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.



May 14

Trout are fun

I’m spending a few days with my dad and one of the things my dad and I do together is fish. So, we fished today.

After dropping my daughter off in San Jose for school, I hit the road, stopping in Redding for a half day of fishing with my dad and guide/friend Andrew Harris of Confluence Outfitters.

A nice fish.

A nice fish.

The day was, to put it mildly, very nice.

We caught fish. We caught a lot of fish and many of those fish were big. I caught a 23″, 22″, and several 20″ fish, in addition to a few in the high teens.  My dad caught some very nice fish as well.

It is just a very nice thing to have a good day on the water with my dad. I think we both needed that.

Fish on!

Fish on!

Jan 10

Okuma Helios Review

Today I leave for Grand Bahama.  I don’t know if I’ll be posting reports while I’m there, or if I’ll wait until I get back.  I will, however, schedule some reports to post while I’m gone so that my goal of a post a day is met.

A couple years ago I picked up an Okuma reel at my local fly shop, Off the Hook.  I had never had an Okuma before, but the reel looked good and I needed a new reel for my 7 weight.  The price was right too… about $173.

I recently wrote a review of the Okuma Helios for the Off the Hook fly shop… here is my review, as found on the Off the Hook website.

A couple years back I picked up an Okuma Helios for my 7 wt. I planned to use the Okuma for heavy trout (Lower Sacramento, primarily) as well as whatever other trouble I could get into with my 7 wt… shad, light steelhead, bass and even bonefish.


Nice looking bit of gear

My first impression of the Helios was that it was relatively light weight with a good drag system, an attractive design and good durability.  Okuma touts the Helios as “nearly maintenance free,” which is a bonus for me as I am unusually harsh on equipment.  The waterproof drag makes it a good solution for me for saltwater applications like bonefish or jack crevalle.  The weight balances well with both the St. Croix Legend Ultra and Sage RPL that I’ve fished it on.  I’ll be putting it on a TFO Axiom 7  wt. for my upcoming trip.

Before I could take the reel to the Lower Sacramento, it went with me on a trip to catch my first bonefish in Grand Bahama in the winter of 2008.  I was unsure how a reel at this price point would deal with the famously strong fish.  At $173, the Okuma is about $100 less than comparable Ross Reels and well over $300 less than the heavy weights like Tibor or Able.  In bonefishing the reel is a lot more important than the rod, unlike most of the trout fishing I’ve done in my lifetime.

My Helios was put to the ultimate test when I hooked into a 7.5 pound bonefish on the East End of Grand Bahama.  I was in my backing in maybe 2 seconds.  The drag was smooth, no jerking, no hesitation.  The large arbor design helped me pick up line quickly.

Since then the Helios has landed shad on the American River and 20”+ bows on the Lower Sacramento .  The reel is still in mint condition and will be making another trip with me to the Bahamas .  I trust it with the fiercest of gamefish.

** for the record, I purchased this reel at full market value ***

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.