Tuesday, December 27, 2011

80 Miles Of Exclusive Water

Fish With The Spot This Summer

Imagine being the only group of anglers on an exclusive 80 miles of a world class trout water. Browns, Rainbows and even some Northern Pike abound in waters only accessible by permission of the Blackfoot tribe. This is River Ranche, located on the Bow River near Calgary, Alberta, Canada and just an easy flight away. 

Fishermen’s Spot will be taking a group of anglers north to enjoy this fantastic fishery July 28-August 3 2012 and you are invited to come along.  This is a great opportunity to fish a very lightly fished section of this World Class river and stay at a very comfortable facility.  In addition, you may take a cultural side trip during your stay to learn about the traditions and lore of the Blackfoot people.


Accommodations, meals, 6 Nights with 4 float trips $ 2250+5% GST/person with optional 5th day of fishing.
Transportation to Calgary, license, adult beverages and gratuities extra.

Deposit 25%/person balance 60 days before trip.  Call Steve at the shop (818) 785-7306 for more details or email steve@fishermensspot.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Squeezing-In Fly Time via So. Cal. Salt

It's amazing how many So Cal anglers know of the opportunities on the beach yet never get there. I have dabbled with this for several years and am only now building myself a proper stripping basket. In other words, I am pretty guilty as well. I love my trout and my granite-lined streams. So, all that aside, this season has proven to be exceptional for surf perch. These fish are fun, strong and provide a great excuse for a pre-work stroll on the sand.... Give it a shot!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Win An Orvis Helios Rod

Win an Orvis Helios Rod

To help launch the Orvis Green Phone in Fishermen’s Spot we are giving away an Orvis Helios rod of your choice in a drawing to be held February 29th 2012. 

What is the Orvis Green Phone? 
Basically it is a direct connection to purchase anything that Orvis lists in their many catalogs and their website.  Need a nice scarf for your lady, Cashmere Sweater, or a flannel shirt?  You can now order it on the Green Phone at Fishermen’s Spot and it will be shipped direct to you from Orvis with no standard shipping charges.  In addition, if you receive Orvis in-store discount coupons you can now use those on the Green Phone at Fishermen’s Spot and get free standard shipping too.  It’s a win- win and, maybe, win a new Helios rod as well.

How do I enter to win?
Each time you make a purchase on the Green Phone in Fishermen’s Spot, between now and March 1st 2012, your name and email will be entered into the drawing.  You will be notified via email if you are the winner.  It’s that simple. 

How do I use the Green Phone?
It’s very simple to order from Orvis on the Green Phone.  Just stop by our store and tell us which product from the catalogs or website you would like to order.  We will call on our direct line into the Orvis order desk and give your name and shipping information to the operator and hand the phone to you to place the order. That’s it!  The product will be shipped to the address that you have specified.
Orvis has hundreds of thousands of products in their catalogs and now you can access it right here at the Spot and get free shipping and use those in-store coupons as well.

When Can I Start?
The Green Phone is already installed and ready at the Spot.  We have Orvis catalogs available or you can access the Orvis website while you are at the store. 

The more times you order the more opportunity you have to win.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Great Weekend Ahead

Don't miss our annual kick off to the Holiday Season. 

Abel/Winston Day
Saturday December 10
with Dale Hightower

All sales over $100 you wil receive a gift certificate for 10% off the pre-tax value. Good for 120 days from date of purchase.
All sales over $300 will include sales tax & gift certificate for 10% of the pre-tax value. Good for 120 days from date of purchase. These specials may not be combined with Winston and Abel Specials.

20% off all new and used books and DVDs (great gifts).

Buy any Winston "green" rod or Abel reel and we will include sales tax and shipping if we don't have the product in stock. In addition, you can buy an artist graphic or fish graphic Abel at standard black reel pricing. Plus we will throw in 
a Scientific Angler fly line (value to $70) as a bonus when you buy the combo.

Henry Winkler Book Signing
Sunday December 11

Veteran TV and movie actor Henry Winkler loves the sport of fly fishing so much that he has written a book about it.  He will be in the shop on Sunday from 1p.m. - 3 p.m. to talk about his experiences and sign copies of his book.

Lotsa stuff happening at the Spot.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sumgummi Redo

At the vice tonight trying to refine my Sumgummi Shad. The original Gummi Minnow is a very effective pattern at time but does not have much tail movement.  My version has a softer tail and a little more flash which the fish seem to like. This has been a good pattern on LM Bass & Stripers. I even caught a wayward King Salmon on it. I like the shape on this one.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pre-Holiday Sale

Important: Show this post to your wife, husband, significant other or anybody you think might possibly be coerced into buying you a gift this holiday season. 
Buy any premium rod ($300 or more) and get any premium reel of equal or lesser value at 50% off MSRP.

Buy any premium reel ($150 or more) get the fly line of your choice (up to $80 value) and backing installed for 50% off MSRP

Buy and install any premium fly line ($60 or more) get free backing and tapered leader. 

All in-stock Simms  luggage 40% off MSRP.

20% off all in-stock DVDs and Books 
This offer is good from 10 a.m.  Friday November 25 until 3 p.m. Sunday November 27 on regular priced, in-stock products and may not be combined with any other offer except the one below.

Happy Thanksgiving

In addition.....
Get $25 in FREE merchandise on "Small Business Saturday" Nov. 26 with your American Express card. Register here before the 26th & you will get a $25 credit on your statement after you make a purchase of at least $25 with your AMEX card.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Crisis In The Delta....

We have a crisis situation in the Delta and you can help save this fishery.  Please read the following letter from our good friend and Simms Fishing Rep. John Sherman.  Let the Fish and Game Commission know how important this is to you.  Just cut and paste the letter below John's and send to the Fish and Game Commission.  Please act right away, thanks. 

Subject: Ca Dept of Fish and Game plans CA Striper Eradication!

Hello All,
I wanted to make you aware of a very alarming regulation change that has been proposed by the Ca Dept. of Fish and Game.  This new plan would basically set in motion the eradication of our West Coast Striper Fisheries. 
If you look into how this potential change came into motion, it basically comes down to a law suit from water interests (Coalition of a Sustainable Delta, don’t let the name fool you) pointing the blame of the crash of the Delta ecosystem on introduced fished species like striped bass while water exports sky rocket.  The lawsuit has been settled out of court and this proposed Reg change is part of the settlement.
This is a much larger topic than just Striped Bass.  This would begin to eliminate fishing from one of California’s best fisheries and would allow “water hogs” to begin to move more water out of the Ca Delta estuary leading to its continued demise, which includes native fish species.
Here is what the editor of Fly Fisherman magazine thinks of the plan:
There was a public hearing held a week ago today in Rio Vista and 400 angry anglers from all facets of the angling community were unified in opposition of this plan including those who fish for native fish species like steelhead, sturgeon and salmon. 
Striped Bass have coexisted with native fish and now endangered fish species for the past 130 + years, and historical data shows abundance of all fish species at the same time and a subsequent crash in the last 10 years as water exports have sky rocketed at record levels. 
This regulation change not only will affect the Northern Ca’s striper fisheries the regulation change would impact the entire state including the Co River, and So Cal striper fisheries.
Basically here is what the proposed change is:
Move minimum size from 18” to 12”
Move daily bag from 2 fish to 6 fish.
Allow for “Hot Spot” which would allow 20 fish to be kept daily with 40 in possession.
The DFG commission is meeting in about a month to decide.  I’ve been asked by many of you what can we do?  Now’s the time to do something and it’s easy..
Cut and paste the letter below into a word document and send a letter voicing your opposition to such a plan.
Special thanks to Dave Sellers and Mike McKenzie, who helped draft this letter and to and danblanton.com and Striperfest for helping keep us informed and raising money to help fight for the Delta and it’s fish.
Thank you for your attention to this,
John Sherman
Mr. Jim Kellogg, President
California Fish and Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, California 94244-2090

RE: Department of Fish and Game’s Proposed Striped Bass Regulation Changes

Dear President Kellogg and Commission members:

I am a California angler who has benefited from the Endangered Species Act as it pertains to better water management for our endangered fish species, and indeed all fisheries in our California Delta. As such, I am writing to express my deep concern over proposed striped bass regulation changes. 

I have become aware of the fact that several of our State’s preeminent fisheries biologist have cautioned against these regulation changes as they may yield the opposite of the intended effect and could lead or contribute to the extinction of delta smelt and our endangered salmon species. 

As you know, the Endangered Species Act encourages that all effort is brought to bear in assisting the recovery of listed species. However, it is also true that the Act discourages any action that is of dubious benefit and, indeed may do harm to the recovery efforts of listed species. Our State’s preeminent inland fisheries experts, Dr. Peter Moyle and Dr. William Bennett (Letter to Commission of Aug. 26th 2010) have stated specifically and convincingly that reducing the effects of striped bass predation on non native cohorts and predators of listed species could directly result in unintended harmful consequences for listed species. Their concerns are backed up by respected fisheries biologist Dr David Ostrach (Letter to the Commission July 19th 2010). These concerns are sufficient to suggest that the Commission’s first obligation is to “do no harm” to listed species, therefore, I urge the Commission for an outright rejection of this regulation proposal.

Directly related to the E.S.A., I have also become aware of this additional fact:

• The Department of Fish & Game (DFG) and other defendant interveners in the litigation that brought about the Settlement Agreement leading to the striped bass regulation change proposal prevailed in the summary judgments rendered by the federal court. The court found no merit in the legal arguments the plaintiffs (Coalition For a Sustainable Delta) regarding alleged population level impacts caused by striped bass to E.S.A listed fish species in the Bay-Delta estuary. The court ruled decisively in support of the position of the DFG and defendant interveners that the decline of estuary’s listed fisheries was not attributable to predation by striped bass. Specifically, Judge Wanger agreed that the best science available has not shown any population level effect on listed species and one of DFG’s own Biologists, Marty Gingras, has stated that there is no science that shows any population level effect on listed species due to striped bass predation. There are also numerous peer reviewed predation studies done in the estuary and its tributaries that conclude population level effects of predation (if any) is at the current time, “unknowable”.

In addition to my concerns regarding the E.S.A., I have learned the following:

• This settlement agreement does not supersede the provisions of the federal Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) and it's legal mandate to double the population of all anadromous fish species of the estuary, including striped bass, from their mid-nineteen nineties population levels. In short, the proposed regulations work at cross purposes to the CVPIA federal mandate, thus conflicting with the intent of the federal law and setting up the potential for another round of litigation regarding the striped bass fishery. The Commission could find itself in the untenable position of passing regulations that could result in violating federal law and having to defend itself in federal court.

• The proposed regulation change with the attendant increased bag and possession limits would encourage over-consumption of striped bass far beyond the limits recommended California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. In short, it is my view the possession limit in this proposal encourages consumption more than health warnings discourage the consumption of striped bass. The Commission should take into full consideration the well documented science on the health risks associated with anything beyond modest consumption of striped bass. Women and children, in particular, are most vulnerable to these health risks and should not eat any striped bass at all. It would not be good public policy for the Commission to advance regulations that would not safeguard the public from the health hazards associated with the consumption of striped bass.

• As you may recall, Sec. 1700 of the Fish and Game Code requires, among many important conservation provisions, the management, on a basis of adequate scientific information promptly promulgated for public scrutiny, of the fisheries under the state's jurisdiction with the objective of maximizing the sustained harvest. This and other relevant code sections require the public’s fishery resources to be managed in the long term, on a sustainable basis. The regulations that the department proposed would not comply with this legal mandate.

• The proposal does not exempt San Luis Reservoir and the O’neil Forebay, one of our Nation’s premiere trophy striped bass fisheries. These two bodies of water are not connected to the Delta biologically and are not home to any listed species. This adds to my perception that, beyond risks to listed species, the thoughts guiding development of this proposal were lacking in a comprehensive understanding of our state’s striped bass fisheries and the sensitivities of California striped bass anglers. 

I am confident the Commission will carefully consider my concerns about the negative effect this proposal might have on listed species and my additional concerns regarding health, anadromous fish recovery and fish and game code directives. I am also confident that the Commission has the power to creatively direct responsible development of effective listed species recovery efforts. To that end, I would like to respectfully offer a possible alternative process. First, reject this proposal outright. Second, I would suggest directing the DFG to develop a priority list of stressors on our listed species in order of direct biological importance. Third, develop a specific list of suggestions to address each stressor and four, formulate policy suggestions solely on the merit of direct benefit to the listed species recovery efforts. Finally I would stress the DFG strive to avoid listed species recovery priorities that are perceived to be the most politically or legally expeditious. It is, of course, reasonable to expect our DFG, which is in part a scientific body, to behave in a thoughtful manner without regard to extraneous issues that ultimately may result in extraordinary risks to our listed species. 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Dream

The room was dark.  My wife sighed softly beside me as I slowly surfaced from a deep sleep.  I rolled over onto my elbow and looked at the clock, 5:45 a.m. glowed digitally back at me.  In my minds eye I could still see what I had been dreaming about and I settled back on my pillow to examine my thoughts.  In my dream I was designing a new fly, something that would revolutionize how streamer flies are made and fished.  Oh, of course, like most flies, it borrowed successful ideas from other patterns but put them together in a new way. As I lay thinking about it I realized this might just work.  My mind raced with the possibilities!  The 6 a.m. alarm went off and I hit the snooze button so I could concentrate on my great idea.  The more I thought about it the more feasible this fly style seemed.  I had to get downstairs to my fly tying bench to see if I could tie what was in my head.  I flipped on the lights and plugged in the kettle to get some hot water for the French Press.  First I sketched out a rough idea of how the fly should look and by that time the water was boiling.  I put fresh ground coffee in the press and poured a steaming brew.  

The sketch looked great and my ideas began to solidify on the necessary steps and the sequence that would be required to get this fly tied.  Carrying my fresh coffee into the tying room I began to search through the drawers for the correct hooks and materials to get the job done.  In tying any new pattern it is important to have a plan of the order that the materials are attached to the hook shank or you may leave out a critical component and not get your desired results.  I clamped a hook into the jaws of my Renzetti vice and started winding on the thread.  Thirty-five minutes and two cups of coffee later my new creation was finished.  It looked awesome!  I needed to get up to the lake to see how it worked in the water and, most importantly, how the fish would respond to it.  As I drove to the lake my head was full of imagined savage strikes and big fish on the line. Surely this would be a new Lefty’s Deceiver or Clouser Minnow.  I would be famous like Lefty and Bob.  My mind was in full overdrive. 

To make a long story, short.  My new wonder fly was a dud.  It didn’t swim right at all and it twisted my leader too.  I did have a fish follow it but, that was it.  Was I disappointed, devastated or disillusioned?   Hell no!  I had a blast trying to figure out this new pattern, with a few tweaks it might still work well and there were fish around.  I tied on a Clouser and caught Stripers and Largemouth Bass one after another for the next two hours.  Nothing was over a pound, but it was great fun and a great way to spend a couple of hours on my day off.  Keep dreamin’!

Friday, October 21, 2011

More West Slope News

Our man on the West Slope (Sierra) Bernard Yin reports that Sierra Fly Fisher has been focusing on the Merced with solid results. Fall is kicking in and a cornucopia of mayflies and caddis are on the table. Sometimes the fish seem selective and other times it's just placement. One of the best fish this season was taken on a humpy! The trout are finally getting it into their heads that these huge October caddis are on the menu. They make a strong showing at dusk and a large EHC or Stimi does the trick. In the meantime, the ever-present PMD remains a reliable option and has been so good this year that Bernard claims he hasn't spent more than an hour fishing streamers since June. "I fish the duns and even torture myself with small spinners on long casts; with great results". As for nymphs, that's another story and fishing deep has been doing some interesting things. From large stones to classics like small PTs etc. you will get fish. The photo below is one of several October bows caught at dusk targeting an extremely subtly feeding fish along a rock wall. "One of the best dry fly moments of my entire life!" Bernard says. Contact Bernard through Sierra Fly Fisher for updates and guided days on the Merced at 559-683-7664

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Day On the Water

I had a bunch of chores to do today but I needed at least a couple of hours on the water.  I went to my home water,  Castaic, and started fan casting with a small minnow imitation.  Nothing doing!  In my peripheral vision a coot was splashing water, he looked like he was bathing. Other than a few Silverside flashing on the surface, there was no activity that could indicate where the Bass/Stripers where feeding. As I worked my way closer to the West Ramp the coot was still very active (unlike the fish).  Finally, I was a long cast away from the bird and finally I realized he was not moving and was probably tangled or hooked on some fishing line, although I could not see it from my vantage point on the shore.  What to do?  The bird was a long cast away but, the Rio Outbound Short Line was the perfect line to get that extra distance.  I cast to the right of the bird hoping to snag the line that imprisoned the hapless bird but the fly came back clean.  A long back cast and double haul powered the line to the left of the coot and after a couple of strips the line came tight.  The bird started freakin' out!  I realized that I had hooked whatever was imprisoning this little guy.  I slow-stripped the line back in but, ten feet away, the bird, line and fly were hung on a submerged bush.  Crap!  Not supposed to wade.  To hell with it!  The entangled bird was fifteen feet away.  It was hopelessly tangled!  I was wading before I had made a conscious decision.  I dropped my rod and grabbed the fly line, edging my way toward the trapped coot.  He was much lighter than expected, weighing almost nothing and trying to hook me with his little claws.  His little eyes were wide in fear.  The line was wrapped around his head and the line was stretched toward the offshore bushes and was impossible to break off.  I raised the tough line above the surface and bit through the taut line. The bird was freed quickly and with a quick toss the little guy was free.  After a short flight he was paddling toward his brethren and muttering about his misadventure.  Everyday on the water is a new experience and, if I had decided to stay home, this little life would have been snuffed out without anyone knowing.  Tell your fishing friends not to discard their monofilament.  Wrap it up and take it home so that our precious wildlife is not exposed to this type of hazard.  Their real world is tough enough.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lee's Ferry Revisited....

The towering red cliffs of the Glen Canyon cast a welcome shadow on the clear green waters of the Colorado River.  At 15,000 CFS and 55 degrees the powerful flows, are still very wadeable.   The trout are everywhere, from the base of the massive Glen Canyon Dam, all the way into the beginnings of the Grand Canyon itself.  Fine wild rainbows from a few inches long to some burly 18”-20” specimens that will rip line off your reel and make you wonder if they’re going to stop any time soon.  They have a constant supply of midges, gammarus shrimp and annelid worms that are carried to them in the clear currents.  Limited access ensures that these fish can feed and grow without undue pressure.  Other than the walk in section the only access is by boat and, because of shifting gravel bars, the guides who fish this river every day prefer jet boats. 

Steve and I were at Lee’s Ferry for a dealer meeting with the Orvis Company and we had planned an additional day to fish with the fine guides from Lee’s Ferry Anglers.  We stayed at  Marble Canyon Lodge and enjoyed our meals at the great little restaurant across the dirt parking lot from the fly shop.  Owners Wendy and Terry Gunn are long time friends and it was fun to get together and reminisce about good times and old friends.  Lee’s Ferry Anglers has been guiding in this are since the 80s and have seen the river go through a few changes.  After some down years the river has made a great comeback in the past few years and multiple good spawns bode well for the future.  It is very fine fishery with a huge number of wild rainbows in all sizes that eagerly slam the fly and fight hard in the swift currents. 

While dry fly fishing can at times be outstanding, this is primarily a nymphing river where midge pupae, scud patterns (olive and orange) and San Juan worms (tan and red) will get tagged on almost every drift.  Dry dropper and standard indicator rigs should be used to bounce the appropriate patterns along the bottom. We fished a dry dropper rig and had action all day long with fish to 18” landed and several broad shoulders models hooked and lost.  I hooked one of the hottest fish that I have ever hooked in fresh water and she proceeded to tear  all the fly line and fifteen yards of backing off my reel and rip the tiny size 20 Zebra midge out just as the guide was about to put the net under her.  Too bad! She would have made a pretty picture.  This fishery is about a nine hour drive away (perfect for a long weekend) and because of the awesome scenery and fast action is highly recommended. Call us if you would like more info on this great destination.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

England was Wonderful....

England was wonderful!!
Editor's Note: This is a wonderful first person report from one of our long time customers/friends Jean Latta who recently returned from a very special trip to the cradle of  fly fishing in England.  Thanks Jean!

I have recently returned from a three week trip to England and I would say that it pretty much came under the heading of “a trip of a life time”.

“The Lost World of Mr. Hardy” was the inspiration for the trip.  Being from the “old school”, I was raised by my father on English fishing tackle and fished with Hardy equipment as a kid growing up in the Mid-West.  I inherited all of his fishing equipment, flies and library.  Reading about English flies used in the early days on the chalk streams Itchen and Test started “educating” me.  “The Lost World” was the final impetus for the trip.
Southern England, the Hampshire

The trip consisted of two parts.  On the first leg I fished southern England on the chalk streams.  I stayed in Stockbridge, about seventy five miles west-southwest of London at a very nice little 4-star hotel, the White Hart Inn, a converted coach house.  This is the heart of the River Test valley, the heart of the chalk streams.  Here I went out six times, three on the Itchen and three on the Test.  Both of these rivers offered up firsts for me.

On the Itchen I caught my first ever grayling.  I had gone one day with a very good ghillie (I learned those are guides in England) and it literally rained almost all day.  We were “stuck” in the fishing hut waiting forever it seemed for the rain to clear.  About 4:30 the clouds passed and the river “exploded” with grayling.  Bang!  Bang!  Bang!  Bang!  Four in a row, and one a nice 12 incher.

A few days later I went out again with the same ghillie but this time we were on the River Test at Houghton.  It was a relatively inactive day until I started fishing this really deep pool right in front of the fishing hut.  I took three very nice brown trout from this pool, including the largest trout I have every caught.  (I know, there are much larger ones.)  

A fine brown from the Test

This was taken on the nymph version of the Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) damselfly, one of the most beautiful dragon flies I have ever seen.

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) damselfly

I fished the Itchen at Hockley north of Winchester (the former capital of England) and on the River Test at Lower Mill.  I was out there without a ghillie and I must say that I was not very productive.  This was where I learned that it really is worthwhile, in spite of the substantial expense, to go on the chalk streams with a ghillie, someone who really does know the rivers.
In Stockbridge I had my first encounter with the English people, and I learned very quickly that they are very warm and gracious.  Everyone is respectful and courteous towards others and will help you with any issue that may arise.  ORVIS opened its first UK store in Stockbridge and the store manager is a very knowledgeable young fellow.  He GAVE me a net strap so that my landing net went over my shoulder, the way it’s done in England.  If you love fishing, if you love the history of fishing, you will be well taken care of!!

Alnwick, Northumberland

I thought that the time I spent in southern England on the chalk streams made the entire trip.  But I was not prepared for what transpired in Alnwick, the home of Hardy Brothers.  This turned into something wonderful in a very unexpected way

I went to Alnwick specifically to visit Hardy Brothers.  As I said above, I’m from the “old school” and was raised by my father on Hardy Brothers and H. L. Leonard equipment, at that time considered the finest (and probably still is).  The trip to Alnwick was for my father.  He loved everything English, he loved Hardy and in his lifetime he never had an opportunity to travel to England.

I stayed at a B&B, Tower Restaurant & Accommodation, in Alnwick, a place I just picked from the internet because it looked nice and was reasonable.  It turned out that this establishment is owned and operated by Roy Hardy, James Hardy's son.  When in conversation he found out I was there specifically for Hardy, all kinds of things happened.  He introduced me to his father, James, who is the last living Hardy to have actually worked in the business.  THAT was a real honor.  James Hardy is probably the last living old-line tackle maker.

The Hardy factory is within walking distance of the Tower.  When I went there for the first time, I could tell that something was very different:  I was treated like royalty (which is of course a “big deal” in England).  I could only surmise that James Hardy, who is a consultant to the company and still very influential, gave “orders” because I had come all the way from America just for Hardy.

Coquet River

One of the ghillies from the Hardy Academy took me fishing on the Coquet River there in Northumberland, which is very beautiful and tremendous trout county.  I had with me my R. L. Winston 5-wt bamboo rod on which I caught on a couple small browns.  However, I turned the rod over to the ghillie for a while; he had never fished with bamboo.  I could tell that this was a new and enjoyable experience for him.  Well, that led to an invitation to come by the Hardy factory the next day and bring my rods with me.  (I also had with me a Sweetgrass 3-wt.)

I was introduced to Callum Gladstone and Tom Moran, Hardy's bamboo rod makers.  They were very interested in the American-made rods, spent a good deal of time pouring over them and casting them at their casting pool.  I got the impression it gave them some ideas; one of the things they seemed very interested in is the lightness of the rods due to the hollow butt sections.  Hollow rods were of course a Lew Stoner (one of the founders of Winston) invention in 1936.  I was invited down to their bamboo shop; they showed me how they were "setting up" (my expression) the tapers for the new C. C. de France rods.  These rods will be the 2011 Centennial C. C. de France rods and apparently they are going to be built on the taper of the 1911 rod.

The 1911 C. C. de France rod is something very special.  This is a rod that was specifically designed and built by J. J. Hardy (“JJ”, one of the two original founders) in 1910 for the casting competition in 1911 at the Casting Club of France (C. C. de France).  Of course it won; the cast was 81 feet.

Casting the CC de France

The crowning jewel for me was the absolutely phenomenal honor of casting the 1911 rod.  Frankly THAT was emotionally overwhelming.  This rod could be considered the holy grail of rod-making, the line just flies through the guides.  And after that what else can one say.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

News From the West Slope....

Our man in the field Bernard Yin reports that Sierra Fly Fisher's first year as a permitted guide service for the Kings and Sequoia National Parks is off to a great start. Fine-tuning certain beats and identifying the habits of the region's fish has been a blast and the feedback from the trout gods is favorable. The clients have been happy. The fish are wild and strong. This is an overlooked west slope destination especially for one who may wish to combine sightseeing and crazy terrain with some angling. 

The region is much less crowded and Bernard reports with amazement the ease with which one can roll up and find a campsite, walk a short distance and have some fun with the fish. Higher elevation destinations for back country types is at one's fingertips as well. Also, important to note, is that many of the waters are a higher up in elevation than people realize and with the heavy water year we have had, they are staying cool for the trout. We're talking the Kings, Kaweah etc. Some of the region's waters are only now (in August!) becoming fishable. This means that a lot of trout have not be harassed by anglers when normally, by now, they'd be sick of us humans. Please contact Sierra Fly Fisher (http://sierraflyfisher.com) to discuss further.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Charles Jardine Here in July


Go back to school for a day with legendary British angler Charles Jardine at the Pasadena Clubhouse. For thirty years Charles has been educating and entertaining students with his blend of wit and wisdom. Charles has received the highest awards our sport has to offer and enjoys worldwide recognition as a fly fisherman, master fly tier, FFF Master casting instructor, author, artist, chef and teacher. He was a streams of England. He leads groups as far afield as the Bahamas, Cuba and the Seychelles. He is equally at home on the big Western waters of Idaho and Montana as the saltwater flats of Belize. He has recently joined the G Loomis Pro Staff in the UK.
The seminar will include instruction in presentation casts, tying and fishing of soft hackle flies and special leader construction. There will also be time for individual instruction on casting, tying or general fly fishing questions.  Charles brings to the table a vast knowledge of European techniques that will improve your chances on our local waters. For this who wish to focus on casting instruction, FFF Certified Casting Instructor Marshall Bissett will be on hand to help out those more interested in casting than tying.
Two, one day courses are available and will be limited to 10 students for each session:
Choose either Saturday July 16th 9.00 am to 3.00 pm or Sunday July 17th 9.00 am to 3.00 pm
Place: Pasadena Casting Club Pond
Equipment: Any rod/reel combo you wish to learn on.
Vice, tools and materials if you want special tying instruction.
Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and other angling essentials.
Notebook – analog or digital.
Lunch and soft drinks will be provided.
Class Fee: $100   Call (818) 785-7306 with any questions.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Piru Experience (submitted By Darrell Kunitomi)

Good ol’ Piru Creek. Get bit, on flies and by no-see-ums. Itchy, itchy.

High water and snow pack in Sierra  will probably keep Pyramid dam releasing a good rate through summer. This is a good thing after many dry years. And as most fishers who keep an eye on water matters know, the West is still packed with snow (wet snow),  packs are far above normal and temps have remained cool. Runoffs may become scary if not downright dangerous this summer in several areas -- what? Runoff in summer? Skiing on the 4th? True.

Piru fishes excellently at the moment, but take your repellent. Biting Diptera, black flies, no-see-ums the little bastards, whatever you choose to call ‘em are active and looking for your ears and elbows. Knuckles too, where I took itchy bites that took two weeks to calm. And I used spray. Must have been the releasing of fish that rinsed my protection away. Shorts not recommended, too many biters and poison oak (bumper crop this year).

Piru Creek is an excellent place to learn our sport. You  use a variety of casting techniques, from rolls and sidearms in  hemmed-in spots, to classic dry fly heaves on long flats that look like the typical western spring creek.  The first trout below came up for a #18 CDC & elk on a 50’ cast upstream. Just for fun. Felt great to cast that far just 45 minutes from Fishermen’s Spot.

Hydropscyhe caddis – the house-building net makers – are present, and lots of Baetis nymphs, many ready to pop. Guys at the Spot will direct you to PT nymphs and caddis larva (who drift and who make easy targets for trout). #18 in tan and lt. olive on the caddis,  #18 on the Baetis, fish both with an indicator set shallow as takes are quick and sure in the shallow waters of the creek. 2’ will work.  Caddis dries and emergers, and small mayfly patterns will also take fish on ol’ Piru. The fish don’t seem to get picky until Trikes fall, or at dusk when caddis emerge or spinners fall. Then they act like real trout.

Piru has caddis. The one loose fellow on the rock (last shot) appears to be a Rhyac, the free-roamer, but it’s a net-spinning Hydro who seems to have been interrupted by me when building his house.  Three dark head segments ID the Hydro versus two on our Rhyacs.

Piru has the baetis, and in many colors. Several here will be popping soon if not already spawned-out and eaten by trout.

One memorable day Spot regular Marcelo Tubert and I fished an overcast day. This was in neoprene days and I said, Hey look, they’re walking down your thighs. Baetis females had landed on Marcelo and were walking south on his waders, entering the surface to lay eggs. We looked and there were egg masses on the neoprene.

They may be of many colors and ages, but the #18 PT nymph will work fine.

Scuds are found in Piru too.

Larger fish don’t appear till late. But even the small rainbows at Piru will be well-formed, colorful things. And leapers. Very fun to catch. Take your repellent, parking pass, water and a small box of patterns. No need for the whole Scout outfit here, mobile is best.

Darrell Kunitomi

Friday, May 13, 2011

It Takes All Kinds

John Dietsch of Hook.tv shared with us a photo of a nice local Largemouth Bass that he took with one of our bass flies.

Covering for Steve and Ken who were off playing hooky at Hot Creek, Dean and yours truly entertained the inquiries of several hair stylists and cosmetologists who have discovered the Spot a source for their grizzly.