You have stumbled across what I hope will become a loosely assembled rambling of my thoughts and experiences fly fishing Northern California.
Before we get started I thought I give little background info for you.
The name is James, more commonly known as Jay to those unfortunate few who I consider my friends. At the time of this writing I am 24, living in the foothills of Northern California near Sacramento. I have fished all my life, hell, it is even rumored that I was conceived on a back country Cutthroat trip in Colorado where my parents caught and released two Rio Grande Cutts over 6lbs. So perhaps my undying condition of fish on the brain was something programmed into me from the start. At 18 I moved to Wyoming for a year, where unfortunately I fished very little. I did however make a few trips to the Snowy Range catching some great Brookies in a stunning setting. After my short stint there, I relocated to my current home in Northern California.
When I arrived here, I thought my high country days were over, so I looked at what kind of fishing my area had to offer. As it turns out, I'm smack dab in the middle of trophy Largemouth country. After buying myself a "sweet" baitcasting combo from Longs Drugs, I headed to some ponds in a local state recreation area. I spent 64 consecutive days fishing those ponds after work and all day on the weekends. An addiction was born. On a rainy day in April of 2005 I headed down to Folsom Lake to do a little shore fishing and was rewarded with a 7.5lb Largemouth. Now I not only wanted bass, but big ones! I spent the next 4 years of my life completely consumed by trophy Largemouth. I had my successes, with 5 fish over 10lbs including my standing personal best of 13lbs 1ozs. My records indicate that I have caught and released 104 bass over 5 lbs since I started throwing the big swimbaits that commonly weigh over 6 ounces and are 8-12 inches long.
A clear pattern has developed in my life of becoming completely obsessed with something, hoarding the neccesary gear and getting pretty good at it, just to eventually burn out because I drove myself so hard. First it was dirt jumping BMX bikes, then the same with motorcycles, then paintball, then partying and girls of questionable values, then the trophy Largemouth bug grabbed hold like no other.
In July of 2008 I had finally gotten really burnt out on it. The trophy Largemouth game is shockingly political, the more connected you become in this small and elitist circle, the drama that gets dragged into your "fun" can really ruin it for you. Especially in this electronic age. The internet in my opinion CAN be really bad when you associate it with your passion for the outdoors.
Upon returning to Colorado for a family reunion, I was faced with 8 days in a luxury rental home in Keystone. I certainly enjoy the company of my family, and looked forward to the nightly card games, beer drinking, and BSing with the people I care about the most. However, during the day I was to have some me time. I am a solitary being. As it turns out, our rental was a mere 100 yards from a fork of the Snake river. I went down to the local big box sporting goods store and bought a $30 6 piece 5wt a few Green Drakes, Prince Nymphs, and Olive Wooly Buggers.
I took this fine piece of Chinese craftsmanship back to the rental and got it all together. I strolled on down to the water and within an hour was rewarded with my first Colorado trout in at least 5 years.
I caught and released no less than 25 of these in the week I was there, and the flybug had officially taken hold. I managed to get a beautiful 14" Cutthroat that left me completely speechless. It was more rewarding to me than any of my trophy Largemouth conquests. Unfortunately my camera girl ( who you will no doubt be introduced to in the future) was not with me that morning. Since I was wet wading I had decided it best not to bring my digital camera with me. Too bad. But I have the most vivid mental snapshot you could imagine to hold me over.
Upon returning from my family reunion, I continued to fly fish, feeling out my surrounding area. I will make a seperate post summarizing my summer and fall trips a little later.
When the fall of 2008 slowly turned to winter, I returned to my pursuit of big bass, thinking that my nice hiatus would let me return to it refreshed and ready to go. Sadly, that was not the case. I found myself mechanically going out, making what should be my passion and fun in life, feel more like work.
After a dismal winter and early spring in 2008-2009, I found myself completely uninterested in chasing the big green ones. So here we sit, I have packed my bass fishing stuff away, and sold some to be able to upgrade and flesh out my fly fishing arsenal. In a few precious days, the high sierra trout opener will be upon us.
I am incredibly excited about this season. I intend to make many many trips to a wide range of destinations. Everything from the low altitdue Yuba and American rivers, all the way to the far flung, high country pack in destinations.
My hopes for this blog is to post pictures and reports, talk gear, fish, and flies, and hopefully do a bit of entertaining in the process.
It should be said now, that I will rarely cite a specific fishing location in plain words. I have learned in my bass fishing that the worst thing you can do to a body of water is sing it's praises somewhere that anyone who knows how to Google can find it.
I am excited to share my experiences with those of you who have the same burning desire to introduce fish to steel that I do.