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Local Action … St. Helena vintner Stephen Parry had to be in Jackson Hole on business in late June. Somehow he packed his fly fishing gear in his brief case. But it worked out perfectly when he fished the Park on Yellowstone Lake. Look at this marvelous 6-pound Yellowstone cutthroat trout he fooled with a black wooly bugger. Stephen said he was using the fly with a scud dropper in 15 feet of water — casting to the shore and slowly stripping back to the boat using small jerks. Stephen: where do you find the small jerks? I seem to be seeing mostly big ones recently.

Stephen, fishing with his brother, said they caught a few nice cuts before the afternoon winds. They also caught some 6- to 10-inch trout in a couple of small streams that had cleared.

Stan Press Went Fishing … without me. It’s OK though; he took his 18-year-old grandson Noah Tedeschi for a high school graduation trip fishing for both trout on a fly and spinning for black bass in the Mighty St. Lawrence River between upstate New York and Canada. How nice that honoree Noah caught the biggest smallmouth bass; just under 5 pounds. It sounded like a nice sendoff for Noah, who will enter the University of Connecticut (UCONN) this Fall.

Make A Special Note Of These Six Local Organizations … Land Trust of Napa Valley, Friends of the Napa River, Napa-Solano Audubon, Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District, Napa Wildlife Rescue and the Napa County Resource Conservation District. All of them dedicated to make our outdoor lives better. As a member of the Napa County Wildlife Conservation Commission, (NCWCC) I heard spokespersons for each present their grant request proposals.

Each was prepared, precise, professional and passionate about the organization’s mission and how our support would further their programs — for the benefit of all local citizens. They had honed their messages and were good on their feet.

Bottom line to me is that all of us who love and use the outdoors are served by these dedicated organizations and their members. For me, it’s not just fishing but the opportunity to fish in clean water that can support wildlife for my pleasure. Hunters, trekkers, bikers, birders, climbers, swimmers and those who just want to sit on the grass under a green tree are served as well.

Wait, there’s more. Every time you drink some sweet water, breath the fresh air, enjoy shade trees and babbling brooks, hear the call of a wild bird and smell fresh wild native plants and flowers, or hear your granddaughter describe her new Napa Girls Outdoors (Napa GO) project, say “Thanks” to the hundreds of volunteer members of these organizations.

Even better, next time you hear these names, get involved, volunteer, support, donate.

I’m happy to report that the NCWCC took the lead Tuesday by recommending funding each of the requests.

River Salmon Season … opened July 16 on the Sac and the Feather. There is real optimism for the upcoming season driven by the good bite in the salt so far. Probably not what the river guides want to hear — but don’t rush out and spend some cash on a river trip just yet. It takes a while for the bulk of the returning king salmon to swim up through the Delta and into the Sac. It takes a while for even the best guides to zero in on the honey holes that provide consistent action. After 23 straight years of fishing for kings in the rivers with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800 995-5543), I’m convinced that the prime time is from late August through September — with some special hot spots continuing into October.

And Some Local News … from St. Helena neighbor Jo Ann Adams. She wrote to tell me that her grandson Jake Mitchell owns a charter fishing business out of Shelter Cove. Check him out at Or call Jake at 223-1600. He tells us that California’s northern “Lost Coast” is the longest roadless stretch of coast line in the Continental U.S. This leads to some of the most untouched plentiful waters the country has to offer. Sounds like an adventure to me.

More Options For Staying Safe … Here’s a local Bay Area service that will bring you home — from anywhere. It is “Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance“ — owned and operated by special operations veterans and Stanford physicians. In a profile of Ripcord, the Bay Area’s ABC7 called it “travel insurance on steroids.” Check ‘em out at You know that I always like to support our own local businesses. Their all-inclusive policy will be in my satchel when — if — I get to the Amazon to fish for big, bad, beautiful peacock bass.