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.