Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pesca, fresca, etcetera

After a long literal drought in my area, and corresponding droughts in pursuit of pesca, the leaves have been turning a different hue.

Here are some of the highlights from the past two months of good times spent in and on the water.

 Doradoa, Mexico.

 Yellow Fin Tuna, Mexico.

Yellow Fin Tuna, Mexico.

The Grandpa at Sea, Mexico.

 Rainbow Trout, California.

 Trout house, California.

 Fish on for B, California.

 El Canyon, California.

 Danielle's first Cutthroat Trout, Utah.

 Cutthroat Trout, Utah.

 Castor Canadensis product, Utah.

 Shining Brown Trout, Utah.

 Brown Trout Face, Utah.

 Mountain White Fish, Utah.

 Fall on the river, Utah.

Aspen colors, Utah.

Uninhibited Upward Ascent

Just a chart
Means more to me
Than it maybe should
Nearly wet my eyes
The heart swells with joy
Feel the energy it implicitly describes

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Three Days in the Alps

Five years have passed since my first visit to the Trinity Alps of Northern California.  The cold waters, the crystal clear air and water, the trout, the granite peaks, the forests and meadows all etched in my mind from that first trip.  With the drought gripping the whole state it has effected the Southern half by reducing what streams we had to mostly stagnant pools.  In the North most streams are still running nicely, just not anywhere near their usual early July icy cold snowmelt fueled torrents.  So this past weekend we celebrated and exercised our freedom and decided it was time to go North, to get back to the alps.

Falls and pools were common in between meandering meadow sections in the upper reaches. 

I was literally "calling the shots," picking a spot in a riffle or tailout or edge of a pool where I thought a fish would be and casting there and hooking up; it was easy and the fish were all under 10" but man was it fun!

D and V fishuntin a small side pool

The inhalation of the orange humpy was severe by this fellow and the majority of his colleagues.

Just upstream of the outlet the brookies were flush; fun to really stretch out and cast some line on these lakes.

One of the brookies we caught at the lake and above it.

This was some sort of wild blueberry or rose? It didn't taste like a blueberry, but sure looked like one.

Lower lake.

Upper lake, large goldens are rumored to be in here.

And rumored to spawn in this epic meadow section of stream; here you can see Van is fish nuts in an almost unmanageable way sometimes! 

I was not trying to scare anybody but some did not respond when I wished them a happy independence day.

D in the lush meadow (this picture, and all posted here have not been processed!)

Feelin' freedom.

D found some really tasty wild leaks in the meadow which we harvested and ate in our soup for dinner.

This was a pretty cool manzanita growing out of a granite slab.

A pink lily a young boy gave D on the trail (nice kid).

Some strange tree with strange fruit/seeds.

Up a granite dense side canyon looking for a lake.

Sawtooth mountain.

I think I see water in a sea of granite.

Van is pleased, the water was about 65 and air about 85 so it was swim time

We spent most of the day just swimming and napping at this lake the water temp was perfect.

We did not skimp on the food!

Van said "give me that sandwich right nmaow."

I spent about an hour in this area of the T after getting off the mountain.  The pool in the picture was deep and as I began to work around the lower edges I spooked a large salmonid, couldn't quite tell what type it was.  As I moved up to the portion upstream of the rock formation I mainly sat in awe and shock rather then even trying to fish because what I saw was a pod of chinook salmon about 30 strong playfully tailing and bumping the surface. We will be back again soon and might have to bring a boat.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Opening Day Fantasy

We did not get the "miracle march" rains that many hoped for.  The grass is green and spring is in the air, but the truth of drought remains in the dry soil and creeks.
Looking ahead to opening day at the end of April, there is a fantasy land model from the NWS today that I am drooling over...

Still hopeful....FHP

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Miracle March?

Locals in the area talk often of the "Miracle March" that filled the nearly empty reservoirs of the area just before they went totally dry.

I remember the year well enough, and those preceding.  Dry, hot, dusty, playing with the hose to make a backyard pond brought a stiff penalty and who knows how much money it cost my family.  
Due to the extremely confident forecasting of our NWS meteorologists regarding a storm at the end of this week and my feeling of deja vu seeing and feeling years of drought, I took a look back at the records to see how close that year of the March Miracle, 1991, compares with the current situation.

Looking at the rainfall records at Jameson Reservoir seemed a good place to start.
If you look from January 1989 to February 27, 1991, a period of 26 months, you will find that 24.86 inches of rain fell. 

During this time of drought we went to battle Saddam and kick him out of Kuwait.  In the dry and dusty August afternoon so smoggy you couldn't see Mount Wilson I rode my bike in the streets and I heard of the war others were seeing live on CNN…more than anything I remember how dry and hot it was, that was seared into my mind, and how it seemed to be like the desert everyone saw there on TV, in that place of far away killing.

Then, on Thursday the 28th, the storm door opened, just as these United States were declaring "victory" over Saddam in The Iraq, which we all can find on the map now but most couldn't then, or maybe not.
Ahh Victory in the Gulf war liberation of Kuwait....and then the sky was ripped open and buckets of moisture came down, as for me I was more refreshed by the latter

The “Miracle March” brought more rain in one month than we had seen for 2 years and 2 months and I remember how it felt; seeing the gutters transformed from lifeless concrete shapes into swirling, roiling, bubbling, powerful urban creeks carrying everything including my toy boats along with relative rapidity.
The effect was almost statewide, the storms were not picky.
In all, from February 28, 1991 when the initial storm began to the end of March 29.61 inches of rain fell at Jameson Reservoir.

Now we are in a similar place as we were in 23 years ago. 
Today, February 24, 2014; we have had only 1.9” of rain in Arroyo Grande since last water year.  The hills and valleys are brown, with a small tinge of green due to the minor rains at the beginning of the month.  The live oak population in almost every stand from Gaviota to Arroyo Grande has at least a handful of trees dying, or at least showing tan foliage in contrast to the shiny dark green we expect to see throughout… indicating the great stress of this drought.

I checked what the rainfall at Jameson Reservoir had been from January 2012 until today.

24.48 inches of rain have fallen in these past 26 months.  

Almost the exact same pitiful amount of rain that fell preceding the Miracle March of 1991.

Now, the weather forecasters are all pointing to February 28 as a day that will bring heavy rain and wind to this Pacific state in a way almost forgotten.

We are waiting eagerly for any rain whatsoever here in fish hunter house.
Cheers and peace to all

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Drought & valley fever

The trees are dry
The grass is dead
The dirt is dry
All the dirt is dust, its in the sky
Is it all going to die?

In the lung
The coccidioides fung
Stuck in bed, next to dead
I pray that rain is ahead

The continents edge
A Pacific horizon
Blue, wet, and undrinkable
A storm in the distance?
Almost unthinkable