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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Upside Down Comparadun - Wonder if this fly will float correctly

While fishing the Lower Henry's Fork this summer, we found the sparkle dun comparadun pattern for the Flav's worked the best. It occurred to me that the comparadun pattern might work even better if tied upside down? Some of the water was quite flat and the browns weren't always fooled by the standard pattern.
Prototype Tied:

Not a True Field Test, but Seems to Float OK:

Variant on the Standard Elk Hair Caddis

I became re-enamored with the material Zelon recently. The thought occurred to me that perhaps it might add a little to the standard Elk Hair Caddis pattern. I added a little Zelon as an under-wing to the Elk Hair pattern. I did have an opportunity to try it on the Upper Sacramento River in August. I was fishing a shallow run and there was no insect activity. I used a small stimulator pattern for quite a while trying to induce a strike as the water looked like it must have some trout about.

I had no luck. Finally, I put the fly pictured here on and on the second cast caught a nice brown. Perhaps it would have worked as well without an underwing, but I will do further testing when I have more days on the water.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fishing with a Black Bear

This is just a stock photo of a bear. I did not have my camera with me as I was wading in the stream. Wish I had it with me though.

August 4th, 2010
I am staying in Oakland with my son and his family on a trip from Kauai, HI. Being a fly fisherman, I drove up to the Upper Sacramento River about 39 miles north of Redding, CA. This is a beautiful river with not very many fishermen - at least on a weekday. The river is freestone with runs, pools, easy rapids, etc. There are some swimmers and tubers who seemed to be concentrated right at the access points off HWY 5 Northbound out of Redding just north of Shasta Lake. There is a railroad track/bed which pretty much parallels the river. One can take one of the I-5 North exits which are numbered and mapped on free DNR maps. It would be best to walk up or down the railroad bed (or along the river if the rr is not there) for 15 to 20 minutes to ensure privacy on the stream.

I fished below the Gibson Exit on this day. I caught a number of quite small rainbows and a couple nice ones (13 inches or so) on both a dry as well as a nymph. There was not a hatch or much insect activity at all. Had to sort of "create" my own hatch. Used a stimulator (#16) which didn't work and a #14 Elk Hair which did. A Prince Nymph worked as well.

While fishing there, I noticed something moving along the opposite bank. I assumed it was a hiker or another fisher dressed in black. After raising my rod to cast again, I looked and about 60-70 feet away was a black bear. He/she just stood there and watched me. When I started false casting, the bear jumped on a tree trunk and stuck his head around to watch. He dismounted and re-mounted that tree trunk a couple of times. Seemed very interested in what I was doing. Then, he finally moved on up the canyon wall.

It was a pleasant - yet hot - afternoon. The evening cooled nicely.