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First, it couldn’t have happened without two St. Helena girls, Kirsten Hampton Brown and Marty Moe Mullarkey — friends of mine forever. Now send them off to Livingston, Montana on a three-day odyssey to fish the mighty Yellowstone for trout. BTW, the dictionary defines odyssey as “a long journey full of adventures.” So here we go:

They rented a pontoon drift boat and Kirsten used the oars while also fishing at the same time. No wimpy use of a guide for Kirsten and Marty. Fishing was excellent — but before we get to that little detail, here’s one for the books: During one drift, Kirsten’s line got tangled with another piece of fishing line on the bottom of the river. She hand-over-handed forever to find an expensive Orvis fly rod and rare English made Hardy reel at the end. Ummm, ummm. What to do? Of course a savvy and modern St. Helena woman would look in local social media posts to see if anybody lost a fishing rig. Yep, she found a posting that fit the circumstances — made contact and offered to return it to its owner after he described it to her. Happy ending indeed.

Oh yeah, about the fishing: Kirsten and Marty caught and released an amazing 62 total fish; 19 on day one, 21 on day two and topping both of them with 22 on day three! Drum rolls please. I’m waiting with my sharpened number two pencils in hand for their next VFA (Vicarious Fishing Adventure) for those of us back home.

All Hands On Deck … for Napa County’s 33rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. until noon. This is the perfect example of “many hands make light work”; last year close to 430 volunteers collected over 3,500 pounds of trash and 5,000 pounds of recycling. The unwritten code of the organizers is to have more volunteers collect more stuff each year — and it has held true most of the time.

Here’s a chance for you and your whole family — heck make it your whole neighborhood — to help Napa County help the California coast by keeping our bad stuff from floating down the Napa River to the sea. You’ll want to wear some grubbies, boots, gloves, hat and sun protection. Bring a pail and a rake. With 20 action sites throughout the valley, you can pick the ones closest to you. Get all the details at the Napa County’s Resource Conservation District’s website http://naparcd.org/

This Just In From Bassmaster … The Holy Trinity of America‘s 100 best bass lakes is within a 90-minute drive. Lake Berryessa at #6, California Delta at #5, and Clear Lake at #3 once again rank in the Top 10 of Bassmaster Magazine’s Top 100 bass lakes in America for 2017. If you haven’t wet a line in any of these trophy waters recently, call these guides and book a trip to each — score your own experiences. For Berryessa call pro guide, Don Paganelli at 916-502 FISH. Fish with Delta pro bass guide, Randy Pringle at 209-543-6260. Call Bob Myskey (274-0373) for a date on Clear Lake. Tell ’em all that Ryan sent you.

If you are at the top of your bass game with excellent casting ability, pro guide Matt Allen is your man, 514-9704. Matt guided me to my IGFA Bass Grand Slam on Berryessa. There is just a tiny little band of bass slammers. Only 12 anglers in the world have scored a bass slam. Eight of us did it at Berryessa. You ought to call Matt and go take a shot at accomplishing this special “bragging right” – here in your own back yard. A bass grand slam is catching three bass species in one 24-hour period. Berryessa helps with that by having largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass all in the same lake.

7th Annual Red, White, & Blue Golf Tournament … will be at Eagle Vines Vineyards and golf Club Monday, Sept. 25. This special event supports the Pathway Home program at the California Veterans’ Home in Yountville. Locally created and led, as well as locally funded, The Pathway Home is a shining example of Napa County at its best.

My pal, Dorothy Salmon is the chairperson of the Board of Directors. Here’s what she said about this program: “By offering an integrated program that builds on individual and collective strengths, develops critical tools that promote physical and mental health, and supports academic development and career aspirations, we aim to expand veterans’ opportunities for long-term success and improved quality of life.”

We owe it to them to give them a helping hand. Let’s join Dorothy and her whole team to put this event over the top. You can help out by participating in the tournament. You can sign up to participate right now at http://bit.ly/2xKCEVm.

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