West Carson River – 07/21/08 Early AM

I know that I said I was not going to fish the West Carson anymore, but I had no idea when I opened my mouth that I was going to jinx the works.  We had several small storms in quick succession and now my favorite river, the East Carson, is a muddy, off-color mess.  I hope it comes down before I leave on my work trip.

I arrived on the river at about 7:30am which is “just a hair” late in the morning for the current water and air temps.  As always, the gauging station hole was in the shadows.  I crept down to my usual rock and was observing bug activity and enjoying some peace and tranquility when a large cinnamon bear sow popped out of the trees not more than 30 feet from me.  I do not think that she saw me in the water as I was kneeling behind some rocks and being still, but when I yelped in surprise, she jumped as well and took off running.  Just watching her run reinforced the fact that there IS NO WAY to outrun a bear…man was she moving fast.

That excitement over, I go back to my observing.  I see very little bug activity, so I decide to tie on a #16 yellow humpy with a soft-hackled hare’s ear dropper.  I got some half-hearted strikes right off the bat, but nothing serious.  I quickly move up to the next hole and start casting.  Same responses.  Refusals.  I snip off that rig and I tie on a #16 Royal Trude.  Again, more refusal strikes.  This hole is now spooked from all the rejected casts.

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Caples Lake Drawdown

Over the weekend, one of my clients told me that Caples Lake was going to be lowered for some long overdue repair on the outlet works.  It has deteriorated so badly, that it has to be replaced now rather than later.  Also this will allow the state parks service to build a new boat ramp.  As of today (7/21/08), the El Dorado Irrigation District has started the release of water from Caples Lake.  The release will continue well into September.  This means that Caples Creek and the Silver Fork of the American River will be blown out.

For the official word, click here.

North Fork American River (7/13)

I’m thinking that this last outing will be my last one on the North Fork American River until next spring.  The water has dropped so much, that the trout have moved in search for colder water.

I fished the NF today from 4:00 PM until 8:00PM.  From the looks of it, I knew that I would have to dredge the pools.  I rigged up with a #14 Pheasant Tail and a #16 Mercer’s BWO Trigger Nymph.  Within five minutes, I hooked up an eight inch Rainbow Trout.  It was a feisty little bugger that jumped around.  I worked my way downstream to the next pool.  No fish were to be had.  I walked back up to the first pool and hooked up immediately with another eight inch Rainbow Trout.

For the next two hours, I decided to work the downstream pools.  There were lots of baby Smallmouth Bass swimming everywhere!  There were not fly shy either.  I would drift my flies through the slots and yank ’em in.  I saw a few 18″+ smallies.  They wouldn’t even look at a fly.  I wish that I had my streamers with me.

I walked back up to the first pool since it was getting late.  Immediately, I hooked up.  A ten inch Rainbow Trout took my Trigger Nymph.

Before calling it a day, I decided to look down from the footbridge.  I saw a slot that could potentially hold fish.  I walked down and fished it.  I first dead drifted my nymphs.  Nada.  I changed to a #16 Pheasant Tail soft hackle.  I got a grab, then it went limp.

From there, I called it quits.

West Carson River – 07/10/08 Early AM

Another day, another early morning romp in the water.  I decided to hit the gauging station as this will probably be one of the last times I hit this section for about a month.  With the broken dam section in great shape, and closer to the house, I will now be able to bore everyone with endless posts about that section.  At least it will be different.

Upon arrival, I note that it is finally warm enough AND light to no winds.  Wet wading is definitely in the cards today.  I toss on the boots and head out to the river.  Another indication that it is warming up is that there are bugs everywhere and it is only 6:30am….yahoo!  I see some smaller PMD’s, some stones, and another (as yet unidentified) bug that resembles a March Brown (don’t think any of those are still around).

I tie on an #18 Elk Hair Caddis and wade into position mid-river to fish “the pool”.  I get a refusal on the first drift and that is all it took to spook the entire hole.  I move up to the next hole and since I am hiding behind a rock and some fast water, I know that I am not seen.  I was able to pull two smaller fish out the the faster water and then this hole was spooked.  This is what happens when the water levels come down and there is more pressure on the fish, dries become harder, the fish become warier, and you just have to sneak around a bit more.

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West Carson River – 07/08/08 Late PM

This is going to be a seriously short post because it was a seriously short fishing session.  Bailey and I were on our way back from Barton Hospital (visiting a friend in need) when we decided to stop and check out the river…it was right there, so might as well.  Bailey seemed pretty excited to go to the water, so I was excited about grabbing my rod and checking out the fishing.  Since gauging station is super convenient, the decision was to stop there.  We jam down to the water and I let Bailey pick out the fly.  A size #12 EH Caddis…not a bad choice, but a wee bit on the big side.  You ever have a 3 year old pick your fly out of the box for you?  It does not always work.  Being the dedicated father that I am, I dutifully tie it on and start casting.  About 5 casts into the outing, she starts telling me she wants to go.  I do my quick 10 cast countdown and on my last cast, a fish pounds my fly.  A nice 5″ Rainbow Parr is landed and Bailey is stoked.  But that was the end of the fishing for the night.

I noticed some Little Yellow Stones, some Caddis and that is about it.  One of these days I am going to pull the kitchen pass and get in an evening outing.