Doomed to the West Carson – 06/07/08

After a hopelessly late start, my buddy Dave and I finally got going around 10am. Since we had to be back on the home front around 3pm, we decided to stick close and fish the West Carson. I have been fishing this river a ton lately, so I had a game plan.

First stop was the gaging station. This spot, and the three holes upstream, consistently produce fish for me. Today should have been the same.  In every likely spot I could see fish swimming around. I decided to rig up with my traditional dual nymph rig.  My standard goto rig that I use BEFORE I get a chance to really analyze what is going on is to use a #14 BH Soft-hackle Hare’s Ear and a #18 Copper John with a ton of split shot and a strike indicator.  Right away I was getting grabs, but I was chronically late on EVERY SINGLE hookset.  I managed to flub every grab that I got. Doh!  Dave managed to hook and land the first fish of the day on a Denny Rickert’s Seal Bugger pattern that I tie for lakes, but find works really well in rivers.

Dave and I hopscotched each other up this section of river hitting all the likely holding spots for the next hour.  In one spot, I managed to entice a small trout to chase my nymphs on every single drift.  But no matter how I adjusted my angle, my line mends, or the position of the nymphs in the water, I just could not entice him to commit.

Continue reading “Doomed to the West Carson – 06/07/08”

West Carson River – 06/03/08

I got a chance to run up to the gaging station section of the West Carson river today for a quick 1-hour after-work session. You know that you have a section dialed when you can drive there, rig up, fish for 45 minutes, and get back home within a 75 minute time span. No thought required — just get in and go. I know that I sound like a broken record hitting the West Carson so frequently, but it really is the best choice when run-off is in full force and it is so close that it makes sense when gas is as expensive as it is. I am only a week or two away from having tooooooo many choices, including several sections of the East Carson, the West Walker, the Little Walker, not to mention several tribs that I will leave nameless.

Flows were up slightly (just slightly) and the water was just a hair tinted versus Sunday. Other than that, there were more bugs on the water and I could see fish (mostly stockers) swimming around. It was super windy, so I decided that a dry would be of little use, so i tied up a double nymph rig with a #14 BH hare’s ear on top and a #18 copper john as the dropper. I crimped on a single split and added my strike indicator pretty high up the leader.

I tossed the line in close to the bank for a few drifts, then tossed the line mid-stream for a few more, just to “clear” the water. I waded to the rock out-cropping mid-stream and proceeded to fish the deep slot against the far wall. It was not too long into my efforts when I was rewarded with a solid take by a nice fish. He immediately took refuge under a submerged log and I could not coax him out. It was a battle of wits patience game at this point, and having none, I gave a great heave to try to yank him out and broke him off. ROUND ONE TO THE FISH.

Continue reading “West Carson River – 06/03/08”

West Carson with the Family – 06/01/08

After Bailey’s excitement at the fishing derby, we just had to head up to the river to take her fishing for real. We decided to head to a meadow section known as the “Meat Cutter’s” section. This section requires an easy walk to the river and the meadow is easy to negotiate. This section is hardly crowded (fully how a 10 minute walk from the road will do that) and is always good for some small trout.

Upon arriving at the river, I noted that the water levels were average and the water was in great shape. The river looked very fishable. The air temps were a little on the chilly side, but not quite cold enough to require a sweater. I know that with the past week of cold temps, the runoff has slowed considerably. when it warms up again, the rivers will blow out while the rest of the snow melts, but for now, this is all you can ask for int he middle of runoff season….great fishing conditions on a little freestone river.

Erin and I knew that while one was fishing, the other would be “fishing” with Bailey. Erin hit the water first, so I put a real lure on Bailey’s ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ fishing rod and proceeded to help her do some cast and retrieves. This held her interest for about a total of 4 casts. She suddenly became more interested in throwing handfuls of mud and rocks into the water.

That left me with no choice but to string up my rod and toss the line out a few times, but not before I tried my hand at the SpongeBob rod. Funny how you forget to cast with a spinning rod when you have been fly fishing for so many years. I quite trying before it came back to me.

There were a few bugs flying around, so I tied on an Indicaddis as the top fly and a #18 Copper John as the dropper. I was able to get about 15 drifts into a section of water before it was my turn to watch Bailey again. We moved upstream to the center part of the meadow section, and Bailey and I commenced the rock throwing festivities while Erin fished a little further upstream. Erin was actually able to raise a few fish on a “big yellow grasshopper” but all her strikes were from fish that were most likely too small to eat the fly and hook themselves.

At this point, Bailey mentioned that she was getting cold and wanted to leave. Bummer! I did not get to fish my next turn. I did notice many flying ants in presence and actually picked a few out of the hair of our dogs. observation that may help the next outing be a success.

Douglas County’s Kids Fishing Derby – 05/31/08

Erin, Bailey and I went to the Kids’ Fishing Derby at Lampe Park in Gardnerville, NV on Saturday. what a cool idea to get more kids into t the sport of fishing. What they do is take 6,000 trout and stock this tiny creek. Some of the fish are upwards of 6 pounds. Then they give a baited rod to pre-registered kids and let them go at it. We witnessed many fish caught and even have some pictures of real whoppers that one kid was able to land.

At 3, Bailey was just the minimum age (by one month) to participate, but by the time I went hunting for a ticket they were all gone. Next year I will register Bailey in plenty of time and she will most likely have a better appreciation for fishing by then. I will add that she asked several time if she could go and fish with the other kids, so we promised to take her fishing on the river the next day. Hopefully I will have a report on that later.

West Carson Redemption – 05/28/08

I went out to the WC after work yesterday. It was raining, but there was no thunder and lightening, so I figured it was as good a time as any. I knew that the flows were down due to all the cold temps, but I was really shocked at how good the water looked. Just the previous week, the rivers were muddy and blown out. What a difference some cold temps make.

I strung up at the gaging station hole and watched several fish moving around against the far wall. Since there was no sign of any bug hatch or rising fish, i tied on a two nymph rig under an indicator. After a few casts to the near bank to “clear” that water, I waded into position to cast and drift the opposite side of the river. On my second drift, I snagged on a submerged log and lost both nymphs. At least I know where the log is. A quick retie, with a change in nymph choices, and I was drifting the slot again. Bam! Stuck again. This time I only lost the dropper nymph, a zebra midge. Feeling lazy, I decided to retie once I waded back to the bank and moved to the next hole. BUT, before I moved on, I had to drift the slot a few more times to cover the water. I wound up pulling three nice stockers on the next four drifts from right up against the wall, but just before the submerged fly-eating log. All were Rainbows, one was a healthy 14″ while the others were the standard 11″ size. They all took the #12 Prince Nymph that my buddy Dennis tied…thanks Dennis. Time to move on.

Next hole upstream, I sat on the rocks observing the water while I retied. This hole is always a PITA since the cable runs right above you and you have to cast sideways to avoid hanging your line on the cable. I added a green copper john as a dropper to the prince and proceeded to hook into the prettiest fish of the evening. This one was a kick-ass 8″ Rainbow, probably something that held-over from last year. If it came from the hatchery truck, then it did not look anything like its neighbors downstream. He took the Prince nymph and put up a great fight in the fast water before I landed him.

Next hole up, I managed to catch and land another two stocker fish. Both these fish took the Prince and both were your diagnostic hatchery 11″ ‘bows. I got one fish tight against the bank I was standing on by casting upstream and drifting down to my feet. The other fish was just on the outside of the fast water in the central slot. That one was a rough drift because you have to cast upstream over fast water and into the slow water, quick upstream mend, anther quick upstream mend, and yet another upstream mend, and then pray that the drag of the faster water in the center of the slot does not affect your fly. I actually thought my strike indicator hesitated because of a rock, but I set anyways, and guess what…a fish was on!

One more hole before calling it quits. This last hole is a challenge during normal flows, and a real challenge in high water it is pretty deep hole and the best position to be is on the far bank IN the water. From the bank I was on, it was a slingshot cast to get your line and bugs upstream. From there it is strip, strip, strip, let the line float past and water load, fling, and repeat. First drift, I get into a fish, but he shakes off. Two drifts later, I get into another fish. This fish manages to swim all around the hole, thrashing the hole, before shaking the hook. I took another dozen drifts for good measure and called it an evening.

And thus ends my quick one hour after work trip to a close-by river. Weather reports show temps heating up considerably, so I may not get a chance to fish the rivers before they blow out again.