Ready for the river. Very ready.

25 September 2009
By which I don't mean that I am prepared. My knots still need work, my roll cast isn't up to par. I mean I am ready. It's been a long week, a long 5 months since May and my little Sespe excursion in June yielded exactly zero fish. I didn't even SEE a fish. It was very hot and very dry and the water was so low they were all hiding away in the deep pools. My experimental (and very bad) casts landed me precisely squat.
But I've been casting at the little golf course pond near our house, trying desperately to straighten out my roll cast and establish a nice rhythm. Picking up rocks, looking for bugs. Practicing knots in the evenings and whenever it's too hot to go out. Drooling over the pictures in This Is Fly magazine.
My waders arrived yesterday, my brand-new LL Bean waders, all shiny and fresh. They actually fit, and I'm rather surprised about that. Unfortunately, if I was a 300-lb, 6-foot tall, buxom ginormo-woman, I would have had no problems finding waders. I could have ordered anything from $100 cheapos to $600 super waders. I would have had dozens to choose from. Being a rather uh, tiny 5 foot flat and just 120 even after a 5-course meal, I had some issues.
Fortunately, I found some that fit and now I'm ready. It's been 103 degrees on the average this week. Even at 10pm, it is 80 degrees outside. This week's high in June Lake was about 75. I'm definitely ready for that.
This time of year, the fish are the same color as the leaves and the sky is so blue it hurts. I'm trying to convince Joe we should move up to June and buy a rental property. I'm really trying. This SoCal heat just makes me nauseous.
I'm ready for ice cold streams and fog on the water and breakfast burritos and fresh grilled trout. Just two days...

Fishing before I could hold a pole.

05 June 2009
He started me early.

Dad Fishing 05

Dad Fishing 02

Dad Fishing 04

Dad Fishing 01

Dad Fishing 03

A bit on the Sespe and other Local Streams.

03 June 2009
I've been looking around for good references on where to fish here in VC.

This website has a nice short article on the Sespe creek, just above Ojai.

Here is the site for the Sespe Flyfishers, which Joe and I plan to join soon.

This website has great directions to the Sespe, plus excellent reviews and directions to other local streams.

A few photos of the deep pools here:

While wandering around looking for Sespe information, I came across this news:

Wilderness Protection Bill Gets House OK :

The legislation gives maximum federal protection to more than 2 million acres in nine states, including more than 700,000 acres in California. Obama is expected to sign it into law this year.

By Richard Simon
March 26, 2009

Reporting from Washington — In the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 15 years, Congress today sent President Obama legislation that would conserve a wide swath of the West, including stretches of California from the desert to the Sierra.

The lands bill, which passed the House 285 to 140, is expected to be signed by the president this year. It would give the highest level of federal protection to more than 2 million acres in nine states -- prohibiting new roads, the use of motorized or mechanized vehicles, most commercial activities, logging, new structures, new mining claims and new grazing. That is almost as much land as was designated for protection during George W. Bush's entire presidency.

In California, which currently has 14 million acres of wilderness (second only to Alaska, which has more than 57 million acres), the bill would protect 700,000-plus acres. The measure also would authorize $88 million to fund restoration efforts on the San Joaquin River and provide $61 million toward cleanup of polluted groundwater in the San Gabriel Valley area.


California land that would be designated as wilderness includes about 40,000 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County. The bill would create the Magic Mountain Wilderness -- named after a mountain northeast of Santa Clarita, not the Six Flags amusement park -- and the Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness, west of Angeles Crest Highway.

Also designated as wilderness would be about 428,000 acres in the Eastern Sierra, about 147,000 acres in Riverside County -- including parts of Joshua Tree National Park -- and about 85,000 acres in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.

This really makes me nervous. I'm not a big wilderness fan - more like managed use! Wilderness doesn't allow for responsible use. It allows for no use except hikers. I don't see why mountain bikes or hang gliders aren't allowed, I don't see why you can't bring a little red wagon with you, I don't see why jeep trails aren't allowed. OHV use, if responsible and well managed, is the best advertisement for "wilderness" areas. If people can access their wilderness, they will want to protect it. Not everyone likes hiking.

Here is a link to the US Forest Service maps for the proposed areas. Some of the maps don't work yet, but a few are up and running.

Many of the areas that don't yet have working maps can be found here, not with maps yet but with descriptions and proposed rules/regs. Once you have the name of the proposed area, you can look it up on this site.

It's been a long time...

02 June 2009

But at last, I have decided to bring this blog back from the dead. In part, you can thank Robert at This year Joe and I decided to take his intro to fly fishing class during our trip up to Silver Lake. I nearly took one from the Troutfitter in Mammoth and am quite glad I took the SFG class instead.

A 4-hour class featuring some classroom time and a short trip down to the river turned into a 7-hour marathon of fishing goodness. I learned to cast. And judging from my little practice session at the park this afternoon, much of it stuck with me. In about an hour I landed perhaps five beautiful casts, two or three decent roll casts, and was able to successfully shoot line straight out in front of me. Despite the efforts of two unsupervised chatty children and one overly friendly spinfisherman who kept asking about bass. Who cares about bass? Really.

My arm is throbbing and I couldn't be happier.

Six days.

18 May 2007
Six days left and I'm antsy. I've done nothing today except look up fishing reports, read all your blogs, and lust after trout. We're headed up to Silver in six days now. I changed plans and decided to make one rod for my mother, one for joe- and the one for my mother is nearly finished. Four good hours of work left, I'd say. It looks pretty good.
Sad to hear that Rick of Throwing Feathers in a River has called it quits and decided he's taking his talents to exclusive waters, shall we say. I did rather enjoy the blog. Hilarious at times, poignant at others, and always an interesting read.
I'll be fishing with much of my father's gear this year. Without him to tell me I'm not listening and I'm doing it all wrong. Joe said it perfectly. "I just hope that when I hook a trout, I don't start crying." I hope so too.
We're going to try to fish Rock Creek now, since we couldn't fish it last year. Now I'm regretting that I never was able to fish any of the legendary little creeks and backwater streams that my father adored so much with him. I'll have to find all the best pools on my own. It's hard to imagine.
Six days left.

Spring has sprung.

04 April 2007
Well, not quite. I haven't caught a trout yet, so it's not officially spring. Though we have tried. The boyfriend and I took a day trip up to Cachuma this weekend, on a rare day that we both had off of work. I fished his little ultralight Berkeley and he took the long Browning, loaded up all our tackle and set out to catch some nice little rainbows for dinner.
We ended up with a little bass instead, son of a bitch. Hard to handle, hard to gut, prickly and ridiculously hard to knock out. Not to mention bony! When we went to eat the little bugger, instead of just filleting elegantly, skin and meat just falling off the bone, lovely trout, how I adore them - I would have been better off just chopping him up into chunks and picking out the bones. Talk about difficult to eat. Interesting taste, not bad, but certainly not trout. Maybe the larger ones are easier to deal with?
Anyway, I'm thinking of making the boyfriend a custom rod for the May trip. I found by accident, and looking at the photos, I really want to try this. Cabelas has a few kits to start me off, and I've already tried weaving around the "butt end" - using a dowel and some sewing thread. I think I've got the hang of it. It's supposed to be a surprise for him. So I'll probably order two kits and make one for each of us. It'll be nice.
That's the fishing report so far.
In other news, the Star had an article about the Piru trout, who are thriving because of the high flow in the streams below Piru dam. Apparently environmental groups are worried about a threatened species of frog that isn't thriving due to the high flow rates. So the Piru water district wants to cut down on the flow, and fishermen everywhere are mighty upset.
Also, the Castaic water district is looking to charge for the water they're releasing for the steelhead migration, so the fish have enough water to get up the fish ladder during the run. They think it's a significant enough amount that it might really cost them, so they want that money back. Of course, the article points out, in dry years like this, no extra water is released. So how exactly does that ensure there will BE steelhead to run next year, asshole? (As Lewis Black would say.)
Well, hopefully the trout will be nice and fat this year and we'll catch some on the next fishing trip. I'll post if we do.

Welcome to the NRRA.

06 February 2007
If only there was an NRRA - National Rod and Reel Association! Wouldn't it be great if we had a huge, frighteningly powerful lobby in Congress? If we had bumper stickers and a reputation as people you shouldn't mess with? We could demand fishing reserves and private islands for our military buddies! Who's with me?