It was the prudent thing to do. Prior to scaring hell out of everything by sky lining myself hop-skipping across all that erosion inhibiting rock, I flung that big weedless frog past the debris field of dumped roadbed just where the boulders disappeared into deep water.
Naturally there was something big and mean waiting for something small to do just that, and my morning was shattered by an aerial display worthy of a steelhead.
I figured it was one of two options; either he’s given up on rain and was learning to gulp air, or was intent on all those bikini clad college girls drinking and screaming from mid channel.
While the college gals were friendly enough to make me suck in my gut, I figured the return voyage would feature a lot less sweaty and “Gone Wild” – and more sunburnt and heaving … over the side.
The Sheriff thought so too, and his boat followed the flotilla at a discrete “binocular” distance. He was “fishing” too … kind of like the shadowy edge between rock and a hard place …
As this is peak irrigation season – and were in the grips of drought, I have been curious how the local impoundments are being drained for water deliveries to farms.
They’re already talking about Folsom Lake going dry by September, and both Berryessa and Oroville are reeling due to drought, so each trip I eyeball the banks to get a feel for releases. The above photo shows the more than 200 foot distance between underbrush and current lake levels, and the encroaching brush that covers the exposed banks as the water recedes.
It’s our fate that “fly eating” foliage pops up to cover anything older than a couple of months, and fly fishing is limited to the points of coves where a back cast can parallel the bank. While far from ideal, we’re spared the shredded flesh and indignity of a Blackberry thicket.
This is “Meathead” from work with a nice Spotted Bass, who graciously instructed me in the finer points of “drop-shotting” bass. I gave him the “frog” and insisted he dump his inexpensive and highly functional tackle for something that costs ten times more and can’t sink very fast.
Neither side had a convincing argument yet both had moments.
Most of our fish came from 20-25 foot of water (as measured by casting gear), and outside of the “Fatty” going for a top water offering, most were eating on the slopes of points close to the bottom.
I returned the following day with both fly rod and drop shot rig, and tossed large minnow imitations when the water depth was friendly, and practiced drop-shotting when perched over deep water.
We’d seen balls of Shad and bass giving chase, but those eruptions are temporal and never sustained. Just about the time you change your fly both predator and prey are gone.
I’ve got a few ideas on how to better imitate the fish, but I’m puzzling over the notion of a drop-shot bait being used on a fly rod – and whether I can dress something with a similar action.
I got one Spotted Bass on Sunday. I figure he collided with one of those Party Barges that were parading past – and got disoriented enough to want to eat.
I wasn’t complaining much at the sudden attention – and it was nice to see fat healthy fish in their element, rather than gasping Carp in a mud bucket.