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    Thursday
    May152014

    Recent Trips.

    Andy fishing on a cold windy morning.

    I have been working so much I have not had time to post any of the recent trips. Here is a photo collaboration of the past few months. There has been some good days of fishing and some very bad days. Work is really starting to slow the fishing down and that is going to change.

     

    Andy with a small cutbow. This lake holds Tiger, Cutthroat, Rainbows and Brook trout.

     

    Barb with a small Tiger Trout. Tiger trout can be very rare in the west.

     

    Christy and I decided to take a day off from trout and go for some sunfish.

     

    I love Bluegill.


    Christy with a nice Redear Sunfish.

     

    The always reliable Brown Trout lake close to home.

     

     

    Opening day. The background gives away our location.

     

    Barb would catch no Cutthroat Trout on this stormy day.

     

    Andy and I found an amazing hike to lake that contains Wild Kamloop Rainbow trout and Brook Trout. The Lake was put on DFW'S wild and scenic list in 2012. The lake is no longer stocked and is just loaded with fish.

     

    The fish are very healthy at this lake and there are lots of them.

     

    It does not get much prettier than this lake.

     

    Type three lines were the key to catching fish today.

     

     The bite was consistent all day.

     

    Andy finally broke down and bought a Supercat 50 float tube.

     

    There were a lot of fish located on these steep banks.

     

    Andy with his first fish, caught in his new boat.

     

    A good spot.

     

    The lake was very full.

     

    Another hot spot.

     

    Andy just missed another one.

     

    The lake also contains Brook Trout.

     

    The water was cold and so were our feet . We had to call it a short day.

     

    Monday
    Apr072014

    Jay Fair Wiggle Tail Nymph.

    If you could use only one fly for the rest of your life, which fly would you use? Lately my friends and I have been debating this topic regularly. For some this would be a difficult decision. Would it be a wet fly, a dry fly, or a nymph? For me it is an easy choice, and those who fish with me already know my answer: a variation of the wooly bugger called the wiggle tail nymph. This fly was created by Jay Fair of Eagle Lake but I changed a few things.

    I have used the wiggle tail nymph in every lake and pond I have fished. I even took this fly to Hawaii and caught trevally on it. I think this fly is so productive for me because of its action. This fly really comes alive in the water because of the type of material used and the way it is tied. To be effective, stillwater flies must have more action and be more realistic. Trout in a stream or river do not have a lot of time to look at a fly. They must decide quickly whether to eat before the possible meal is swept away. The fish in a lake or pond are looking for their food and can take their time deciding whether something is edible.

    I am a strong believer in using quality materials and for this fly I use the best marabou and saddle hackle I can find. I start with a Daichii number 1120 hook, size 8. This is a rather large scud hook. I use this hook because it is part of the recipe, but more importantly it is a short hook with an extra-wide gap that allows for better hook sets. The extra-wide gap also keeps the tail of the fly from fowling on the hook bend, which is a common problem with wooly-bugger-style flies. Next I tie in the lead. I think most people skip this step, but the lead makes a huge difference in my catch rate. I use .020-size lead wire and make about eight to ten wraps from the hook bend toward the eye. Use this fly with an intermediate fly line, a nine-foot 3x leader, and three feet of fluorocarbon 3x tippet. The combination of the lead and the line setup will cause the wiggle tail nymph to sink at the same rate as the fly line. Therefore, the lead is an extremely important addition when fishing a sinking line.

    Next I add the tail. I tie in the marabou very sparsely, using only about eight to ten fibers. This keeps the tail from bunching up and allows for a lot of movement. Next I tie in the body and hackle at the tail and carry them forward toward the eye. The body is a synthetic product called short shuck made by Jay Fair. I wrap the body forward and tie off the material. Then I wrap the hackle forward. I use a grade-one Mets saddle hackle dyed in a color that matches the body. How you tie in the hackle is a minor detail that makes a huge difference. The hackle should be wrapped sparsely with no more than three to four wraps. This allows the hackle to breathe and move in the water. I then whip finish, add my head cement, and we are done.

    I can make this fly imitate many different food sources by simply changing its color, fishing it at different depths, and/or changing my retrieve. It's no wonder that the wiggle tail nymph is my favorite fly. Next time you are talking about your favorite fly, stop to think why it works so well. I bet there is more to your fly than you thought.

    Recipe:

    Hook: Daichii #1120 size 8
    Thread: Black 6/0
    Weight: Lead Wire 0.020
    Body: Jay Fair Short Shuck
    Hackle: Jay Fair Nymph Saddle or Metz #1 Grizzly Saddle
    Tail: Jay Fair Marabou
    Tuesday
    Mar182014

    Back to the California Lagoons

     

    Andy, Christy, Barb and I decided to make a quick run up to the Lagoons in Northern California. The area has received lots of rain lately and we had a feeling it might have breached. Two of three lagoons we like to fish, have a sand bar separating them from the ocean. When it rains the rivers that feed the lagoon cause it to rise. Mixed with the heavy waves crashing against the sand bar it will open up to the ocean. This allows the steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout to come into the lagoon. This can make for extremely fun fishing. The key is to time it exactly right. You need the lagoon to breach but you also need enough time for the water to clear up. We had the breaching timed right, but the water was still muddy. The fishing was tougher then we have experienced in the past, but we still managed to catch a few small steelhead and some coastal cutthroat.

     

    Barb and Andy getting ready to grub before a long day of fishing.

     

    Barb with a nice little coastal cutthroat trout.

     

    Andy's little steelhead could use a sandwich!

     

     

     

    Christy with a bright steelhead just out of the Pacific Ocean.

     

    Friday
    Jan312014

    Winter Bass

    This has been an extremely mild winter. We have gone fifty-two days without rain. The average high temps right now in Northern California are about 72 degrees. It feels like spring. It feels so much like spring that we thought we would hit a few of the local bass ponds to see if we could catch some bass. The first pond we fished was near Georgetown. It is an interesting pond because it contains both largemouth bass and brown trout. In California that is a weird combination for a small pond.

    A front moved in and made the fishing very difficult. Andy managed to catch one small brown trout before we decided to head to another pond at lower elevation.

    Andy with a small brown trout from our bass pond.

    When we arrived at the second pond, there was somebody fishing from the shore. They had caught three bass already and we felt pretty good about our chances of catching fish. It is a very small pond and the bass are very small as well. I believe the small subtle flies we use are perfect for this fishery. We started catching fish right away. Andy and I both caught fish on our first casts. I caught six fish on my first six casts. We had multiple double hook ups and by the end of the day we estimated that we caught between seventy and eighty fish.

    One of many many many hook ups.

     

    The lake is just loaded with these little guys.

    After a few hours of catching lots and lots of small bass we decided to hit a local pub for a few beers and my favorite hamburger of all time, the Nutcase. The Nutcase is a hamburger that is made with pepper jack cheese, thick cut bacon, raw onions and too top it off, thick gooey peanut butter. It is amazing.

    What could be better after a day of fishing?

     

    The most amazing burger of all time...... The Nutcase.

    Sunday
    Jan192014

    Lake Amador

    With the recent passing of my mother, my sister Barb and I took some time off of work. We felt it would be best to just stick around my house and not drive too far to catch some fish. It is amazing how well fishing helps to forget about the tough parts of life.

    Barb got lucky and caught a bigger fish than me.

     

    An average-size Amador cuttbow.