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A newfound appreciation for fly fishing

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A newfound   appreciation  for fly fishing

Shani Ballardo recently snared this largemouth bass at a local pond.


POSTED June 27, 2013 10:01 p.m.

Coming home from a camping trip is never easy.

It always seems to go by too fast, and as soon as camp is fully set up it seems like it’s time to pack up and leave. That’s pretty much how my recent four-day camping trip to Clark Fork went.

If you read my pervious column, I wrote about my desire to catch a trout on a fly rod. Within the first hour of fishing I was able to catch my first trout on a fly rod. It wasn’t the biggest of fish, but it gave me the much needed confidence that helped me land about four more.

Fly fishing a stream is so different than anything I’ve ever done before. Places where I wouldn’t think a fish could be, I learned to cast to anyways and often I was surprised by a bite or two.

The physicality of it is also something I’ve never really thought about. Walking through current and slippery rocks can be dangerous. Also, the temperature of the water was a lot colder than I expected. I’m surely going to come equipped with a pair of waders for my next trip.

There are many things about fly fishing that I’ve learned to appreciate. Admittedly, I really never understood what the big deal was with fly fishing and didn’t have much respect for that style of fishing. Now, after spending four days of fly fishing exclusively, I can honestly say that it’s a way of fishing that I believe every angler would enjoy, provided that they had the right equipment.

Delta Report

Fishing on the Delta is good around the Stockton area for bass. There are a lot of nice mats growing in the area making good overhead cover for the bass. Anglers doing well are throwing top-water lures or fishing shallow running crank baits.

The bluegills have been spawning all over the delta lately. Anglers searching for biting fish are fishing around the boat docks with small worms and crappie jigs.

Cat fishing is good for anglers fishing with chicken livers or anchovies in Whisky Slough.

New Melones Lake

Kokanee fishing continues to be red hot early in the day while trolling apex lures 30 to 45 feet deep in green, red, or pink.

Bass fishing remains good for numbers of smaller fish with the bigger ones being few and far between. Anglers are doing well while dragging Carolina Rigs along the bottom. There is a good top-water bite right now early and late in the day.

Catfishing has been really good for those fishing at night with traditional Catfish baits. Bluegill and Crappie continue to bite for those fishing with either a minnow or worm under a bobber in the backs of coves.

Don Pedro:

Kokanee are being caught in large number for angler trolling from 50-65 feet deep. Anglers fishing with Uncle Larry’s Spinners or Rocky Mountain Tackle’s Assassin spinners behind a RMT dodger are having the most success.

Bass fishing is decent for anglers fishing small plastics during the day and top-water lures during the morning and evening hours.

Lake Amador

Fishing during the day has been really for those going for bluegill in the shallows. The bass fishing has really slowed during the day. Fishing during the night is great right now with lots of quality fish being caught.

Berkeley Power Worms in any of the darker colors are working well. As the sun comes up look for the schools of bass to also come up for the first couple hours of the day.

Lake Camanche

The bite is really good for those fishing for bluegill and bass. Bass are being caught right now just about anywhere on the lake, with rocky points being the best spots. Lures that are being used are spinner baits and crank baits, while the bigger fish are being caught by those dragging plastics along the bottom. Bluegills are being caught shallow by those fishing with red worms in the backs of bays.

Boaters Needed

On July 21, the 16th Annual Conroy Oakley Pro-Teen tournament will be held 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.

Boaters are needed for the event. Boaters fish for free. For more information, call (925) 684-9775.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email

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