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Bragging Rights: Katie Griesbeck

Napa Angler Katie Griesbeck caught this nice Putah Creek trout while fishing with local fly guide Richard Loft.

Clear Lake Bass Action … update. After weeks of a tough bite, when guide Bob Myskey’s early fall clients were averaging fewer than 10 bass a day, the catch rate improved dramatically. For his past three trips, they have averaged 35 largemouth bass per day.

Is this the turn-on of a late fall bite? Could be – remember, it’s fall all the way to Dec. 21. And finally, big bass gotta eat; we’ll be there in early December to offer them a banquet. Call Bob at 274-0373 to get in on the action. He is especially good with young and novice anglers. He has fished all three of my grandchildren.

Early Fall Report On Putah Creek … from fly fishing instructor and guide Richard Loft. For openers, he said that the creek was not harmed by the fires; he fished through the weeks of the fires with no problems and had great luck landing fish.

Richard told us that he has seen outstanding bug life. BWO hatches came off in the morning and later in the day near all riffles. He saw huge hatches of midges “like never before.” All of this has delivered great numbers of fish during September and October. However, as we reach the Putah Creek trout spawning period, Richard suggests that we fish other waters like the Yuba River near Marysville, and Lake Hennessey – so the spawn here can be successful.

Here’s what he said about that:

“In order to continue having a nice and prolific fishery on Putah, the mature fish need to spawn and new eggs and fry have to be able to survive until the following Spring and Summer seasons. When people crowd in to the creek during the active spawn, it’s too easy to accidentally walk right through the trout nests, called Redds, and squish the entire next generation of eggs under your boots.”

Call Richard at 294-4738 or go online to when you are ready to wet a fly on Putah Creek, Yuba River or Lake Hennessey.

Recreational Dungeness Crab Season … opens tomorrow. Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet said private boaters need to be smart to stay safe during these early days, when high winds and rough conditions can be deadly to those out early in the dark to set their pots.

This caught my eye, too: you cannot take Dungeness crabs from San Francisco and San Pablo bays. Here’s an old Yankee’s view of crab fishing: call a pro party boat captain to take you fishing. Let him or her worry about the regs and rules. Most trips will be combo trips combining crab fishing with rockfish and other catchables. You’ll bring home a big bag of fresh, tasty, local fish. Three boats I follow are The New Sea Angler (875-3344) and the six-pack Miss Anita (875-3474) out of Bodega Bay, as well as the Argo (415-361-7757) out of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Remember … the ocean salmon season closed this past Tuesday, but the rockfish season remains open till Dec. 31. Expect the ling cod bite to improve as they move in closer to the coastline for the spawn.

California Delta … is in a state of flux right now. End of salmon fishing, beginning of the prime sturgeon season, striper action showing some early whoppers and black bass can be caught flipping plastics or spinner baits, according to Alan Fong, manager of the fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento.

Alston Park Is The Place To Be … on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9:30 till 11:30 a.m. That address is 2037 Dry Creek Rd., Napa. Start off early with a carload full of kids for the first stop at Buttercream Bakery on Jefferson for their famous donuts and hot chocolate.

Then on to Alston Park to join the Napa County Resource Conservation District team and Friends of the Napa River to plant acorns as we continue to restore our oak trees. All planting materials and tools will be provided. Bring your own water.

Email Bill Ryan at