Thursday, May 31, 2012

Getting Ready...

Humping way too much weight for what we are doing.
I can't believe how much all this crap weighs.  I'll be humping 22 pounds tomorrow according to my boga grip.  Contents: Food, Brunton Optimus Crux stove with gas, Brunton cook set (minus one pot), Spot device, Headlamp, Katadyn water filter, Bibler bivy sack, inflatable sleeping pad, Marmot down sleeping bag, Sage SLT 1 weight, JAF reel, capilene top, one extra pair of socks, Simms  In-Vest jacket, pair of camp shoes, I intend on trekking with my wading boots and my some fishing gear.  Weather reports are claiming temperatures to be in the mid 50s, which I think is BS.  Its about that here at sea level.  I'm guessing it should be 10 degrees colder up there.

C&F Design Chest Patch

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.

When I opened the package today I was somewhat disappointed in what the fly shop sent me.  I ordered the older 10 row Chest Patch and they sent me the redesigned version with the one side containing six magnets.  Since I will unlikely be carrying any more boxes while fishing locally I wanted more fly capacity. The old version had the ability to carry a maximum 175 flies.  The new version carries a maximum of 85 plus whatever you can carry on the magnets.  With dry flies, due to hackle and a more bulky materials that fly capacity shrinks at least half. 
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

Someone Turned On The Faucet

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

Big Rattler, "Big" Brown and Almost Getting Locked In

By local standards this Brown is a trophy.
It's been years since I've fished this much.  Part of the reason for my lack of fishing was I lost most of my past fishing buddies to domestication and part of it was my other hobbies started to take up more of my time.  but now things have changed.  Chul and I hit the local mountains this afternoon and fished a tributary that he had fished not too long ago.  I wanted to the check it out since last year Chul was able to land a 14 incher out of this trickle of water.  As it's one of my favorites, I chose to fish my much too neglected Sage SLT 1 weight.  This rod was, up until I bought my NAC 4'9" 2/3 weight, my go-to local mountain rod.  The last time I fished it was on carp when I was trying to catch a  carp on every rod from 7 weight down to a 1 weight but its been years since its been on trout.

Rattlesnake crossing the trail.
While walking on the trail, Chul was pointing out an area that he had slayed several fish before when I yelled out WHOA!  Halting immediately, Chul saw me pointing ahead on the trail where I saw a huge rattlesnake.  This guy was old and fat, he slithered into the ivy and was gone.  I was shocked to see a rattler here as it is rather shaded from the canopy from the Alders and I would have thought the snakes would prefer the rockier and sunnier areas.  When we arrived at the tributary Chul noticed how low its gotten from the last time earlier this month.  After reaching the end of this small stretch of water and only catching a few dinks we hiked out of this part and moved on to the main body and started making our way to the bigger pools up ahead until we saw some knucklehead throwing rocks in it.  Leap frogging ahead of him, we saw a fly fisher already working the next stretch of water. So we moved further up.  We fished the next section and I managed a 6-7incher in very small pocket water while Chul worked a small pool and managed a 10 incher.

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

Today was a Mother Tucker

Me with a 6lb carp wearing the stupidest pair of fit over sunglasses ever.
Finally I've been able to get Tuck out for some carping.  I think we've been talking about fishing for carp for months now but have never been able to make it happen.  Since Tuck was unable to get out until 10, Chul and I met on the water at 9 and fished a small section before he could arrive.  First thing I noticed was how low the water is, I'd never seen it that low.  At the spillway lays a deep pool that usually don't fish because its usually occupied by bait fisheren; I told Chul "I bet there's bass in there."  He began blind casting his Prince Harry Aggravator into this section.  I, on the other hand, moved past and started casting to feeding carp; I was using a rubber legged chartreuse ice hare's ear.  With the morning sky overcast,  I think the choice of fly was probably a poor one.  None of the several carp wanted want I was offering.  Chul on the other hand was slaying baby trout sized bass everytime I turned my head.  I think he may have gotten half a dozen before Tuck arrived and we met him in the parking lot.  I switched flies to legless Prince Harry Aggravator.

The fly bent from fighting the carp.
Once Tuck rigged up we headed back and I spotted some fish for Tuck.  None wanted what he was offering even though some casts were perfect.  In time I managed a nice carp and set the hook only to have the fly line sling-shot back at me and hit my chest.  The entire leader had broken off at the loop.  I hadn't changed that flouro in a while and had used it on several outing.  It was bound to happen.  I'm too lazy to change it out, my rods are pre-rigged and are holstered in the Rover in a Rod holder for quick and easy access whenever I hit the water.   I tied another aggrevator in a smaller size and began to fish again.  After spotting several fish I managed to hook up on a 6 pounder that fought like an animal.  Tuck and Chul were to my left and since I was fishing my Abel PT5 reel, that has no outgoing click, they unfortunately they could not hear the glorious sound of a zinging reel from all the running the carp was doing.  Damn you Steve Abel!  We continued downstream and began fishing back, I switched to a olive Clouser swimming nymph after noticing my fly was now deformed.  I had another fish, a very good one on and had it run at least 10 yards until the fly popped out of its mouth and flew back over my head and into the tules behind me.  Chul managed a few more miniature bass and lost a carp or two before lunch from his leader breaking at the knot.  We headed to one of my favorite Mexican joints for burritos and so Chul could collect on his free beer.  After a great lunch and laughing our asses off from stories about  Tuck's blistered poison oak infested dong, we decided to head back.

Tuck wet wading even after I warned him -WTF are you thinking? 
By the time we finish lunch, the wind was blowing quite hard.  The chop on the water was making it difficult to see any fish.  Even if you could spot them, it would only be briefly and you needed to be quick on the cast.  I missed two during this period.  Chul lost another carp from his tippet failing.  I told him take that leader off and gave him my spool of flouro and told him to fish straight flouro.  Tuck get home skunked which seems to be the case whenever I bring someone here.  With Tuck leaving for British Columbia soon, I told him if he could find a morning to fish this early he'd most  likely be able to get his first carp on the fly.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Who Do You Think I Am Michael Phelps?

My best fish of the day.
The original plan was to backpack deep into the canyon and camp for the night but that plan was scraped so we were just to fish on Saturday.  Chul's girlfriend was to join us.  The new plan was to hike deeper than we did the last time and fish all 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
I was the one to lead the way.  Honestly I didn't think it was going to be that hard but then again I never had to swim fully clothed and with wading boots and with one hand while carrying my waist pack and rod above the water.  I must have made it about 15 yards before I realized this was going to be a bitch.   Its a good thing we wet waded, had we wore waders we would have drowned for sure.  I swam to the nearest rock face and found a hand hold.  I rested here to catch my breath as I just dove in and the cold water took my breath away momentarily.  After a brief rest I swam to the next rock hold I could find.  This time though my hat and glasses came off and I grabbed them with my free hand I panicked a bit as I sank and took in a big gulp of water.  I managed to find an area in the rock face that I could place my rod and waist pack so I could put away my glasses in my shirt pocket.  Holding my self up here for awhile to try and regain my composure, I decided screw the contents of the waist pack and get it wet and swim with both hands.  I made it to the edge where I could stand, I turned around to find Chul and Erika not there.  Did they find an easier way around?  If they did I would have been pissed.  After a brief moment they reappeared and made their swim.  Chul wore his vest today and was able to place both rods in his rod holder in his vest.  They were able to swim with both hands so they made it much easier than I.    Both made it across and we stood in the sun to warm up wring out water from our shirts.  I'm glad we did not backpack this weekend.  It would have been impossible to pass this area with a backpack.  A few more places in this area required some more deep wading and alot of boulder climbing.  It was more exploration than fishing.

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.
Arroyo Toad















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

Someone's Getting a Free Beer Or Two

Chul hooks up on his first ever carp with his new Sage DS2 rod
Finally I've been able to get someone on a carp!   I didn't get on the water until about noon.  Much later than I ever would want.  I quickly noticed that the water had increased from the last time.  The good news was though that there was enough shallows to spot cast to them.  Chul was to arrive after work sometime after noon.  I started without him.  Fish were easy to spot even though the breeze was creating chop on the water.   In time I hooked up on a carp about 5 pounds.  Several blistering runs later, my phone ran with the distinctive cricket tone I gave Chul.  I picked it up while still fighting the fish.  He let me know that he had a work emergency and may not make it.  He would let me know if he could when he knew more.  I told him fine I'm on a fish!  I told him get out of it when you can cause the opportunities for fish are better than any other time he has come here.  About 2 minutes after we hung up, I had the fish within reach and it popped off.

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

Carp Exploration...Bust

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

Please Fill Out Those Angler Survey

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.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

After Local Mountain Monsters

Chul's Monster But There Are Bigger Ones Out There
Typical Sized Fish For Here
With a bad taste in our mouths from our MVL outing on Thursday, Chul and I wanted to head out for some fast action on wild trout.  Our plan originally was to hit a mountain close to home on Friday but since Chul thought rather than go after dinks we should head out to a further mountain stream where respectable fish can be caught.  I agreed and we changed our plan for a Saturday all day outing.  As I woke up on Friday feeling like crap I was glad that the plan changed, not to mention the fact that I have heard recent reports that serious fish are being landed 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 finally found one and made our way down, cautiously looking out for rattlesnakes.  Chul lead the way and said at least if he startles a rattler it will most likely strike me as I followed behind.  Thanks pal.  Making it down without incident, we fished the first hole we saw.  I managed several out of my hole including one with a large bump on its head.  None were of the big fish we were hunting but nonetheless they were fun.  Much of the fish were the same as we moved upstream.  Chul managed to find a pig in some pocket water, we ended up spooking it but we managed to see its wide tall fat body flash as it moved.  Unbelievable. 


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
Moving upstream we continued to get more fish, many in the 10 inch plus range.  I managed one at least 12 inches maybe more but not much in the mouth of another large pool.  These fish do not quit.  They continue to fight.  They do not like being held and struggle as you try to remove the hook out of its mouth.  Chul helped me land his one and held it just long enough for a photo.  These fish definitely have spunk.  We debated beforehand on whether or not to bring a net.   We opted for leaving it behind.  That was a mistake that we will not make the next time.  Toward the end of the day I was coughing up all my insides as the smog was unbearable.  The winds must have pushed all that to the mountains.  I was having a hard time not choking.  You try to escape the city and it still finds you such is life in and around SoCal.  It was a long day and I didn't get home until about 10pm after Chul and I had dinner near his house.  It was a long day but a good one.  Hopefully we make it back there before it gets Africa hot out there.  The plan though is to camp out there one night so that we can thoroughly work that water without being rushed to do so and find some more of those lunkers.  We both lost several good maybe even great fish today including Chul's last cast of the day.  That one was a pig.  We will be back for them.

Another Respectable Fish For SoCal



Thursday, May 10, 2012

MVL Skunks Off The Boat For One Of Us

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

Elk and Wild Boar "Shepherd's" Pie

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.

Ingredients:
Ground Elk
Ground Wild Boar
Carrots
Onion
Garlic
Frozen peas
Fresh Thyme, Rosemary
Tomato paste
Chicken Stock
Red wine
Worcestershire Sauce

Mash Potato
Yukon Gold potato
Heavy cream
Parmesan Cheese
Creme fraiche

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.

Carping So Good I Shit Myself (Not Really)

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
Not long after I managed a 4.5 pounder.  After releasing it, I hadn't noticed I was in some sinking mud.  I was at least shin deep in the mud before I moved and lost  my balance.  I feel right on my ass landing in some of the nastiest black mud ever.  Although I couldn't see I could only imagine what it looked like-as if I shit my pants.  To clean my pants I squatted over the water as if to take a dump and started scooping water on my ass while trying to clean off the mud.  I only wished one of my fishing buddies were around to witness this as it must have been hilarious.  Thankfully this area is not widely used by joggers or morning walkers as I can't imagine what they would have thought I was doing.

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

Sherman's Trout Flies

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 in
various colors and sizes.
The Tricky Dick:
Hook: TMC2488H size 12-18
Head:  Black (or dark) Glass Bead size dependant to the hook size
Thread:  Olive
Body:  Upholstery thread (available at craft stores) tan or olive

Two Buck Chuck: 
Hook: 2488H size 14-20
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 Fly Fishing MVL

Another Pig Redear on a Five Weight.  Weighed just a hair under 2lbs.
Even with wacky weather this past week, Chul and I hit MVL once more before he sets off to the Tahoe area to fish some "real" trout waters.  With rain, overcast and cold weather we were hoping the bass would not be lock jawed.  Theoretically the bass should be still in the three stages of the spawn but given the early warm weather this spring I was not sure if they spawned early and are now finished.  Speaking with the boys at the marina, the bass we still spawning and the bluegill were just beginning. 

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.
Chul continued to get short struck until he finally landed a trout sized juvenile bass on an olive clouser.  I had snagged my Gourmet Silverside Minnow fly on some submerged structure thereby losing that fly, so I switched to a lightly dumbell eyed  purple wooley bugger.  Within a few cast I got hit hard.  I yanked him to the surface and it was another monster Redear.  Unlike the last time I caught one here, this one had a prominent red mark behind this gill spot.  This one measured just barely under 2lbs.  Although I come to MVL for the bass, I will never turn down monster panfish.  Both of us would missed a few more hits here in this location until we decided we should move.  The boat was crapping out on us so we had to go back to the marina and get a new one.  Very disappointing.

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).

Meiho Fly Box Art

Last night I decided to add a little pizzazz to my Meiho fly box.  Since this box is my high sierra lake box, I chose a trout for the lid.  The box was actually put together with flies for large mutant looking brookies that inhabit that remote lake but I decided to draw a large male brown instead.  This art may not last long though as I found out that the plastic on this box will not hold the marker if rubbed hard or wet.  Unless I find a way to preserve it, this art may only be temporary.