COMFORT FISHING

By , January 31, 2012 11:32 pm

Sometimes in the sport of Urban Fly Fishing, a little comfort goes a long way.

What I mean by comfort fishing is getting out to one of  your Honey Holes. A place where no matter what the conditions, you are going to catch something!

Lately the Winter Fishing Blues have got me dreaming of big bedding Largemouth Bass, although I don’t mind catching a Rainbow Trout or two as evident in my last post Timing is Everything.

 Micropterus salmoides of the Black Bass family is defintely the species closest to my Fly Fishing Heart.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I’ve been hitting the local Park Lakes in hopes of sneaking in a couple of fish before early spring.

However the fishing has been slow, and the couple of Bass that I’ve been able to get on the other end of the line are on let’s just say the “Small Side”.

So what is an Urban Bass Fly Fishing Fanatic to do?

I’ll tell you what I’m to do, head to a little stream Honey Hole in Northern Orange County that produces Green Sunfish all year long.

Okay they’re not Largemouth Bass, but they look similar and they are a ton of fun to catch.

I arrived at my Honey Hole dusting off my 3 weight and pulling out an assortment of Trout Flies.

A little size 16 Caddis with a dropper 18 Red Copper John tied on and I was off to the races. I’m talking fish, after fish, after fish!

After about an hour. I had pulled in over 40 Greenies and I decided I had all the comfort I needed.

Refreshed, I drove away already drifting off into thoughts of what the spring Bass Fishing of 2012 will have to offer.

I know the fish I caught were small, and most people want to see us catching some huge 10 pound Largemouth Bass out of Castaic Lake with Larry Kurosaki in the front of the boat.

Trust me, so would I!

But that’s just not us. We are just a couple of regular guys that love Fly Fishing, and love to catch fish no matter how big or small.

It’s just about the Urban Fly Venturing, a Disease Worth Catching!

 

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

By , January 17, 2012 10:43 pm

In Urban fly Fishing this one statement rings so true ”Timing is Everything”.

Especially when your doing a little Urban Park Fishing for stocked Rainbow Trout.

In the Urban setting we have a lot to compete with.

First there’s the Bait Fisherman. They fish for Trout at park lakes for one reason and one reason only, to eat the fish!

Second there’s the Cormorants, those vicious swimming birds that gobble up any fish they can get their beak on.

Third there’s the Bass. I’m not so much complaining about this one. Just take a quick look at the “All tackle top 25 Largemouth Bass ever caught”. California litters the list, and the main reason is our Trout stocking program. Our bass are getting protein, and a lot of it. Which makes for faster growth rates and heavier fish across the board.

The fourth and final road block is the Trout themselves. We’re talking stocked fish here, and their diet of pellets at the hatcheries sure looks a lot more like Power Bait than it does a Caddis Dry Fly or a Prince Nymph.

However a lot of times genetics kick into high gear, and the Stockers will just as readily take a Garlic Dipped Nightcrawler as they will a Woolly Bugger.

I had one such day last Saturday, as I pulled up to one of the Local Park Lakes with Rod and Reel in hand.

I could see a load of bait fisherman stacked up on edge of the lake. Not hard to see that the  Fish and Game truck must have been there just hours ago, and the Bows were still schooled up trying to acclimate to their new environment.

I took my position carefully across from where the baiters were, and tied on a size 14 Yellow Stimulator with a dropper Red size 18 Midge, and a small Egg Pattern.

One cast and I was into a really decent sized Rainbow splashing about. I finally got it to the net, and before I had even looked up there were 5 guys surrounding me “What are you using” they asked. A Fly I answered somewhat sarcastically.  

They stared at me for a moment and then retreated back, so as not to lose their precious spot they had been in since 5 am that morning.

Second cast. Wait for it “Fish on” I shouted out with excitement, another great sized Rainbow. I let him go to the reply of  “Come on save some fish for us”.

I cast a few more times without luck. So I reeled in my set up, and decided to switch over to a size 12 Black Bead Head Woolly Bugger.

A couple of casts getting the action right , and whack a fish comes out of left field and nails it at my feet so hard the rod almost slipped out of my hand. After a little fight and a quick 16  inch measurement in the net, back to the water he went.

 By this time all of the bait fishermen had switched over to a micro jig, and one kid had even ran to the car to get his Fly Rod.

At that point I decided to call it a day. The water was getting crowded, and I could feel the glares burning holes in the back of my head.

I did make a quick stop over to the kid to check out his fly rig. He had some 10 pound test rigged up to a wet fly with a bobber at the end of the fly line.

I pulled out a couple of flies and some tippet, and showed him how to rig up a hopper/dropper. After a quick casting lesson he was off to the races.

That’s what it’s really all about, seeing the enjoyment on a kids face the first time he picks up a fly rod. I think I can genuinely say that moment was worth more than any fish I had caught that day.

Urban Fly Venturing, a Disease Worth Catching!

 

MAN FROM U.F.V.

By , January 14, 2012 10:22 pm

As sobering as the thought is, I’m actually old enough to remember the original Man from U.N.C.L.E. television series.

I loved the intrigue, gadgetry and action of that series.

OK, let’s be honest, I mostly loved the gadgetry, but I know I wasn’t the only kid who ruined his good Sunday’s-best black pants running around setting booby traps for his siblings and scaling walls with crude, homemade spy gear while trying to act cool and sophisticated like the suave Napoleon Solo.

Of course, as I got older, James Bond movies became the must-see Saturday matinee event followed by a fondness for the Get Smart television series.

And naturally, I also developed a taste for the Mission Impossible series.

So you see, it really isn’t too hard to understand how I might have developed a passion for the heavily gadget-oriented sport of fly-fishing coupled with the espionage-like nature of exercising that passion in the most unlikely of public places.

Urban fly fishing could be considered a subtle yet sophisticated form of intelligence gathering…only, as it relates to fish rather than fiends bent on world domination, though more than once I have had to endure the conspiracy theory ranting of a bass fisherman after I released a Carp taken on a fly at an urban lake.

Instead of the men from UNCLE, we could be known as the men from UFV – Urban Fly Ventures.

 

Yeah, OK, so the roll-off-the-tongue smoothness of the acronym needs a little work.

But, in all honesty, as much as I may have wanted to aspire to the cool factor of guys like Illya Kuryakin, I seem to have been blessed more along the likes of Maxwell Smart as far as grace and savoir faire go.

I try, but genetics don’t lie.

Sure, I may show up at a park or urban fishing hole and I may look like I know what I’m doing, but there are times when the inescapable creeps through and I know I’m just a geek, more like “Q” than the graceful “007”.

 

The other day for example, I showed up at a local park to exploit the hour of free time I had while my beautiful bride attended a music rehearsal.

I grabbed my 5-weight and neck lanyard and started tying on an olive woolly bugger while making my way across the grass.

Nothing new there.

Half way across the grass though, my right foot slid and I looked down to see that I had gracefully stepped in a pile of…duck stuffing.

A quick glance to my left and then my right confirmed that no one had observed my mis-step so with a little urban version of a boot scoot boogie I continued on.

The sun was already setting and the temp was dropping fast so I hit this little lake hard. The only other fisher-folk were a couple who both were flinging those life-size soft bait blue-gill imitations halfway across the water and then hauling them back with high speed intensity.

I smiled to myself and in my best British accent muttered a paraphrase from Sun Tzu’s Art of War about knowing the enemy being the key to success.

I made my first cast… and hung up on the same tree branch that has eaten many of my flies over the years.

Another quick glance to the left and then to the right confirmed that I was still not being observed so with a quick tug I snapped the two-pound test tippet as easily as JB dispatching a villain.

After tying on yet another olive wooly bugger and shifting my casting position slightly to the right. I cast again…and again…and again.

Finally, with only about fifteen minutes to go before I had to go pick up my spouse (I would have said 007 minutes but you wouldn’t have believed me) I saw my line stop ever so slightly during the retrieve and felt the tiniest of resistance.

I set the hook and, sure enough, I had tied on to a fish.

My line peeled off my reel and zigged and zagged across the water. I realized that what ever it was, it seemed rather large and definitely feisty. My first impression was that I had hooked onto a Carp. This was confirmed when a large bronze back appeared about ten yards out a few moments later.

I played the fish as gently as I could, all the while wishing I had used heavier tippet. It seemed like I was getting the upper hand. I wished I hadn’t left my net in the car. I allowed myself the luxury of looking for a suitable landing spot.

And then, with one quick lunge, it was gone.

Fish gone. Fly gone. Line hanging limp and useless at the end of my rod.

 

I stood there and stared.

And then, whatever illusions of sophistication and coolness I may have had went right out the window. Without the slightest glance to the left or to the right, I spontaneously broke out in the “unhappy fisherman” dance, which, unfortunately resembles a cross between the gyrations of a street corner sign-twirler, the jerky motions of a pan-handling meth-addict and the overly dramatic arm motions of a televangeist all rolled into one. Throw in a barrage of a Tourette’s Syndrome-like nonsensical words and …well, you get the picture.

Unfortunately, so did the couple walking down the meandering pathway a few yards away – all on their cell phone cameras.

Curse you, modern technology and YouTube.

You know, I might have to rethink my stand on cool spy-wear gadgetry.

But in any event…I love this addiction called urban flyfishin’.

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