Some people hate them, many have never heard of them and I know grown men that are scared to touch em. The west coast from Central California north to Canada and maybe even south east AK has a bunch. Often confused with carp, a trout or "I caught this fish but I'm not sure what was" ..I'm talking about the Squawfish, AKA Sacramento Pike, Pikeminnow or what ever they are called depending on where you live. My dad threw them on the shore in frustration but I kinda like em. They are game, eat flies like no tommorow and there are worse fighting fish out there. They are voracious in there persuit for fin fish and anything on the surface they can fit in there mouth so I say, Whats not to like about them! These fish were in the 20-24" range but I got a glimpse of a fish pushing 30. In large lakes they will get pretty damn big.
Wifes Granddad lives adjecent to a nice quite backwater slough, surrounded by beautiful riparian forest that does a loop off a main river. This slough is about a mile long with large open ponds with slow moving water. They are connected by narrow cobble connecting streams. Lots of life and never fished. Excellent bass fishing in the warm pockets, a few Carp and the occasional big bow but the sight and dry fly fishing for hefty Squawfish is fantastic! Ha!
At home Carp are still hanging in there and I snuck out the other day fror Stripers and it was pretty damn good. A second wave of spawning Carp is moving in and making things a little tough by murking up the flats and sort of killing my game. I hate fishing around spawners and have been looking for new water till things calm down a little.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
The California Coast, particularly Central and Northern is tough to Fly fish. Seems like everything is against it. Wind, Swell, Extreme currents etc etc. The list goes on. Today was no exception and NOAA missed it again. Var winds to 5kt my ass..It was 10-15 right out of the gate and the seas were building when we head for the barn at noon. Swell was managable @ 4ft but the damn wind chop and extreme currents made for horrible drifts over the local reefs. Don't get me wrong, it's still lots of fun and there is always something to see and catch in Monterey Bay. I just like being out there and I cant wait for a flat calm overcast morning to get out there. Lings are plentyfull and one of my favorite fish to target with flies or swimbaits. They are the quintessential marine perdator. They grow big, fight hard and will eat anything they can grab on to. They are also wonderfull eating but I don't kill em these days. I usually wait for a Halibut and none showed them self today.
Posted by David McKenzie at 10:58 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wind, warm weather and loads of large Hoppers right now. It isn't unique for them to eat on top here or anywhere else but I havn't been able to really dial it in until recently. One thing I noticed, at least with the fish i'm targeting is wind is your friend and liquid floatant caused more than a couple of last second refusals. Hotter the weather the better!
Posted by David McKenzie at 8:20 PM
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I have about a half dozen local creeks frequent but like everyone I have my favorite. Wind layed down from yesterday but I just wasn't feeling like pulling the boat out. Thought about hitting the beach for a Stripers or some Perch but decided to do some hike in fishing local. With the mild dry winter we had I was glad to see the Poison Oak was almost non existant except for a few small sprigs..My home Creek is spring fed and a little low right now but very fishable and cold. The fish that live in it are wild native Coastal Rainbows and a little sprinkling of Steelhead in the lower stretches during the winter. The water is always gin but they prefere large dries over anything else and a 2wt stick is my weapon here. Three or four hours and about a mile + of water produced a couple of dozen little gems. No trails and no people made for a great day but tough on the knees!
|First little creek bow sighting|
This reports kind of backward but I wanted to add that on the way up the mountian I stopped off at a clear water Carp fishery I reported on a week or so ago since it's on the way. Got up on the hill and glassed lots of empty clear water. I was just about to leave and I saw a really nice fish way off in the distance. I rarely see and catch anythinig over 6-7lbs here but this one stood out. Grabed my gear and literally ran to try and intercept this fish. It looked to be about 10-11lbs. This place is wide open and clear water so I set up on a spot with a good back drop and waited her out. It felt like an hour but probobly only about 5 miinutes into it she headed right for me. I cast on her once and was way infront so I took a second shot and over cast her about 5 feet . I couldn't believe she didn't blow out so I stripped like mad and dropped it right on her nose and by god she ate! She bolted off and stopped just as my backing left the guides and came back at me just as fast before settling down for a little close contact fight. THAT was fun! Packed it in and headed to the trout after that..
|She is beat and just about ready..|
Posted by David McKenzie at 9:17 PM
Saturday, June 9, 2012
I hit a couple of local river spots for a few shots and one stocky fish. Water was a little high for this time of year. A Curious jogger took a photo for me and I hit a couple more stretches before I called it. About 11am I head out of the city and set up on a lake I hadnt been too in a couple of weeks. Wind was honking from the NW but fish were up and snappin if you put it infront of them. Once I settled into what they were doing I spent the next few hours slowly moving my way through three large flats and ended with a dozen or so fish. Nothing to get to excited about but I'll take and the quality was pretty decent over all. This is one place where I do wade. Usually only ankle or calf deep but it is necessary becouse the flats have a really flat pitch and 100ft out is only about 18" of water. I hope this wind lays down so I can get out and chase some Stripers or get on the saltwater tommorow. Looking forward to getting after soemthing different.
Posted by David McKenzie at 7:10 PM
Sunday, June 3, 2012
I hit some different water. This area holds tons of fish but I don't spend a lot of time here because of the mud. The substrate is really silty/muddy and it's a pain in the ass to slog through. The location can be a real problem with ticks and rattle snakes as well. Consequently I usually have the place to myself. There weren't as many fish around as I hoped at first glance and the ones that I did see were moving fast and kind of edgy. Not real happy at all. I've seen this with Carp on the full moon before. They looked catchable so I stuck around trudged on through the tall tick infested, bog. I blew out the first two shots being way to casual. I was able to rally back over the next 4 hours and stick a few. They love large dark flies that move a lot of water. It's one place where they will even eat bugs that I tie! Time to get on the Salt and do some damage to some Halibut and Lings..