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?

Small child i am most jealous of lately.

21 January 2007

Here's the link to the Acorn article: Click here
But the essentials are, he's 9 years old, it's a 20-lb rainbow caught on lime green Powerbait at Lake Webb in Tupman, CA. Nice work, dude.

I only wish I could go fishing with him once more.

18 January 2007
I keep thinking, if only I could rewind and take him out fishing one more time. If only I had known about this Johns Hopkins kidney exchange. If only I had searched online for a donor. If only... It was so simple, and I just didn't think about it. I feel as though I didn't try hard enough.
There was so much I didn't know. He always wanted to teach me how to fly fish, and we never got around to it. He and I argued about everything under the sun, except fishing. We could always go fishing. And he never caught that trophy trout. There were still too many fish to catch.
I suppose I'll just have to catch them alone. At least he waited until I had a good partner to fish with to leave us. I just miss him so very much.

Home Waters.

10 January 2007
This year will be the first without him.

Happy times, a few years back.

An Un-fishing Story

08 January 2007
I wanted to go fishing yesterday. Joe wanted to take out the mountain bikes.
Let's go fishing, I said.
We have too much to do, he said. I have this and this and this and this to get done...
Let's go for a bike ride instead, he said.
Let's take the civic and the bike rack up to the stream. We'll drive to the trailhead and bike from there, I said.
No, that will take too long. I have too much to do, he said.
Well then let's take the jeep up to the stream, I said.
No, I have to replace the bushings and the pitman arm, he said. Besides, we have to get new licenses.

Needless to say, we didnt go fishing. Next weekend, he said. I have to plan these things, he said.
I try to be spontaneous. No use.
So we ended up going for a mountain bike ride. We had a lovely time out in Cheseboro and anyway, the weather wasn't really right for fishing. I'll just have to wait. Curses.

Why do we never learn about local history?

05 January 2007
Of course, I'm stuck in lovely Simi Valley, California, a landlocked little redneck town just too far east in Ventura County for access to all the lovely streams of Ventura and Ojai. Drat, I say.
The closest and easiest lake is Lake Cachuma, although I hear there are a few good streams in Ojai.
Speaking of Ojai, I've recently come across the Matilija Dam removal project, and I'm absolutely fascinated. I had no idea we had such a productive steelhead run through Ojai and Ventura. One of the largest in the state. Wild. This old dam is now in the process of being deconstructed to restore the ecosystem of Matilija Creek. I'm going to continue researching the project. My father mentioned the Matilija Dam in passing a few times, but I never knew about the controversy or the steelhead run.
I'm finding information at:

Incredible. More news on this later.

Wise words.

03 January 2007
"I am not against golf, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering trout."
-Paul O'Neil

Bass fishermen watch Monday night football, drink beer, drive pickup trucks and prefer noisy women with big breasts. Trout fishermen watch MacNeil-Lehrer, drink white wine, drive foreign cars with passenger-side air bags and hardly think about women at all. This last characteristic may have something to do with the fact that trout fishermen spend most of the time immersed up to the thighs in ice-cold water.
-Author Unknown

New Years in Review

New Years trip was fantastic. Another gorgeous weekend out in the desert. We never made it out to fish up those canyons, but as it turns out we're planning a separate trip up to the South Kern later in the spring anyway. We'll have to grab some new fishing licenses first, since we're into a new year. Happy new year!
We jeeped around and found some incredible rocks around the mines in those hills. If you're looking to find the spot, Google Maps it. We camp in the desert east of the intersection of Trona Rd and Stevens Mine Rd. The jeep is a wild little mountain goat. If you follow Stevens Mine Rd east until it ends in that little wiggly section, we jeeped up that wiggly section and over the saddle of the moutain, down into the canyon, and nearly got stuck. The ground is pure silt and boulders. After three amazing and totally wild attempts, I finally spotted a line that worked, and we made it out. Wild fun. Jeep jeep.
The desert makes me melancholy and quiet sometimes, thinking of my father and how much he loved this land. But for his health, he could easily have become an old desert coot. With a litte shack, some wood to work with, a few trout for dinner, and his girlfriend at his side, he would have been happy until the end of time. I miss him so.
We listened to Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride and Joy back at camp, waiting for the New Year to come. I thought of him and showed Joe his silly little blues dance.
I'm still lusting after the golden trout in South Kern, but they will have to wait until the next trip. Until then, I'll be swimming and mountain biking my way into shape so all the hiking I plan on doing won't kill me. We've got a June Lake Loop trip planned in May, for my father's birthday... We'll most likely hike up to Parker, fish Rush Creek and Rock Creek (we tried to last year but ran out of time)... hopefully by then I'll have a good handle on flyfishing. Joe and I bought each other a pair of telescoping spincasting poles for christmas. Figures that we'd both get the same present for each other. Not only the same present, but the exact same poles. My sweetheart.
I ordered us two Shakespeare telescoping poles, but I ended up getting spinning poles, with the twist-lock reel seat, rather than conventional poles. Just wasn't paying attention, so now I have to send them back for spincasting poles. It works out, though, because the spinning poles are 5"5', the Big 5 poles we got each other are 6" poles, and the new Shakespeare ones will be 4"6'. We'll have packable lake and stream poles.
I highly recommend Outdoor World for ordering anything outdoor-related. Cabelas is nice, but Outdoor World is so much easier to deal with. Extremely helpful and polite employees. I spoke with Jackie and she was great.
I think that fairly soon here we're going to go on a jeeping trip with Jim Pilon. He wanted to go during the New Years trip, but his excursion would have taken us a few hundred miles in one day, and we had too many other, closer, things we wanted to do. So we'll probably make that excursion a separate trip.
A very sleepy Max cat is hanging out with me today. It's my day off.