Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quarter Pounders and half-pints, eh?

Green Sunfish on a San Juan Worm

It's been a busy few weeks.  For those of you that just want the meat of the story, read no further, because I know you've got busy lives too.  In summation, I have had 0 time at the office, staying out in the field all day (which is AWESOME....sorta).  I fished Trinity Lake over the weekend, listened to log trucks' jake brakes all night and caught some very respectable Trinity Lake rainbows.  My buddy Aaron, of  Chronicles of Cod fame (, rolled through town, and now here I sit....How about that, my week summed up in a 60 second read?  Not very appealing is it?  Here's what really happened....

So after a long week at work, saving salmonids one screw-trap at a time, I decided that Thursday, I'd go out for an after work special (that's fishing after work for all you common folk) and maybe a few beers at Tips to celebrate the day, why not.  So I took Marc out to a little mini-stream chock full of little sunfish and smallmouth, and boy did we get into some hawgs!  I wrestled in one smally that was pushing at least...4, maybe even 5....ounces.  A quarter-pounder with cheese on the fly!  Pretty little fish though, and what a fun way to unwind, plucking tiny fish out of a tiny stream on tiny rods.  Not really much to tell here honestly, that's what it was, fishing to fish, pure and simple.  I DID add two new species to my fly list, so I guess something came of it.  9 o'clock rolls around, and I can hear the faintest call on the wind, ".....tiiiiiiips.......tiiiiiiiiiiiiips."  Who am I to deny the voices of fate?  So, off I roll down the old dusty trail to the waterin' hole.  Greeted at the door by Montana Shane and a cold Coors Original already open on the bar, I knew this was where I was supposed to be.  So I drive a few beers in me, plug some money into the jukebox, and settle down on my barstool to stare down the same wall I've stared at oh so many times before.  When what before my eyes should suddenly appear?  A wee little feller ordering a cold beer!  No red beard, no green jacket and pants, no pot of gold or lucky charms, so I eliminated Leprechaun.  Could it be!?!  Is this the break-dancing "little person" that I had heard tell of.  Ricky (the NOT Leprechaun)...MAN, I hate the whole politically correct thing, but I really don't want to offend anyone....okay, I'm not sure what the cutoff between dwarf and midget is, but this guy was short.  Knee high to a grasshopper!  For the record, he seemed an extremely nice fellow, and I am by no means poking fun.  Next thing I know, tables are being cleared , the floor is opened up, and I am now watching this little fella spin around on his head like a human dreidel and worming his way across the floor.  It was at this point that I requested that my favorite bartender in the world please clarify that I was in fact seeing what I thought I was seeing.  I guess the little pieces of paper and that half a rufee in my beer had actually not taken effect yet.  This cat was tearing the floor up!  He then proceeds to calmly dust himself off, shake hands with a few people, and penguin his way back outside...Holy hell!  It took a hi-lift jack just to get my jaw off the floor.  I looks over at Jess, expressed my disbelief, and ordered another beer to see if the lollipop guild would show up while my BAC was on the rise.  Tips.  Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, and break-dancin' midgets just happen occasionally.

Sundy rolls around, and I get the fishin' itch, so Marc and I loaded up the kayaks, made the necessary preparations (stock the cooler with food and beer, buy more beer, pack fishing gear, buy more beer, you get the picture) and it was off to Trinity Lake.  When we first show up, the first thing I hear is, "Oh, no, this doesn't look right."  We're out here chasing down a hot tip Marc got, and suddenly "this doesn't look right comes up...Oh boy.  So this is when I says, "Well, you wanna fish it?"  And fish it we did, but not before we had a meet and greet with some of the fine folks that frequent Trinity Lake, earning us our fair share of momentary fame and glory.  We recieved such pearls of wisdom as: Don't get so faced by noon that you forget your sunglasses in the truck or you'll blister the bottoms of your feet whilst 'Woohoo!'ing yourself hoarse.  She did however compliment me on my stunningly white teeth.
"He ain't from around here." spouts the most redneck voice a Mainer can muster. 

Sorry for that pause that you guys can't tell that just happened; I had to put down my beer because I couldn't stop laughing.

To the frequenters of Trinity Lake, You are wonderful people and damned good entertainers.

Fishing Trinity Lake
Anyway, we caught some very nice fish in very good numbers in a variety of fishing styles, the stillwater dry being the absolute mindblower.
8 minutes of tiny mends for micro wind-currents to keep your fly from dragging, all the while waiting on a trout to meander into a tiny window on their patrols where your little foam fly, which is no bigger than the word ENTER on this screen, floats nearly perfectly in sync with all the little white bubbles and yellow pollen flecks on the water...thenBOOM!  All hell breaks loose when that fish either sips that fly with barely a ripple or just demolishes it in a silvery, pissed off rolling boil.  That first take was the latter.  A flash of trout and a quick, violent whorl, and I'm ripping the surface with 60 feet of line! 

I may post a real-time video, just for anyone that wants to see the full extent of intensity in the focus.  Heck, I'll even put some music in there.
Hooked up, and keepin' er out of the willows.
Buggers, nymphs, dries, even Ro-Jo bugs were catching fish.  So two days  of spectacular trout fishing and we're wanting to change direction a little bit, so it's up Stuart's Fork we rumble and bushwhack through some of the roughest terrain we've ventured through thus far in the season for a few dinky little trout and one GORgeously coloured California Mountain Kingsnake, a new snake species for me. 
California Mountain Kingsnake

On to the next week of work which goes as work goes, and we see such events as, the bottling of Austington Wit (my first gluten-free belgian-style ale), meeting up with Marv at the casino ( A fantastic guy, a wonderful friend of mine and the family), and a deer cleaning out my bird feeder and subsequently getting ineffectively attacked by the rabid pack of terriers.
Bird feed thief
 My good friend, Aaron, also rolled through town. He guides at Fish Tales Fly Shop in Calgary, Alberta, and is currently wrapping up a phenomenal 4-month fishing hiatus that has spanned from Belize to Houston to Corpus Christi, Baja, Cuba, and Red Bluff, CA.  Check out his blog, .  The guy is a great writer, a bang up fisherman, and probably the most personable guy you can meet. 
I took Aaron out to the home waters and we had as good an after-work special I could have asked for.  Aaron picked up a few quality California rainbows, and I said hello to a new, thicker shouldered fish in one of my favorite runs. 

And now, here I sit, clickity clickin' away on the keys. What will tomorrow bring?  Maybe geocaching around Clear Creek and up Mule Mountain, or maybe jigging for land-locked tschawytscha on Lake Shasta in the kayak.  Who knows....

Stay Shiddy!

1 comment:

  1. Gol-durn it Capt. Buckles, when you capture the elusive Oncorhynchus mykiss on the even more elusive rojo bug, there should be pictures to tell the tale!

    P.S. - That's some shiddy writing right there. Keep it up!