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Reaching Out … to my loyal readers, friends and colleagues. I hope this finds you, your families and loved ones safe and recovered from God’s wrath in the form of the recent “fires.“ He or possibly she sure didn’t help fishing any. Ever the optimist, I’m predicting a much better bite for the rest of the fall season.

I had some real conflicts as I sat down to start this column (number 320) Sunday. Would it seem too frivolous to be writing about fishing when so many local families are dealing with much more serious issues? Or, might there be some comfort in seeing that the column continues — and will hopefully give you some information — and make you smile. Obviously, I opted for number two.

Scott Snowden … is the perfect lead. Let’s join him for his angling adventure to Shotgun Valley, Idaho to battle their big rainbows. One that he caught was 24 inches and fell to a No. 16 Prince Nymph fly.

You may recall that Scott and I went on the definitive Vicarious Fishing Adventure years ago when we spent a week in the bush in Venezuela fishing for beautiful peacock bass on huge Lake Guri. Catch us at coffee on Main street some morning — for “the rest of the story.”

Idaho Fishing Is Hot … My friend, Richard Bollen also went fishing in remote Idaho. While trouting on the St. Joe near Avery, he caught his personal best 2.25-pound crappie on a fly in a little farm pond.

Napa River … is the place to fish for striped bass for us locals stuck here in town. Here are the official tackle store advice: “Use live bait for big bass” and, “Fish where the water moves.” There are good numbers of stripers there — ranging from legal size 18 inches all the way to a 40-pound moose I heard about in Napa. Yep, boats and banks both work. Use swim baits, broken-back Rebels and big clousers to cast or troll.

Soak live bait for the big ones and take the kids for a session on the bank with some of Sweeney’s cut bait. I’d add a 20-ounce Yeti full of hot chocolate and some peanut butter crackers to that as it starts to chill down.

Other Local Action … isn’t so promising. Trout are about done and bass have a serious case of lock-jaw in all the local lakes I’ve checked. Most promising to me is the so far delayed fall bite at Clear Lake. Right now they are battling a missing bite and two fires that are making the air tough to breathe.

I’m ready, though, taking Stan Press for a day on the lake with pro guide Bob Myskey on Nov. 3. We are hoping the bite is back — and the live jumbo minnows arrive at the bait shops. Find out for yourself by calling Bob at 274-0373.

This Just In … from the Lake Berryessa News. Napa County just released the Lake Berryessa “Request for Information and Interest (RFII)” to solicit potential concessionaires for five developable sites at the lake. In short, it is a key step to proper development of the concession areas fully supported by public officials of Napa Valley, who have pledged to facilitate the entitlement process.

I’m excited because this action can result in a modern outdoor recreation complex that will give all of us here an additional place to play outdoors — as well as attracting new visitors who will help our local economy grow.

Learn all the details at The Lake Berryessa News,

Out And About … don’t miss famous local pianist, Mike Greensill who plays at Saint Thursdays from 5 p.m., till 7. Bassist Carla Kaufman accompanies him to craft some nifty tunes. Saint is at 1351 Main St. Google calls it “hip, cozy and casual.” Add Mike and Carla and it is my kinda place.

Hands across the border: Early last week I went north to look for some WIFI connectivity in Calistoga. What a delight to find the Calistoga Coffee Roastery open and wired. They told me that the coffee was free along with the wifi and phone charging stations. I call that downright neighborly!

Right here at home, A&W has a sign inviting everyone in for free coffee, WIFI and bathrooms. Thanks, neighbor.

Let me join all of those saying, “Thanks First Responders for all you do for all of us,” with a heartfelt “Well Done!”