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Monday, June 30, 2008

Keys Grand Slam!

I spent the last four days fishing and filming in the Key West area of the Florida Key's with Capt Justin Rea and Angler Jay Robertson. Conditions have been good this Tarpon Season and the fish were swimming. Jay is one heck of a good caster and really knows the ins and outs of fishing in the Keys. If there were ever a spectator aspect to the sport of fishing, I think Tarpon fishing in the Florida Key's is one of the best shows. I was stoked to get a bows eye view of all the Action.
Capitan Justin Rea of Sting Rea Charters poles into position while Jay Robertson gets ready for a shot.
Here's Jay manhandling a nice one. He put the boots to this fish. Justin goes in for the grab. It's a great feeling to get your fly back from one of these giant beasts. Day 3 started out with a few nice Bonefish. This was the biggest of the bunch.Before lunch, Jay had a nice permit in the boat. This little fella did everything he could to shake em. He tried rubbing the sand, wrapping the coral heads, darting under the boat and even the old wrap around the pulling pole technique. After some good driving by Justin and some handy rod work by Jay, he eventually got grabbed too. With a few nice Bonefish and a Permit in the boat now it was time to find a Tarpon. Justin took us into a sneaky little tarpon pond and Jay roped this little guy to finish off the Florida Keys Grand Slam by 1pm. What a day! On the last day of the trip, I got in on the action with a baby tarpon out of another one of Justin's secret tarpon ponds. This little fella took a dry and that was enough to put a huge smile on my face.

Wyoming Goes Off!

Here's just one of the nice Cutthroat's Trevor Wine, AKA T-Bone, got while fishing the Snake River on his day off last week. T-Bone is a guide for World Cast Anglers out of Jackson W.Y. He reported the fishing has been excellent this summer. Water conditions are good and the fish are eating dries. If your thinking of fishing in that area, you should drop him a line. T-Bones a great guide and a fun person to spend a day on the water with.

KP Bass

Check out this monster Kevin Price ripped out while fishing with Brian O'Keefe in Oregon.

Photo: O'Keefe

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BASS: The Movie

I spent this past week down on the Delta with the crew from Howard films working on their new project, BASS: The Movie. Jamie flew in from the east coast and met up with the rest of the Howard Films crew, to pay a couple of the West's best Bass fisheries a visit. The first shoot in Southern California left them thinking it would be hard to top what they had just witnessed. After seeing Giant Bass chasing shad and even trout, now it was time to see what Northern California had to offer. Jamie pitted a couple of the States best Spine Tackle Anglers, against a couple of the States Best Fly Anglers to see what would happen. You might be surprised to see what they found out. Burl Productions was there helping out with some behind the scenes work and getting a Fish Eye view of the action.

BASS: The Movie explores Americas fascination with a lurky green fish that has a big mouth. The Large Mouth Bass is one of our Nations top game fish and has more fans and followers then some countries have people. What better Bass fishery could there be, then the San Joaquin and Sacramento River Delta System . The California Delta is a huge network of waterways, channels, levies and marshes that gather water from over 10 of California's biggest major river systems before they flow into the San Francisco Bay. The lands surrounding the Delta are some of the riches agriculture fields in the Nation. The nutrient rich waters of California's hart land are subsequently also one of the greatest fish factories in the Nation. Huge amounts of fish pass through the tidal and brackish waters of the Delta. It supports at times, everything from passing Salmon, Steelhead, Stripe Bass and Shad, to resident Cat Fish, Stergin, Sun Fish, and yes, Large Mouth Bass! Though not native, Black or Large Mouth Bass now thrive in this rich ecosystem.

Along with the fish, come some of the States best anglers. Howard films was fortunate to hook up with a few of the States finest. John Sherman, a fly-fisherman, who is a tackle rep, outdoor photographer and Delta resident, plays a lead roll. He is pitted against a couple of the top Light Tackle Spin anglers including long time Delta Resident and Pro Bass Fisherman, Bobby Barrek. It's up to John and Local Fly-Fishing guide Kevin Doran to show that Fly Anglers have what it takes to catch Trophy Bass. It's a no holds barred spin vs. fly showdown. Do John and KD show Bobby how it's done with flies, or does Bobby put down a Bass Whoopin the likes of which only a Bass Pro can inflict. I guess you'll just have to watch the flick to find out.

Burl Productions was there helping out with some behind the scenes work and getting a Fish Eye view of the action. When I get thrown in the mix, I have to rely on the mighty Swamp Crawler to even up the odds for team Bass N Fly.

Jamie Howard getting the shot. From Gold Flake Hot Rod Bass boats, to Mikey's Canoe, Jamie's putting in the long hours to catch the bite!Whether it be land, air or water, Todd is a pro at getting the shot. From sun up till sun down, it's non stop action with Howard Films.

Beware of the Swamp crawler! It can go anywhere!
It's all about those bucket mouths. Whoo Hoo, we're going Bassin!

For more info on BASS: The Movie and to watch the trailer, Check out:

To find out more about Fly-Fishing for Large Mouth Bass on the California Delta and to meet the Bass N Fly team:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mountain Art

Check out a few pieces of hand crafted art by master craftsman Chris LaScola. Chris lives in lake Tahoe and whenever possible likes to make use of some of the natural gifts we are fortunate to have in this area. These brown trout were made using Aspen leaves from right out of his yard next to the upper Turckee river. They are matted on stained canvas and have a custom natural wood frame. The furniture is made from local wood he also collects in the area. Each piece he does is unique and hand crafted. Chris is also a master carpenter and can turn homes into beautiful, natural looking works of art. If your interested in any of these pieces, or having something custom done for you home, please drop me a note and I'll get you in touch with Chris.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Great Day

Just a couple photos from the other day.  

A nice Lahontan Cutthroat.  A perfect specimen of a truly native and wild fish in it's native range.  
Rainbows are pretty cool for being one of the worst evasive species on this planet.  

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Day in Chruch

This past Sunday i spent in Church. It's a riffle on a river in the south central sierras. I try to make it a point to visit this place once a year to give thanks and renew and reflect on my life's vision for the past and coming years. It's a very intensive and long journey to get there. You can't just drive up and step out of the car. That's what keeps the place so pristine. You really have to work for it if you want to get there. I call it the church riffle because its right in front of a very old and and very sacred Native American site. It was a gathering place for native peoples for centuries. It's a source of great energy. I felt a strong feeling of aw and inspiration the first time i ever sent foot in this canyon. It wasn't until many years later that i found out about the Native American activity that had occurred there. It's hard to speculate why they chose this location to gather and pray. One reason might have been the abundance of wild trout that still thrive in these cold clean waters. Now it's become like a spiritual place for me too. The church of Mother Nature.

Out of respect for the fish, i only use single barbless hooks. My favorite method is traditional swing. I fish streamers on a sink tip line. If i have to nymph, i fish weighted nymphs on a dry line. No lead and no bobbers. The best flies were a Charlie Bisharat ties rainbow fry streamer, and my double tungsten jaw breaker stone fly nymph. This year the fish were particularly abundant. The many swirly pockets, huge boulder seems, and deep tailouts gave up some really nice fish to my friend Jon and I. It was one of those days that will live in fishing infamy and cast memories in my dreams for the rest of my years.

You need a 6wt to handle these brutes . Little cuttties like this guy get the back of the line when the big rainbows move up river. I was sad and upset to find a rusty bait hook hanging out of this throat. I clipped the line off of it and wished him the best.
Jon with a nice one. He worked out for months just to lift that fish.
I call this the death pool. There's a 300 yard, class 5 rapid below it. A slip here would mean certain death. When a fish heads down river, it's usually futile to try and follow. I put up a good chase, but this one got away.
This one wasn't so lucky. He got his photo taken.
Check out old stubby. He must have bonked his nose too many times trying to air up the waterfalls when he was a kid.
A perfect specimen.
Fat moma.
Big Papa.
I'm pretty sure this was the first fish Jon caught in the morning. I caught it again at the end of the day. It was a great ender and at that we called it and began the long journey home. All said and done, i think we got 12 fish to hand that were in the 20-30 inch range and lost a few more that were even bigger. Not bad for a couple hours of fishing. It would be hard to beat a day like this anywhere in the world. California is simply amazing. Amen!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bass N Fly Challenge

This past Friday i attended the Bass N Fly Challenge down on the California Delta. The event was put on by the Bass N Fly Team that consist of John Sherman, Kevin Doran, Keith Kaneko, Ken Hanley and Jerry Siem. It's a team event. There are two anglers to a boat. The object is to catch and bring in 5 live bass to be weighed then released. The team with the most total weight wins. There is also a pool of money for the biggest fish caught that day.

I fished with Robert Johnson of Walnut Creek. I was paired with Rodger last minute on a recommendation from John Sherman. We met the day before the event and pre fished for a couple hours in the evening. Robert and i hit it off and had a blast cruzing around, throwing line, talking trash and telling jokes. His boat goes over 60 mph, so just getting to the fishing spots was a rush.

The morning of the event was nice and calm. Perfect conditions for fishing the Deltas Large Mough Bass. We netted 6 fish in the first hour. It was a huge thrill when that first fish exploded on the fly. All our fish were caught top water using poppers. For the rest of the morning it was a matter of trying to get a couple bigger fish. Fishing slowed down a bit as the sun rose higher. We caught fish on and off in a variety of different water. All and all we boated at least 15 fish. Most around 1 to 3 pounds. In the last hour, with a hail marry cast up under an overhanging oak tree, Robert hooked and landed a nice fish weighing just under 5 pounds. With that, we packed up and headed for the dock for weigh in.

Perfect calm morning for fishing the delta.
Robert reading the electronics and working some fish while i roll some tape. A California Pond Turtle watches as we fish his favorite hole. Robert Johnson with our biggest fish of the day. This is what it's all about, Delta Large Mouth Bass. The official weigh in station. The fish were quickly weighed then released back into the water.Kevin Price and Jake McKittrick take 5th Place. That's KD rollin some film in the background. Robert Johnson and Mikey Wier taking home 4th. Keith Westra and JR Hubbard take 3erd.Mike Baisdon and Russ Owens looking calm and cool. They took 2ed place overall and also won the biggest fish of the day with an 11 pounder . Steve Potter and Chuck Sterni took home the grand prize. Ken Hanley did a great job announcing and John Sherman was there to get the shot!

Top Team Standings and Winnings follow:

1st Place - $1985 - Steve Potter & Chuck Sterni Total weight (18 lbs. 8 oz.)
2nd Place - $1050 - Mike Baisdon & Russ Owens Total weight (18 lbs. 4oz.)
3rd Place - $560 - Keith Westra & JR Hubbard Total weight (13 lbs. 9 oz.)
4th Place - $250 - Robert Johnson & Mike Wier Total weight (11 lbs. 9 oz.)
5th Place - $200 - Jake McKettrick & Kevin Price Total weight (11 lbs. 4 oz.)
6th Place - $175 - Willie Cook & Bob Arwine Total weight (11 lbs. 2 oz.)

Big Fish - $300 – Mike Baisdon (11 lbs. 10 oz)

All 32 team standings will be available on the bass-n-fly website: