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Combo Catch At Clear Lake … for Lora and Roger Trinchero. They caught and released 42 fish Tuesday while fishing with pro guide Bob Myskey (274-0373). While that is a dandy average of six fish per hour, half were largemouth bass and half were crappie. In over 30 years of fishing there, I have never seen that kind of split. Could it be the new normal? Who knows? But it ain’t all bad.

A robust crappie population adds to the catch diversity at Clear Lake and provides more food for bass. Even better, these sweet and meaty little slabs are a perfect target for your summertime cooler and backyard barbecue. The daily limit is 25 per angler, so you can get a cooler full real fast.

Closer To Home … it seems like everybody is trying to get into my act. St. Helena’s own Woodhouse Chocolate has a lake full of beautifully crafted chocolate fish in their front window on Main Street. Go on in to see some wonderfully whimsical chocolate tool kits that are sure to find their way into Father’s Day gift bags everywhere. Remember, it is June 18 – just nine days away.

Here’s The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift … Gather the whole family to take him on a five-day, four-night Family Fish Camp at The Fly Shop’s beautiful Antelope Creek Ranch. I have fished there; at 5000-foot elevation, the days remain comfortable and the nights always cool. Fish all you want to, but take advantage of clinics about fly casting, fly tying and entomology. Need a break? How about hay rides, outdoor photography, compass reading, local hiking and crafts. Go online to and click on “family camps.” You might want to hustle here – these popular caps sell out quickly.

And, More St. Helena News … Teen angler Liesl Wolf-Heinemann and Napa Open Space District V.P. Brent Randol have teamed up for the California Heritage Trout Challenge. They are targeting these six different forms of California native trout – coastal rainbow, Eagle Lake rainbow, McCloud Redband, golden trout, Lahontan cutthroat and coastal cutthroat . The objective is to catch and photograph each in its historic drainage.

Want to take a shot at this challenge? Go to for application forms and all details. Please keep me in the loop by sending me each photo with details – and let’s follow your progress one fish at a time.

Summer Time – And The Living Is Easy … causing lots of boating/fishing action on all of your waters. Add some novice sailors, some cold brews and some stupid show-offs for a recipe for disaster. Drive defensively, keep a lookout fore and aft, and “be careful out there.” If you can, leave the weekends to the newbies and show-offs; fish during the week. With this in mind, here’s a quick look at what to expect around the Wine Country and Northern California:

*Napa River fishes well for stripers in June/July. Catch the bigger fish casting and trolling (both lures and flies). But a true summer custom has got to be a day on the bank with the kids plunking Sweeney’s Sports’ famous cut bait. I like that Cuttings Wharf sector. Load up with eats and drinks and slather up with suntan lotion twice a day.

*Both Berryessa and Hennessey have fished well for big bass all summer long in past years. The new lake levels may cause some brief fish relocation, but remember – they are finally going to be where they can eat and be comfortable. So fish where you have had success before, and stop in to see if Sweeney’s field scouts have some new hidey holes to tell you about. My approach to a new season at Berryessa is to call pro guide Don Paganelli at 916-502-FISH.

*Call Richard Loft at 294-4738 to book some fly casting lessons and guided fly trips on Putah Creek. He has been watching that nearby trout stream all spring, so he should be ready to show you where the big ones are hiding.

*The big bass tournaments at Clear Lake are over till October, so the water will be ours again for the summer. Summer weather patterns are more stable and the bass more predictable. We’re going up to check it out with Bob Myskey on June 15. Stay tuned.

*Boat In camps sound delightful. And Lake Sonoma right above Healdsburg has a hundred of them. Book at And, there are plenty of fish to catch – including bass, trout and cats.

*Local Salt Action offer a wide variety of fishing for the summer. Bodega Bay, San Pablo Bay, the ocean and Delta combine for a long list of fish to target and angling styles to try. Halibut, sharks, stripers, sturgeon, surf perch, rock fish, ling cod and the king: Salmon. Add cats and black bass in the Delta sloughs for a full selection right close to home. Just Google “fishing guides/party boats” with the locale you prefer to book a trip.

Tell Me … about every one of your trips and big fish caught each time. Send me those happy photos so I can include them in our local newspapers. Good luck.

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Email Bill Ryan at acorn_3