Alexandra Rohrer-Ramirez … is my new favorite angler-ette. With an assist from her grandpa, Allan Rohrer, 5-year-old Alexandra marched right out on the dock at Lake Hennessy on Sunday and caught this nice bluegill during the annual George Carl Kids Fishing Derby.
On her very first fishing trip, she caught he biggest “dock” fish and missed an award by just a half an inch. No worries, Alexandra – I’m sure you will catch many more as you hone your fishing skills and enjoyment.
I’m proud to have been a tiny part of her support team. I was able to give Allan some information he needed to prepare for the adventure. Sweeney’s Sports helped designed Alexandra’s gear, and she did the rest.
While we are handing out plaudits, believe me – Grandpas Are Best. Allan took the lead and made this happy story happen. When I was a kid, a child advocacy group back East had a saying that I never forgot: “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” This one’s for you, Allan.
Yes, Happy Days Are Here Again … on the Sacramento River at Redding, where the big wild rainbows live. Last week, I promised you the “tale of the tape” for Doug Roberts’ and my two-day trout trip with pro river guide Kevin Brock (800 995-5543).
In two days on the water, we caught and released 83 wild trout. That’s an incredible six fish an hour. We had three doubles – two fish on at the same time – and two 5-pounders. These kinds of numbers had been missing recently during the drought years. The secret is the water flow. The Sac is running fast at 13,000 cubic feet per second, the highest I have ever seen it during the 23 straight years I have fished there with Kevin. He always said he liked at least 10,000 cfs. The high, fast water causes trout to bite early and hang on. They don’t want to risk losing one tiny morsel of food to the fast flows.
And so it was – they bit and hung on. We hooked fish at every stop. Kevin’s own cured salmon roe did the trick on skinny little 6-pound leader in fast moving water. You should make a special effort to do this run in May. Because the dam was jiggered to release water from the bottom, it is always cold – holding the resident population of big wild trout.
Take a look at the stripe and rose-copper gill plate in the photo above. Add sightings of ospreys, eagles, ducks, geese and other critters out and about at the 5 a.m. launch for an all-around outdoors experience. You can call Kevin at 800-995-5543. Tell him Ryan sent you.
Stay at the Oxford Suites Hotel in Redding; ask for their special “Kevin Brock” room discount. Eat dinner at Clearie’s Restaurant & Lounge (cleariesrestaurant.com). I was back again this Wednesday and Thursday with fellow St. Helena anglers Stan Press and Ron McGowan. Please stay tuned – again.
Bizarre Snake Lunch … on a trail around Lake Hennessey. Don’t try this at home! Local outdoor enthusiast and biker Grayson Anderson took this extraordinary photo of a King snake, black with off-white stripes, eating a brown rattlesnake. This is a good time to say, “Be careful out there.” Warm weather brings out the rattlers; they move early in the morning to find a sunny spot, then again late afternoon on their way back to the den.
Now, don’t be afraid and stay home. Just be aware of your surroundings as you move. Most snake bites are caused when foolish people pick one up; step where they can’t see, or put their hands where they can’t see.
Local Fishing Action … will concentrate at the Napa River, Hennessey, Berryessa, Clear Lake and Putah Creek to target trout on a fly. Call local fly guide and instructor Richard Loft at 294-4738. With the water color going gin-clear, bid goodbye to the sturgeon till next fall – but help your kids fish for stripers along the shore. Look for weeds, tule lines and brush piles at Hennessey, where you might want to try a wacky-rigged Senko on a drop shot for largemouth bass. Try a natural colored Baby Brush hog, too.
Best way to target Berryessa bass is to call pro guide Don Pagan Elli (916 502-FISH) and book a trip. The Clear Lake bass bite started off like a house afire early, then went limp. We’ll check it out again on June 15 and give you a heads-up.
And, In The Salt … Rockfish are biting big time for the Bodega Bay boats with dividends of big ling cod and Dungeness crab. They are seeing lots of bait with krill on the surface that should trigger the salmon bite up there soon. Meanwhile, in the Bays, the halibut action is being called “best ever,” with reports of flatties going 18 to 20 to 25 pounds.
The Golden Gate fleet got into the salmon action Sunday with limit fishing the norm. Apparently the hot spot was the south buoy, 15 miles southwest of Seal Rocks.
Delta Sturgeon Still Biting … in lower Suisun Bay with spectacular action for all sizes of diamondbacks. (thanks, Hot Sheet, for adding some timely updates).