December 21, 2009

Why does the Truckee hate me?

We were deserving of a redo on the Truckee after the last showing. Spending 6 hours stuck in traffic last time for an hour and a half of fishing definitely sucked, but we did catch fish in that hour and a half, and that was enough to send us back. So, this last Sunday we went back for seconds. Again, we knew there was a storm coming in that night, but it didn't slow us down. Like the mouse to the electric cheese: we wanted it regardless of the shit we might end up going through... again, and again, and again, and again...

At least the storm held-out until we were off the water, but this time it wasn't the weather that defecated on a perfectly good day of fishing. Oh no... the weather?... no problem... roads?... totally clear... broken rod?... not that day... skunked?... nope... how about an overlooked barb on a size 18 hare's ear?... life sucks...

No explanation necessary...

Regardless of the well over-exaggerated unnecessary fine that I'll probably need a payment plan to pay-off, the day wasn't a total loss: the fishing was pretty damn good! There was so much snow covering the rocks and the banks that it was actually easier to get around in the river.

Cold water meant that the fish were holed-up in the deeper slower-moving water, but they were surprisingly willing to take a fly. I would go so far as to say that they were actually moving quite a bit to take the fly. Presentation (as always) was pretty important, but it didn't seem like you needed to put the flies right in front of the fish.

The hot fly for me was a size 18 tan hare's ear (barbless).

Fishing the Truckee this time of year lends itself to sight fishing, but we were only able spot one hole the entire day with fish in it that we could see. Granted, there were about 8 fish in the hole, and we managed to land 6 of them.

Scott with a fatty that we could see eating suspended critters in the water column.

Most of the fishing was to good-looking water, and generally that would produce fish. Scott's hot fly was a midge larva/pupa that you can see in the corner of this fish's mouth.

Because of the lower flows, the fish were congregated in deeper water, which meant that where one fish was there were likely others. Most of the time we'd fish to the same hole even after two or three fish had already been pulled to hand from it, and still catch fish.

The fish were healthy and had plenty of energy even in the cold Truckee water. Several times a hooked fish would actually run up and down and in and out of the pool it was hooked in. Not the same lethargic fish from the last trip.

I don't know what the water temps were, but the water felt cold enough when you put your hand in it. The air temps were probably in the 40's with a fairly stiff wind. Skies were partly cloudy, and in the sun it felt like 70 degrees.

The Truckee proved, once again, to be a great winter fishery... Just remember to pinch your barbs...

Louise waving goodbye to the Truckee after a citation and a hook in the finger.

December 14, 2009

No Water = No Fish

Why do we care so much about keeping water in the Delta? Because, if we didn't I don't think anyone else in this state would.

December 7, 2009

Storm?... What storm?...

We should've heeded the signs before we even got into the car... but... as any other 'junkie' fisherman knows, once you get into that glassy-eyed, inviolable, mode of fishing... ain't nothin' gonna' stop you; not even mother nature.

It's easy to explain WHY we picked the Truckee, after a banner winter season last year from the town of Truckee to the state line, but it's a little harder to explain why we picked this last Saturday to test the waters this season. Every weather report was saying that the storm wasn't even going to hit the VALLEY until 7 pm... we could totally get up there before the clouds even move-in, slap the water for a few hours, pull a couple nice fish in, and then cut-out before a single flake even falls...

...what the hell were we thinking?

The first sign was a pretty obvious one: Louise calls about 7:50 and says that the Folsom Auburn road is closed and she'll be late for our 8:00 am meeting... no problem... The next sign: I meet Scott in Auburn. We look up at the clouds, and they're barreling-in eastward at probably 40 knots... I kept saying that it was probably just a marine layer that was moving-in before the low pressure front... wrong... The next sign: Louise calls again and says that the entire north-south thoroughfare is closed from El Dorado Hills to Watt Ave. and that she won't even be able to get through until 8:30... getting worse... Probably the most obvious sign: after getting on the road, we hit Yuba Gap and the outside temps are in the mid teens... what the hell were we thinking?

Oh well... we made it... The water through town and above Boca was ffffffffrozen solid, but the water below Boca looked delicious. Temp was about 14 degrees at Boca.

All smiles while we were rigging up, but (again) we Should've Seen the Signs Sooner...the four esses of bad fortune....

The first snowflakes started falling just as we were looping our indicators on.

Notice the shadows on the glove... oh ya, the sun was still poking through at this point.

The trip wasn't a total bust. Between de-icing the guides on my rod and trying to thaw my fingers, I managed to hook and land two beautiful fish on a size 18 hare's ear about 200 yards below the LT and BT confluence.

About 15 minutes later, the clouds opened-up and it just started puking snow.

Scott and Louise working the water hard, regardless of the conditions.

Louise hooked-up with a nice fish just above the Hirschdale on-ramp, but it came unbuttoned before she could get it to hand... No worries. With the water at about 38 degrees, and the wind chill around -10, it's better that you didn't have to put your hands in the water like I did. My fingers still hurt.

Even though Scott got the big skunk, the shittiest day award had to go to Louise after snapping her rod in half just above the middle ferrule. We were only on the water for about an hour and a half, but I guess that's what happens when the power of bad luck is on your side. Good thing that was basically the end of the day anyway. After breaking two of the same rod (if I knew the make and model I'd potty-mouth the manufacturer right about now), hopefully this time the rod maker will send her a rod that doesn't break.

The broken rod was pretty much the straw that broke the camel's back, so we rolled-out hoping to avoid getting stuck in Truckee... nope...

Traffic was dead-stopped just west of the bug station. The freeway was shut down so crews could mop-up a nasty crash involving a sleepy truck driver and a cal-trans worker (so we were told). We sat, stopped, bumper-to-bumper with about 1,000 other motorists and watched as the roads went from clear, with some dusty snow blowing across, to socked-in with about 8 inches of snow.

After a couple hours we were really getting rummy, having gone through all of the 500 pictures on Scott's camera. Scott - it's time to put some of the pics onto a CD or something. Good thing there was a 6 foot traveling buddha to laugh at.

We fianlly pulled-off the freeway to regroup and get some carnitas in the stomach, but just as soon as we ordered the food, a guy told us that the road had just re-opened... "Check please!"

After two and a half hours of slow-going and dodging Honda Civics with chains on the wrong tires, we finally made it back.

Nice and toasty inside the car, but still a little frosty outside. Brutal wiper conditions.

That was probably the last time we fish before a storm, but it sure made for some great stories.

December 3, 2009

Aaaaaand It Just Gets Better...


This is what happens when you mix nerds with fly fishing.

I've actually seen a couple of guys go at it on the same topic, and surprisingly, they looked just like these guys... Lego man and all... The gear guy was even wearing a Robin Hood shirt...

December 2, 2009

The Atlantic Bomber

It's like having your cake and eating it too: monster salmon on a dry fly? I guess anything's possible in Canada, eh.

Wait for it.... wait for it... aaannnnd... yup, that was a 40 lb salmon eating that dry fly.