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!