* Tuesday, June 19th, RDM Beach - Kirk Mathew
Having a written really good surf fishing primer for our web-page (you should check it out sometime) Sam gets contacted by other fly-fishers with questions and/or requests to show them the ropes. Recently a gentleman from the Fresno fly fishers contacted him. A tentative date was made and that info was forwarded to a number of our club members to invite them to tag along, myself included. This was followed by an independent request from another member of the afore mentioned Fresno fly fishers with the same inquiry. All right, a twofer! At the appointed date and time, we met Rob and his spouse Teresa, and Jay. After introductions and a quick "how to and gearing up session", we hit the beach. Both Rob and Jay caught perch, while Teresa got pics and enjoyed the early morning beach environment. All in all, a good outing. The next morning, Jay used the excellent instruction he received from Sam in addition to his already considerable fly-fishing skills to catch two 24" stripers at Manresa. Remember folks, this is all happening probably less than a half hour drive from home. So, go fishing, catch something, and write about it. You'll be glad you did.
* Two mornings on the South Platte in Colorado - Petar Ilic
Following a wedding in Monument, Colorado, I took the opportunity of doing some fishing on the South Platte.
On Tuesday morning, I met Jon Lopez from Flies and Lies in Deckers and we drove about 5 miles downstream to one of his favorite spots. Fish were rising regularly, but we couldn't detect what they were biting, so we tied up a hopper-dropper combo and went at it. After a couple of misses on the hopper, i managed to hook one, which had almost swallowed the fly. It was an energetic brown, but it was brought safely to the net and gently released. Later we had more success on the nymph than the dry, catching several nice browns and one rainbow. In all a good mornings fishing. By noon everyone (fish included) went for a siesta.
On Wednesday morning, I met Earl Hecker from Angler's Covey Fly Shop (the only officially sanctioned guides for Eleven Mile Canyon). We met at 7am at the entrance to Eleven Mile Canyon and drove to the top of the canyon about half a mile below the spillway. The water flow was low and there was a lot of loose algae floating by, but you could see the trout lined up across the gravel bar. Enticing the fish to take any of our offerings required a lot of fly changes. We had two rods, one rigged for dry and the other for nymphing. The first fish was caught with a nymph, but it managed to break off the 6x rig, so a "long distance release" was claimed on that one. The fish were extremely wily, but eventually one was enticed by a size 24 caddis and I landed a beautiful brown. Despite the low fish count, any day on the water in such a beautiful location is worth the price of admission.
* June 6th-11th - Montana - Pat and John Steele
We've fished with Ed Lawrence's Fly Fishing Outfit several times before, and his guides never fail to help us bring fish to the net. This time, we got our rental car in Bozeman (an extra-mustard-hold-the-mayo-Dukes of Hazard bright yellow Dodge Challenger!) and drove to Helena, met up with our guide John Hall and did a twelve-mile stretch on the Missouri. It was challenging, and flinging weighted, subsurface streamers all day was tiring, but we scored many very healthy, fat rainbows and browns.
The second day, we did something completely different. We fished above Holter Dam, in John's "lake boat". It was a comfy, beautiful bass boat, rigged with a 175-horsepower outboard that had a jet drive, plus John had custom oarlocks and 11-foot oars, so we could fish wherever we chose, and going back upriver to re-fish productive water didn't require rowing, we could just motor back up. We enjoyed the different water, the "Land of the Giants", and the Gates of the Mountains feature spectacular scenery, we caught lots of really impressive trout, and were treated to a picnic lunch aboard, with even a tablecloth spread out on the foredeck. The weather had the good manners to behave; it only began raining as we were taking the boat out. It was fly fishing heaven!
We then drove back to Bozeman from Helena and fished the Madison with Tim Schwartze. The weather was changeable, and fishing was again a bit of a struggle, but thanks to Tim's persistence, we managed to land some nice fish. The Yellowstone River was unfishable at the time, owing to prodigious runoff. It was out of its banks and very off-color. We spent our last day fishing on a pay-to-play pond on Burns Ranch. The wind gods were not playing nice that day, and Tim had to row to a spot, anchor, let us fish, then row (or get blown) to another spot, anchor, and we'd fish some more. Things didn't pick up until after lunch, when we managed to begin catching and landing some really nice fish, and later on, in addition to the wind, we got rain. We finally raised the white flag and surrendered. Tim really earned his tip that day!
All in all, it was a challenging but rewarding trip, and God willing, we'll be able to do it again. If you're planning on fishing the Montana waters out of either Bozeman or Helena, make sure to look Ed up. He's the best in the business!
* Swarts Ponds in Redding - May 23rd - Elaine and John Cook and Bill Seaman
This is the second time we have been so fortunate to have been able to fish this bass pond. It's a pay-to-play, but so worth it!
The atmosphere is definitely a mixed bag; a beautiful large pond full of lily pads, submerged weed beds and willows at the edges. Oh, and lots of big bass too! On the other hand, you get to listen to the banging and grinding from the gravel company activity on the bluff next to you. The morning was slow with just a few responding to poppers and mice patterns. (John's new fetish) Along around 3:00 p.m., things went crazy. Mr. Bill couldn't keep those big bass off his line. The fish were very selective when it came to the flies John and I offered them. We fished 'till the sunset. Love the fishing. We will be back.
p.s. Mr. Bill is quoted as saying "The best bass fishing for big large mouths I've ever had!"
* Early June - East Lake, OR - Elaine and John Cook
Three years ago, we were near Bend Oregon during a heat wave. Elaine remembered this lake called East. It sits in an old volcano about 2,300 feet higher than the rest of the area so we headed to this lake for the cooler air. It didn't seem too inviting when we arrived because the campgrounds were packed with wild outdoor folks having fun. We continued around the lake to the end of the road where we found a campground with more than 100 sites and only half occupied. It was much more mellow. We proceeded to the far end and found a peaceful site. A short walk down to the lake and much to our surprise there were fish rising everywhere. Guess what we did the next morning? Wading out to waist deep water, the fishing to risers began. What we didn't expect was the fish were rising all around us. We caught rainbows on dries between 15” - 20”.
Early June this year we went back up to East Lake to see if the risers were still there. Sure enough, they were. It was a calibaetis hatch. For two days we caught eight fish apiece each day between 15" - 19", all on dry flies. John's best fish was a monster 21" brown. We will visit this lake in early June every chance we get. Great fishing!