Thursday, May 9, 2019

Blue Line Time

California's long overdue wet winter will make this an interesting year; especially in non-Sierra waters where many fish populations were hammered by the drought. Still, we all know, these fish are tough! I intend to angle (pun) my schedule back towards one where I go a walking along those babbling brooks. Stay stoked and go find you secret water!


Monday, May 6, 2019

Bristol Bay

The earth and its creatures have been abused enough. The pummeling of it for resources should be an old-fashioned practice far in the rearview mirror. There may be a mini eco tragedy just down the street from you and, well, there are also big ones that are far away that you should still care about. As the world gets smaller everything is going to matter and your descendants will suffer. It's dark. Let's avert this. The Bristol Bay "matter" is one of these.  Go to http://www.savebristolbay.org and do something!


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Regulation Changes Alert - Deadline for Comment: May 3, 2019

Well,
I finally can offer a blog entry that REALLY has to do with "Trout Hugging".  if you are not already aware, the California Dept. of Fish and Wildife is proposing changes in freshwater regulations as they pertain, primarily if not entirely, to trout. In broad strokes are being “simplified”. That said, upon looking at them, I find it hard not to be concerned. I encourage you to take a look at the proposed changes, cherry pick a few places (maybe best look at waters that you are familiar with) and give it some thought. Then please offer comment. 

I offer these links as good places to help you develop your perspective(s) and your comments for the DFW. Comment deadline is May 3. One can offer a fresh submission per watershed. I know that I will be doing this. I may post updates as I learn more but suffice it to say, I have done enough poring through the changes and reading other blogs, sites, forums etc. to feel confident that the proposed changes are hasty at the very least.


Below you will find:


THE SHORT ROUTE

Three links to help you understand the situation and take action and even a cut+paste copy from Cal Trout.

CONSIDERATIONS

Several comments and thoughts. Some are my opinion and some I have gleaned from various sources. I do recommend that you explore these because they can help one think a little bit more outside the box or broaden perspective. I welcome comments and additional thoughts to add.


THE SHORT ROUTE
This is the actual submission page with downloadable resources from the DFW such as the list of regulation changes: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Inland/Trout-Plan/Regulation-Simplification/comments

Out of all the sites things I have read, this site has links to spreadsheets that compare the old regs to the new regs. I feel that this is a huge bonus. It would blow my mind to think that any half-conscientious California trout angler does not find a red flag or two herein. https://www.redwoodempire-tu.org/cdfw-inland-trout-regulation-changes

Feeling lazy or too tight on time? The Southwest Council's recent newsletter includes a spreadsheet with actual suggested comments. It's impressive. You will find it HERE As mentioned already, Cal Trout offers this simple response. I think it opens up the fly fishing community to a criticism but one can certainly edit it etc. to suit each one's own thoughts. Bottom line, I think it helps reduce the potential harm that many are concerned about. It also conforms to the limited text one may enter in the DFW's comment form.:

- Regionally-supported regulations that have buy-in from local communities of fishers, guides, lodges, and other associated businesses
- NO regulation changes to existing fly-fishing-only waters
- NO regulation changes to formally designated Wild & Heritage Trout Waters or those on the candidate list for consideration
- NO harvest, barbless flies only for targeting trout species of special concern or those that are threatened
- Bag limits of 2 fish/day with 4 fish in possession limits for the Statewide Regulation
- Size slot limits to protect both small and very large mature fish to balance biological needs with harvest and opportunities to target trophy trout for the Statewide Regulation

CONSIDERATIONS
The following reflects some of the things I have either read or observed that I feel are worth sharing. These are in no specific order.

Water and/or Species Specific Details
- Like many, I began by looking at specific waters. I was surprised to find out that certain waters may be subject to more relaxed regs. An easy example is the Cottonwood Lakes and the golden trout that live there. These waters will be opened up in a fashion that could add an impact to the population. Is there a biological justification? Example: The fish are overpopulated or they were coffee-canned into those waters decades ago so on principal, do not even belong there? Take a look at this PDF HERE. This is but one example. Another example that raises my eyebrow is Mitchell Creek in Contra Costa County. This stream has always been protected and is on the "changes" list with, well, NO CHANGES. So why is it there at all? In other words, who is the administrator here and/or why is it mentioned? Under the Tuolumne regs, Hetch Hetchy is misspelled. Maybe I am being too picky but this is an agency that we pay for with our License purchases right? Clearly there are a variety of ways to both ponder and be critical of the proposed changes. Take a good look.

Lures, Flies, Barbs
- Broadening the barbless category from flies to lures strikes me as a bigger step than others feel. My reasoning is simple: An overzealous 5" trout will and can go after a 3" Rapala. If you tell me that two treble hooks (even if barbless) will do no more harm to this fish than a #16 bead headed nymph ... dot dot dot. 

Rest and Lifecycles
- Stream by stream regs have existed for years protecting certain migratory and spawning runs. These may not have been perfect but represented an effort to pay attention to detail. Some of these are being nudged and some are being lifted. Take a close look and you may be concerned about some of these types of changes.

Safety
- Opens up back country waters and questionable times of the year, son, ice, mud, hypothermia etc. This seems a tad of a stretch if you are "that hardcore outdoors-person with all the REI gear in the world" but who the heck knows if it opens the door to see very bad scenarios. This is commented on in this great recap of a meeting earlier this year held by the DFW (a good read by the way): LINK

Enforcement
- The enforcement of existing regs, as is the consensus of every angler I know, is already weak statewide. Will wardens really want to go to, say, Lane Lake in February? Some crazy anglers might and, circle back to previous item "Safety" if they don't fall through the ice, they might haul out more fish than permitted. Some anglers are crazy. Let's establish that and "harvest-minded" anglers may do some wild things. They already do. Again, reference The Sheet: LINK 

"Curtis Milliron questioned how Fish and Wildlife plans to monitor the effects its policy changes will have and how they will affect fish populations. Roger Bloom suggested that any monitoring will likely be limited and insufficient. “We’re not going to get a magic pot of money [to do it],” he replied. "

Simplification
- Simplification of the regs as an argument unto itself has its merits but I have personally read regs in other states and in other countries and ours can be tricky but are not rocket science. Have you ever been to other states or read California's hunting regs? This isn't THAT hard to decipher.

“The need to protect resources on a granular scale often conflicts with the need for comprehensible angling regulations—so you can go fishing without your lawyer present.”
- undisclosed source from within a major fisheries agency

Simplify a few of the existing put-and-take fisheries while ramping up plantings and that may be a good start but I find it hard to believe that there is a biological justification for the changes made in each of the many waters cited and fear that there will be some bad consequences before they (hopefully) correct errors and save a few fish from excessive pressures.

Here are two more web destinations with some reflections that may be of interest:

Doug Sierra Drifters Writes LINK
Trout Unlimited Writes LINK

I welcome comments, suggested edits. 
Please take action.

Bernard









Monday, April 22, 2019

Visitor's Guide to Seattle Kinda Sorta - Rock and Trout

Some rock and roll with amazing people.

Fur Dixon's WTFUKUSHIMA with special guest Freddie Dennis of the SONICS. Photo: Mari Tamura

Fur Dixon's WTFUKUSHIMA Photo: Mari Tamura

After-hang with Evan, Erik and Evan of Dirty Sidewalks (and also Boss Martians who shared the night with Fur Dixon). Photo: Mari Tamura

THEN - Getting up after about 4 hours sleep to drive to a distant beach and pursue the elusive sea run cutthroat trout. What an interesting fish! This trip was with the elusive "Sir Homey"; a former So cal resident and fishin' buddy who now lives in the PNW. Some of the following photos are his and some are mine. The better ones are his.

First, you run the gauntlet.

... and you find that there's beauty in the jungle!

and "prehistoric" horsetails

You work and work ...

Mind you, this ain't no stinkin' trout stream, this is the ocean! See the kelp?
Note: this fly was eventually used but not without crimping its barb first.

Sir Homey breaks for an oyster

Fresh, raw and ... well ... I chickened out but it looked yummy!

The tide gets low and what little activity we observed fades to nothing ... seeing these oyster beds exposed is a trip.

BUT not before I get my first Sea Run Cutty! This fish fought like crazy and jumped several times. The wound on its back appears to be a bird injury. We saw numerous birds including bald eagles. Fish was swiftly released.

Here's what it looked like suiting up the last time we tried for these pesky fishies ... Weather was WAY warmer this time if only we caught the tides a little better. All said, what a cool game.









Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Brains and Boards

Surf was small but I still got held under today with these 72 points - courtesy of Rebecca "Bingo Queen" Ramirez.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I went on tour and all I got was this lousy Instagram image

I love playing live. Tours have their ups and downs. One can also get real disoriented and distracted. A handful of images survive. They could be a cool taco somewhere in the southwest, a hang with old friends, an ego-gratifying image from a new friend etc ... I am going to share this one from 191 Toole - one of our final venues as the tour winds up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Ukulele Dreaming - PAR AVION music video

Click on the image and be taken to an island getaway!