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Old PE teacher reminds Ballardo about fly fishing
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There are many ways to catch a fish. Yesterday while doing some grocery shopping I ran into my high school physical education teacher, coach Gebhart. He reminded me of a way of catching fish that I’ve never really gotten into. Coach Gebhart likes to fly fish just as much as he likes to golf. I have a fly rod, which is 27 years old and has sat collecting dust for the past 20 years. I know how old it is because that’s what I asked for on my 13th birthday. I’m not sure what condition it’s still in, but I’ve decided this summer that I was going to dust it off, put some fresh line on it, buy a couple of flies and take it with me the next time I go camping at Clarks Fork. I’ve never really tried fishing with it in a river. I’ve only fished a couple of local ponds and lakes catching small bass and bluegill.

I do remember last summer at Clarks Fork – watching two older gentlemen catch their limit of trout – all on flies. In fact, they made it a point to walk by me while holding a stringer full of trout.  So thanks to coach Gebhart, I was reminded of another way that I can catch a fish.

Delta Report

Plenty of post spawn fish are being caught on reaction baits right now. Franks Tract continues to be a hot spot for bass. The swim-bait bite is great right now, especially with the wind we’ve been having. Vegetation throughout the Delta is starting to take over a lot of dead end sloughs and grass lines are forming. Most of the bass are holding on the deeper grass lines visible at low tide. There are still plenty of bass to be found on beds for those who prefer bed fishing.

New Melones Lake

The Trout bite has all but died for many, but the kokanee bite has really started to pick up for a lot of anglers. Kokanee are being caught for those trolling anywhere from 45-65 feet deep. Red, chartreuse, pink or silver Apex have been the top producing lure, with Uncle Larry’s Spinners, Hootchies, Killer B’s, and Glitter Bugs in the same colors all catching fish, too. Bass fishing has been good lately as the water temperatures have risen to the mid sixties. The last full moon brought up a lot of nicer sized fish.

For those not bed fishing a variety of different baits are faring well right now. Crankbaits, Rip Baits, Rattle Traps, and plastic worms are just a few of the baits that are catching bass right now. Night-fishing for catfish is also starting to pick up. Any major cove or creek arm is a good place to try. Anchovies, Sardines, or a ball of Nightcrawlers are always a deadly combination when fishing for catfish. The Crappie and Bluegill bite has really started to pick up. Some anglers are even reporting catching limits of Crappie when fishing tight to structure using live minnows.

Lake Don Pedro

The Kokanee are also bite picking up right now as anglers are doing welltrolling for them between 55 - 75 feet deep with standard kokanee gear. Bass fishing is very good right now as anglers are catching them all over the lake on a variety of different techniques. Trout fishing has been fair for anglers trolling from 30-60 feet deep with heavy spoons.

Lake Camanche

The trout fishing in the pond has slowed down. There still are a few trout being caught on power bait, but they’ve been on the small side. Fishing for bass continues to be good right now. Anglers are fishing top water in the morning and Senko’s during the day. Several fish can still be found up shallow on spawning beds. Catfishing has started to improve for anglers fishing off the bank with anchovies or chicken livers.

New Hogan Lake

Bass fishing is good right now for anglers searching out bedding bass or fishing for bass that are cruising the shallows. Most of the talk right now has been about the early morning striped bass bite. Anglers are trolling rolled anchovies at 25 feet deep through schools of stripers. The bite usually dies down by 10 a.m., so it’s a good idea to plan on fishing early for them.

Tip of the Week

If you’re the type who likes to be out fishing amongst crowds of people, Memorial Day Weekend is the weekend for you. I prefer to do all my fishing before noon on busy weekends. It makes for a more enjoyable time and relieves the stress of waiting in long lines to launch or retrieve my boat. Also, fishing usually slows down once all the boats start stirring the water.