Alexandra Rohrer-Ramirez is my new favorite angler-ette. With an assist from her Grandpa Allan Rohrer, 5-year-old Alexandra marched right out on the dock at Hennessy and caught this nice bluegill during the 48th annual George Carl Kids Fishing Derby. On her first fishing trip, she caught the biggest “dock” fish and missed an award by just a half an inch. No worries, Alexandra — I’m sure you will catch many more as you hone your fishing skills and enjoyment.
I’m proud to have been a tiny part of her support team. I was able to give Allan some information he needed to prepare for the adventure. Sweeney’s Sports helped designed Alexandra’s gear and she did the rest.
While we are handing out plaudits, believe me — grandpas are best. Allan took the lead and made this happy story happen. When I was a kid, a child advocacy group back East had a saying that I never forgot: “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” This one’s for you Allan.
Many thanks to the Active Napa 20/30 Club for their sponsorship of this special outdoor outreach to kids.
Happy days are here again … on the Sacramento River at Redding where the big wild rainbows live. Last week I promised you the “tale of the tape” for our four days (over two weeks) of trout fishing with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800-995-5543). My longtime friends and fishing partners, Doug Roberts, Stan Press and Ron McGowan helped to carry the load.
We caught and released a combined 147 wild trout. That’s an incredible average of 5.3 fish an hour. We had doubles, two triples and that total included four 5-pounders, plenty of 3 and 4-pouders, all topped by Ron’s magnificent 6-pound brute. These kinds of numbers had been missing recently during the drought years. The secret is the water flow. The Sac is running fast at over 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) — the highest I have ever seen it during the 23 straight years I have fished there with Kevin. The high fast water causes the trout to bite early and hang on. They don’t want to risk losing one tiny morsel of food to the fast flows.
And so it was — they bit and hung on. We hooked fish at every stop. Kevin’s own cured salmon roe did the trick on a skinny little 4-pound leader in fast-moving water. You should make a special effort to do this run. Because the dam was jiggered to release water from the bottom, it is always cold — holding the resident population of big wild trout.
Add sightings of ospreys, eagles, ducks, geese and other critters out and about at the 5 a.m. launch for an all-round outdoors experience. You can call Kevin. Tell him Ryan sent you. Stay at the Oxford Suites Hotel in Redding; ask for their special “Kevin Brock” room discount. Eat dinner at Clearies Restaurant.
Putah Creek report … for wild rainbows closer to home. Napa fly fishing instructor and guide, Richard Loft (294-4738 or napavalleyflyguides.com) sent me his spring observations from streamside.
Here are some key excerpts: “Just when I was beginning to worry that there’d be no good fishing this year, the rain stopped, the creek finally dropped to fishable levels, and is fishing well again.” And “I’ve been spending even more time on the creek than usual, re-learning some of my favorite areas.”
Here’s my favorite: “I took out a father and his two adult sons last week and they had an awesome time. After hooking into a 15-inch rainbow, one son lit up a cigar and just sat down on a rock and watched his brother and dad fish, with a contented look on his face.”
Graduation gifts a problem? Both Steves Hardware in St. Helena and Sweeney’s Sports in Napa can help you solve them fast. They have angling gear of all types and other equipment at all price points. You can add to fishing gear for those who have already started — or create a basic rod, reel, line, lure starter kit.
Think outside the box to include and headband lamp, outdoor knife (include a shiny penny for safety), new thermos, life vest, gloves and a sport angling fishing license. Feeling flush? Get your favorite young person a guided fishing trip gift certificate from either pro guide Bob Myskey on Clear Lake (274-0373) or pro river guide, Kevin Brock on the Sacramento River. I can attest to their skills with youngsters; they have both fished three generations of Ryans.
Ocean fishing for king salmon … has now reopened and will stay open until Oct. 31. Even though numbers are small this year, there are still thousands of these silver bullets that you can target in 2017. Be sure to send me photos of your biggest ones.
Out and about … We need to start to cheer our little city — not always giving it a knock. Here’s an easy start:
Stop in at OK Tire on Dowdell Lane right here in town next time you need tires and or service. You’ll be glad you did. From owner Sean Wilson right through his whole staff, everyone is customer-oriented, professional, experienced and happy to see you. I’m never going to buy tires anywhere else. You’ll love shopping at home.
Finally … heads up! Tomorrow is National Donut Day.