Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brian O'Keefe of Catch Magazine at The Spot in December

Brian O'Keefe of Catch Magazine will be at the shop on Sunday, December 12, 2010.

Brian has been serious about fly fishing for the past 40 years. During the past 30, cameras have played a significant part in his outdoor lifestyle.

At age eight, Brian’s interest in fly fishing was born while spending summers in Montana with his grandparents. There he was taught the art of fly casting and fishing by his grandfather, a dry fly purist. From those first years fishing the waters of the Northwest and Montana, he has spent the majority of his free time fishing and taking advantage of all the outdoors has to offer. On family vacations, Brian would often go off alone to fish a nearby stream. His interest in photography began as a means to back up with pictures, what his family thought might be just “tall tales”.

Brian started fishing the world in the fall of 1973. He began with a solo trip through New Zealand and Australia, and a brief trek into the Himalayan Mountains to fish for brown trout. After returning from this two-year adventure, Brian spent his summers guiding in the Northwest and Alaska for trout, salmon and steelhead. During those years he accumulated quite a large collection of slides, occasionally selling one to a flyfishing publication. At age 30, he began his career as a fly fishing tackle rep. Brian is also an accomplished fly caster, earning the title of Master Certified Fly Casting Instructor from the Fly Fishing Federation (FFF). He has also placed in, and won many fly casting competitions.

Brian has traveled to some of the wildest and most remote angling destinations in the world, including: Bikini Atoll, the Seychelles, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tonga, Cuba and Kashmir. He has also traveled to more accessible locations, such as: the Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Chile, New Zealand, Christmas Island and more. In many of these locations he again chooses to venture off the beaten path, hiking, floating, sea-kayaking or taking a Zodiac into the backcountry.

Brian lives with his wife and fishing partner, Judith in Powell Butte, Oregon and continues to work as an angling and outdoor photographer, having had photographs published in periodicals such as: the Los Angeles Times; the New York Times; the Miami Herald; USA Today and many others. He has had cover shots in: Field & Stream; Outdoor Life; Fly Fisherman; Fly, Rod and Reel; Fly Fishing Salt Waters; Fly and Fish Magazine; Outside Magazine and Mens Journal. In addition to photography, Today, you could just as easily run into Brian on his way to a slide show presentation at your local fly fishing club, as you could in an airport on his way to some island in the Pacific.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Please Help If You Can

Longtime Sierra Pacific and Federation member and superb fly fishing teacher Robert “Kazy” Kazahaya has passed away after his battle with cancer. It is unfortunate and heartbreaking that his affectionate boxer dog, Lucy, needs a home.

Lucy is a young 7 yr old - she loves people and kids. She is housebroken,
spayed and micro-chipped and is about 60 lbs. Lucy is on medication for
incontinence (which solves the problem) and she also has a little arthritis in her back leg but that doesn't stop
her from playing and being a dog. The only thing that Lucy doesn't like are
cats and other dogs. She is very protective of her home when people come to the
house. She sometimes barks until she meets the people and then she is ok. She needs to be in a
home where she is the only dog.

See the attached photo.

If there is anyone who is interested or knows someone who would like to adopt or
even foster her until we can find her "furever" home, please contact her current foster home, Bruce Altrock. 805.3731079 home, 805.2312978

Friday, November 5, 2010

Global Rescue Living Up To Their Name

The letter below from my contact, Don Causey, at Global Rescue illustrates the need for the services they provide world wide. Something to consider if you are traveling to remote areas for fishing or other recreational pursuits.

"Dear Ken,

As this issue of your bulletin is being written, Global Rescue is handling another medical emergency for a member of the hunting community. As more and more hunters and fishermen sign up for memberships, the number of evacuations we perform for those that face medical emergencies continues to grow.

The latest incident occurred in Namibia late last month, where an American hunter, a member of Safari Club International and Dallas Safari Club, was bitten on the foot by an Angolan cobra (Naja annulifera anchietae) that delivered what could have been a fatal dose of venom. The Professional Hunter killed the cobra and rushed the hunter to a local hospital where he was administered an anti-venom. To save his lower leg, physicians performed emergency surgery that completely removed the skin from the top of the man's foot. This was necessary in order to prevent severe, life-threatening blood infections. At the conclusion of surgery, an attempt was made to graft replacement tissue to the wound.

After a thorough review of the medical records and images performed in conjunction with local physicians, it was determined the efforts to re-graft the skin had been unsuccessful. Global Rescue's medical team and Johns Hopkins specialists agreed that his foot should be operated on in the United States. He was immediately flown to Washington, D.C., via Amsterdam.

Global Rescue even secured the necessary permits to have the member's hunting rifle transferred in Amsterdam and cleared for carriage with him all the way home.

Once in Virginia, the skin on the hunter's foot was re-grafted to allow him to recuperate in his home hospital of choice.

This story, I think you will agree, points up the depth and sophistication of the Global Rescue operation. No medical evacuation firm in the world can perform like we do.

Yours in good hunting and fishing,

Don Causey

Senior Advisor to Global Rescue"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Massive Clearance Sale

We just marked down a boat load of products to make room for all the new goodies that will be arriving soon. Now is the time, if you are looking for a great price on clothing, rods, reels and lines. Stop by and check out the deals.
Note: some of the products have shop worn packaging but the item itself is in as new condition.

Outcast Wave 9 Pontoon Boat (Floor Display Only) Reg. $525 Clearance $399.95

Galvan Spoke Reels 30% off MSRP

Hardy Cascapedia & St. George Reels 30% off MSRP

Hardy Canvas/Leather Satchel 40% off MSRP

Greys Streamflex & XFlite Rods 30% MSRP

Selected Simms Shirts 40% off MSRP

Greys Platinum Boat Bag 60% off MSRP

Sage 4580CF Reel 40% off MSRP

Rio Spey and Skagit fly lines 40% off MSRP

Ex Officio Boxers and Briefs 40% off MSRP

Redington CW 7/8/9 reel 40% off MSRP

Greys GRXI Cassette reels with 3 extra spools 40% off MSRP

Bauer JM1/JM2/Rouge Spools 50% off MSRP 50% MSRP

Galvan OB Spools 50% off MSRP

Ross Evolution Spools 50% off MSRP

Loomis Venture 7 Reel 30% off MSRP

Simms Freestone Zippered Wader 30%off MSRP

Simms Blackfoot & Freestone Wading Boots 40% off MSRP

Chota Rockloc Wading Boots 50% off MSRP

Simms Pursuit shoes & sandals 50% off MSRP

Gone Fishing Polarized Sunglasses Values to $39.95 Clearance $19.95

All products are limited to stock on hand.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Pilgrimage 2010

For many years my partner Steve & I have made an annual trek up Hwy 395 to the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The beauty of the area never ceases to please the eye and the prospects of fine fishing, old friends and good food outweigh the drudgery of the 4 1/2 hour drive. This year the weather and the fish gods were in alignment and our trip was a rousing success. Our first day was spent with the ever energetic David D'Beaupre from Sierra Trout Magnet fishing the wild trout section of the lower Owens River. After a long summer of high flows, over 500 CFS, the stream was running clear and flows were a manageable 250 CFS and the trout proved willing on small 18-20 baetis nymphs. Although I had fished the Lower O. many times before David showed me a few new spots and we must have been having fun because the time flew by.
The rest of the week was spent with a group of old friends at Hot Creek Ranch and the Baetis hatch was in full swing. Each day, beginning at around 10:30 a.m., the wild residents of this world famous creek began rising to a robust hatch of BWO aka. Baetis. Below is a slide show with pictures of some of the trout we caught and the sights we enjoyed. EnJoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Sometimes we lose sight of what is right in front of us. We dream of fishing trips to faraway places and substitute wishing for fishing. This year I have been lucky enough to fish in some pretty cool spots and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. However, I was determined to not wait so long between fishing outings and to fish locally when time permitted.
For many years I would fish the lakes around the LA area with varying degrees of success and I knew of the potential for good sized fish that put a bend in your rod and a stretch in your string.

Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Carp, Crappie and Bluegill are all fun targets for the flyrodder who is tied to LA either by business or family commitments. Within minutes of all of you LA residents there are hard fighting species that will sharpen your skills and fine tune your reflexes so that when you actually go on that long awaited trip it won't have been six months (a year? Two?) since you actually cast a rod at a live target.

So Cal is fortunate to have a system of lakes/reservoirs that are loaded with all kinds of fly eating critters and all you need to do is get out there and give it a shot. You probably already have the right gear to chase a lot of these species and with the addition of a few different flies, and some intel from your local friendly fly shop you can be harassing the locals within minutes of your home.

Don't turn your noses up at these, not so exotic, species. There is a lot that they can teach you about setting a hook, fighting a fish, making difficult casts into the wind, spotting fish and relaxing.

And when it comes right down to it that is why you took up this crazy hobby to begin with. In the ever increasing hubbub of our everyday lives these local denizens will provide hours of welcome, blissful, mindless relaxation.

This morning just 15 minutes from my house I caught and released some really fine LM Bass and thought about absolutely nothing else while I did it. Relaxing? You bet your bippy it was!

OK, so I'm stepping down off my soapbox and heading to the refrigerator to continue my relaxing day with a nice glass of Chardonnay. Have fun out there!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Update from Jimmie Morales - West Slope Fall Conditions

As pilfered from the Sierra Fly Fisher Blog (
"We are chompin' at the bit in anticipation for the appearance of the October caddis. Anticipation is also high for a significant spike in "brown trout friskyness" and we couldn't be happier. Browns love fall and they love "weather". This coming weekend we'll have co-host and special guest Andrew Maurer at Mono Hot Springs. For those of you with a soft spot for photography, you may wish to join us for our evening "hang time" at the restaurant there. Andrew's photos speak for themselves. See: and check out these recent Eastern Sierra. sample photos below."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fishermen's Spot is proud to be the SoCal source for Dan Blanton's Striperfest raffle tickets. Each year Dan hosts this great event to help raise funds to protect this awesome fishery and this year we are proud to be a part of it. Below are ticket prices and the very impressive list of prizes that are up for grabs this year. Stop by the shop and get your tickets and help us keep this great fishery great. Check out the very cool prizes listed below......

Raffle Ticket Sales – Dan Blanton Striperfest 2010

$20 - single ticket
$100 - 6 tickets
$200 - 15 tickets
$500 - 40 tickets

$1000 – 100 tickets

Striperfest Raffle Donations

1. Mike McKenzie - Used, prime condition, Abel Reel Super 10 – Mike McKenzie.

2. Captain Mike Costello - One day (weekend) guide trip on the delta with Captain Mike Costello – value $450 – must redeem within one year.

3. Mike Costello - Book – “Fly Fishing the California Delta” – donated by Mike Costello.

4. Dan Blanton - One day guided trip for one angler on the delta with Captain Dan Blanton – must redeem within one year – value $550. 4 ea. Rigged `N Ready rod bags. Book, Fly Fishing California’s Great Waters – hard bound.

5. Habervision – 2 pair glasses.

6. Corey Cate – wine, wine, wine.

7. Steve Potter – box of his famous flies.

8. Captain Jerry Neuburger - One day Delta guided trip, Trip by DeltaStripers, all day, for two, lunch and refreshments included. Novices welcome. Value $350 -

Captain Jerry Neuburger.

9. Ron Dong - Ron Dong Crease flies - by Ron Dong.

10. Captain Bill Hutchinson - Half-day guided trip on the delta in November with Captain Bill Hutchinson.

11. Jonny King - Flies by Jonny King.

12. California Fly Shop - Five $100 gift cards that can be individually raffled.

13. Henry Cowan - One dozen striper flies tied by Henry Cowan.

15. Brad Bohen - Musky Country Outfitters in for a full day musky on the fly float for this event. Good for June 1st 2011 through September 1 - 2011 – Brad Bohen.

16. Leo Gutterres - Box of poppers – Leo Gutterres.

Additions as of 8/28/2010

17. Bill Kiene - Sage LMB outfit – rod, reel, line and case – Bill Kiene – Kiene’s Fly Shop.

18. Noel de Guzman - dozen striper flies – Noel de Guzman.

19 Charlie Gonzales - One day guided trip with Charlie Gonzales on the American River.

20. Goodies from John Sherman and Simms: Dry Creek Boat Bag – medium; Dry Creek Boat Bag – large; Dry Creek Duffle – medium.

21. From artist/author Bill Bishop: 1 snook print remarked, 1 redfish print remarked, 1 trout print remarked, 1 bonefish prink remarked, 1 permit print remarked and 1 tarpon print remarked. Also include are six signed artist proof stripers and six signed artist proof speckled perch, one of Bill’s favorites. Total of 18 prints and a remarked copy of Bill’s tarpon book, “High Rollers”.

22. Steve Cali - Box of striper flies.

23. Orvis – Tom Rosenbauer - great new rod called the Access. Almost as light as the Helios, similar flex pattern, and retails for only $375 in the 909 version.

24. The Fishient Group - A hamper full of fly tying materials and flies.

25. Tomas R. Pero – Publisher Wild River Press - Signed copies of: A Passion for Steelhead; A Passion for Tarpon; Fly Fishing for Striped Bass (limited edition worth $250); Plus one each of all four tarpon posters from the new book.

26. Ken Hanley – 2 ea. Mexico Blue Ribbon Fly Fishing Guidebooks

2 ea. “Saltwater Salmon on the Fly” DVD's.

27. Dennis Papike – Cal-West Custom Rods – Special Striperfest rod (last year’s was a beauty! Dan).

27. Stan Pleskunas – one of his LMDs (line management devices)

28. Brandon White – Lateral Line – XL Crisfield Shirt and XL Miles T-shirt. 50 ea. Lateral Line hats will be given to the first 50 who register at the event with Matt Havelock and the Smith mob – they hats normally sell for $20 each.

Additions as of 8/29/10

29. Captain Steve Santucci – one day guided trip for two on the Delta.

30. Keith Kaneko – Angling on the Fly Travel Service - 10% discount (coupon) on one travel package offered by Angling On The Fly (must redeem within one year) --- OR --- One day guide trip by Keith Kaneko on the Lower Yuba River (value: $395 / must redeem within one year)

31. Doug Jeffries – a dozen poppers – 6 balsa and 6 foam in hand-made aromatic cedar boxes.

Additions as of 8/30/10

32. Mark Rockwell – two day guided trip on Fall River 2011 – hopefully to include lodging and breakfast.

33. Albright – Michael Kahn – Albright XXT 10 rod.

34. TFO – (new series) BVK 8-wt., with TFO 340 large arbor reel.

35. Rio – Rio Outbound Short Fly lines in both sinking and floating.

36. Sage – Xi3 rod and reel outfit.

36. Hardy North American/Hardy-Greys – Zane 4 pc. 9-wt. & Zane 2 fly reel – Jim Murphy.

37. Duplicate donation removed.

38. Solitude Reels – Solitude SR5.

Additions as of 8/31/10

39. Fishermen’s Spot – Ken & Steve - Redington Redfly Outfit. It includes a 9' 8 wt 4 piece Redfly rod, SV Reel and a WF 8 F line and backing and a Rod/Reel Case. This lists for $300.

40. Sea Level FlyFishing – Ray Hutcherson – fly rod - Sea Level Extreme Inshore 7' 11" 4pc 7 WT – value $250.

41. JC Poulton – Case of Redhawk red wine – hmmm…

42. Fly Shop – Mike Michalak - two nights at Antelope Creek Lodge for two anglers for the 2011 season. Dates to be arranged, value = $295 X 4 = $1,180.

43. Abel Reel –Super 9 reel with a solid frame in the striper finish - Retail value of $1025.00. .

44. Ben Byng – Balsa-wood poppers and other cool flies guaranteed to catch fish.

45. Dave Inks – 36 Flashtail striper flies.

46. Targus – Complete set of Targus jig hooks and various fly tying materials.

47. Carl Blackledge – half dozen Tube, Ron Dong Crease flies.

48. Jay Murakoshi - 1 dozen deer hair poppers - combined hair bugs (Dahlberg's, flat face deer hair poppers)

1 dozen sea habits for Baja/stripers

1 dozen Clouser, varied colors.

49. George Smith (AKA GES) – New TFO 8-10; 300-400 grain Mini-Mag rod.

50. Boga Grip – Gary Alldredge of Boga Grip.

51. Scientific Anglers – 4 ea. Gift certificates for fly line of choice. Jeff Weiringa.

52. Bobby Barrack – one day guided trip on the delta for one.

53. John Quigley - 10 - 2 packs of my Quigley Twisted Leaders.

54. Excellent Adventures – Al Smatsky – two, one-day passes to Kelsey Bass Ranch – value $200

55. Vladan Milenkovic - dozen of striper flies-some floating/suspended baitfish, and also some imitations tied on jig hooks.

56. Outdoor Specialty Products – Jamie Lyle - Sage Typhoon Boat Bag; Redington CDL 7/8 Reel; 1 pair Smith Gallegos Glasses; 1 Rio Outbound Short line.

57. Al Quattrocchi – Qbonefish/permit flies.

58. Joe Kohn - Abel QC 7/8 Green finish.

59. Orland Outfitters, Wayne Syn - One spot on the two-day Kay Mitsuyoshi Memorial Shad Fishout - May 20 - 21, 2011.

60. Dr. Slick - A pair of Pisces Pliers - $40 retail value

61. MAKO – Jack Charlton – a MAKO reel to be announced soon.

62. Nautilus – Kristen Mustad - Nautilus NV 89 - Custom grey ghost anodized - MSRP $700.

63. Fly Fishing Specialties Fly Shop - Sacramento – 5 $20 gift certificates – Bernie Halterbeck.

64. Umpqua Feather Merchants - 3 large boxes loaded to the gills with

Delta-selected striper flies.

65. Scott Rod Company – Jim Bartschi - Scott A3909/4, 9ft 9 line 4 pc.

66. No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guides – Howard Fisher, publisher – Four of Mike Costello’s book “Fly Fishing the California Delta”.

67. Icon Products – John Ryzanych – Braided Loop Leader Kits.

68. Bass the Movie DVD: Donated by Howard Films and John Sherman.

69. Limited Edition Fly Fishing the Ca Delta Book: Donated by John Sherman

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oh no more product endorsements!

I am very excited to try out in the coming days one of those Freedom Hawk kayaks. Look for that report soon.

After rummaging through the Spot's bargain bin fly boxes, I threw some streamers into the waters of the Merced River. The rewards were bows, browns and a hog pike minnow(eeeek!).


Monday, September 13, 2010

International Fly Tackle Dealer Show

New products and old friends!

Steve, Ted and I went to the International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Denver, CO to check out the new products for next season. Wow! Talk about sensory overload!

Highlights include Hardy's new Sintrix rods, which include new Zenith freshwater and Proaxis saltwater ranges of fly rods. Each range is built with Hardy’s proprietary new Sintrix material. Sintrix is the result of ground-breaking technology in the use of Silica Matrix Resin technology in collaboration with the 3M Corporation. Hardy has developed their own specific formulation from this technology, and the results have been extensively field tested over the past 18 months. Their team of fishing pros from the Florida Keys to Montana has hailed the rods as truly innovative and exceptional fishing and casting tools.

The Sintrix material allows the design team to build the first series of rods that combines the best attributes of the modern reserve-power, fast action fly rods with the more technical requirements of tracking, tippet protection and a taper that shifts the load to the butt when you need to lay into the fish.
 The company’s development and marketing teams from both the UK and the US were at the Denver show. Chris Bond, Director of Research & Development, Howard Croston, Product Development Manager and well known Salt Water angler Andy Mill, who coordinated the field testing (check out this video ) and analysis were on hand to present the new rods.

We have had a prototype 10wt (here is the 10wt in action on a big Barracuda during the field testing process )on hand this summer to check out but it was impressive to see and cast the finished products. These are good looking, tasteful rods with a deep blue finish and a smooth, powerful casting action. Fast, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Available January 2011.

Fishpond's new luggage features lots of new colors and a new backpack/chestpack combo that allows you to attach the chestpack to the front of the backpack so that it is out of the way when you are hiking. This is a simple solution that makes for easier, more comfortable hiking and fishing.

Tibor's new, ported reel with a sealed cork drag was demonstrated to us by living saltwater legend Ted (Tibor) Juracsik. It is the first Tibor reel to be ported for weight reduction and Ted was proud of the obvious upgrades. The reels are beautiful with an innovative sealed drag that reduces maintenance to almost nothing. This will be a fast favorite with the saltwater and spey guys.

Redington’s new entry level, Crosswater waders are one of the highlights of their expanded line of clothing and gear. We can finally offer a quality wader from a national brand at just $99.95 great for a beginner or as a backup pair.

Abel has a new line clipper that will literally last a lifetime and it will work on braided lines as well. The clipper features replaceable cutter blades and comes with an adjustable lanyard. You’ll never need another one.

Winston Boron IIIX rods are the next generation of ultra light boron rods from this Twin Bridges, Montana company. These rods continue the Winston tradition of sweet casting rods and gorgeous high end finish. It’s just a beautiful fishing tool.

Ross F1 reel is a really sexy newcomer to the Ross Reel family and incorporates a drag based on the braking system of a Formula 1 racecar. The stacked, sealed carbon fiber drag will stay cool and smooth no matter the speed of the fish’s run. Check out this video from the show.

Micro snaps from Traun River Co from Germany allow you to quickly and easily change flies without retying. This will be particularly helpful when chasing busting pods of picky strippers and LMB at the local lakes.

Freedom Hawk Kayaks were really interesting and although it would be difficult for us to stock them we were really impressed by the design and function of these boats. 12’ and 14’ models have easy to deploy outriggers that allow you to stand and cast with ease.

Well-made and very portable, these boats are ideal for inshore, lake and bay fishing here in SoCal. Here’s a video demonstration of the 14’ model . I may just have to get one for myself.

Oh no a product endorsement!

Sometimes there isn't enough time to tie. Sometimes a cool fly will catch your eye. A few months ago I bought a streamer from the The Spot for some trout hunting and it paid off. This summer, while in Montana with Noah Snyder and Jim Lowe had me learning a little about the ever-fascinating Bull Trout. Here's a shot of a Montana specimen with a Coffey's Conehead Sparkle Minnow in its mouth.

There are some additional shots at my Photobucket account. Click HERE and both Noah and Jim have posted fun reports HERE.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Early Summer Yosemite Report from Sierra Fly Fisher

This report came to us recently from Jimmie Morales and Bernard Yin who are getting busy in the Yosemite area. Small streams appear to be the order of the day and show no signs of disappointing the angler. Visit Sierra Fly Fisher at:
Hello Everyone,
The rivers remain unusually high for this time of the year but the air temps are pleasant to warm and if you hit the edges of the bigger water or smaller streams, the fishing is wonderful. Summer in general should prove to be very solid this year. In the weeks to come, the Merced should be coming down to a workable level. All that said, we are getting busier and busier with fun-seeking clients of all ages from all over. A recent outing with Bernard guiding on a small stream with Chris, Jake and Logan proved nothing short of a riot as they honed their chops on some dry fly action for browns and brookies. Don't be fooled either. These small and beautiful fish were skittish and gave us a quality game. Thanks guys for a truly fun day. Bernard reports that it was excellent therapy after his recent road mishap. Everyone, please check the road conditions online with the park service. Current construction on the 41 (and other park roads) is creating hazards, delays, dusty conditions as well as reducing turnouts. Just be careful. Here's a helpful link: The waterfalls in Yosemite Valley proper are doing very well and we are finding happy clients who integrate a day on the stream into their Yosemite visit. Smiles all around.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Christmas Island Slide Show 2010

A slide show with some great pics from our Christmas Island adventure. The fishing keeps getting better every time we go.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cane Mutiny BBQ It was a Small and Good Time

A nice report on this weekend's Cane Mutiny and Hardy Day activities from cane addict/aficionado and old friend Darrell Kunitomi. Darrell has agreed to contribute here from time to time on all things cane, collecting and local (LA and environs) fishing so we have that to look forward to.

It was a fine day. Is it ever not when boys and bamboo and barbecued meats get together?

We had but half a doz of the faithful -- many members were called away by honey dos and travel, fools -- so the faithful handful ate tons of grilled meats, sausages, chili, rice and salad, drank mostly water and juices, fools -- and we cast one of the finest representations of roddage ever seen in my yard. Some Brandin fella. Old Young thing, 7 1/2' of perfection. Mr. Leonard, Mr. AJ, a five-sided Mario, no dogs on Saturday.

Some fine hand-planed George Boehme (Bay-me) rods, our pal who's been ill. Watercolorman savored a cool quad, at 7 1/2' for a five line. I own two of his creations.

George in the California sunshine, sitting in the cactus garden holding his fine quad rod.

Been about three years since the last gathering, life intrudes you know. Jerry I. drove down from two hours away. Jim, jz2, stands at George's rod rack, occupied mostly by that Brandin fella -- rods 8'6 on down, with other assorted rods.

Life in California is so hard. I planned on weather, 60s, breezy, cleared the fire pit for a fire to keep George warm and dammit, it was a beautiful day. Again. Hummingbirds in the pomegranite, jays squawking around their nest, hell, just hell.

Jerry, George, John and Alan, Watercolorman, do the casting hang-around thing here. Jerry brought his Perfectionist. Found in an antique shop for a nickle, restored by Bob Summers. I cast it. Now, I'm not normally a para sort of fella, preferring the Goodwin-meets-Payne vibe, and variations thereof. But something has gotten to me. I'm liking that butt. I'm liking that firm, high butt. I'm starting to like that stiffy thing when you swing forward and drive your thumb like you're snapping a fly swatter and the rod doesn't complain but kicks. He was lucky to get away from my place.

Then again, there was that Brandin fella. We cast a three-piece, not usually seen. And I swung a Brandin hex that suited my arm nicely. John liked one model too much. He dropped a bomb. Jim grinned, it was his rod. John, a strong and precise tournament caster: "It's better than mine...".

New man Watercolorman dropped by and had a fine time. We always welcome a fellow caniac. We come not to rid ourselves of the addiction but to celebrate it.

The next day was Hardy Weekend at the Fishermen's Spot, Van Nuys, California. John Shanner who knows two tons of historical fly knowledge and can handle a lube tube and screwdriver to fix your old reel was really on-hand. Rodmaker Robert Bolt drove down.

I flexed every model he brought, about nine of them. I've owned several Howell rods, dealt them off over the years, fool, and retain one 7'. Bolt's renditions are fine rods.

He mentioned his 8' for a three. He cast a wary eye at me. I said put a damn reel on it and hand the noodle over, rover. It worked deep and medium. I liked it like I liked a fella's 40L back on the Gunpowder. In the right place at the right time, sweetness.

He found himself in a sea of asphalt. Then, he went for street cred and turned his cap around. It worked. No one shot at us.

Larry is grinning because he, like a cat with a sparrow in-mouth, was planning. He was taking a Bolt rod home. He bought the famed 7'3 for a three.

It's a collector's dream at the Spot. Several 7 1/2's showed, a Black Beauty Featherweight sold, 600. All manner of piscatoriana, wallets, tools, lures, flies, the good stuff.


The reels. Now, sure, lots of white-handled Medalists, SAs, Cortlands, Johnson automatics in Googie colors, stuff for kids and guests on rocky streams. With big old ugly lines on them, with bad knots. You know the sort you see at swap meets.

Then there's the heavy metal, Hardy fly reels to die for. Hard rubber too, bone handles, reels you don't hand over to examine. No, you can see them just fine inside the glass of the case.

Over the years I've been fortunate to have acquired some nice reels for my fishing. My drooling has stopped. But I still look, and it's a longing look -- 3" flat-head screw St. George, small Uniquas, Perfects, lots of brass and aluminum. Metal line guide St. George, then I don't have to worry about cracks in the fragile agate, hm.

You know your rods if you can recognize the fine little rod box here, and this maker's work. Beautiful work, box, form, and rod. Stiff on the flex, probably a five for the dry. Not for sale. I asked.

But the rod below was killer.

I state that it is the finest from Mr. Leonard I've ever coveted, flexed! I mean flexed! in mine hands. Circa 30s, 7' 3/2 Catskill, for a true DT2 line, deeply medium but with enough wood above the hand for a feel so exquisite I sweat right now thinking on it.

So fine so light so perfectly diminuative that the 2 9/16s St. George looks huge on it. It is a whisper in your hands. It is poetry and it is not for sale.

It belongs to a lady flyfisher who inherited her father's fine tackle. A Rube Cross fly was identified. The gear came from the finest stores from the Depression era. The sort of stuff from the sort of gentleman you'd read about in Swiebert's reminicences in Trout. The guy who gave him the new silk and gut points.

The stuff of dreams.

So it was a good weekend for the bamboo and for friends. We'll have more in the future, long as I last. The Spot guys love the old gear and the camaraderie.

Odd how so many weirdos can be united by a simple fishing tool, a fly rod made of split cane. Somehow it makes sense.

Friday, April 2, 2010

March and April Browns

We just got a great report from the Sierra Fly Fisher crew
The annual March Brown "event" on the Upper Kings has remained true to form: Mysterious yet rewarding.
Photo: Artin Marootian
The hatch would shift in time and even location but it held enough onto tradition and we got into some action. Between the feeding frenzies we were spoiled by the amazing spring beauty and while smelling some flowers SFF guide Bernard Yin planted his face roughly two feet from a sizable rattler. "I never heard a flower like that!" As he adjusted his focus, he tells us, "All I saw were scales and huge diamonds" (as in Diamondback Rattlesnake). Luckily the only thing bitten were our flies. Pocket water hunting provided fish when the bugs were less active. Mayflies and numerous types of stoneflies were and are the predominant insect at this time. This river is truly an interesting game. What is this all about? We look for good weather but not so hot that the high country slopes start to melt. We then dash in and work hard at finding the hot zones. Upper Kings bows are strong and wild. A foot long fish is average but a few in the "teens" are always sprinkled in. Look at the bend on client Dave's rod...
Photo: Andrew Maurer
Note that this is the catch and release section of this massive river and also remember that most streams are not open for fishing until the last Saturday in April. Don't be discouraged, just know the regs.

We have been blessed with great photographers. Last year Stephanie Skiff shot a multitude of great shots. Over the last few days we had the honor of guest photographer Andrew Maurer (see: ) in our company.
Photo: Andrew Maurer
The collective crew be they guides, clients or others crated a wonderful mix and camp every night was a great hang with food and laughter. Some of these shots are a sneak peek at Andrew's stellar work and look out for more photos very soon. For those of you in So. Cal. Jimmie and Bernard will be present at The Fishermen's Spot (April 8th). More of Andrew's photography, Stephanie's photography and even some exclusive 2010 helicopter footage of the drainage will be showcased. The conversation will be about Yosemite, The Kings, our Fall brown trout camp and mucho mas.

April 1st UPDATE: The upper Kings continues to be fishable fish despite a "false alarm" on Weds./Thurs. that spring runoff might kick in.
Suddenly a cool front curtailed the rise in flows and we're seriously considering heading back on the river! April Browns we call them (nudge nudge wink wink).

Contact us if you want to talk trout or we'll see you March 8th in the early evening at the Spot. Call Ken or Steve for details.
The Sierra Fly Fisher Team

Monday, March 22, 2010

Alaska Bans felt....

I guess it's coming wether we want it or not.

Fisheries Board bans anglers' felt-soled boots
The Associated Press
Published: March 22nd, 2010 02:10 PM
Last Modified: March 22nd, 2010 02:10 PM

JUNEAU, Alaska - Alaska anglers will be banned from wearing felt-soled wading boots in streams and rivers starting in 2012 under a decision by the Board of Fisheries.

The ban is aimed at preventing the spread of disease and invasive species.

The board voted 6-0 in favor of the ban Friday in Anchorage.

Anglers wear felt-soled boots in streams to help their footing on wet rocks.

Trout Unlimited pushed for the ban. Project director Mark Kaelke (CAL'-key) says felt stays wet longer than rubber boots and carries more river sediment.

He says invasive species can survive on felt while boots are transported to different fishing grounds, creating the potential to spread disease

The Fisheries Board has jurisdiction over anglers only and the ban does not apply to other stream users.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fly Fishing Show Pleasanton, CA

Better late than never I guess. Spent the last couple of days catching up in the shop after a very busy weekend in Nor Cal.
The Flyfishing Show in Pleasanton, CA was outstanding this year and it was really nice to see the enthusiasm and excitement in all the attendees. Many of our old friends stopped by and we were able to catch up on old times and plan new ones. It was great to see Dan on Friday and finally meet Ed Given after all these years. We had fun reminiscing about our old buddy Andy Puyans and the about fishing in the 70s. Charlie Bisharat and Charlie Gonzales stopped by for a visit and Noel Guzman showed up a few minutes later followed by John Sherman making the rounds. Later in the day Lee Haskins came by and introduced himself and it was like meeting an old friend. I felt like I’d known him forever and we had a nice time visiting and talking fly tying for a few minutes. Many of the guys from the forum came by and introduced themselves and it was nice to put a face with the names that are posted online.
On Saturday Mike Costello was out and about and reporting a decent week of fishing for stripers to 26 lbs. The crowd on Saturday was huge and we were kept very busy and unfortunately we did not have time visit with the many friends who stopped by. Jimmie Morales came by in the thick of things and it was all I could do to say “Hi”. We’ll have to catch up another time. Old friend Mike Michelak, owner of The Fly Shop in Redding, Ca, stopped by to shoot the breeze and we had a laugh or two.
I was tickled to meet Ron Dong when he and some friends came by and I got a chance to tell him how much we enjoyed using his flies down in Baja each year.
Lots of other old friends were working the show including Ken Hanley, Jay Murakoshi, Howard & Janee Mc Kinney, Joe Contaldi, Gary Anderson and Al Perryman so it was a fun weekend for me personally. I’m certain I have forgotten to mention some of the folks but my memory isn’t what it used to be. It was great to see so much enthusiasm and even a few youngsters either just getting started or already seasoned anglers. I look forward to doing it again next year.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Spot 2009 Slideshow

Pics of events and fishing trips from the past year.