Jul 16

NOOBS on my Home Water

Recently I convinced a few of my long-time friends to make the 4.5 hour drive north from the Bay Area up to my home town and my home waters of the Upper Sacramento River and McCloud River.

I was happy to be able to bring these guys out on this water, water that means something to me, to share something I love.

I’ve known these guys for about 14 years. We worked together at the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, before it merged with another foundation and went through a $60,000 re-branding process that settled on “Silicon Valley Community Foundation.” Money well spent, eh?

The old foundation was kind of magical with really interesting people both working there and contributing. I have many friends from that period and can even tie my current job/career directly to that experience.

There was a lot of good food consumed, some great beer, some Keystone Light (as punishment) and fish were caught. Everyone got on fish, which was the goal. Mission Accomplished. There was some Chuck Norris movie watching too, despite the bad acting and questionable political views.

Below are some pictures. This is California, by the way. This is the California I was born and raised in. A beautiful place. I call it “Tahoe without the people.”

2016-07-16 09.24.53

A Fred Gordon shark. I want it.

2016-07-16 19.30.56-1

Upper Sacramento Rainbow.

2016-07-16 15.43.28

Beers at Yaks.

2016-07-16 12.57.56

One of my favorite bits of water, anywhere.

2016-07-16 14.16.35


Upper McCloud rainbow.


Upper McCloud


Clint get’s a fish.

Nov 14

The Post-Game Plan

Let’s be clear, I’m not going anywhere any time soon. This is not an announcement of any kind.

I saw a Facebook post from a friend about a biodegradable urn that would convert your physical form into a tree. Pretty cool idea, really.

I have a different plan for what I want done.

I want to both share some of my special places with my kids/wife and to be a part of those same places. I envision a tour of my most beloved waters with a little bit of my ashes deposited in each place.

  • The Upper Sacramento River – My home water, where I learned to fly fish. Specifically, the riffle just below the Prospect Ave access point. That has been one of the best spots to me and for me through the years.
From April

From April

  • The McCloud River – Beauty and solitude and emerald green waters. Love this place. I think I’d hope to be deposited in the camp waters behind the Ah Di Nah campground.
The McCloud... Upstate California, from a trip in 2011.

The McCloud… Upstate California, from a trip in 2011.

  • The Babine River – There is a hole on the Babine named Strom’s Pool, named after my grandfather. I only fished it once and I didn’t land a fish there, but it would be fitting to leave part of myself there.
My daughter's middle name is Babine... for a reason.

My daughter’s middle name is Babine… for a reason.

  • Grand Bahama – This is where I caught my first bonefish, right behind Deep Water Cay with an independant guide from Mclean’s town.
Bone in GBI

Bone in GBI

  • Belize, El Pescador – My grand slam and my honeymoon. Some fantastic memories.

bks and renee with bonefish Belize

I think if my children got to go on that pilgrimage they should find something they love along the way.

Here’s to hoping they make that trip in 40 years.

Apr 14

Not fishing

I’ve been up in my home town a bit lately, trying to spend some time with my mom while there is still time to spend.Odd to be up there and NOT be fishing. This last trip I took my daughter to a pond and a lake and a river and I didn’t make a single cast. I didn’t even have my fishing license until Sunday. Maybe the latest I’ve bought a license in a decade.

The girl and my river
The girl and my river

The Upper Sacramento River looks good. It is in shape now, a little high, but very, very fishable. We saw some of the big stones flying around there river, around downtown, around the house. We saw a big sulpher as well. The bugs are coming out, the river is awakening, things are starting to get moving.

I’ll be back up before long and maybe, just maybe, I’ll put a rod in the car. The little cocoon of peace offered up by the act of casting a fly on an intimate river, it is a welcome refuge.

Jul 11

Project GTFO, Day 3 – Return Trip

I had my last day on the water, a short session, just a couple of hours.  Landed some fish, including a couple out of a little pocket up against the bank that has been producing for me for YEARS.  Love that little slot.  Made me happy to pull a couple fish out of there.

I fished my favorite spot again today – Prospect Ave. on the Upper Sacramento River.  It is a special place.  I have a long, long history with Prospect.  I remember when there was a bridge at Prospect that got washed away one winter.  I’ll bet not even the Trout Underground can claim they remember it when there was a bridge at Prospect, but there was.

The river is undergoing reverse development.  There are old, abandoned homes along the river and places where bridges have been wiped out, but there aren’t any new homes being build, nor foundations for future bridges.  It does turn the clock back a bit.

I’ve seen this river in high water and low water and in the morning light and in the dark of night.  I’ve had good days and bad days at Prospect, but many, many more good days than bad ones.

I learned to fly fish here.  It is my home water.

If I’m good and the startup I’m at does really well, I might just get to know some bit of tropical flat in the same way that I know this place.  That would be something worth doing.


May 11

Thoughts on Cantara Loop

On June 4, 1991, fishermen and residents of the area saw nearly 40 miles of the Upper Sacramento River essentially sterilized, and oddly enough, we were probably lucky it was metam sodium and not something more persistent.

via Trout Underground talks Cantara Loop Spill, 20 years on.

That’s where I grew up.  My folks still live in Dunsmuir.  My home water is the Upper Sacramento River, the same river cleansed by that spill.

I didn’t really know it before the spill.  Sure, I had fished it, but not with the intensity I did later.

It was the summer between my Junior and Senior years in high school and my first experiences with fly fishing were still a few years in the future. We knew something bad had happened, but we didn’t go near the river.  It was all a bit scary.

The most amazing thing to me is how the river came back.  It came back on its own in its own time.  There were no trout planted, no bugs were imported, no plants were brought in.  The river just healed itself.  It took a few years, but it healed.

It is a promising story.  It give me hope that so many of the things we’ve broken might just heal, if we let them.

Natural repair


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