Family Fishing Dynasty?… Here’s one of the many, right here in Napa County. Let me start you off with St. Helena angler Kirsten Hampton Brown. Kirsten and her ace fishing partner, Marty Mullarkey, scored 65 trout on fly rods in their third year fishing the Yellowstone River together. Their numbers are trending nicely: 60 fish in year one, 61 last year, and now 65.
Check out these fly fishing family connections. Kirsten’s dad, Rob, is the real deal with those skinny little rods. Ethan Brown, Kirsten’s husband, adds solid depth to the family involvement in fly fishing. I featured his daughter, Lauren, in a long ago column when she had just taken up fly tying as a youngster. We celebrated at the Model Bakery with cookies and hot chocolate.
Coming on line will be Kirsten and Ethan’s 7-year old daughter, Swede, who is already casting tight loops. Stay tuned; I’m expecting more news from this team over the years ahead. Hope we can get Swede over to the bakery for a cookie and hot chocolate – my treat.
Stephan Parry… checked in from Cranbrook, British Columbia, where he fly fished the beautiful St. Mary River. His big cutthroat trout was 20 inches, and came on a hopper. While cuts are the prime target there, Stephan rounded out his trip with some brookies and a couple of rainbows. Look at that red slash across the bottom of that cutthroat’s jaw. It’s the perfect picture of why it got its name. Stephan is a longtime St. Helena angler who keeps an eye out for special fishing adventure opportunities. Here’s what “British Columbia’s Travel Guide” said about the St. Mary: “The St. Mary River near Cranbrook is one of the premier trout streams of the BC Kootenays. It begins high in the Purcell Mountains and flows eastward until it empties into Kootenay River. West of St. Mary’s Lake, the stream is small and intimate. In this crystalline water, westslope cutthroat trout can be seen suspended over the golden sand. The trout will take a well-presented fly, but they are shy of a blundering approach. Below St. Mary Lake, the river is joined by several tributaries and each adds significantly to the St. Mary’s flow. Many tributaries contain a few resident trout and also act as spawning streams for the trout in the St. Mary…”
Berryessa Update… from Andre Fontenot of 50 Fishing. He limited out on kokanee on his solo trip trolling Apex lures in pink glow and his homemade Wedding Rings with a Smile Blade at 55 to 64 feet between 1.0 and 1.6 mph.
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Bodega Bay Salmon Lure Lineup… In reporting the Sunday salmon action, Captain Merlin Kolb on the Reel Magic told the Monday Hot Sheet, “The fish were deeper today, and we picked them up on the blue hoochie, the Black Widow trolling fly, the Cop Car Apex, or straight bait from 60 to 180 feet on the downriggers. We worked deep bait balls, but there were plenty of whales (big kings) working the surface…”
This broad window of salmon action is expected as they funnel in from both the north and the south to line up for their river run back home to spawn. Next up, expect to hear that the Delta will start to see them. That puts the bulk of them in the Sacramento and Feather rivers, right when a bunch of us will be king salmon fishing on the Feather Oct. 1-2 with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800-995-5543). It will be my 26th year of fishing with him.
Just Salmon?… Not on your life. Look at this Saturday catch by the 27 clients on the California Dawn. 270 rockfish, 17 ling cod and 33 halibut. 320 fish filled some nice bags for each of those 27 anglers. Call the California Dawn at 510-417-5557.
Delta Black Bass… are on tap at low tide, when the weeds are just bending over. The Fishing Instructor, Randy Pringle (209-543-6260), told the Hot Sheet that there was excellent largemouth action with the ima Finesse Popper early – then switching over to the ima Squarebill and the Pit Boss. He said, “You have to stay with the hatch right now, and the key is to stay in the strike zone as long as possible and always around current. But it’s hot out there right now – triple digits – so stay hydrated and shaded.
Tomorrow… is the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Free Fishing Day,” so no need for a fishing license. Call your non-fishing buddy and take him or her free fishing. It’s a nice way to expand your “band of anglers.” Just a note of caution: All other CDFW rules and regulations apply to those free fisher-persons.