Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5.27.2013: MERCED RIVER w/ The Bob

Got up at 5:00 and left at about 6:10.
Went straight to the El Portal Mercado and started fishing.
Lost one right away when I fished the B and Y PM from the shallow calm to faster depths.
Lost another, and then a bit later hooked into a nice 'Bow.

I took the following video, but what it doesn't show clearly is that the fish made a beeline for the rocks. I put the rod tip out to the water and dragged him out. As I did I saw this huuuuuuuuuge shadow of a fish, three times the length of my 'Bow.
Geoff Malloway @Central Coast Fly Fishing said that it was probably a big brown or squawfish.
I thought it might be either, but my memory isn't as good as it was... : )

We then went to the Picnic Spot, and had no luck there.
We met some peeps fr/ Colorado and Kansas, who just had to decide to picnic right behind us, even w/ all of the wilderness to park...whatevs.

At Rocky Curve Bridge I had one solid take and missed him while focusing on getting a good drift. I was hitting the calmer seam where the brush met the swirls, across the river, where I had the rushing white water to contend with.
There were at least three or four other fish in that pool, as I saw them chasing my B&Y P.M.
I'll come back next time w/ those Super Dupers!

That 10" 'bow was an accident. I was picking up to begin casting again and lo! fish on!
It took me a couple seconds (maybe 5?) to think about landing the fish.
I have an old (and in a certain light, bad) habit of pulling on the line with my line (left) hand to set the hook, instead of simply clamping down with my index finger and raising the rod tip. (However, I have heard that this isn't as bad a way of setting the hook; in fact, I've heard it mentioned to be preferable in some circumstances.) I formed this "bad" habit on my first trip to the Stanislaus River last year.
The video from that trip proves my point.
Anyway, I remember consciously thinking that, "Okay, I've got a fish on, I'll just slowly release the pressure with my line hand while keeping the tension and meet my left hand with my right hand, handing the line to right index finger. From there, I'll just strip in the line."
And that's all she wrote! Bagged a beayouuuuutiful rainbow.
The interesting thing was, as video and photographic evidence show, the elk hair caddis (green, size 12?) I caught him on was pretty much destroyed by this fish. I am somewhat confident that the elk hair caddis I had still had the elk hair attached.

In this zoomed in photo there are still remnants of the elk hair:

In this later photo, you can really tell that the elk hair is almost nonexistent:

However, I will say that this hook was really in him good, and he didn't and couldn't spit this hook out until I took it out. Thus, I think he "chewed" on the fly for a bit and beat it up while it was in his lip, and thus a lot of the elk hair is gone.
At first I had assumed that the fly tier did not do a good job, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
One fly, one fish landed, and I'm happy to retire the fly in my fly box seeing as it's the first fish I've gotten off of a fly rod in 2013. Besides, the hooks are still pretty sharp!

At the South Fork->Main River I caught a 9" smallmouth bass on my first cast!
I had a good feeling, or good vibes about that location.
It's interesting. I've heard it called confidence as well.
It's that feeling where you just know you're gonna get action.

After catching the smallmouth, I moved down to some of the casting "portals" or "windows."
There are 4-5 of these windows, and each of them give a different view.
I've a mind to head down there sometime w/ my waders and hit those spots w/ the Fly Fishing setup.

All in all a good day, and I'll be heading back for sure before the summer's end!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Got it in the mail for $125 out the door.
I should've listened when Jr. said to buy the $115 out the door, but oh well.
The chest mount works great (after a little fiddling), and all of the mounts and the extra batteries I got work as well, so I'm glad it's not a lemon.
170-degree viewing for super wide-angle stuff, but we'll see if I end up taking it on any long trips...
Might need to get a super-small case for it...

The waterproof housing shows its worth in how HARD it is to open the case, meaning that there's no way it's gonna come undone by itself.

Thinking about putting one of the 3M mounts on the end of my electric guitar, but we'll see...

Also thinking about selling one of my 2 extra batteries on the eBay, so we'll see if I end up needing the third battery, even w/ a 32GB MicroSD card that's on the way...

Already turned in the Salinas City App. last Friday (?), and planning on turning in the Santa Rita App. maƱana.

Had a fun second time/team around w/ Jr., Jamie, Alyssa, and Wayne/Jenny.

Thought about fishing the Merced tomorrow w/ the Bob but it's a little too late...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Learning the Double Haul: Day 2

Did better today.
Still have trouble with tailing loops when hauling, but it's getting better.
I've found that this type of casting is really relaxing, as there's really no pressure on the right hand.
You just get into an easy rhythm and keep casting.
The left hand and arm does all the work.
The hardest part is knowing how hard to move the rod tip with the right hand when hauling, and how to keep the tension on the line w/ the left hand after hauling.
All in all I think that I've got a good start.
I'll definitely be using it in windy conditions.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Learning the Double Haul: DAY 1

After watching this video:

I set out to learn the double haul.
Had a lot of trouble at first, but started to get the hang of it near the end.

1. It helps to have at least 20' of line; otherwise you'll be haul really quickly w/ you left hand
2. Be sure to take the haul w/ the left hand, having enough line to bring the line to "dust the pocket," and enough clearance that you won't be taking line from the reel when hauling
3. It's key to have a tight line right after pulling down on the haul whilst "pushing" the line back to the reel.
4. RELAX the right arm, but keep the same 10 -> 1 o'clock positioning, and don't overpower the rod.
5. Let the haul/left arm/hand do all the work.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Merced River Day Trip

Took a trip to the Merced River last Tuesday (March 26) and had a great time.
It's roughly three hours from home to the River, and once there you can fish it all the way up to the western entrance of YNP.
Stopped at the confluence of the South Fork and main river, and looked for spots on from there.
Since the road's on the right of the river (for the most part), we quickly decided to drive up the the entrance of YNP and then drive back downriver, since it'd be easier to do this with the parking being on our easier-accessible right side. (We'd basically be able to pull off wherever we wanted since there was no shoulder on the right side of the road when heading east toward the Park.)

It was my first time nymphing, and boy was it...interesting!
I tried out the Palsa strike indicators, clipped on 2 split shot, and tied on the BHPrince Nymph.
It was quite different casting with all that weight on the line, and things didn't really go too well.
I actually got hooked in the cheek from the nymph from trying to pick up the cast with the line downstream and to my left as I looked perpendicular across the stream...I'll (hopefully) never do that again!

The most frustrating part of the day cam when I found a really great pool after some hard water. The big rocks at the head of the pool created a calm, large pool to form behind it, and a young fly fisherman had already caught 2 or 3 when I got there. I tried the PM, but w/ no luck.

Then I tied on a Parachute Adams, and still no luck.
The fish were rising, and I just had to find what they wanted to eat!

I then tied on an Elk Hair Caddis, my only one that Pastor K. had given me.
After contending with the wind and current (which eventually led to my downfall), I had made a fine presentation and was getting a great drift when I saw the Japanese F.F. and his buddy come by watching me and all the fish rising in the pool. I waved, then got back to the action.
I had one really good rise and take, but was too slow to set the hook. (The fish may have rejected my fly as well, but this didn't come into my thinking until reading the FF library books.)

Anyway, after that, I had a horrendous time, contending with the following diagram I made both for Mr. John Kim of and for myself:
This isn't entirely exactly how it looked, but the main part was the currents.
The currents and the gusting wind really gave me grief.
As you can tell, I had currents going upstream and downstream, and I tried mending up and downstream, but to no avail. I could only get a natural drift for 1 or 2 seconds, and was getting wind knots, snagged in trees, and frustrated as the trout continued to rise.

To add insult to injury, while stopping at different spots after my defeat, I got my lone EHC snagged and lost the fly.
*(This sad fact is only bearable in that I just purchased 36 Elk Hair Caddis flies off eBay for $19.17 total!)

All in all, it was a great scouting trip, and I'll definitely be going back in the near future.
Things are moving pretty rapidly with dad, work, Al, and hopefully we'll see dad out there swinging the 9' 6 wt. fly rod I got him for Christmas!

 candid shot by the Bob.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Waders, Wading Belt, Pant Guards

So I just completed my fly fishing attire with the Cabela's 3mm Neoprene Waders.
They came in today, and except for being a tad tight around the thighs, I'm quite satisfied!
(not my best pic, but who cares, right?!)
I got the boots last week (they're the same as Pastor's), and everything pretty much fit okay!

I really can't wait to get out there and use these things!

Anyway, had a good talk w/ Dad about life and figuring out what needs to be done in the house moving forward, so we'll see what happens!

Played some v-ball @ the Rec and had some pretty good swings in. Still need to get under the ball, but didn't hit it in the net when I was hitting a 4 and a 5 once, even on the men's net.

Feet hurt quite a bit after all the jumping and hard landing, so I may have to invest in some better insoles.

In addition, I've had some good correspondence with Mr. John Kim (, and he's been a great help with fishing the Merced River and getting a natural drift. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Update: Intervention, Steelheading, the like

Intervention's been interesting.
I've finally gotten all schedules (for the most part) together, after a month-long process. The Newcomers will be on the 1:00-2:40 block. I've got the Kindergartner @8:20-ish to 8:40, 1st graders @8:45-9:30, one 6th grader 'til 10:05, 2nd graders up to and after lunch ('til 1:00), and then the Newcomers.

The 1st Grade and 2nd grade groups have been great.
Reading Mastery has been great with the 1st Grade group, and after struggling with where to go w/ my 2nd graders, have figured out a schedule for the 2nd graders using the Read Naturally stories.
We've been on a two-day Key Words exploration/prediction ->  Reading and Comprehension questions for 2 of the 3 stories thus far, and look to continue the cycle.

We're starting to offset on the stories due to Mr. L's desire to track his students' fluencies, but this shouldn't be a big deal.

Had my first session entering scores for Ms. W., and she gave me a century up front! I doubt I'll be using that much up (@ $30/hour), but we'll see. Praying all goes well with her.

I'm on the verge of exchanging my 8'6" 5Wt. Cahill rod/reel combo to Cabela's for a 9' 8Wt. for *wait for it...* Steelhead fishing!
Had a first scouting mission w/ Jer @Andrew Molera (see pics below), and saw some good spots, although the water was quite low. Since the season ends this Thursday, I'll have to wait 'til December (or next year) to try out the Steelhead rig.

Cabela's stock has been raised in my eyes, as they said there's no problem doing the aforementioned exchange even though I bought my item almost 7 months ago! I did only use the rod once, but I'm pretty sure they would've taken the exchange no problem either way. I've read in their reviews that their Customer Service is stellar, and I personally have nothing but amazing and great things to say about them!

Here are some pics fr/ the excursion w/ Jer:

This one in particular has a story behind it. I've provided the wide angle shot in addition to a highly zoomed-in and noisy/grainy shot of this bird's remarkable attempt to take something in its mouth upriver!

We were just doing our thing, when we saw this bird struggling upriver with something in its mouth! Quite amazing, and sadly Jer's card had, like no space left. (It was only after the bird had lost whatever's in its mouth that Jer was able to pull out his spare card.) I really wish we'd've (is that legal?) gotten video of it, because watching it fight up the current and watching it lose and then catch what it had caught was really awesome to see.


What in the world is in its mouth? Another bird? A turtle? A fish?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1st Fish of the Year!

Got up circa 9:30.
Helped dad out in the house and w/ the KIA, plus had to buy a small padlock for the bike from the 0.99 cent store.
Finally got out there and was going to bike the road.

A farm worker stopped by in his truck and asked if I had 4WD. I said, "Yeah, but I don't know how to use it!" So he takes a look at the stick and says to use 4H (I guess 4L is for really slow and/or steep). So I wade into the mud and I'm praying I don't tip over into the water and mud or get stuck, but finally get through to the parking lot.

I get the bike out, and read all the signs below:

I bike down the immediate trail to the right and see this sign:

So I then turn around (after some exploring) and do the loop back and then around. Again, I'm met with the same sign as above, so I call the hotline phone # fr/ the sign and the lady doesn't really have any idea whether or not I can fish and where I can, but says I should follow whatever the signs say. [I had issue because the DFW (formerly the DFG) has a rule that the Salinas River can be fished during this time until March 7.]

So I turn around and head toward the ocean, stopping at the bike rack (as there was no bike access allowed past this point.

I walk maybe 20 yards and decide it's not worth it.

So I head back to Sally's bridge (after getting back through the mud again) and bag this guy at 3 o'clock.


He didn't take a long time to bring in. As you know, the river's bottom has some junk on the bottom, so you're used to getting a little snagged on the bottom. As a habit, you always set the hook when something doesn't feel right or you think you might be snagged just in case it really is a fish. So I set the hook, and something was pulling on the line!

I wish I had a picture of my lure in his mouth, because he just engulfed that thing! The head of the lure was just behind the front part of his mouth, and the hook was so far back I had a little trouble getting my pliers back to remove the hook. I stayed 'til ~ 4:00 and then left for home.

2 days later I filleted my first striper!

It was different from the many trout I'd gutted because with trout, you just have to gut them and that's it, but w/ Striper, you have to fillet the meat and have some good fillet knives. (Thanks to Jer for the great fishing CutCo knife!)

We're planning on heading out to kayak the river as I've heard some pretty good things from the kayakers!
Hopefully more posts coming with pictures of more fish!


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