Just as soon as I send this report, I’ll be making my way to Clarks Fork for a week of camping with family and friends. This year is a little different; I’ve become a little more serious in my pursuit of the elusive trout.
Like I mentioned several weeks ago, last year I was one upped by some fisherman parading around our campsite with a stringer full of trout while making it known to all that he caught them while using flies. Since then, I’ve been watching all the YouTube videos I can on fly fishing and even found myself wandering into Bass Pro Shop's fly fishing area. I learned a lot in the little time I spent in there, and left with about $200 less in my pocket. I did end up purchasing the right rod and reel combo for fishing small streams and rivers and enough flies that should last me the whole trip.
The one most important element of fly fishing, though, is mastering the cast. I haven’t casted a fly rod in over 20 years so I may be reaching for my spinning tackle sooner than I’d like too. Either way, I’m looking forward to my trip and if I can just land one trout on a fly, it will be my first.
This past weekend anglers complained that they couldn’t catch a fish on a top water frog. Frog fishing is like that, sometimes they just hammer the bait without reserve and other times they just bump it. After about two or three bumps and changing color and cadence I usually abandon the frog if I haven’t caught anything. Senko’s, Spinnerbaits, and Sweet Beavers are all catching fish right now. With the weather we have had lately look for shady spots along the bank, or spots closest to deeper water. Fish will either be looking for shade or areas that are close to deep moving water. If you can find shade next to a deep drop your chance of catching a big fish will be increased.
New Melones Lake:
Kokanee catches continue to keep anglers busy as trout fishing has slowed down for the summer. Anglers catching Kokanee are fishing the dam area and can be found between 40-50 feet deep. Trout have been biting for those willing to fish through the night. Night fishermen are reporting catches while soaking Power Bait below a submersible light along the main lake channels. Bass fishing is still good for angler fishing Carolina rigged baby brush hogs. Most Bass are of the smaller version with a bigger fish mixed in occasionally. Morning and evening top water fish are being caught right now on poppers and spook type lures.
Night fishing for bass is a favorite summertime escape for me. Lake Amador in particular is a small safe lake which with any cast can produce a personal best. An hour before the sun starts to go down Bass habitually will bring schools of shad to the surface which can create some explosive top water action. The key to catching feeding fish on the surface is patience. With a top water lure in hand, wait for the fish to start exploding on the surface and then make your cast right into the middle of the attacking fish. This technique will surely produce some of the most explosive top water action. Once the sun goes down I either toss a ½ ounce black spinner bait or drag 10 inch Berkeley Power worms. Then, if fishing through the night as the morning sun starts to break once again fish will be feeding on the surface, get that top water lure out and repeat the previous pattern.
Smallmouth bass have been providing excellent action for anglers fishing late and early with topwater lures. Once the sun is high try switching to small plastic baits fished deep, shaky head worms, darter heads, and drop shotted Robo Worms in either a craw or shad pattern should produce good results.
The 16th Annual Conroy Oakley Pro Teen tournament will be held July 21 out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island. The purpose of the event is to introduce teens 13 to 19 years old to fishing through a professional style tournament where they will be paired up with a boater for six hours. Currently they are in need of more boaters for the event, boater’s fish for free, for more information call (925) 684-9775.
The Russ Faught 2nd Annual Kokanee Derby will be taking place Saturday at New Melones Reservoir. The tournament is being held by Central Valley Anglers. The fee for non-members is $40 and $35 for members. Anglers under the age of 15 fish for free. For more information you can either visit their website at http://centralvalleyanglers.org/html/memorial.html or you can contact Rick Frisk at 200-6123.