Sunday, July 31, 2011

Steve Martin of Rohnert Park caught this 22# salmon trolling just north of Elephant Rock.

This 18 pound halibut was taken off of Ten Mile Beach yesterday, along with 5 of his friends and a salmon. This photo was submitted by Kristen Hutson.

Diver Dave's Wader Repairs

As I'm sure is the case with most of us...breathable waders are a constant source of my frustrations. It seems crazy that for such a high value item that very few manufacturers are able to produce a reliable pair of waders that will last out a few seasons without the inevitable wet patch appearing somewhere when you take them off.

I've had my waders for just over one season and when the neoprene socks starting leaking I set about trying to repair them but as you can see I never really sorted it out. The thing is the rest of the waders are great so after reading about the services of 'Diver Dave' on various forums I decided to give him a call and see if it was possible to replace both socks with new ones.

Before the repair job by Diver Dave

Well nothing seems to phase Dave and when I explained the problem he was confident that he could do the job without too many problems.

As it turned out the only problem for Dave was sourcing a matching pair of neoprene socks that would match up with the ones he had removed, a couple of weeks later and I had a call to say that the repair had been completed and the waders were soon to be returned...couldn't wait to check 'em out.

New (leak free) neoprene socks
When they arrived I wasn't disappointed, the repair looked like a first class job and all they need now is a thorough testing on some of the harsh small stream fishing that played a part in the breakdown of the originals.

Prices and further info available from his website:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pete from Upper Lake caught this 35# smoker on the troll. Biggest fish of the day so far. Happy birthday, Pete!

Kim Fitzgerald fished with the local legend for this pair of salmon to 20 pounds.

Bob Stewart captained the boat but Rob Sereni caught this 28# king off of Bird Rock today. Two other salmon were taken by the crew of the Rosemary as well.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today's best: 6 halibut to 17 pounds, 6 salmon to 24 pounds. This was submitted by email without a note on where he was fishing. The fleet was working over Elephant Rock pretty heavy and there were fish being caught there but you'll have to earn them. The guys I spoke with described trolling the fleet as "brutal ". The fish are scattered all over, so it may be more fun to fish elsewhere, like McClure's, Tomales Point, Ten Mile, or even the Esteros. Halibut and salmon were caught on the bar and off of Dillon Beach today, so that is also a good option.

Chris Hayes of Lodi caught this 20# salmon. He was aboard the Semper Fi, which had 4 salmon and 2 halibut. They were not in the fleet.

Marty Medin of Inverness (pictured) put his buddy Bob (not pictured) over this 29.5 pound halibut. Live bait put the hook in it. They had one other halibut as well.
Luis "Bimbo" Alvarez of Lodi caught this 28.5 pound salmon while trolling off of McLure's Beach yesterday.
J D Davis and Al Roman caught these 21 and 20 pound salmon in an afternoon bite off of Bird Rock yesterday. The bite died before I could get there after work, but not before quite a few people caught fish. There were a few halibut landed yesterday but nothing like last weeks numbers. The water is warming again, though, so this weekend could be a repeat of last weekend. There were a few more "spoolers" the last couple of days so don't bring undersized gear. If anyone catches a big fish with 150 yards of red PowerPro attached to it, Steve Towne would like at least the gear back.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Salmon at Elephant Rock in 50 to 100 feet of water. This is a good place to go if you like having lots of company. There were party boats from San Francisco fishing the fleet there today. There were fish caught around the perimeter of the fleet, notably on McLure's Beach and the Keyholes. There was also a nice pair of kings to 23 pounds taken off of Bird Rock in 50 feet of water. The halibut bite has slowed way down after the wind blew for two days and cooled the water off. It went from brown to green and dropped 5 degrees. It should warm up by this weekend if the weatherman is correct.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Here's a nice 14 pound halibut caught by Lucas Poller of France. It is my understanding that he caught it at the mouth of Tomales Bay. It is nice to know that the fishing here has international appeal.

Here we have a reader-submitted pair of photos showing the 9 halibut and 5 salmon caught by Jerry DaCruz and company from space D-8. These fish were caught on Saturday, July 23, possibly from Ten Mile Beach.

Big Grayling...Small River

A weekend that was crammed full of fishing also proved to be very rewarding, with the capture of what must have come close to being my personal best Grayling.

My best ever? A stunning Grayling for a small river.

Where do you head for to capture that special fish? Well the answer is not always where you'd expect!.

There is no doubt that some of the bigger rivers around us are good places to capture a specimen (in Wales the Wye, Usk and Dee spring to mind) but quite often it is the smaller rivers and streams that shock us and certainly in my experience this has been the case with both Trout and Grayling.

As long as the river has a steady flow of water and more importantly a rich source of invertebrate life then the potential for these smaller rivers to yield something out of the ordinary is more likely than you may think.

All the following caught on the same day from a stretch of river that you could almost jump across in parts:

Many of my largest captured Brown Trout and Grayling have come from such small waters so my advice is if you're in search of 'the fish of a lifetime' then you would do well not to dismiss some of the smaller tributaries.

This weekend also gave me the opportunity to try out my recently repaired waders courtesy of 'Diver Dave', report to follow shortly.
Gil Mells of Princeton caught this 26# salmon off of Ten Mile yesterday. He was fishing with Ted Anderson and together they landed three salmon in the twenties.
The new fish to beat this year is John Kuhlman's 40 pound beauty. He almost didn't go fishing as things didn't seem to be going his way in the morning. Apparently things turned around.
Here is John Rosasco again, along with Dave Prater in the middle. Their success on Saturday was a mixed blessing, as it led to local legend Gerard Fitzgerald hopping onboard yesterday. The three of them boated 9 halibut on jigs at McLure's Beach, the three largest each weighing 20 pounds.
Steve Werlin of Dillon Beach speared this 27# halibut in very dirty water on the bar on Sunday. He said the water was so murky that he only had a couple feet of visibility but luckily there were a lot of halibut.
Mike Nursement of Colfax caught this 20# salmon on Sunday while mooching on the bar.
Here is John Rosasco of Stockton with a 21# halibut. John and his buddy, Dave Prater, caught 5 halibut on jigs on the bar on Saturday morning and this was the biggest.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

There were halibut caught on the bar, at McLure's and on Ten Mile, with at least two boats limiting out on flatties. The divers report fish all over on the bar but the big problem was seeing them in the murk. Salmon were caught in all the same places but were not nearly as numerous as the halibut. There are also some thresher sharks being hooked by boaters off of the beaches.

One boat returned already from Ten Mile with a halibut and two salmon. He was trolling in 30' of water near Abbot's Lagoon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Halibut action on the bar for some, with catches ranging from 0 to 5. Best results were from white bucktail jigs. There was also a striper caught on live bait. Halibut were also found on McClure's and Ten Mile. I heard of one small salmon caught out in 240' of water.

Friday, July 22, 2011

One salmon over twenty pounds from the bar yesterday, along with the halibut. Today I haven't heard of a salmon but there were several more halibut caught there. One boat had four on live bait. Outside was pretty rough and even the bar was kind of iffy at times. Tomorrow the forecast calls for south wind to 10 knots, so maybe we can get some reports from Ten Mile. Seems like there should be some fish down there.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two salmon and two halibut landed on the bar yesterday. A few halibut from there today. I haven't heard any recent word on sharks or perch. The wind is blowing offshore and making for some uncomfortable seas on the beach. The forecast is good for Saturday and Sunday. Maybe some more fish pictures then.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The winds offshore have eased and the water is now warming up to 59 degrees and turning brown. Halibut are biting for some on McLure's Beach (numbers from 0 to 7, jigs and live bait) and I would expect there to be some showing on Ten Mile and the bar any time. Unfortunately, the forecast calls for wind later this week. With luck it will stay offshore only and won't push too much cold water onto the beach. A few salmon yesterday, almost all of them from off of the Russian River near 22 and 11.

Monday, July 18, 2011

French Nymphing On The River Wye

Perhaps not the first choice of method considering the quite strong downstream wind experienced on the River Wye Saturday, but I was out to test a theory I had.

The previous day I had fished the same bit of water using conventional methods - namely single dry fly and duo and although connecting with a few fish I knew that there were many fish (mainly Grayling) that were in the area that I couldn't tempt.

Now the theory was to return armed with my 10' #3 streamflex and using the so called 'French Nymphing' technique fish through the same water to compare results.

Large Grayling being played (just sub-surface) after taking the point fly
With the unfavourable wind I had attached 2 tungsten beadhead nymphs (2.5mm + 2.0mm) to the end of my set up, I also opted to fish at closer than normal range for this method to gain maximum control and presentation.

After just a few hours fishing I had managed to net some quite impressive Grayling along with some smaller trout, I had certainly topped my previous days tally by some margin and although this in itself isn't concrete proof that this method will always out perform other types of fly fishing it is a technique that under certain conditions has the ability to present flies more delicately and with less surface disturbance.

For those fly anglers willing to 'think outside the box' this is a method you might find more than useful to have up your sleeve.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This is Hunter Hayes of Lodi with his first salmon ever, a 26 pounder. He caught it from his dad's boat, the Semper Fi, at 15 and 7.
Mike Garello of Riverbank and a 21 pound friend, his first board fish of the year.
This is Steve Fisher of Ione and his 27 pound salmon from the Tomales Bay bar on Saturday.
Tom Treadway of Sacramento caught this 24 pound salmon in 80 feet of water near the outer bell buoy.

Here's the new board leader, a 34# beauty caught by Mr Ballinger. He was fishing off of Tomales Point, at 15 and 7. Not a wide open bite but numbers ranged from 0 to 3 per boat with more fish lost than caught. Lots of shorties.

Salmon from west of Tomales Point yesterday, from 1 to 7 miles out. Yes, they were scattered. There was even a 27 pound king caught on the bar, even though the baitfish have mostly moved out. What bait is left is on top of the bar and in the channel. There was a pair of leopard sharks up to 54" taken from near Hog Island. There's a couple of boats looking to see if the halibut are still biting at McLures Beach today. The rockfish bite has been pretty good, not too many school fish but lots of browns and gophers. Lots of small lingcod in the shallows with a few legal ones mixed in.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Halibut on McLure's beach, 30+ feet of water. Doug Koinzan of Lodi caught 2 and lost another. The salmon bite west of Tomales Point apparently has shut down. Most of the salmon boats have run up towards a bite at the river.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two salmon from the bar today. Maybe it is finally happening.

AJ Masters posed with these 21, 22, and 22.5 pound salmon. These fish, along with a 14 pound salmon, were caught with "local legend" Gerard Fitzgerald. The fish came from due west of Tomales Point, in the same area as several blue and humpback whales. The krill was down deep but the fish were 30 to 40 feet down. Several boats had quick limits of rockfish off of Bird Rock. A halibut was rumored to have been caught on Ten Mile but so far today nothing from the bar. The bar should have fish if it warms up a little, as it has clouds of needlefish rippling across the water. Very fishy, just no fish. Yet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shropshire Stream

Slipped out early from work and pinched a few hours to fish a stream I often visit in rural Shropshire. It was such a contrast from the rivers and streams I experienced in Mid Wales last weekend that were carrying excessive amounts of water to find this stream as low as I've seen it and in need of a 'washout'.

As you may expect the fish were in the well oxygenated deeper runs and fortunately quite a few were still happy to have a go at both the nymph and dry.

Note how white the leading edge is on the anal fin.

An enjoyable afternoons fishing but I do wonder what affect prolonged low levels will have on a river and its inhabitants. Hopefully they will cope with the extremes which seem to becoming all too frequent.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It All Gets Better On The Clettwr

Heavy rain in Mid-Wales on Friday put paid to my plans to fish the River Wye so I spent early Saturday morning on a reccy trying to find one of the many streams in this area that may have run off quickly.

The upper reaches of the River Irfon had took the bulk of the downfall and although flood water on this river generally runs off quickly it was apparent that this may take a while to get back to anywhere near fishing level.

I would need to set my sights on the smaller streams so I headed south to the River Edw of which the Wye And Usk Foundation have four beats on their roving voucher scheme, peering over the bridge at Aberedw I could tell that my quest was not yet over as this stream was also carrying too much water.

I now pinned all my hopes on a small stream I had fished a couple of times before...the Clettwr that runs into the Wyw at Erwood, it's a stream that tumbles fast down a steep sided gorge creating some of the most dramatic fishing you could wish to experience.

Again, this is a W&UF beat (R15 in the voucher booklet) and I guessed that due to the nature of this stream most of the rain would have travelled through in to the River Wye so I geared up and set off down the steep gorge to find it running relatively clear and a perfect level.

Marker posts guiding the way down the gorge to the beat start.
If you ever get to fish this beat you will appreciate how spectacular the backdrop of this stream is but as a consequence you will also have to endure a gruelling trek through some pretty rugged terrain. If you manage to make the end of the beat with any energy left then the walk back to the car will surely drain the last ounce from you.

Described by the Foundation as "real mountain stream fishing and a challenge to the most hardy...pure escapism!" which I think pretty much sums it up.

Stuffed full of small trout (which fight like hell) of which a 10" fish would be deemed a bonus...give it a try if you dare, but give yourself a full day!

River levels on the Irfon had dropped back on Sunday allowing me to target some Grayling using the French Nymphing method which rounded off the weekend nicely.