Congratulations St Helena High Fishing Club… on the completion of your first year. You honored me by inviting me to two of your special 2019 programs: an update from Eric Sklar, President of the California Fish and Game Commission, and when Sweeney’s Sports fly guy, Jose Rubio, gave the club a lecture on fly casting — then led actual casting lessons on the football field.

Looks like a good start on year two already — with your new slate of officers. Give me a drum roll please:

*President—Liesl Wolf

*VP—Garr Hanson

*Secretary—Taralynn Elkins

*Treasurer—Robert Przybylinski

Here’s Garr with a nice local pond bass. Last but by no means least, thanks to teacher Evan Blasingame for his firm hand on the tiller as the club’s faculty adviser.

Club Supporter, Scott Snowden… fly fished on beautiful Hengen Lake in Montana in May. He caught and released 19 big brown trout on this trip. Browns grow big and strong, and in so doing they get real smart, too. That’s why fly fishing for browns is sought after and thrilling.

Dungeness Crab Season… closes in just 2 days – taking crab off of the menu of summer “combo” trips. But the new summer trio of king salmon, rockfish and ling cod still calls for the BBQ to be at the ready.

He has some crab pots set and can arrange a nice combo trip to target rockfish, king salmon and crabs before June 30. Of course, he’ll be running combo trips after that — just with no crabs.

Grab Bag… of local stuff to catch. Remember that old tune, “Summer time—and the livin’ is easy…”? George Gershwin wrote it and Ella Fitzgerald made it famous in 1968. I’m sure they had good fishing in mind. Look at these species that are biting well right now: halibut in the bay, king salmon on the coast, stripers and largemouth bass in the Delta, kokanee and trout at Berryessa and largemouth bass on Clear Lake.

Pro guide, Bob Myskey (349-4460) put his three clients onto a total of 96 big bass last Friday and Saturday.

Father’s Day Checks… from last Sunday’s Father’s Day festivities are always good for filling out your fishing, hunting and outdoors kits. Shop at home — at Steves Hardware in St Helena (963-3423), where there is a treasure trove over in the picnic supplies area, knives, as well as their fishing section in the back. Of course you can buy California Fishing and Hunting Licenses at Steves, too. How about a “lifetime license?” My son bought me one years ago — it just renews itself every December and has all the stuff you need.

Our Own State Senator, Bill Dodd… reminds us that we have a marvelous system of State Parks ready to help us enjoy our summer holidays. Take a look online at Dodd’s website (sd03.senate.ca.gov), on the State Parks tab under Resources.

Sea Lions Need To Be Controlled… Listen to this in a Monday Hot Sheet from Mike Aughney of Reel Magic Sport Fishing: “We hooked 12 salmon throughout the morning, but they were plagued with a marauding band of sea lions that took eight of the fish off of the lines.”

I’m no fan of sea lions. They have been known to eat up to five salmon a day all year long — without a license! Even with a license, human anglers can only keep two per day and only in season.

California sea lions have become unbalanced in nature because some do-gooder civilians thought they were cute. Take another look. Changes in regulations have been the major reason that the California sea lion population sky-rocketed from less than 90,000 in 1975 to 306,200 in 2012. Sure there are shorter-term fluctuations up and down but this massive overall increase isn’t very smart.

I’m told that a salmon trying to navigate river mouths like the Columbia cannot find any room to run from “marauding bands of sea lions.“

Let’s figure out how to give salmon an even chance. Read more online at Science Daily’s January 2018 recap titled “California sea lion population rebounded to new high.”

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