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Fishing Is My Day Job: Emigrant Wilderness a haven for all things outdoors
Fishing Is My Day Job

Fishing Is My Day Job: Emigrant Wilderness a haven for all things outdoors

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Alexander Titus… braved the High Sierra’s remote Emigrant Wilderness to catch wild trout at Huckleberry Lake. Here is St Helena angler Alexander Titus with a nice fly-caught rainbow. He grew up here and graduated from St. Helena High in 2015.

As I read about this region, it was easy to see that fishing is just a part of a High Sierra adventure that attracted Alexander. Add climbing, trekking tracking, mountaineering and wilderness camping at the lake’s 7,700-foot elevation for a full understanding. I read Lee Haskin’s blog: ( I think you will like it, too.

St. Helena High School Fishing Club… members have been fishing on their own this past summer. Faculty Advisor Evan Blasingame told me that Club President Liesl Wolf Heinemann scored some chunky salmon and club member Garr Hanson led the way to target farm pond black bass. I’m sure they join me to say that we must always get permission to fish in farm ponds—and leave them as clean as we found them.

Local Action Sparse… With Berryessa closed and most other nearby waters like Clear Lake smothered in smoke and ashes, it’s lean pickings right now. In the salt, the rockfish bite is wide open up and down the coast. Book a combo trip that also targets ling cod and king salmon to max your take. Look at the recent catch numbers posted on the Hot Sheet by Captain Rick Powers out of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing: A two-day recap of his combo trips scored 461 fish (rockfish, ling cod and king salmon). That is surely a back yard BBQ in the making.

Wither Salmon Roam?… right now, king salmon are everywhere—and nowhere. It’s that time of year when they start the long journey back home to their own birth place to spawn—and die. In the salt, at best you might intercept a pod of salmon while fishing for other species—but no one is out searching for them.

They are starting to show up the Delta in small numbers but the hot water temperatures have them moving through at high speeds—smelling for colder river water. I’m told we may be a couple of weeks away from bigger numbers in the Delta—when the water temperature is cooler—and the salmon are willing to slow down spending an overnight in some of the deep holes.

From that point on, fish the Sac and Feather for big king salmon—without getting seasick. I’d call pro river guide, Kevin Brock at 800 995-5543 to book some time on the rivers. He has guided the Ryans to successful river salmon scores for the past 25 straight years—three generations of us.

And All The Way Over… to Rhode Island. Tyler Brown, back in Wakefield, is my first cousin, twice removed. He sent me a photo of the 600-pound swordfish he caught off of Block Island (just a few miles off of the southern Rhode Island coastline). That’s the new family “big fish” record. It swamps my 225-pound sturgeon catch in Oregon a few years ago. Just to round out the day, Tyler boated a couple of Atlantic tuna, too.

I’m fond of Tyler, a recent high school graduate—and just beginning his first classes at Electrician’s School. He’s got a standing invitation to visit me—so we can hunt some big clear Lake bass together. By the way, Block Island sword fish are famous for their size and flavor all over the East. Top restaurants there specify “Block Island” on their menus. I can remember as a kid going to see the sword fish tournament weigh-ins. Each one bigger than the previous one. Every once in a while we would see a “grander”—a thousand-pound monster hung up at the dock.

As a kid, I was hired to open scallops down on the docks—it was cold and foggy most of the time—and my hands got colder every time I reached into the tub for another scallop. The key to a proper opening is not to slice the scallop in the middle. The scallop is the muscle that opens and closes the shell.

So, the correct action is to slice the scallop off of each shell leaving the whole scallop intact. Interestingly, those old fisherman’s wives who had been doing this forever knew instantly when I had made a bad cut. You should have seen them at work, four around the shell barrel opening scallops without looking and gossiping every minute.

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