“Oh, dogs. Sure, I like dags. I like caravans more.”

Memorial Day was this past Monday and for most of us that meant a 3 day weekend. It is a weekend normally filled with BBQ’s, relaxing and of course fishing, but we should always remember it’s truly for remembering the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the countries armed forces.

On Friday afternoon I took a trip out to Pyramid Lake to see if I could get some fishing in before the shores were filled with RV’s, Campers and party animals that were no doubt already getting geared up. The usual suspects were completely filled, bumper to bumper with Caravan’s (spoken in my head sounding like Brad Pitt in the movie Snatch). Pelican, North and South Nets and Blockhouse were all packed and with almost not a single angler on the water. But jet skis you ask? Yes those were out in full force.

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So I decided to head South and ended up at Popcorn. There was only one other angler there and he wasn’t having much luck. Cruising the shallows were 100’s of Cui-ui ( a large sucker fish endemic to Pyramid Lake) and one gigantic carp.

It wasn’t long after hitting Popcorn I decided to start moving back down North, The water was glass and although watching the Cui-ui was pretty awesome, I was hoping to get into a few Cutty’s before I called it a day.

Next stop was Sandhole and surprisingly I had the entire beach to myself. There was one Caravan parked but it’s inhabitants were no where to be seen. So I got setup to throw some bugs and beetles and enjoyed the solitude I had, even knowing it would only be for a short amount of time.

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While stripping in my trusty popcorn beetle and wooly bugger combo I felt a bump…a bump! The kind that makes your adrenaline start pumping and focuses all your attention on the connection between your hand, fly line and rod tip. I stripped another 6 inches of line in and then the line went tight! I set the hook and it felt like a had a real nice fish on the other end, but as quickly as that adrenaline rush kicked in,  that stomach sinking feeling of when your line goes slack hit. Figuring the fish just spit the hook I checked the bugs to see if it took the beetle or the bugger. It was obvious which one it took I’d say.

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That was a size 0 Gamakatsu Stinger hook…But I’ll just pretend it was a little guy and take pride in knowing I tied strong knots.

After a few more rounds of switching from stirpping bugs and hanging nymphs I called it a day. Partly because I was hoping to get dinner with the wife and kiddo and partly because the Caravan parade suddenly realized the beach I was fishing was probably the only one on the lake that hasn’t been invaded yet and they started shuffling in.

Glenn had the right idea on Saturday and took his boat out to Pyramid. At least in a boat if the weather is cooperating you can get across to the backside where normally the only other people you’ll see are fellow anglers and no jet skis or wake boarders. Glenn managed to land 23 cutthroat’s to about 24 inches and lost 2 big fish as well. Getting Glenn to use a camera to document these outings while he’s on his boat is about as likely as getting my 10 month old daughter to change her own diaper. So I guess you’ll have to take my word on this one.

The rest of the fishing this weekend consisted of a few trips to the Truckee River which was high and a little off color down through Reno due to the recent rains we just had. The other hours were spent relaxing with family and friends.

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I hope you all had a chance to relax and get outdoors for a bit this weekend. Check back with us next week, hopefully we’ll be chasing some Brook Trout. That’s the plan at least.

-Dave

 

Wind can be a four letter word.

Spring time in Reno can be a very short season. Some years it seems like we go from freezing cold to 100 degree days over night.

This year we’ve actually had some decent spring time weather, but that hasn’t been without a few snow storms and 90 degrees days thrown in for good measure. The one thing that Spring always seems to bring with it is wind and this last weekend was no exception.

With another year of light snow pack and a very dry spring Reno can have it’s share of wildfires. While it’s still early for “fire season” as it’s called, driving to the Truckee on Sunday I spotted some smoke on the mountain above where we planned on fishing. Here are a few photos from friends Natalie and Jed of what is now being called the Hunter Falls Fire.

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The wind gusts of 40-50 mph on Sunday certainly played a role in the fire spreading very fast. Currently the fire has consumed 760 acres and is 46% contained. Hopefully the cooler weather and mix of rain and snow today will help give the fire fighters a helping hand in fully containing it.

Now onto the topic of fishing, but as you read you’ll see that the word “wind”  will continue to be a four letter word throughout the weekend.

The group as a whole didn’t have any solid fishing plans for this weekend but Matt did have a charter booked out of Lake Tahoe to go out for some Mackinaw Trout. This was a trip he had been looking forward to for awhile and the group was looking forward to hearing how he did. We have 2 boats between the 5 of us, so a lake trout trip is never far away and knowing what they are biting on and at what depth is half of the battle.

But as luck would have it at 3 o’clock in the morning while waiting to depart Reno with his co-workers Matt got a call from the Captain saying that there had been a lake wind advisory placed on Lake Tahoe and that the trip would have to be re-scheduled for another day. So it seems a lake trout report will have to wait. Wind 2 Reno 0.

While Matt was surely catching up on some much needed sleep, Kelly and I decided to make an impromptu trip to the Truckee River. The wind wasn’t much of a factor first thing in the morning, but that changed as the afternoon approached.

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The fish were a little tight lipped but we managed to get a few hooked up for the couple hours we were out. By the time I was packing up my gear the wind was howling and I had already had my fill of wind knots and almost hooking myself in the ear several times.

Luckily I made it home without any extra piercings and only had to worry about tying on a new leader. In general the wind had won the battle this weekend, but we’ll no doubt be back at it again this week.

Thank you all for the support you’ve given When The Line Goes Tight and thank you again to Natalie and Jed for allowing me to use your photos of the Hunter Falls Fire.

-Dave

 

 

Can’t get enough of those Stripers!

A few weeks back I posted about the trip that Glenn and Jason took on the San Joaquin River Delta near Lodi, California with Captain Brad who runs the charter SalmonStriper.com. Well this past weekend the whole When The Line Goes Tight crew was able to book a trip out of the Berkeley Maria and do a Striper/Halibut combo on board the Happy Hooker charter.

We had been kicking around the idea of doing a charter trip for Jason’s 40th b-day which is coming up soon. So we started calling around and found that the Salmon season in the SF Bay hadn’t started off as hot as people had hoped but there were many reports that the Striped Bass bite was on and that there was some good sized California Halibut being landed as well.

Live bait was showing up and the Happy Hooker was one of the first boats to get their hands on some. So after following their Facebook page and seeing the boat limiting out on stripers on almost every trip it wasn’t a hard choice on who to book with.

We started our adventure Friday afternoon and left Reno around 5pm or so and drove over to Fairfield, California were we had a few hotel rooms booked for the night. Once checked in we had a nice steak dinner at a nearby restaurant and then headed to the rooms to try and rest up for the day ahead.

The 4 hours of sleep we tried to get before the alarms went off seemed to go by way too fast. But we were all excited to get to the boat and if you are like us, sleep can wait if the bite is on!

Check in on the boat was supposed to be at 5:30am,  but when we showed up at 5am thinking we’d get to pick our spot we were welcomed with almost a full boat already. We laughed as it reminded us of a derby day at Pyramid Lake when you get your spot at 3am and sleep in your truck until it’s go time.

But there was more than enough room and we got our spots picked out, paid for our trip and tackle got our gear rigged up for what was going to be a great day of fishing.

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The boat departed promptly at 6am  and we were at the fishing grounds in less than 30 minutes. This was a live bait trip so you rig your gear with a 3 way swivel that your line attaches to, from there you have a tag line which you attached your weight (8oz to 12oz) and then comes your leader to your hook. You want to get your anchovy the bottom and then bounce your weight off of the bottom without getting hung up on the rocks and various other obstacles that were  waiting eagerly to steal your tackle if given the opportunity.

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The day started off a little slow but as the tides changed the bite really started to pick up. Our deck hand Mike had his work cut out for him when there were multiple hookups at the same time. Those stripers can take you for a ride and being a full boat you can imagine the tangled mess your lines can become.

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The halibut bite never picked up with only boating 1 for the day. But we all went home with limits of striper and landed more than that. Between the fishing, weather, scenery and friends it was a trip to remember for sure.

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If you’re looking for a legit charter with a hard working crew check out the Happy Hooker and tell them the boys from Reno with the noodle rods sent ya!

Tight Lines!

-Dave

 

Mother Nature…good thing I have unlimited texts.

The California opener was 4/26/14 and the crew had been looking forward to hitting Kirman Lake for some trophy Brook Trout fishing for several months. The original plan was to hike the 3 miles in with all the gear needed to camp at the lake for two nights plus our float tubes and fishing gear. Up until the day before we were scheduled to leave that was still the plan, then that old trickster Mother Nature decided to dump a decent amount of snow over the Bridgeport, Ca area. The mass group text messages went into the 100’s with trying to figure out a plan, but in the end the group decided that Kirman would have to wait a few weeks and we headed to Squaw Creek Reservoir up near Gerlach, NV instead.

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Squaw Creek wasn’t without it’s weather issues though. Friday afternoon when starting to set up camp the winds were kicking up pretty good and the sky opened and decided to dump some hail on the group.

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Once everyone was settled into camp the weather got better and the weekend lent itself to countless numbers of fish hooked, lost and landed. The crew caught mostly Rainbows and Brown trout, but there are some bass in the reservoir as well. The fish were keyed up on leech patterns in black and olive as well as the Sheep Creek Special all weekend long.

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It was a good weekend to be outdoors in our great state of Nevada, but as our “tagline” suggests, we also like to get bent beyond Nevada as well. So stay tuned, we have a whole lot of fishing planned for the spring and summer!

Tight Lines!

-Dave