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!

 

ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN

By , December 28, 2011 6:04 am

After the last few fishing trips I’ve had, let’s just say that I’ve been reluctant to get out. Let’s do a quick little recap.

The first trip out dealt me nothing more than my 3 Piece Okuma 3 Weight Guide Select Fly Rod, wait I mean 4 piece Rod after I slammed it in my truck door. Luckily it came with a warranty.

You all know how my Second trip out looked from Dan’s post CARDIO-FLY. Let’s just say that I have a high tolerance for pain, but getting stung by a scorpion is no joking matter.

My Third Trip left me with the worst case of Poison Oak that I’ve ever had, and I’m now starting to wear shorts again.

But everything (Yes even my bad luck) has a season, and I think that this season is finally behind me.

I found myself just a little more hesitant to get up in the morning. I was looking for any reason not to get in the car and start driving. But I found all my gear just where it was supposed to be, and yes I have a backup 3 weight Fly Rod.

So there I was driving up in to Mount Baldy, with all kinds of thoughts going around in my head of what could possibly go wrong this time. Maybe I’d get eaten by a Mountain Lion, bitten by a Rattle Snake, a car accident, something. But as the miles counted down I soon found myself standing at the creeks edge, taking long deep breathes.

I thought to myself “Here we Go”, now please understand that I am not a pessimistic person. My wife has even at times accused me of being a little too optimistic in light of some of the situations life has thrown at us.

But come on I was on a roll. I’m a history buff, and let’s just say that my recent history was telling me to be really, really careful.

As I hit the water, my old careless self started to creep back up, and I found myself making dangerous jumps from boulder to boulder, stepping all over Poison Oak, and even fishing freezing cold water and 40 degree air temperature  in my good ol’ Wrangler Cargo shorts.

After just a couple of casts I was back to myself, and pulling in decent size rainbows on almost every cast. After fishing about a 1 3/4 mile section of the stream, I found myself satisfied for the day. Okay I’ll be honest I didn’t want to push my luck. A couple of hours on the water and no accidents.

Call it what you will, Lucky, Blessed, all I know is I’m back.

Urban Fly Venturing, a Disease Worth Catching!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2011

By , December 24, 2011 8:29 pm

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the UrbanFlyVentures Family to yours!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2011

By , November 24, 2011 5:00 am

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

By , November 13, 2011 11:10 pm

This Saturday was one of the most amazing experiences that I’ve ever had Fly Fishing.

The weather was perfect, just enough clouds and a little rain to keep the crowds out of the San Gabriel Mountains.

I woke up, checked the forecast (only 1/10th of an inch of rain throughout the day) perfect!

I threw on my gear, hit Jack-in-the-box up for some coffee, and I was on my way.

As I drove up the 605 freeway, I immediately noticed a problem TRAFFIC “on a Saturday morning”, I thought to myself. What was going on? As I passed slowly about 3 mph to be exact, I noticed two cars flipped over on the other side of the freeway.

The adrenaline hit my system, and I drove away with a new sense of safety. Driving  a little slower up the mountain I stopped in to renew my yearly Adventure Pass.

The drive up was beautiful, water flowing from every direction.

I passed up the West Fork, and started my way up the North Fork to my ultimate destination Crystal Lake.

I was scoping out a few new spots to stop and fish as a group of bikers road passed going down the hill. Then it happened, one of the bikers started skidding out of control, and he slammed into the side of the mountain. I screeched on my brakes to pull over, threw the truck in park, and jumped out so fast the guy behind me almost ran me over. I stopped and looked both ways. It was clear, and I darted over to the fallen “Road Warrior”.

He had already gotten up and was carrying his Road Bike over to a small dirt patch. His helmet was cracked, but he seemed to be okay and the man in the truck behind me had an extensive first aid kit.

After he was all patched up and back on his way, I again started back on the road even more cautous, I wasn’t about to make it a day of “all crashes and no fishing”. I stopped at a new section and started my way down the path slipping and sliding down the side of wet rocks. When at last I was at the stream.

I cast into a few holes with nothing more than a couple of small about 3 inch Rainbows to show for it.  As I moved up though, so did the size of the fish. By the last hole I had an 10and 11inch Trout to the net, and things were starting to look up!

Realizing that it gets dark by 5:00 pm I hurried back to my vehicle, still wanting to ultimately wet a line at Crystal Lake. I arrived to find the gate unfortunately locked, and it was time for the cold tired feet to get back to action.

Finally I was there. I pulled out a Size 16 Rubber Leg Yellow Stimulator, with a Size 16 dropper Flash Back Hares Ear Nymph (my lucky San Gabriel Combo). First cast and first Trout was on.

It was a stocked fish, small only about 8 inches. However I was cold and tired and a “fish is a fish” no matter the size. So I cast a couple more times and caught a few more small fish.

I decided to call it quits, but as I looked up I realized I was literally in the middle of a rain cloud. The Air was dense and cold immediately, and it felt like I was breathing in water. It poured out on the Lake for about 3 minutes, and then just a quickly as it came it was gone.

I took it as a sign to make one last cast, and luckily I did. My Stimulator completely disappeared. I sent the hook, and before I knew it I was into a 13 inch Trout.

It was every bit of 13 inches, trust me I measured it in my net, but it was the skinniest thing I had ever seen.

I guess even the Hatchery Fish are feeling the Economic Recession!

Urban Fly Venturing, a Disease Worth Catching!

AS THE SEASON TURNS

By , October 29, 2011 11:12 pm

It’s that time of year. Fall is upon us. All of the sudden I need an extra cup of coffee to get up in the morning, and somehow I’ve gone from 24 to 65 years old within a matter of days. 

The shorter days mean less light, and less light means less time to fish. The only reason that I don’t fish at night during the cold season, is just as the name suggests it’s COLD!

Having been born and raised here in So Cal, I’m basically a wimp if the weather drops below 50 degrees.

But, I digress.

The point is that the warmwater species will start hunkering down. Their metabolisms will slow, they will pass up my flies, and I will start spending way too much time clean and organizing my fly gear.

Basically, the point is that I try to make the most of the time I have left. I’ve been hitting the closest body of water before work, after work, and just about any other 30 minute session that I can squeeze in.

This time on the water has really tested my skills as an angler. The fish have gotten selective, but under the right conditions the payoff can be nice.

I have literally caught more big “er” Sunfish in the last couple of weeks, than I have the whole rest of the year. I guess the little guys just can’t muster the energy to make a dash at my fly.

So don’t give in to your instincts and turn into a bear that hibernates the cold weather away. Or maybe even turn into a Fly Guy that only gets out when you can catch the Blueline. The local puddles still have a lot to offer, even on those cold and windy days.

The Brownline might be slowing down, but sometimes a little change in pace is all that we need to get our mind back in the game!

Urban Fly Venturing, a Disease Worth Catching!

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