Note To Self… Invite Chino Yip up for a visit more often. Chino is a traveling encyclopedia of fishing knowledge and advice. He is the perfect fit in my “Band Of Fishing Brothers.”
We met at the Napa Valley Fly Fishers club meetings 20 years ago and have been crossing paths ever since. The most startling reunion was when river guide Kevin Brock wheeled me around a sharp bend in the Smith River. There was Chino, plying his fly setup to fool a big, wild, silver bullet steelhead. We revisited that moment this week, and lamented the lack of good restaurants up there in the woods.
We spent a happy hour Tuesday comparing “big ones” and a few techniques. Chino is a Community Outreach coordinator with the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space district. Their breezy tagline, “Come on outside and play,” always makes me smile. His mission in town was as a volunteer to advocate for the passage of Measure K in the March 3, 2020 balloting. You’ll be voting in presidential primaries that same day, so say “yes” on K, too. See details at yesonnapameasurek.com.
Here’s why I’m voting yes on K:
1. Protect our local water
2. Protect open space and prevent wildfires
3. Protect Napa County for future generations
4. Local control over local needs
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5. Tourists pay their fair share
What’s this got to do with fishing? Everything. Chino gave me this nice story of local anglers angling. He and Napa fly fisher Fay Sady went coho salmon fishing in Alaska, where they got into a bunch of those strong, smart, wild cohos, also called silvers. Fay fooled her 10-pounder with a pink Dali Lama.
Kind Of Suspended Animation… in the salt for a few more days. Our 2019 king salmon season was great, and is now winding down to Oct. 31 – the last day of ocean take as the last of them saddle up to run back upriver, home to make some babies. Up-and-down weather events have urged many of us to stay home recently. Yet, those who pay attention find gem days like this one on San Pablo Bay last Friday. Bite Me Charters out of Loch Lomond scored 157 stripers, caught and released for their clients (thanks, Monday Hot Sheet).
But on the horizon, in just nine days, big, fat and sweet Dungeness crabs will be on tap officially on Nov. 2. This lights up another round of combo trip fishing for us all. With traditional Thanksgiving time crab feeds on every calendar, the demand will be high. Book early. All of your favorite Bodega Bay operators will be on tap.
Captain Craig Hanson on the Argo out of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf reminds us that this is the time of year for calmer winds on the bays – and to get out early for your crab hauls, before the commercial season starts (usually a couple of weeks after the recreational season begins). Call Craig at 415-361-7757; tell him Ryan sent you. The Argo is a comfortable, fully outfitted six-pack with all the amenities for a trip where you are the captain, and Craig does all the work.
Berryessa Time… is now. The lake “turn” is putting more feed up and down in a wider band of the water column. Both trout and bass are responding with a solid bite. So, rig for both – and enjoy this Berryessa season. Want some help with your bass attack? Call bass pro guide Don Paganelli at 916-502-3474 and make it an investment in your local fishing activity. Enjoy a good day on the water with a pro, and remember his instructions on your own trips later.
Clear Lake Update… Pro bass guide Bob Myskey (349-4460) has been putting his clients onto some big largemouth bass almost daily. The mix recently has included some in the 6- and 7-pound range. Stan Press and I will be there next week to sample the action.
We’re close to the time when using live jumbo minnows for bait, under a bobber, gives you a great day. I can tell you that the big bass like them a lot. I caught and released a 10.1-pound bass up Adobe Creek a couple of years ago. It matched my best bass ever.