SPRING FORWARD

By , March 14, 2012 11:54 pm

Okay confession time. This is my number one biggest question of all time ”Why do we ever fall back?”. I’m Just saying, let’s just spring forward for the last time and leave time alone!

I feel it coming, my one bipolar day of 2012. Saturday I’m freaking out feeling claustrophobic, and thinking Winter is never going to end .

I’m just saying, I don’t think I’m the only person that hates the fact that it’s dark by 4pm in December.

Then all of the sudden, I wake up on Sunday and it’s light until 6:30pm. That’s when I find myself thinking about packing my fishing clothes and my 5 Weight into the back seat of my truck so that I can hit the local pond as soon as the clock strikes 5pm. 

Apparently this year the fish feel it too, the bite has flipped on and the Bass are showing

well. I even scoped a few starting to take up Real Estate.

You know what I’m talking about. That’s right you were thinking it too “BED FISHING”.

Only a few more weeks and the Bass will be so ticked at each other, they will want to destroy anything I put near their face.

If sight fishing for bedding Bass doesn’t get your heart beating just a little faster, you had better check your pulse.

It has to be my number one favorite time of the year to fish. I mean come on it’s not every day a PIG Female swims up 2 feet from where you’re standing while she is literally daring you to chuck a fly in her direction.

Now, I know someone is going to email me or leave a comment about how I’m the worst person in the world for fishing bedding Bass, and that I should join PETA and leave everything I own to my cats.

But come on people we’re Urban Bass Fishing mostly Park Lakes here. It’s not like this is the Golden Trout Wilderness or anything.

Now I’m not saying this as an excuse for anyone to go out and abuse these fish. If you catch one, get it back in the water right away. Especially if it’s a male so that he can get back to the fry that he’s most likely guarding. 

We as Fly Fisherman have a responsibility to set the example. Don’t throw anything on the ground, treat the fish with respect so that someone else can catch it, and for goodness sake mash down your barbs!

I’m just going to put this out there. If I see someone with a bucket taking Bass or someone with a treble hook and a sinker trying to snag a 5 pounder, you will get caught.

I do know the Park Rangers very well, yes I do have them on speed dial, and yes you will get one big ticket!

So get out enjoy one of the best times of the year to fish for Bass, and let’s respect this resource so that our children’s children can be blogging about it.

 

WEEKEND CREEKIN’

By , February 21, 2012 10:04 pm

Thanks to a tip from a fellow Urban Fisherman, I got to hit a new Urban Body of water this past Saturday.

 I’ve learned over the last few years that if you are willing to put in the time and explore some of our local Urban waterways, you will be surprised and sometimes flat out shocked at what you find.

After about 30 minutes of walking down banks, climbing rocks, and pushing my way through stock piles of bushes I found myself at the edge of a serene little stream in the middle of Riverside County.

I may have been in the center of the city, but I felt miles away from anyone else in the world. As I explored my way down the bank, I spotted a school of Mosquito Fish, a Read Ear Slider, and a couple of beautiful White Egrets stocking the shallows for their next meal.

After stumbling on a deep hole where the water slowed around a corner, I pulled out my 3 weight, tied on a Micro Flash – a -Bugger, and cast as close up to the opposite bank as I could.

A couple of casts and no fish. I moved just a little farther down, and found another hole, and as I approached I realized I was going to have to start using a Roll Cast or I would be spending more time picking my flies out of the brush behind me than fishing.

 

1st Cast into this new hole and strip, strip, strip, when all of the sudden something came darting out of the shallow lunging for my fly. Out of excitement I pulled the fly right out it’s mouth. Trying to calm myself down, I got down on my knees, and cast into the same spot.

As soon as the fly hit the water “SMACK!”. I was into a small Largemouth Bass leaping into the air and fighting with all it’s might.

A small fish, but a real prize after a fight like that.

I hit a few more holes with the same results,  a lot of small fish with a ferocious nature that I’d noever seen before.

As I was tying on a new fly, I realized that I could see some of the Bass swimming back and forth taking what looked like some kind of Damselfly Nymph.

While I was staring intently into the water I realized I could see a couple of fish hugging the bottom that looked just a little different. A similar profile to the Bass but a much darker color.

I cast a large Nymph into the line of one of these fish, and the strike was so quick I didn’t even see the fish take it. I set the hook  and the fish took me straight into the over hanging branches.

Before I could maneuver my way out this mess, the fish was off. I tried a second time, but to no avail. I guess whatever this species was it would have to wait until next time to be caught.

As I climbed my way out of the brush and thicket, I almost stepped on what looked like a Garter Snake. I must have jumped 3 feet in the air and away from it, thinking the snake was a Rattler.

With my heart thumping in my chest I made it to the edge of the little community that I had parked in. I grabbed a seat on a bench near by, reflecting on my wonderful fishing experience while taking the rocks and dirt out of my shoes.

It just goes to show you that a little UFV always pays off. Sometime we catch fish and sometimes we don’t, but it’s the experience that matters the most.

Urban Fly Venturing, a Disease Worth Catching!

 

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’.

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!

 

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