fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)


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fishing new water

After aborting a planned trip to the Eastern Sierra (Sonora Pass was closed – and opened the day I left for home!), I decided to scout some of the West side rivers near our cabin in Twain Harte. Unfortunately, I was thwarted at nearly every turn, particularly by gates on some Forest Service Roads, as I tried to access some of the waters I planned to explore.

However, I ended up spending two fun days – Thursday and Friday – fishing (and catching) on the North Fork of the Tuolumne River, upstream and downstream of the River Ranch Campground, at the confluence of the Tuolumne and Basin Creek. Since the object of this trip was no-stress exploration, I was on the river about 10:00 a.m., suited up and ready for wading. For those who haven’t been, it’s a nice little stretch of river with both planted and wild rainbow trout.

Boy, did I get lucky on two counts. First, no crowds…only two campsites occupied and I had the river to myself. Second, the recently planted rainbows (confirmed by a visit to a DFG hatchery were Eagle Lake strain…they sure put up a better fight than some other planters I’ve hooked.

In six hours on the water Thursday, going about a mile downstream and a mile upstream, I worked the water with a lot of side-arm casts and roll casts. (No room for even one overhead cast!) Thankfully there were only two campsites occupied and much of the time I was the only fisher on the river. This stretch offers plenty of distinct and easy to reach seams, pools and runs, out of which I hooked 22 and landed 17 (C&R’d), ranging from a three-inch wild guy to a beefy 14-inch stocker that gave me a run for my money. Based on girth and length, this fish probably weighed 1¾ to 2 lb. When I arrived a good mayfly hatch was going on and the fish were feeding.

The biggest fish of the trip was 14 inches and 1.75-2 lbs!

I decided Friday, since I couldn’t get to another river I wanted to explore, to head back to the Tuolumne. This time I went a bit further upstream, where I got into a bunch of smaller wild fish, and a bit further downstream. This day I hooked 18 and landed 15 rainbows (also C&R’d), with another one in the 14-inch range as the trophy of the day.

All in all, I had a great first time on this stretch of the Tuolumne. I’ll be back!

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a second fly fishing son

[Trying to catch up on stuff around here, so this is a bit late.]

While circumstances conspired to prevent my celebration of Opening Day of trout season (April 26) by actually fishing, I did head to the cabin with Sean and Christopher Saturday night, with plans to hit Moccasin Creek. Sure, Moccasin is stocked, but trout is trout. We stopped at Diamondback Grill to enjoy some burgers, then headed for the cabin and hit the hay.

Sunday morning, Hit Moccasin Creek we did. Christopher, Sean (with my old fly rod), and I (with my new 5 wt. fly rod) were on the water by 7:00 a.m. Sunday. The surprising lack of fisher folks allowed us to pick the best spots. Again, the creek was full of larger brook trout and soon all of us had a fish on the line.

Sean did well for his first time fly fishing, even if it was nymphing, which isn’t what one imagines when fly fishing is mentioned. (Nymphing employs weighted wet flies, which are presented to the fish in their feeding lane underwater.) While Christopher left close to mid morning after pulling in a few fish, but Sean and I spent much of the day on the creek, and in about ten hours Sean had landed a dozen trout. I stopped counting at a dozen. Later in the evening, I fished by myself and right about sunset literally hooked ten trout in thirty minutes, all out of a small pool.

Knowing it was to be a short trip, Monday morning Sean and I headed back down to Moccasin Creek to spend a “little time” on the water before we had to head home. Well, a little time stretched into hours. But I blame it on Sean’s illness…he caught the bug. When I asked if he was ready to leave, his response was “One more cast.” We had fun trying to entice some fish in a deep pool by the dam, fish we could clearly see. I think we both pulled a couple of fish out of there, thanks to my expert fly selection!

A busy but tremendously fun two days.


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here we go again. sound familiar?

For folks who remember gas prices crossing the $1/gallon threshold, this might sound familiar:

Stuck in the past: Some gas pumps won’t charge more than $3.99/gallon

$4 a gallon gas is definitely a headache for drivers, but it is posing an even bigger problem for some gas stations. In many rural areas of the country, gas stations with older pumps are discovering their pumps were not made to charge more that $3.99 9/10 per gallon.

Rumors of shortages can’t be far behind. What’s old is new again and again and…