Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Fly Fishing Fling

Last week was my annual fly fishing trip with 3 friends. I started this trip maybe 12 years ago with a friend Scott. Along the way, we added Arnold and Dave who have made the trips very enjoyable. We started out fishing only in Mammoth Lakes since I knew the water there. Scott Dave and Arnie have all fished from Clearwater Lodge a lot more than I have. So, on my 50th birthday we went to Clearwater. This time was for Dave's 50th birthday. In 2 years we'll go for Scott's 50th birthday. I guess we'll have to find a good reason to for for Arnie... maybe when he retires? We all flew out of Ontario on Southwest Airlines on Sunday and came back Thursday. We stayed at Clearwater Lodge near Fall River Mills, which is about 55 or so miles southeast of Mt. Shasta. Interestingly, the Lodge is located on the near the Pit River. Also within striking distance of the Lodge are Hat Creek, Fall River and Mcloud River some of the west's best blue ribbon waters. Arnie and I fished the Fall River all 3 days with our guide, Dax. The fishing was epic on the Fall. Dax who has been guiding there for 10 years said it was the best 3 days of fishing he's ever seen on the Fall River. Large trout were slurping up PMD's, Callibaetis and another microscopic mayfly we couold not imitate. Below is my smiling mug with my best fish, a 20" Rainbow and some other photos from the trip. If you'd like to see all of them, email me and I'll send you a link to the album.

my 20" rainbow tasken on a dry

one of the most photographed barns on the river

another respectable rainbow taken on a nymph

some of the prettier scenery on the river

Mt. Shasta

The food at the lodge was outstanding, the staff was courteous and the rooms comfortable. The guides are a lot of fun especially when an "experienced" angler as myself go fishing with them. To describe my first couple of casts as substandard is putting it mildly. Dax said on the first one "That's not your best work." Then on the second one "That was apalling!" Arnie had a two fish thing going almost the whole trip. He'd catch or get hit by 2 fish then nothing for awhile. The ribbing back and forth with Dax and Arnie was good natured and fun. I don't have any idea how many flies I broke off. After fishing around here most of my life, I don't have much experience playing large trout. Keep the rod tip up is the best advice going. The 6x tippet may just have a chance to stay together, ya know? Scott fell into the Pit River from Andrew's (his and Dave's guide) drift boat. Falling into the Pit River is real easy to do if you're wading it but out of the boat? I guess he got excited about the fish he hooked. We all caught some real nice and very beautiful trout on the trip. The one day we had a pool, Scott won with a 20" fish from the Fall. I guess I should have gotten one going the other 2 days...LOL. Well, I'll conclude this by saying that I ALWAYS look forward to another fishing trip with the guys and in 2 years for Scott's birthday is no exception.

Until next time,



Monday, September 15, 2008

Headlines from the weekend

This weekend was kind of interesting. Alicia and Mike as you may know live in Webster Texas, very near Houston and not far at all from Galveston. Why is it interesting you may ask? Well, a little tropical cyclone named Ike blew through on Saturday. Fortunately, they were not there. Their home was in the storm surge zone believe it or not. The apartment is on the second floor and the management boarded the windows up in preparation. They along with their dog Isabel in tow, smartly evacuated beforehand to San Antonio. As I write this, they're trying to make it home. I guess cell phone coverage is OK at least in parts of Houston, so we'll see if I hear anything from them. Hopefully, their arrival will find all is well sans electricity and maybe even water. They stocked up on canned goods before the storm and before they left San Antonio.

Last week, Tammy was gone to a training course for her work. She says it was well worthwhile so, hopefully she'll see the full benefit from it in the very near future. I was able to bachelor it successfully for the week although, I did miss her a lot. The reunion, on Friday night was great. I had to work a double the night she came home so we really didn't get to talk to each other until Saturday evening when I came home from work.

Work is still very stressful but it has calmed down a little bit. My immediate supervisor has been very paranoid lately and thinks they're out to get him. His stress level telegraphs right down the food chain to yours truly. Although given the way the city has treated it's management level employees lately, he may be justified in at least a part of the paranoid tendencies. So, I keep plodding along trying to keep him from popping a blood vessel all the while getting really run down and very much looking forward to my yearly fall fly fishing fling next week. Plane tickets were bought a few months ago, reservations have been made, I bought a rolling duffel bag and a new fly rod. The rod is a 4 piece 5 weight St. Croix Avid series. I was ready to go about 6 months ago but could not. Oh well, that's another story.

I did get to go fishing on Tuesday with my Dad, that was a lot of fun. I managed to catch a very nice 16" rainbow trout from a particularly difficult spot. A 16" trout is a very unusual fish in the Santa Ana. Yes, it was a planter but the fish had all it's fins and was in full fall regalia. Suffice it to say it was a very nice catch. It was also very satisfying... Seeing my Dad out there with pole in hand and hiking around the creek brought back some of my most treasured childhood memories of days spent afield with him. We shared many a day by the creek catching and not catching any trout while he passed on his love of fishing to me. He's getting up there in age and his ability to get around is diminishing as the years have taken their toll on his knees and other body parts. I will look forward to the next time we can spend some time on the creek with great anticipation.

Until next time, I am humbly yours,

ARRRRRRRRRRR me Hearties!!!!!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Dog Days of August

It's been a week or so since my last post so I figured I'd put something on the blog... It's been really hot here lately. 100+ degrees almost every day. Both Tammy and I are ready for winter to begin.

I'm sitting here in my PJ shorts watching Stargate Atlantis typing away. Tammy is gone for the week taking a training course in Costa Mesa. She's hoping to pass her series 7 test for work. (A broker kinda thing.) I'm remembering now what I liked about being a bachelor and what I didn't like about it as well. Believe me, the advantages of being married far outweigh the negative aspects. At any rate, Melissa is in Texas and I'm baby sitting her cat and her dog. The dog is OK but, as most of you know I don't like cats very much.

I went to the doctor for my yearly physical today. All my numbers are better. In the last 6 months, I lost 7 pounds. Slow like molasses in January. I guess the slower it goes, the more likely I'll be to keep it off. That's a very good thing... My good cholesterol has come up, the bad has gone down some more and the tryglycerides are lower too. Very encouaging for me. The bad news: I haven't been on the bike for over a week now. Melissa came to visit before she went to Texas and I had to put it outside. In the heat. So needless to say, my butt didn't hit the seat. Oh well, it's lame but it's my only excuse LOL.

Work has been unbelievable recently. The Public Works director fired our plant manager... a decent guy. And put her hatchet man in his place. From the sound of it his job was going to be down-sized and she needed a place to put him. Nice, eh? Such is the rotten organization I work for.

I'm really looking forward to this year's fall flyfishing fling. I'm heading up to Clearwater Lodge on the Pit River in Northern CA. Beautiful place, good food and lots of hungry trout. My best one last time we went there was a 20" brown out of the McCloud River. There are 4 of us that make a fall trek each year. we've been doing it now for probably 10 years. It's one of the things I really look forward to every year. Somehow, getting out in the wild, getting in touch with the inner primal man is invigorating and gets my mind set in the right place for the coming year. I've ordered a new rod for the trip, a 9' 5 weight 4 piece St. Croix Avid. This one will be easier to pack than my other 2 piece rods. Scott, one of the guys I go with, and I picked out some wine from BevMo to ship up to the lodge to help keep everything lubricated. Good times ahead for this fly fisher.

Stargate Atlantis is over, so I'll watch some repeats of Hogan's Heroes then off to bed. I need my rest for tomorrow. Going to go fish a little bit with my Dad. Should be fun.

Until next time.....