Friday May , 15, 2009

May 15th, 2009

I had the privilege of guiding some of the most immature clients that I have ever had the pleasure to be around.  I mean these individuals knew how to play and carry on a conversation that most grown up only wish they still had left in their heads.  From the fart game to which chipmunk was the best, I mean Alvin or the other dude.   That’s right, I am talking about actual kids.  I had a local mother ask me to take her boys age 5 and 7 off her hands for the afternoon and evening.  We drove to the upper Sacramento River south of the town of Dunsmuir. We found a local road that wound down to the River and hiked across the Railroad Tracks.  It was a scene right out of the movie “Stand By Me”.   Me the oldest boy and the two youngsters having the time of their lives.

Upon arrival at the river I was expecting to teach the young men about Birds nests and terrestial Bees, both very effective flies that would be used on this section of the river.  Instead, I could have explained to the boys about the “birds and Bees” because, to my surprise there was a topless sun bather on the thin strip of sand next to the river.  This is one of those moments during a trip that nothing in my gear bag would help.  Flustered and red-er then the bikini bottoms the young lady was wearing I hurried the boys to the rivers edge.  I pulled out my 9′ rod and began to cast out the nymphs.  I think if I can remember right my mind was flustered and confused, I was using a size 14 Red Tailed Wooly Worm with a size 16 Bead Head Pheasant Tail.  I would cast up stream and allow the boys to retrieve the line.  We would then cast back up stream and the boys would watch the strike indicator as it would bounce along the top of the water.  Bounce, Bounce, Bounce.   Then all of the sudden the youngest screamed, “IT’S GONE”.  the older of the two boys had the pole and had managed to let the line out of his retrieving hand.  It had fallen to the rocks below his feet.  I then instructed him to pull up on he tip of the rod.  But, as he pulled up the line just slid through the eyes.  I then looked as to what the problem was because I had noticed that the line was not getting tight, when all of the sudden the line went taught.  I looked down at his feet and he was standing on the line.  That is one technique that had never crossed my mind.  Wow,  all of these years I had been setting the hook the old fashion way.  Now the boy was teaching me a thing about fishing.  Use all of your resources that you have at your disposal.   We were able to land that fish and the smiles were as big on their faces as was the one on my face when we first arrived at the river.   I found the youngest was not getting his turn at using the equipment.  Having planned for just this kind of situation I  brought out two spin casting rods.  What adult much less child wouldn’t want to fish with a Pirates of The Caribbean rod.  We continued to pull some Yellow #9 Panther Martins.  We worked the river several more hours with some success until all three of us kids were tuckered out and wanting our kids meals from BK.  Unfortunately for me I was not able to use the Birds Nests and Terrestrial Bees.  But, thankfully  I also did not have to talk to the about the Birds and Bees.

Monday May 12, 2009

May 12th, 2009

I took a client to Battle Creek for planter fishing.  It is one of those trips that you always enjoy being in the outdoors.   We arrived around 3:30pm at the locked gate to A-line.  It was nice and cool coming from the hot valley floor.   After checking gear and enjoying an early evening snack we trekked down the gradual incline of the road.  Wild life was plentiful as we came across several deer and squirrels.  At the bridge the cascading water made the musical noise that enlightens every fisherman.   We could see several mid-size(12 to 14 inch) rainbows held up in the shadows of the large pines.  We fished from the bridge for a few minutes with no success.  The fish were skiddish  and not interested in the offerings that we had for them.  We started out with the yellow humpy and then turned to the royal wolf.  It was a chance for the client to practice casting and retrieving line.  We worked on the proper technique of presentation of the dry fly.

We moved up stream approximately 200 yards where we found a comfortable riffle to try our hand at nymphing.  Right away we caught several fish on bead headed green hairs ears.  Most fish ranged from 7 to 10 inches and were wild not the large planters that the locals had been calling me about.  The joy and excitement on a grown mans face when he is catching fish is just priceless.   We continued to change flies and work on casting and retrieving until it became comfortable for the client.  We moved down stream to the waterfalls casting and retrieving and catching fish.

As the evening darkened we changed to dry flies.  I could tell that the fish had been fished hard during the weekend as was told to me by the locals.  The fish would rise and bump the fly but, to no success.

Great time with this client.  He was very informative about the weather as he at one time in his life worked for the national weather service.

Week of May 10-16

May 7th, 2009

Sunday May 10, 2009

Sunday evening I had a chance to slide down to the lower part of the Sacramento River.  I arrived around after a day with the 4 little ones running both my wife and myself crazy.    The water is  currently green, high and murky.   After the recent rains that we have received, the river is now beginning to recede.  I wadded out into riffle and right away noticed several fish rising.   There was a hatch coming off the water as I began casting and drifting.  With only a few cast into my tranquil time away from the family I hooked up on a large snag like fish.  The one that you know right away is not going to put up much of a fight.  The ominous sucker/squaw fish.  I was drifting a size 14 standard copper John and as a second I was using a size 16 Bloody Mary.  After releasing the fish I checked the hooks and drifted right back to the same hole when Bam! 18inch Rainbow exploded out of the water.  Typical wild rainbow in that section of the river.  Great fighters that will put some tension on the drag.  I netted that fish and could see several fish now jumping close to me.  I changed to a dry fly in an attempt to catch something on the top of the water.  This is about the only time of the year that it is possible to actually have some success on the dry flies.  I started out with the Salmon fly and got several fish to rise and hit the fly but, my hook setting was a little slow.  I decided after several casts and retrieves that I would then change to the size 16 orange Stimulator.  As the sun was hiding behind the cliffs across the river from me I could see the Fly skating across the top of the river when a medium size(13-15 inch rainbow) took my fly and headed down river.  It was a good native fighter that I enjoyed landing.  The rest of the evening with all of my attempts,  I had no success in coaxing the “big one” in taking my dry.