May 14

River Therapy, Day Two

Earlier in the week my dad and I went on a second river therapy day, again on the Lower Sacramento River. This time we went with Fred Gordon, guide and artist from Dunsmuir. Fred was the guy who took me out, many, many years ago, where it all clicked and I learned how to nymph, which is to say I learned how to be a California Fly Fisherman.

Dad and Fred and a nice Lower Sac trout

Dad and Fred and a nice Lower Sac trout

Again, the fishing was fantastic and my dad and I had a really good time.

On a river, or on a flat, the world’s tragedies and sorrows melt away and there is only the fish and the water and the people you are with. That’s the way it was on this day. Jetting up river, floating down and catching fish or talking about caught fish from years and trips gone by.

When we got off the river the sorrow was still there, but at least we had that day, and for a short time, life was about as good as it gets.



Sep 13

I have an active fantasy life

Who says you can’t find bonefish to cast at in the Bay Area???

Not me.

Laying it out.

Laying it out.

Happy to say I didn’t spook the fish, but the damn thing wouldn’t eat.

(That’s a fish by Dunsmuir artist, guide and all around good guy, Fred Gordon)

Feb 10

Bonefish Taste and a Trout Budget

My wife made that comment last night on the phone… “You have bonefish taste and a trout budget.”

So true.

I still love trout.  They are here, which is one considerable Plus they have over bonefish.  Made it out again today for a couple hours on my home water (The Upper Sacramento) in a place I’ve fished at least 100 times, probably more.  Temps were cooler and so was the fishing.  Managed 2 fish in 2 hours, both small.  Did see a golden stone on the water and a great, big massive gray drake, but no noses.  All fish were caught on a 4 wt. and the reel was never in any danger of being tested.

The leaves have mostly fallen, the river is empty.  Love it.

The leaves have mostly fallen, the river is empty. Love it.

As I was out there not catching fish and watching my own breath I did think about how when I am getting my arse kicked some place tropical I seldom lose feeling in my toes.

I’m still hoping to get to Belize this summer with my dad, but we have to see how the tax man treats us and a variety of other, mostly financial, factors end up shaking out.

At my one-time local fly shop (I moved), the Ted Fay Fly Shop, I ran into Guide Fred Gordon who spent a couple weeks in Abaco just after I went to Grand Bahama.  Even in the heart of California trout country, I still see constant reminders of  bonefish… see, I have bonefish on the brain.

Dec 09

A Bonefish for Christmas

Seems a tall order… to get a bonefish for Christmas… but that’s what I got.

Ceramic Beauty

Ceramic Beauty

This bonefish was created by Fred Gordon, artist and guide up in Dunsmuir, CA.  Fred is as talented on the river as he is in the studio.

About a decade ago I was just really getting into fly fishing.  My dad had a day scheduled with Fred for closing day on the McCloud for what promised to be a great father-son trip.  Unfortunately, my dad then fell off a ladder and broke all sorts of bones that would be needed for a day on the water.  Fred and I went out by ourselves.  It was a magical day.  Fred taught me how to tight-line nymph, a technique that is deadly in the free-stone, pocket-water rivers of Northern CA.  I had 20-25 fish that day, including a couple browns around 20″.  It was a day that changed my life.  Before that day, fly fishing was a lot of fun.  After that day, fly fishing was an obsession.

We have three of Fred’s trout on our wall and  now, a bonefish.

Merry Christmas all.

Nov 09

Bonefish on Lower Sac?

It has been so long since I’ve seen a bonefish… I’m almost convinced these might be bonefish… however, I’m pretty sure these were Rainbow Trout, caught on the Lower Sacramento River with my dad and guide Fred Gordon (who also does awesome fish sculptures and spends 2-3 weeks a year in the Bahamas).

Bonefish, er... Rainbows on the Lower Sac.

Bonefish, er… Rainbows on the Lower Sac.

A day on the water with your dad is hard to beat, be it bonefish, bluegill or bows.