Sunday, February 23, 2014

Skinner Lake A Bust

Four juvenile coyotes wish us a good morning as we enter the lake.
I have not been to Skinner late since high school when my old man and I used to conventional fish looking for the schools of stripers that populate this lake.  Back then good fishing was almost a given after any trout plant and cloudy conditions.  Nowadays trout plants at this lake are no longer and today's sunny conditions were not going to help either.  We should have known how the day was going to end by how it began.  We arrived at the Skinner only to be told Chul's pram was not properly registered, forcing us to rent a boat at the marina.  When we asked the marina attendant how the fishing has been, he gave us a less than encouraging report.  Since Thursday the water has been lowered buy three feet.
The tules indicating how much water has receded.
Throughout the lake the tules show how much the water has receded.  Another sign this day was going to be tough.  The day started promising though as we saw some shad being chased into a cove.  We made our way to the action cutting the engine so not to spook the stipers and hoping we had a enough momentum to put us into casting range.  No fish were willing to bite.
Shad Game Changer
The rest of the day was much the same.  I tried just about every shad imitation in my box; none got even so much as a bite.   We should have just slept in.
Bluegill Game Changer
This years has not been kind to us and we don't see the season getting any better at least for freshwater bass or local trout fishing.  Let's hope the incoming rain later this week dumps on us good.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Game Changer and Calico Days

Work has preventing me from enjoying any of my hobbies of late.  I did manage to attend the Calico Syndicate hosted film tour and yesterday's Collaboration Day at Bob Marriott's.  As always Keith puts on a good show.  Inspired I decided to start tying up some Game Changers for the monster bass in Mission Viejo Lake.  Hopefully this will entice those monsters to eat.
Tod demonstrates how to rig up a custom heavy line Calico Syndicate style using an Airflo line welder. 
Eyes on squid patterns have always been the weak link.  I liked Adam's approach to attaching eyes.  He uses heavy Mason folded over and the eye epoxied on at the bend.
Alex shows me his version of the Game Changer which he sandwiches two Polar Chenile around the CCT body fur.
Alex's array of various Mega Game Changers some up to nine inches long.  These are for calico fishing as indicated by their heavy weedguards.
The boys brought out the IGFA line tester and had a contest to see who had the strongest knot. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Looking For The Exotics

What's up with this weather?  When I want it cold, it's hot.  When I want it hot, it's cold.  Where was all this rain (and snow in the mountains) last week when I needed it duck hunting.  Now that I have transitioned to fly fishing mode all the warm weather is gone and the cold front has arrived.  Figures.

Chul asked a week ago if I wanted to try our luck for some bonefish at SD bay.  He had tried earlier with Tuck without any luck.  I armed myself with some intelligence gathered from some buddies who have caught their fair share of these fish.  With coordinates and some knowledge we were better prepared to head out.  On paper the tides were in our favor and we had high hopes.  What was not in our favor was the recent cold snap and storm, nor was this the usual time of year for these fish.
Before fishing we loaded up at Roberto's Mexican Food with breakfast burritos. After which we headed to bay launching from Chula Vista. Chul was the first to get on fish but not the ones we were after, all of them spotted bay bass.  After watching him gain the lead, I decided that my 5 weight with 150 grains simply was not getting the job done so I rigged up my 7 weight with a 250 grain line.  Eventually I started to get bit.  All were spotties.  Chul managed his first sand bass on the fly and all 8 inches of it was wall hanging worthy.  None of the fish were all that spectacular although Chul did manage a decent fish which was the best of the day.
No bonefish were caught today.  It's still a little early for them so we'll be back again in the spring to see if we can finally catch one of those speedsters.