Nov 15

Bass Pro comes to San Jose

I managed to stop by the new Bass Pro Outdoor World in San Jose when i was down to pick up my daughter.

San Jose Bass Pro

This is not a small store. It is massive. It has a bowling alley (although I’m not sure I get the connection). You can find bait fishing supplies, boating supplies, camping gear, kayaks and canoes and, of course, fly fishing gear.

It is so odd to see all the tarpon and tuna and dorado up on the walls in a place that doesn’t have much of any of those things. Still, a pretty fun place to go and look around. There is a big tank with all sorts of fish I’d like to catch.

They even had some Mako boats there that looked pretty sweet, although where you’d fish a boat more suited to ocean-side tarpon fishing than whatever you are going to find in the Bay, I’m not sure (honestly, I’m not sure… where would you take one of these?).

Mako boat

The store is a great thing for those that crave outdoor/fishing gear, but it does make me think about the little shops, like the California Fly Shop, that will likely end up hurt by this, or little Mel Cotton’s. People go from owners to employees. It changes the complexion a bit and it removes a lot of the personality from the experience.

Jun 12

I caught you a delicious bass

I got some time on the water yesterday.  Headed off for my first trip this year to a little reservoir south of San Jose in search of carp.

I didn’t find a carp… not to cast to, anyway.  I did manage to get a bass and a crappie to hand though. I did see some carp breaching, but they were too far away to get a cast to.

Low water, but still kind of pretty

The water clarity was poor and the water was lower than I’d ever seen it before.  This was not a big winter her in CA and it shows.

After that I went to fish down below a little dam where I know there are some monster carp.  There is a foot bridge going over this little bit of water and you can stand there and watch the carp come up from the depths and roll and then fade.  I’ve never hooked a fish here and I can say today that I’ve still have never hooked a fish there. Those arseholes. Honestly… they are bugging me. I know they are there… but I can’t get them to eat.

I KNOW they are there. They make me kind of mad with their whole “not eating my flies” thing.

Off to the little creek I’ve fished several times in search of little trout.  Before I went up to the hills I stopped by Burger King (I almost never eat fast food) and I got one of the new Memphis Pulled Pork Sandwiches. I add this detail here because I will feel like I’ve done something if I can keep someone out there from eating one of these truly hideous packages of crap. Don’t do it.

As I drove along the creek my heart sank. There was almost no water in it. I didn’t even get out of the car. I have no idea how the little fish will survive this and I don’t think they will.  It isn’t even August yet.

Such is urban fly fishing down in the South Bay. Hope you had more luck than I did last weekend!

Bass… but I bet you knew that already.

Apr 10

Golden Ghost

I walked out on the flat and inadvertently spooked a couple of fish, the swirl of mud and wake heading away from me were pretty classic bonefishing. Even more classic bonefishing were the tails… dozens and dozens of them waving away all over the flat.

The weather was perfect… mid-70’s, clear, slight chop on the water.  The water was less than ideal… murky and full of bits of weed and grass pushed to the far end of the reservoir by the wind. 

Wait… did he just say “reservoir?”  What is he talking about?

Switch “Gray” to “Gold” and you are on the right track.  Carp. On the fly.

Today it happened.

I’ve tried a few times over the years, but it has never come together for me… until today.

I was amazed to see carp tailing, but tailing they were.  The carp were sucker-mouthed tight up against clumps of grass and other plants about 12″-24″ deep. I don’t know what they were eating, but it was right on those plants.  I couldn’t get a fly in-between the plants and the fish so I just had to stand there, tails wagging all around me, wondering what the hell I was supposed to do.

I saw one fish crusing toward me.  I had about a foot of fly line out and simply extended  my rod and drop the fly (orange half-back) right in front of the fish.  I saw it look up and inhale the fly.  I set the hook and was tight to the carp.

Now… here is where I have to make a comparison… folks have told me for some time that carp are like bonefish, that they make sizzling runs.  Maybe this carp had a full belly or  stayed up late the night before, but it didn’t really run.  If I loosened the drag it would take line off, but anything resembling a moderate drag and the fish wouldn’t take an inch of line.

It was a big, big fish… a beast by most standards.  I didn’t have a scale, but I think the fish was about 15 pounds.

Carp #1

I caught a second fish, smaller… maybe 10.  The second act was similar to the first.

Carp #2

So, Carp are now officially in the book.  They are 5-15 minutes from the house and will surely be targeted again and soon-ish.

There are some things that are similar to bones… shallow water, sight fishing, tailing behavior.  However, the strength of the  fish is really more weight than the explosive power of the Gray Ghost.

I’ll take the Golden Ghost.  It is exciting and interesting fishing, but I still wish I was on Andros.

Mar 10

Sierra Bonefish HQ Moving

Well… our little stint living in the Sierra Foothills is coming to a close.  Next weekend we’ll be picking up and moving back to San Jose.  We moved from that area, so, it’s really a return than striking out in some new direction.

Oddly, I’ll be moving to a city without a true flyshop.  There is an Orvis store there, and the folks there have been well informed and up for a good fishing conversation.  That’s my big knock on Orvis stores… sometimes they have folks that don’t know anything about fly fishing… I once went to an Orvis store and they told me that “the guy who knows about that stuff won’t be in until later.”  Even though the one in San Jose is good, it isn’t a straight fly shop with opinions of rods or reels other than the company rods and reels.  Fine for picking up some hooks or some humpies, but it does occur that if I want non-Orvis fluoro, non-Orvis lines, non-Orvis split shot… well… I’ll probably still be making a few calls to my local here up in the Foothills, even after it’s no longer my local.

Goodbye Trees and Beautifulyness

Hi new (re-new) home

For those of you who think there aren’t trout down here… well… they aren’t big, but they are around…

San Jose area native, wild trout

Going to be checking out Surf Perch, Bass, maybe try to finally connect on some Carp.  We’ll see.