Monday, April 30, 2012

Trout Season - Opening Day

Mount Shasta from the Fall River
For the past several years I have started trout season somewhere in Northern California either in the Sierra or on some other river near my home.  Opening day is rarely a good day for fishing.   Often the bug growth, which makes for exciting fishing, has simply not started enough to make it interesting.  The fish are a bit slower - so the real point is to get out on the water.

This year the group I go with fished the Fall river which is in northeastern California.   The Fall meanders through a valley that has spectacular sights - on a clear day you can see Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen and at this time of the year, even with the meagre rain we have had this season, there is snow on many peaks.

The author on the water - with friend and guide
The weather on Saturday was perfect, if a bit windy.  Most of the day was spent on stripping line back into the boat - you present your fly and let the current take it downstream and then strip the line back into the boat - often to a musical beat (uneven is best - many people swear by Mary had a little lamb).   Fishing was light and most of what we got were "dinks" - smaller sized fish.   I think among the six of us we landed only three that were more than 12".   What seemed to work was leeches - although I did try a run with nymphs.  When I am having a slow day I use it to try a bunch of strategies.   Sometimes you find what the fish are interested in.   My partner in the boat used only three flys all day.

When the day is not great on fishing, I tend to snap a lot of photos.  My current fishing camera (which is water proof) is a Canon D-10.   I like most of what the camera does - it is a pretty good point and shoot.  What I do not like (and I think I understand why this was done) is that it does not have a viewfinder (it uses an LED to both compose the picture and view the image).   I assume that for those who use the thing underwater that a viewfinder would be inconvenient.   But for capturing exactly what you want outside of water a viewfinder is far superior.

This part of the state (with the Sacramento, the Pit, the McCloud, Hat Creek and the Fall) should be one of the major destinations for fishing.   But it is remote enough so that it is still very low key.

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