It is called angling for a reason
It is September and our season is winding down…. I am about ready to put this one in the books, close it up and not look back.
I am thinking that the proper way to look at this year will be to focus on the positives, and yes, they are available… you just need to sift through the piles to find them.
We will have a few more weeks available and the very real possibility of landing the biggest fish of the season, as it is that time of the year. The crowds are thinning out and the fish are on the bite. Guides, lodging, and water are available and waiting for you to arrive. You deserve this - treat yourself.
This is what I have been working on this season, hope it helps you land your personal best.
In surf or moving water, there is a time and a place to have your rod tip high in the air and it is at the end of the fight when you are landing the fish.
A high rod tip gets the fish higher in the column where the water is moving faster - now you are fighting the current and the fish. Try this instead - low rod tip with side pressure.
You can steer most any fish if you lay the rod upstream the fish will swim upstream as the low angle allows the fish to find the deeper water and mostly charge to "Safety" upstream.
When the fish gets above you then raise the rod tip and let the current bring it to your net. Conversely a downstream and low rod tip will put belly in the line and that Donkey will find a snag and leave you with a permanent scar. A good story, but a scar none the less.
Get out there and have some fun - it is a good move.
Charley Beals, President CVFF
LOCAL FLIES, ARE THEY A “THING”?
" the super duper rainbow creepy crawly with wiggly legs"
I've fished my share of places outside of California and the one thing almost all locals (including fly shops and guides) have in common is their almost religious adherence to some special homegrown fly.
If I was a cynic (something I've been accused of on occasion) I'd chalk this up to a nefarious intent on the locals part to separate me from some of my hard earned cash with the promise of catching more fish via their magic fly. Am I wrong?
I've found that as long as you cover a trout's basic food groups you should be able to catch fish anywhere that they live. Keeping mayflies, caddis, stone flies and a variety of terrestrials etc. in their nymph and adult forms should hold you in pretty good stead when you are on trout water.
With that said, size does (and frequently can) matter, so be sure to have everything down to size 24 in your boxes (I've fished flies as small as #32's) and don't forget to have a mix of colors as well.
With this strategy you should have a leg up on your quarry and if the locals tell you that you need the super duper rainbow creepy crawly with wiggly legs that is only available from them, just give them a knowing smile and keep the smirks to yourself.
Tight lines and great fishing to all!
Fishing for WILD GOLDEN TROUT at Horseshoe Meadows | Cece Rubin
Matt and I had problems with our camper fridge at altitude and we just finished a DYI repair and were revved up to see if our repair had solved the problem.
Now the question became, where can we go at altitude without going all the way to Yosemite? Well, of course, the answer was Horseshoe/Cottonwoods Meadows campground at 10,000 feet, a favorite overnight pre-Whitney altitude preparation for hikers. Also home to probably the most beautiful golden trout in the Eastern Sierra.
With the heat factor easily in the 90's in the Conejo Valley and most of the Eastern Sierras it was also the best choice as once we arrived to the campground, temps dropped by 15-20 degrees to the mid-70's and the night-time temps dropped to 50 degrees. Super nice if you have a heavy down comforter or sleeping bag to wrap yourself up in.
Our one day to fish was Saturday. After a hearty breakfast we hiked no farther than a ¼ mile in to be on the stream, or what little there was of it with a drought like season.
EASY PREY? NOT AT ALL!
Most of the time wild trout are easy to please, but these little Goldens were picky as all heck! They seemed disinterested in hoppers, even during a hopper hatch - but most likely it was because these guys were too little to get the fly in their mouths and most hopper patterns were too big for these guys. But they get an A for effort as they tried and tried over and over. Even size 14/16 was too large.
We finally downsized to 18 to 22 sized caddis and then we started to hit GOLD! Don't get me wrong that it was easy at all. We had difficulty finding small pockets of water that were moving. A lot of the water was flowing ever so slowly or was a sad stagnant pool with "no action". And tying on a 20 or 22 size caddis, even with magnifiers, still a tricky task.
We found one little part of the stream where the water was flowing and there they were. Hiding under the banks and the brush. It was like a normal stream but everything was downsized to the size of the fish - teeny, tiny. They were very timid and easily spooked, but that's what made it so fun. A level playing field!
MILD WEATHER, RAIN, COLD RAIN, HAIL!? WHAT DA HECK!
After a few hours of catch and release fun, a typical afternoon storm came in, then a few minutes into the burst, the temps dropped so much so that the rain quickly turned to hail and we were ill prepared for that. Hail shows up at 32 degrees - "freeeeeezing", so being soaked, pummel by small ice cubes falling from the sky and feeling the cold in our bones, we quickly hiked back to the campground as so did all the others who were enjoying the meadows until then. Note to self, bring a rain parka even on a sunny day!
After being lucky enough to get into the camper and not a rain soaked tent (been there, done that a bunch of times), we took a hot shower, sipped on hot tea and enjoyed watching the busyness of the campground light up with people trying to get out of the rain, abandoning their tents to hunker down in their cars and even a group of campers bunched up under one little canopy.
LOOKING FORWARD TO DREAMING ABOUT THE GOLDEN TROUTIES
The therapy of getting out and fly fishing for California's state fish (fresh water) made for a satisfying day coupled with the storm making it a memorable day for reminiscent stories that start with "remember when . . ."
A few days later Steve Schalla's presentation on the fish added to our excitement as were "just there" catching those little fish with BIG ATTITUDES!
Our trip was a great way to wrap up the month of August and look forward to the changing of the leaves in the fall.
Oh, and our fridge was working better, but not 100%. Maybe a great excuse to go back with a smaller rod or Tenkara and hunt for those tenacious little golden trout up in the meadows where neither the fish or the fisherman feel the pressures of life!
- - - end of story - - -
Most our our trip photos are posted in the "member photos" of this newsletter including a map of the area if you ever want to get into some fish only 3-4 hours north of the Conejo Valley. If you go, think about taking a 3 weight or lighter if you've never fished for these small guys. It's more gentle on these cutie pies and it should feel more like a fair fight! I can see why Scott uses a 1 weight!
Read more about California's state fish the WILD Golden Trout |READ MORE
MORE CLUB MEMBER PHOTOS | fly fishing, Fly tying patterns, travel & scenic photos
Created with images by Luca Bravo - "untitled image" • Atharva Dharmadhikari - "untitled image" • Taylor Grote - "Fly Fisherman" • Kalen Emsley - "Wet mountain valley" • Dan Roizer - "Virgin forests around a river" • kazuend - "Rushing Stream" • Jeremy Bishop - "untitled image"