Monday, January 31, 2011

Escape the weather, head to Pyramid Lake

The weather man said it was going to be rainy and snowy in town today so the decision was made to hit Pyramid for a couple hours. Its funny how a break in the clouds, no moving air and some sun can make you want to do nothing more than stand around tossing a shooting head into open water for hours. Thats how it was for us Sunday. We got to the Sandhole about 10am and were greeted by a completely glassy Pyramid Lake. The crowds were light for sandhole so jumped in and started making some casts. We saw 2 guys down the beach land 2 smaller fish. After some Rambo eavesdropping i found out they had caught there 2 on chartreuse beetles. Another guy had gotten into them the day before fishing midges under an idicator so dont forget your floating line! We forgot our floating line so it was dragging buggers on the bottom for us. Once sandhole got all hip-hop on us we jammed over to Indian Head were there wasnt a soul for a mile or more. Once again in about 20 minutes we were surrounded by ladder fishermen and spincasters having bud light lime for breakfast. We landed one here before heading to Crosbys for a couple beers and a new fishing spot. NOTE: Crosby's makes a mean chili dog. After making a fool of myself at Crosbys by dumpnig and entire tray of fries all over the floor and my pants it was off to Windless. These temps have definitely pushed the fish up shallower but dont expect it to last to terribly long with the cold front moving through. I hooked another fish here but lost it at my feet. All in all not a bad way to spend a winter day.. had to get away from the fly tying desk.

Pyramid Lake cutthroat
Our one fish to hand for the day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Truckee River - Spring?

Its not spring yet but it sure felt like it this weekend on the river. We fished for a small period of time on Saturday mostly searching for new winter holes in town that we can hit for a quick session here or there. With nothing to show after a couple hours and enjoying the unseasonably warm sun it was time to head back home for a couple beers and to tie a few flies in preparation for tomorrows trip.

Sunday morning came and we were riggng up to hit a new spot just west of town. It had a good quick run tailing out into about a 4-6ft deep hole. We fished it for an hour throwing a variety of midge and small baetis patterns for nothing. Another guy who I now know was a co-worker came down to that spot about 30 minutes before we left. He hooked a small whitefish while we were there and landed 2 after we left. After that we decided to hit an old in town spot that NDOW likes to drop planters, Mayberry. Fished a couple deep runs near the park and was able to pull one nice little rainbow. Like Tom has said in a previous report these fish are fighting hard for the winter. The fish came on a hotwire prince nymph, embarrassingly enough I’ll admit that the one fish I lost that day came on a bad knot. It hit a size 16 Hunchback Infrequen(HBI) and my knot came unraveled. Im a loser.
truckee fish
cute little average town rainbow

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hawaii - Part 2

We arrived in Maui Saturday afternoon armed with some information from Clay on where we might be able to score some deep water Bonefish and Trevally. Sunday morning we got to the water right about first light after walking roads for a couple miles trying to find beach access down to some rocks we had scoped out the night before. We were trying to stay away from the main beach so we ended up Rambo fishing a small cove of a set of condos. About 20 minutes in we hooked our first fish, a Moana, also known as the Manybar Goatfish. At the time we were unaware of this little fact but we later found out that the locals here love to use these as bait for the Giant Trevally. Bummer. We caught one more fish that morning called a Lizard fish, these ugly little bastards will hit anything, unfortunately he came off right as I was landing him so no picture.
Manybar Goatfish

That afternoon we made our way to one of 2 tackle shops on the island and talked to the owner about fishing the island. These Hawaiians are silly folk who use funny words to describe fishing. Fly casting or lure chucking is called whipping whereas soaking a worm would be called dunking. Anyway he informed us that the folks of this island generally use the dunking technique for the Trevally with anywhere from a 1/0 to a 16/0 hook and from 2 to 10oz of lead to keep it on the bottom. The rig is a pretty simple one that is similar to what some folks use in fresh water called a Christmas Tree rig, only slightly different in that the Christmas tree rig uses wire to keep the line from tangling and this rig just uses stiff mono tied off a three-way swivel. Well after seeing some pictures of the Trevally they catch dunking, upwards of 130lbs, we were convinced that this was our new method. We quickly got back to the beach and started throwing a single hook dunking rig. Its amazing how far you can throw three ounces of lead with an 8ft rod. Whats even crazier is the local guys use 13ft rods 100lb mono main line and 300lb mono leader and we were using 10lb Berkley Big game and 30lb Maxima leader.
one of our dunking spots

Another dunking spot

Started fishing the next morning at a nearby beach casting to the inside of a small reef breakwall. Almost immediately I hooked up a Bluefin Trevally. He wasn’t the largest specimen but it was one of our target species nonetheless. The rest of the morning gave us an unidentifiable reef fish and the state fish of Hawaii, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. You really have to get creative with names in this state since their local language only contains 12 letters and an apostrophe apparently, they are everywhere.
Oceanic Sunfish

A couple days into the trip we were looking for new water. With some tips from one of the bait shops we found some good local holes where guys have come in and cemented pole holders into the rocks, much better than using sand or wedged between rocks(o r tules like Kellen can attest to when he lost a rod to a big carp/catfish on a pond over by rattlesnake mountain). These spots were very cool old lava flows that were incredibly sharp and uneven and we came out with some battle scars to show for it. In one of these spots we caught an Eel and a Puffer fish. No eel picture, those things have massive teeth and he cut the main line as we attempted to land him.

The next day we were fishing a spot called Kaanapali Point where they have landed Bonefish and Trevally along with anything else that feels like biting. We didn’t catch either of those however we did catch a nasty case of crabs… I had a very large hit on my rod which ended up coming back with a clean cut just above the hook. We were told that the large Barracuda will come in to this area occasionally so that’s what we are going with on that one. Large Barracuda.
Crabs :(

Fly fishing from the place we were staying gave us the largest(in length) fish of the trip. They might be ugly as shit but they fight well.

We broke off a lot of tackle on this adventure but finally found a couple good spots where we would be able to cast to a sand channel and not get busted off. This is when the unthinkable happened. All of a sudden chris’s rod was doubled over and his line was moving extremely quickly from right to left. I yelled at Chris and after the sketchy walk to his rod he set the hook and it was on. Not sure of what was on the line at this point I climbed down the cliff to get in position to land the beast. As it started ripping drag we assumed it was a good sized Trevally however as Chris gained ground on it we realized he has a big Bonefish on. Drama. I was screaming at Chris, Chris was screaming at the rocks and both of us were screaming at the fish. Keep in mind that at this point we are about as excited as you can get in any moment of fishing, catching a Bonefish on Maui isn’t unheard of just extremely rare so for us this was HUGE. Once all the yelling was over and I had thrown the fish to Chris we took some quick shots and sent him back to be caught again. We caught one big Eel the next day but that was it.. That Bonefish and Trevally were 2 of the 3 species we wanted to catch and we did, and in our eyes the trip couldn’t have been more of a success. It’s a great feeling to go somewhere you have never been and have it all come together for you without having to hire a guide. With that I would like to thank Clay from Nervous Water Hawaii again.. Clay has the pictures of the Bone and the Trevally and plans to include them in his blog as well so give that a look if you have a moment. And if you ever plan a trip to Oahu then contact Clay and that man will put you on fish!

Not sure if I will ever see Hawaii again but I know if I do I will be paying a visit to a couple special locations that are now burned into my memory.

Hawaii - Part 1

I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to travel to Hawaii a couple weeks ago, we would be staying on Oahu for the first 2 days and then flying to Maui for a week. As any self-proclaimed fly fishing enthusiast would do I started doing a lot of reading and Google research about what might be possible to catch without having to spend hard earned money on a guide. I discovered a few things, 1) People don’t fly fish in Hawaii, 2) The fishing in Hawaii is not incredible(though it does have its moments) nor are these islands a major fly fishing destination by any means. However, the islands do hold some key species that I would be focusing my efforts on, the Bonefish and a couple species of Trevally.

The Bonefish in Hawaii are BIG. They aren’t the 3 or 4lb runts you can catch all day in Florida.. These Hawaiian Bonefish often average in the 6lb range and many of these guides consistently get into fish over 10lbs. Its fairly common to read articles or here people talk about the fact that if you want to target the world record then Hawaii is where to do it. Bonefish are a flats fish and there are not many flats that exist throughout the island chain except on Oahu where we were planning on staying for a couple days. This was great news as it meant I had a chance to at least cast to some of these spooky fish. Poking around further we found that the island did have one fly shop and they just happened to have a website( This site would end up being our Bonefish manual for Hawaii. We began our prep work by tying well over 100 flies including your basic baitfish patterns such as Clousers, Deceivers, and other big bodied streamers along with Mantis Shrimp and crab imitations. All these patterns came off the Nervous Water website and if anyone is planning on visiting Oahu I encourage you to go to this site and read Clay’s blogs.

We got to Oahu late afternoon and immediately started scouting areas that appeared to be flats, and with a couple locations selected we decided to relax, have a few beers and think about a monster Bonefish. Morning came and we bolted out the door to our first spot. This spot was definitely a flat but unfortunately we had hit it at a high tide and getting out was proving to be impossible. With a long drive to the next spot and only a couple hours to fish we started blind casting with no success. That afternoon we made our way to the Nervous Water fly shop and received a few locations that would be accessible at a high tide the next day.
This is the first flat.. not so great on a high tide.

The next morning found us making a little bit longer drive to hit the new flat. We were surprised to see a couple other guys rigging their rods when we arrived. Being new to the area and not wanting to get in the way of any locals we stopped to talk to one of the guys. It happened to be Clay the owner of Nervous Water Fly Shop. We picked his brain as long as we could about this flat and about our adventure to Maui. Clay is a great guy and extremely willing to give advice and definitely provided us with some. If you are going to go to Oahu and need a guide these are the dudes to look up. We fished the flat for a few hours and once again got skunked, but getting skunked isn’t so bad with scenery that great.
Me being bald and making some casts on the flat we found the 2nd day.

Sorry no fish pictures in this one... we didn’t start catching fish until we got to Maui.

-Part 2 coming soon-

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A COLD Sunday on the Truckee

After a long, cold December, I decided it was time to get off my lazy ass and get out on the river. I loaded up the rig and headed West of town around 12:30 pm, while the sun was still shining.

The anchor ice was present, but wasn't terrible. I had my 6 weight rigged with a bugger stack, and my 4 weight rigged with a Stone, Prince, Zebra and a drop shot to start. Kellen was on his way, but I decided to get out on the water while it was still "warm."

After 30 minutes of fishing, I managed to settle on a decent hole with very slow, deep water. About 15 minutes into fishing the whole I hooked up with a nice 14 - 15 inch rainbow, that put up much more of a fight than I expected. I hooked him on my 4 weight, but with the frigid water, I didn't expect as much from the fish. The fish took my trailing fly, a size 20 black zebra midge with an ostrich herl collar.

About an hour later Kellen showed up, and I pointed him to the same hole I had pulled my fish from. within 15 minutes, he hooked another nice rainbow around 17 - 18 inches out of the same hole on a pink pyramidge with a glass bead head. Both fish were extremely healthy, and his fish couldn't wait for the camera before it lunged back into the water.

We scouted the area a bit more, but the temps dropped quickly and it was time to head home. Not a bad winter's day though, with 2 very decent fish landed. The goal right now is to fish slow, deep pockets using small nymphs and midges. The "drop-shot" seems to be a good technique for getting your flies down, and slowing them down quite a bit in the current.

Here are some pics from the day:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Nnnew years ddddday

It was chilly but we headed up the hill west of town today and fished near the California border. We were contemplating braving the weather and heading up to the little Truckee to see if it was accessible but realized it was day 1 of the new year and our Ca licenses would need renewing before we could do that. We started at pump house and moved up stream to the state line. The bite was tough but Kellen pulled a pretty brown out of the pad in front of a big rock at the tail end of some slow deep water. I was dead drifting big streamers all afternoon under an indicator with no luck. Kellen's brown took a size 16 orange vinyl midge with white glass bead head. Kellen applied a little bass technique called a drop shot which is a fantastic idea. One reason I hate using split shots to get my stack down is the propensity of your line to snap at the split shot. Using a drop shot, you'll tie a short length of line off your trailing fly and then clamp the split shot on the end of it. This will get your stack down to the bottom and in the fish's face where it needs to be. Also with a split shot rolling on the rocks your a little less prone to snags.
Here are a few images from our afternoon out.

Shortly after the pic, Kellen ate shit for the first time today, more to follow. Beware of ice under foot.

Here is a nice shot when the clouds broke for a few.

Kellen's Brown and his spiffy new video cam sunglasses. Hopefully we will learn how to use em and get some good footage.

See you out there.