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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To Cast or Not to Cast

...that is the question.


To cast to trout
Is quite divine
Through the eyes
I feed my line
Hoping that this precious act
Will cleanse my soul and take me back

To that great day
Where all was new
When I could fish
The whole day through

Though every day I can’t partake
My mind and soul infatuate
Over this love I have for trout
I’ll mourn the day
They cast me out unknown

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pre Spring Report...before the Snows

...durng the last few weeks several "locals" are venturing into the "Canyon" and towards the CA/NV border. Some are fly fishing in Nevada (I'm too cheap to purchase an "out of state resident" Nevada license). Below is an image of Pancho with a decent RainBow at an undisclosed CA-side location. It ate a streamer. Skwalas are emerging in Nevada and steadily moving upstream, some being observed this side of the border. Size 8, down-winged dry patterns have hooked some opportunitistic feeders aware of the presence of the Skwalas. Well, after getting a new rig I had an opportunity to fish a couple days. The weather has been really nice....good to get out. As they say: "March comes in like a lamb & leaves like a lion". How true it is.

On Saturday I met Monkey Pines at the inflow of the LT into the BT at 12:30. The weather was almost "shirt-sleeve"; sun, scattered clouds and a light breeze. He was already in the water casting a streamer with his switch-rod in the Uptream Pool. As I arrived on-stream, he put aside his long rod and tried some indicator nymphing. He didn't get a bump on the streamer. The water was 42 degrees and there were no visible bug activity. I went downstream to indicator nymph the right-side channel below the inflow. After 1/2 hour, nada, there; nor in the left-channel. MP got a bump. IMO, water temps are still too low for good, sustained bite.

Back to the vehicle and talked at lenght with Fish Fan; discussing some local fishery politics since he is the el presidente of new TU Truckee Chapter. This new group will focus mainly on local conservation issues. Then along came da Photographer and we ventured to the middle turn-out of the LT.
We walked through patches of snow and fished the water together for an hour. There were BWO duns on the snow-banks along-side Black winter stones; which are definitely on the wane of their emergences. We saw no risers in the 247cfs flows. I got a nice 18" RainBow on an egg pattern. I woould have used a worm/BWO nymph combo, but I didn't have a SJ.

We returned on Sunday and fished together for a 1-1/2 hour session on the LT's Upper Meadow stretch. Same conditions as the day before. dP located a riser at Sweeper Two and duped it with a perfect, downstream feed into the soft-water immediately in front of a submerged boulder. The17" Rainbow confidently inhaled the #20 CDC Biot ComParaDun (picture below...leaper in the lower, right corner). Again the weather was nice, except for an occassional gust of wind.

Da Photograher & a Leaper

Now it is snowing so I doubt I'll be out for several days. Good, I need to catch-up on lots of "adminstrative" stuff which took a back-seat before I got my new SUV (2007 Honda Pilot).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Definition #2---HOLE HOG

Hole Hog:

An angler who settles into a specific area on a stream and stays there all day. They are unconcerned or oblivious to the fact that others would like the chance to fish the same area.

They are firm believers in "...possession is 9/10ths of the law."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring, bugs & crabs?

Tomorrow will be the official start of spring; although we've experienced spring-like weather in Truckee during the last week. The last significant snow-fall occurred on Friday March 12th.
The snowpack and water-content is "normal" right now; thankfully because there has been two sub-par years.

Regardless of what you read on the Internet or in print about spring arriving, below in is an excerpt from an article I authored in the Spring 2002 issue of NorthWest Fly Fishing as it relates to fly fishing in the Truckee area. I'd like you to keep my suggestions in mind; especially advice (2):

"A thorough understanding of the interacting variables is what seperates the consistently gleeful fly anglers from others. Consider the following: (1) the percentage of water content in the snow is more critical than the amount of precipitation or snow pack. (2) Run-off is weather related; it can be steady and gradual or unpredictable and erratic. Sometimes, the area experiences early springs, other times late, hence you must adjust your overall angling strategy relative to ideal times and places. (3) Finally, water releases from Lake Tahoe and other downstream bodies of water at times seem to occur at the whims of the powers that be; dramatic ramp-ups and slow-downs severely play havoc with the stream biomass...not to mention angler's fun."

The above remains sage advise and has been validated by the test of time. I had to include the quote in this post because I recently received two e-mails; one advising me of an area fly fishing report and the other informing me of a new guide operating in this area. The report/forecast is from an individual who has been in Reno no more than ten years ( fishing for less time) and the latter is someone who has been in the Sacramento area all of five years and fly fishing for the same amount of time. What really cracks me-up is both of these individuals are east coast "transplants"...give me a break!

So, my questions are: What da-#$%* do they really know about fly fishing this area? How credible is their fly fishing reports? Why would someone hire a "guide" with so little experience fly fishing an area? Let the buyer be aware....

Today it is overcast; perfect for an a sustained BWO emergence on both the Truckee & Little Truckee. Unfortunately I'll not be on the water today; taxes and an inoperable steed ( trusty '94 Trooper is in it's final days). The Skwalas are present and the Little Winter Stones are still on the menu (...for how much longer?).

I received a report of a 21-1/2" taped RainBow netted on Friday. for crabs? I'm going to the annual Rotary Club's crab-feed at the new Rec Center in town. I'll be at Richard Anderson's table; the publisher of California Fly Fisher ( I assure him that his magazine remains the premiere, undisputed, fly angling mag on the west coast; best writers and content.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fish Porn...

Hey I like 'fish porn' as much as the next fanatical fly angler...but jeez there are other things in life. Aren't there?

I got a "through-da-grape-vine" report that the infamous Swill D. Beers was lurking on this blog. The message relayed was that he would prefer fewer philosophical musings, rants & raves and more factual reports ( I want to give too much away?) and 'fish porn'. My take on this matter is there are other blogs with those sort of addictions. Here...if you'll have to endure more sanitized, and nuanced aspects of fly fishing and life in general...with some occasional humor and in-your-face opinions about things that tweak me the wrong way....

So...I went fishing on Saturday with "The Leader". It was a beautiful late winter day in the Sierra; scattered cumulus clouds, blue sky with an occasional gentle breeze. Winter Stones carpeted the snow banks and there was a sparse BWO emergence...and few steadily working risers. If you've followed my "mood" series; I was in that "head-hunting" mood. I did spot one; maybe having rose 3-4 times in 15 minutes (for sure not steady or rhythmic), but nevertheless a target for my #20 CDC ComParadun. I was really proud of my perfectly tracking 45'-50' casts into the vortex of two converging current seams and the trout ate it on the 4th or 5th drift. I netted/taped a plump, 17" female RainBow. That was it during the entire 2 hour mid-day session...I was a happy camper.

Spring is nearing and more bugs will appear...I'm ready and anxiously awaiting another season. Who knows maybe there will be more reports and some titillating fish-porn or two.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Land of the Patagone...gone?

As I sit here in my living room looking at Mother Nature's harmless, gently falling snow; I can't stop thinking of MN's not-so-benign behavior...such as the 8.8 earthquake that shook central Chile and produced devastating ruins in some of the coastal towns. Fortunately there were some enlightened building codes...if not there would have been more death. Chalk this one to hind-sight and the government getting it right after Chile experienced a huge quake that killed 3000 in 1964.

While at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing show, replying to e-notes, calls and phone messages at home in Truckee; I explained that where I visit is 600 miles south of the epicenter of the quake. There was no damage in the Coyhaique area. Visit the current, on-line issue of Sierra Fisherman at, page 16 for an article on the region I visit.

I've been in contact with one of the lodge-owners and guides, whose families reside in Santiago and have been informed that all is well. Although one of the guides e-noted that this natural disaster is really playing havoc with the psyche of the Chileans.