He later told me he caught another about the same size after I left him there. I fished several pocket water catching fish ranging from dinks to 10 inches. I did finally see two Federally protected Arroyo Toad that have given our fishermen such a headache. We managed to finally reach our drop in point from last time. Chul and I fished the tight section where we saw a flash of a very nice trout in our past outing. After a few drifts I had a hard take on my stimulator. We landed it and it was a solid 11-12 incher. While a nice fish, we concluded it was not likely the fish we saw the last time. The flash of the belly seemed much taller and fatter.
This trip was brutal. Alot of swimming. Alot of bouldering. Alot of tough work. The fishing was not as good as the last time. Mostly because we were working so hard just to get to some fishable water. Nevertheless I think we all had a good time and we managed a few decent fish. I told Chul the next time we trout fish lets choose an easier (in terms of hiking) place. I think he agreed. We had dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant and the calamari and pizza definitely hit the spot. I was so hungry I probably could have ate a rhino's asshole and it would have tasted good. Throughout our hike Erica and Chul did show me some more wild edible plants which was nice so if I ever get stuck in the woods at least I will know a few more edibles to keep me alive until help arrives. I'm not sure how many calories I must have burned throughout the day but I'm sure it was a lot.
|Chia. It has edible seeds that when soaked with water enlarge and have a boba-like texture.|
Thursday, May 17, 2012
|Chul hooks up on his first ever carp with his new Sage DS2 rod|
Normally such an occurrence would leave me cussing but for whatever reason today I just moved on. Within minutes I spotted more and casted to them. I missed several. I would either be late to set the hook, too fast to set the hook or just pull the fly away from the fish. I was on a pod of fish when Chul called again I let me know he was here. I let him know where I was on the water and met up. I spot a few fish for him, by this time the wind was ridiculously hard. Casting was now problematic and I was concerned that I had Chul come over again just to waste his time. We fished together at several pods trying to get one to take. Chul as what seems like an everytime occurrence, sank too deep in the water filling his rubber boots with that nasty ass water. I chuckled and we moved on.
We found some more fish and I was casting to Chul's left when I heard a splash. Initially I thought that he had fallen in until I turned my head and saw his Sage DS2 (the one I built) bent over. Yeah! I told him YOU BETTER NOT LOSE THAT FISH! After several nice runs he brought it in and I helped him land it. At just under 4.5 pounds on the boga, not bad for a first carp. Finally he got one. Tuck looks like you are in beer debt.
Afterwards I managed a dink largemouth just so I wouldn't be skunked for the day.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Decided to expand my carp range and explored some unfamiliar territory. Although the water known to hold fish, when I saw it I was less than enthused. Water is too big and casting room is at a a premium. Some areas looked nice as though you're in some sierra stream until you hear all the ruckus the city creates. After checking the river Chul and I went to a local city park to see if we can find some bluegill. Water on both waters were muddy and cloudy. Should have just stayed home. Maybe this water will be better as the water clears up. I wouldn't mind banging the banks with poppers to lure a bass to bite.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Angler surveys may not be present at all our local waters but are located at several. In the past I would just walk past them without a second thought. It was not until Chul, who volunteers frequently with the DFG and was told by them, told me that the DFG takes these surveys very seriously. The more info they have on the water the better they can manage it. For instance if the DFG deems the water needs assistance or is significant, they can impose more stringent policies such as fly fishing only, catch and release sections, barbless hooks, etc. At a minimum they will know where to station wardens in case of poachers or increase efforts for volunteer clean ups and the like. To fill one out just lift the lid of the box answer a few simple questions and place in the side slot when finished. You needn't bring along writing tools as pencils are generally provided. It only takes a couple minute. Do your part and hopefully we can preserve our local trout populations.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
|Chul's Monster But There Are Bigger Ones Out There|
|Typical Sized Fish For Here|
Saturday morning I woke and drove to Chul's and we headed out for the hour and half or so drive to the mountains. Its such a pain to get here from where we live that I rarely fish here as much as would like especially since gas prices are what they are now but big fish live here. I have personally witnessed a 18 inch fish spook out of the undercuts and have seen some photos of 20 inchers on the internet. That is unreal for Southern California where a 10 inch wild trout would be considered a trophy. We managed to reach our destination to find out that the second gate was closed and so we had to make a short hike to the water. Once we made it to the trail we saw one fly fisherman rigging up on stream. Our plan was to get in deep hiking on the trail til we found a decent entry point to hit the water.
|Viola. Edible Flower With A Sweet Flavor|
We continued, excited about seeing a beast while looking for another. The fishing continued to be great and while we were catching several fish in the 8 to 10 inch range we were still on the look out for the pigs. Although I considered fishing nymphs before this outing I decided to keep my intrgrity intact and stay with dries. I refuse to fish subsurface on our local waters. Simply refuse. Chul rigged up a dropper on his stimulator. We found a deep pool and I began fishing the mouth. I landed several good fish while Chul spotted me on the ledge of a granite boulder. With a good vantage point he spotted two pigs in the submerged structure below. After my fly cooled down I told him to fish his set up. In no time Chul had one of those pigs on his dry. It was a bit comical trying to see him land this fish that refused to give up or even to let him take a photo of it. Once he finally got his fish and picture we moved on.
|My Best Fish of the Day|
|Another Respectable Fish For SoCal|
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Green water, high winds and cold weather coming this weekend made fishing today rather difficult. Encouraged by seeing a nest of huge panfish on our last outing, we went back to the same location to entice some of those fish to take our flies. That was not going to happen this time. Although it was tough to see through the water, it appeared that fish had gone. We fished several hours and for me I didn't even get some much as a bump all day despite throwing just about every fly I had and using every type of retrieve. Chul on the other hand at least caught, although small, a largemouth and a respectable bluegill. when he caught the bluegill he had a huge LMB follow. We hoped the it would charge and take the panfish. Chul even dangled the fish just above it to see if the bass would take. But it did not, it just stood underneath it staring. Hard day for the both of us but at least Chul got to feel fish. Rough.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Shepherd's pie is made with ground lamb so I use quotations on the Shepherd. I didn't have any ground lamb so I used what I had, in this case, ground elk and wild boar.
Ground Wild Boar
Fresh Thyme, Rosemary
Yukon Gold potato
Peel and boil potatoes in boiling water.
Prep work. Grate onion and carrots. Mince garlic. Take herbs off the stem and chop.
In a large pan add oil when pan is hot and pour the meat and season. Brown the meat while breaking it into small pieces. When brown add grated veggies and garlic. Once thoroughly mixed add tomato paste and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce. Mix thoroughly. Add red wine and reduce. Once reduced add herbs and frozen peas and chicken stock.
Once potatoes are cooked, drain and mash them adding cream. Season and add Parmesan cheese. Mix. Finish with creme fraiche.
In a casserole pan scoop meat filling and level it. Add mashed potato on the top and shred more cheese on top. Poke the top with a few holes so steam can exit. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minute.
Disappointed again last night at not being able to obtain Barrett Lake tickets and seeing I was in the neighborhood this morning, I decided to hit the local carp waters. The waters have receded somewhat and although they are not as ideal as I would like, it is fishing quite nicely. Even with the crazy weather this month, the tules and the wildflowers are growing rapidly. The vegetation is about neck high now. The moment I was near the water I was seeing tailing fish. Missing my first two opportunities, I finally managed one (3 lbs) within the first hour. The second fish was the smallest I'd ever "landed" here at one pound. Landed is in quotations because I foul hooked it in the fins. It never ceases to surprise me how small fish look underwater yet when you pull them out the are so much larger. When I first saw this carp, it looked like an eight inch fish. It was not until I pulled it out of the water did I realize it was a 15 inch trout sized carp.
|Looks like I shit myself|
After a rather undignified clean up session, with my ass now all wet, I found some tailing carp. In time I managed to get one to bite. This one a 5 lber. Though he ran quite a bit, it did not spook the others and they only moved a few yards away and continued to feed. I spotted a rather large silhouette and I casted a few feet ahead of it and stripped it slowly under its mouth. He took and ran fast and far. Most of the carp this year have not given me the blistering long runs they did last year. This one was the exception and after about 2 minutes of fighting the fly came unglued. I managed to see its head during the fight. While not the 9.5 pound monster I caught earlier this year, it could have been the second largest fish I ever hooked up here.
I started to make my way back to the truck looking for tails on the way back. A pod of 5 of so rather large carp were on the other side of the river. I double hauled to reach the other side. I lost connection with the fly line with my stripping hand. The carp took it on the drop. I set the hook with only one hand by rotating my waist to the right. Surprisingly the fish was on. This one was about 3.5.
While trying to cast in front of a cruising carp I spooked it but continued to strip and felt a light bump. As I pulled him in I noticed it was a baby bass. Its nice to see that the bass have successfully bred. This is only the third bass I've ever caught out of here. All fish caught on a BH Rubber-Legged Hare's Ear on a Sage 6 wt XP with Abel Pt5.
Monday, May 7, 2012
One of my good fishing buddies Richard had invented some flies that are really effective catching fish. They have been used throughout the west with tremendous success. One common theme among Richard's flies are not only effective but are easy to tie. I carry several in my trout box invarious colors and sizes.
The Tricky Dick:
Hook: TMC2488H size 12-18
Head: Black (or dark) Glass Bead size dependant to the hook size
Body: Upholstery thread (available at craft stores) tan or olive
Two Buck Chuck:
Tail: 3 strands of midge krystal flash
Body: Goose biot (any color to match the hatch-I have brown, tan, black, among others in my box)
Thorax: Black/ Gunmetal bead (can use gold but ideally use a dark color)
Legs/wings: 2 strands of midge krystal flash on each side
Head: Black thread
Thursday, May 3, 2012
|Another Pig Redear on a Five Weight. Weighed just a hair under 2lbs.|
I gave Chul the Sage DS2 590-2 I built him and he fished that first with a gurgler. Armed with my RPLX 10 wt, I started with a monster rattle popper Webb gave me. The Charleton Reel, I was using was loaded with an ancient shooting head. So ancient that the running line wasn't even integrated into the head. This set up sucks. Do they even still make set ups like this? I certainly hope not. I bored rather quickly with the 10 wt, as I usually do when I fish big rods. So I switched to my recently repaired T&T 5wt. I've said it before and I will say it again, I absolutely love this rod. Going from the 10 to 5 wt was like night and day. I felt like I was casting air. After seeing some bass in the shallows Chul switched to his 6 wt and sinking line.
|The Days Arsenal.|
From then on, the rest of the day it shut down. Literally. Hundreds of casts and various flies produced not even a single strike. The sun was starting to poke out of the clouds by then. For whatever reason the fish became lock jawed and would follow the fly for a bit but refused to honor us with a take. We did find two other locations that held monster bass. I would guess at least 10 lbs maybe bigger. Its always hard to judge fish size when they are in the water, they always look smaller than they actually are. Towards the end of the day we did find a bluegill nest with at least 10 huge bluegills in the immediate area. They were fighting, mating, spawning, or protecting but none wanted to open their damn mouth. I have no ideal what happened to the water and why it just shut down. Although the fishing sucked after having to come back to the marina, we at least managed not to get skunked. We found 2 new locations where some of the monster bass are located. Chul got to fish his new rod and I managed to fish two of my favorite rods that are now finally back in my arsenal (Sage RPLXi 890-3 and my T&T Helix 5wt S).