Napa River Steelhead … caught and released by 15-year-old JD Ackman on June 12. He was fishing with his famous secret lure north of Trancas Street. JD estimates it weighed over 3 pounds and was probably over 24 inches. Pictures of steelies are rare in the Napa so thanks for sharing this photo, JD.

Just checked our little tributary up here, Sulphur Creek. It is just barely flowing and still pools are starting to form. Earlier I promised it would stop running by the end of June; I’m sure of it now.

Clear Lake … revisited by Janet Peischel and me for some June bass hunting last Thursday. We caught and released 20 largemouth bass with dividends of a crappie and a bluegill for our one day on the water. Vicious winds kept guide Bob Myskey from his top spots. The bass were small but feisty and fat. I call them “good news fish” because in a few years they will all be 5 pounds or more.

Janet led the way with the first fish and most fish; I caught the biggest to keep from getting skunked.

Over the years, I have told you about the wonderful additional outdoor sights we can add to the fishing days. On this trip, a tiny fawn was frisky as she gamboled around a front lawn at 6:15 a.m. This was punctuated by her straight-up four-legged jumps of glee.

By the way, I’ve always wanted to use “gambol” in a column – so it’s off my bucket list. I’m sure you’d like to have it defined. Here it is: frolic, frisk, cavort, caper, skip, dance, romp, prance, leap, hop, jump, spring, bound, bounce (sounds like some beer hall antics to me).

And, we saw six rare new baby cygnets out for a swim with their mom and dad. My friend, Bill Bosshard, tells me that cygnets are out of the nest a day after they hatch and that designation is used only till they are 1 year old. Be observant in the outdoors; Mother Nature has some dandy sights for you.

Next Berryessa Trout Plant … is scheduled for June 25. This is not only good news for trout guys and gals, it is good news for everyone wanting to see Berryessa bass grow bigger faster.

Bodega Bay … will give you just seven more days to fish for Dungeness crab before the season closes a week from today. Captain Rick on the New Sea Angler (875-3344) put 121 crabs in the boat Saturday to go with 160 rockfish and nine lings to 11 pounds.

Golden Gate Fleet … salmon action heated up this past weekend. The Hot Sheet said, “The sizzling hot salmon action continues outside the Golden Gate.” In a nod to Father’s Day, Captain Roger Thomas on The Salty Lady scored 21 limits with the big king going 31 pounds – caught by James McLaughlin of Mill Valley. Guys on the dock expect this much-improved salmon bite to continue. Call Captain Thomas at 415-674-3474 for reservations.

The Bays … seem to be full of fish. Want proof? Captain James Smith on the Happy Hooker (510-223-5388) put his clients on to 30 stripers and 14 halibut topped off with a leopard shark.

High Winds And Triple Digit Temps … have slowed down the Delta angling action recently. Add in hundreds of recreational boats buzzing around, and a lot of fishermen just stayed home.

When you are ready to do the Delta, largemouth bass action is starting to become active on the San Joaquin side. Double up by targeting smallmouth bass over near Isleton and Walnut Grove. Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley (925-234-4694) likes crawdad patterned plastics or small crank baits for smallies. He said to put on a spinner bait or swim jig if you are going to work the Hogback and Steamboat Slough region.

More Safety Stuff? … You bet. Beginning in January 2018, if you operate a motorized vessel on California waterways, you will be required to pass an approved boating safety exam and carry a lifetime California Boating Card. This is good news for everyone on the water because it will reduce accidents, injuries and deaths caused by untrained operators.

In order for an orderly procedure that will train and test hundreds of thousands of boaters, the first phase in 2018 will be for boaters 20 years of age and younger. With just six months left to qualify, better get going. Go online to to begin the process.

Email Bill Ryan at