Monday, November 8, 2010

My Last Day of Fishing

... for a while that is. As fall kicked-in and my guiding run slowed, I treated myself to the usual ritual of a "treat to self" day of angling. The weather was getting weird but that's not always a bad thing. Helicopters abounded and I later learned that this may have had to do with the Oprah goes fly fishing in Yosemite episode. I think this is fun and applaud her although I wonder with no self-serving interest why she didn't hire a Yosemite regional guide? No no no, it didn't have to be ME. It just might have made sense if it was someone who regularly works the region. Seems to make sense? I would love to be enlightened here. Anyway, on grand finally days, I often experiment with techniques as well as seek out a few spots where I have seen lunkers. The lunkers didn't cooperate but the fishing wasn't bad at all. What I call "flossing" as well as "pendular drifts" were super effective on the Merced. Some areas where dries normally work were very dead. I even broke out the ol' Rio Indicator Line and used it for high-sticking as well as high-drag, swung nymph drifts (sort of a sloppy Czech method without the Christmas tree of nymphs) and it worked like magic! It was one of those days. Like all good days, I finished it with some Chili Fries at Happy Burger in Mariposa. The staff there is fun and the food is all-American nuttyness. As soon as I wrapped up this trip, it'd be all about preparation for Europe and a meal like this would be a mere fantasy. That, of course, isn't to say that food in Italy, Greece etc. wouldn't rock! ;)
* Entry posted from a hotel room in Novi Sad *

Friday, October 29, 2010

Summer to Fall (off the mountain)

Wow, the time flew. Between great fun with Astra Heights at cool events such as Venicestock and guiding in the Sierra with Sierra Fly Fisher, I also worked on flying my jeep off of the roadside in Yosemite. Oh and don't let me forget Nicaragua with Rebecca, Quinn and Megan followed by a wonderful trip with Alexis and Jeanette to Mexico then a trip with Noah Snyder and Jim Lowe into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana. 52 miles round trip on foot! So summer had all sorts of lessons learned such as highsticking the Merced at low elevations for hidden pockets of unusually strong wild bows to correcting a vehicle's direction to avoid rolling it! *See photos below* As many of you may know, Oprah recently went camping in Yosemite National Park. She apparently did some fly fishing too. I work seasonally in the Sierra and often enter the park. In the middle of summer, after a fun day of guiding, I went off the road. I walked away unharmed. I am very lucky.

That very evening, a rather brazen tow-truck driver pursuaded me that using his pulleys and chains, he could "stretch" the vehicle back out to a functional state. I was too exhausted and upset to even protest. The next day I used the jeep on a guiding run and the following day I drove it to LA! Feeling the little jeep's spirit, I began plotting the salvage process.

Jesse, in Corona, has a yard full of parts and this began the "healing" process. This photo below shows him pulling a hood off on an old Samurai for my wounded Sammy. I also had a favored mechanic inspect the frame, alignment and state of the hubs along with many other essentials.

A few weeks later, with all parts in hand, I had the vehicle taken to the doctor.

And, alas, voila! The happy jeep is rolling again looking sexy.

Now, you thought it'd be so easy? Of course the National Park Service's law envorcement division hit me with a ticket...(no I was not drunk). Did you know that they have a cute little court house right in the heart of Yosemite!!!???? Click on the image below for a slightly larger look. I ain't joking.

After my hearing, I got the fine reduced and they also offered traffic school. I am about to wrap up my online course. I am re-visiting important lessons such as "Don't stall your car on a railroad track".

This entry is being posted as I waltz again into the phonebooth of rock and emerge on Monday in Berlin Germany as a member of a great band The Fuzztones. I'll be roll-casting a guitar cable in Italy and Greece to name a few. Never a dull moment and 2010 is far from over.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mini-Streamers for Mini-Predators

This heavily shaded local stream is truly fascinating. Some areas are rife with bows while others host just browns. The size of the fish can sometimes vary seasonally as well. Larger fish seem more cagey and hunker down while the frigid shady zones are not yet warmed by the onset of summer. Seemed like the smaller fish reveled in this. Some pools held nothing (hint hint) others coughed up a fish. Dries and an occasional baby-streamer rocked the place. Little yellow sallies were coming off in numbers but some fish were welcoming larger protein. I had one follow by a monster who held off from taking the streamer. Last time I saw an image like this was a few years ago, also locally, and the fish took on the second cast (not common with big browns from my experience). This fish appeared almost as large (17" inches+?). Anyway, this Nessie didn't cooperate. Not one to complain (a big fat lie). It was a good day and I needed the workout.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Nature Wins

Just like a plant forces its way through the asphalt, one local stream has gone "richter" with quality fish. Plants are in bloom and I grabbed some wild onion for an experimental omelette. Life is good in the So. Cal. mountains this year. Thanks Noah and Rob for good company.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Price of a Brown

This blog entry is an homage to one of the most bizarre and remote So. Cal. waters I know of. I have been there very few times and timing can be key to avoid overgrown jungle-like bushwhacking, bugs, snakes and summer heat. It's also one of the most obscene workouts I know and my buddy and I pondered whether or not we'd ever return. Recent training for a run (race) had me a bit better off fitness-wise than I feared but it was still a brutal trek of off-trail terrain and elevation issues. Let this serve as an indicator that 2010 is going to be an amazing year for So. Cal. trout fanatics.
Take a close look at this shot. Click to enlarge. This adorable trout stream has a line of PVC in it. Middle of nowhere. Not cool.
The "Black Diamond Trout Society" tradition lives on as we scrambled down impossible banks to find fat butter-bellied browns.

Be careful and go get 'em!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blinded Me with Science

Technlogy, like a thermometer, has me salivating. We've had a good year and the locals are going to be great! Observe the dleightful daily dance as one of our local streams ebbs and flows with snowmelt. As this smooths out and the temps warm, one of our beloved friends will be rejoicing; The Trout!