Monday, November 14, 2011

Late Evening Rainbows

Nicole and I hit Lake Natoma Saturday evening for an hour and a half and SHE did really well. I got skunked, but anytime someone in my boat catches fish I'm happy. The first fish was taken headed upstream just above the walking bridge, the second headed downstream in the state record pool. Beautiful colors on the fish this time of year. The water was really low and tinted a bit green, visibility to about 6 feet. Looking forward to the water coming up a little, the fish should return to their normal spots.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Smallies In The Fall

I've heard rumblings over the years that Natoma was once a great smallmouth fishery, and I have caught them occasionally while chasing trout. But the last month they are really coming on, and the average size is surprising. The first one I got recently was 16 inches long, and had to weigh 4 pounds EASY-at least 2 inches thick at the shoulders! Nick hooked up with an even bigger 17 incher that was also quite fat. Although I am targeting the trout on most occasions, I now have a fall-back method for catching more fish. Too bad for now, the weather just got perfect for the trout bite, expect pictures soon!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smallmouth on the Fly

Friday evening Nicole and I fished Lake Natoma. I was expecting to see a dozen novice kayakers and a couple boaters but the dock was empty. We got on the water at 7:00pm and headed upstream. I brought my fly rod out to sink some flies and try stripping some streamers. We anchored above Rainbow Bridge and I cast my quick-sink line with four feet of leader tipped with 4x fluorocarbon. The first bump felt like a bite but I wasn't sure, so I let the streamer sit for a couple seconds, and BAM! I lifted the rod and hooked into the smallmouth bass pictured here. It was 16" long, fat like a football, and easily the heaviest smallie I've ever caught. I got another little smallie about 8" long that completely inhaled my streamer.  I've read that Lake Natoma at one time was considered a great smallmouth fishery, and we are definitely going to target them more often.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Little Truckee River

Me and the family decided to go camping for a few days, so we headed up to Truckee and camped on the Little Truckee River at Boyington Mill Site. The weather was outstanding, the fish were flying out of the water chasing emergers, and I figured out fairly early what would work.

I found a nice run above the mouth at Boca, and started out with a caddis dry since I saw a few flying around. Not a bite. Switched to a PMD for 5 minutes without success. Threw a woolly bugger and got zilch. Finally, I decided to go to a two-nymph drop under an indicator, which is how I expected to fish e when I was sitting at home tying red and green Copper John's in size 12 and 14. My second cast got me a nice 12" rainbow on the green. Tuesday I landed 5, lost a couple. Wednesday I got the same, landing 5 and losing a few, including a nice 15"-16" thick rainbow, they all took the red Copper John's. Thursday was the best day, landing 14 and losing at least ten other takes. Almost everyone of Thursdays' fish took the green flies in size 12.

We hit the Truckee River on Thursday on a side trip into town, but at midday the water was too warm, gotta hit it early or late.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Digging for Gold

Today I took my son Nick gold panning to show him some basics and get out for the day. We grabbed some Subway sandwiches and headed down Salmon Falls Rd. We parked at the Sweetwater Creek parking spot and hiked downstream about a half mile almost to Folsom Lake. Due to all the rain and snow we got this winter, the lake is really high, but nice and clear. We set up on a little side creek and plinked around for a couple hours. Found only a couple flakes, but the scenery was worth the trip.