OBJECTS OF DESIRE (ticking the bucket list)

Ticking the bucket list and paying respects with Echo’s 12wt. Bad-Ass-Glass

Some of the best advice I have ever received from friends and clients during my 34 yrs. of guiding is “do it NOW- while you are able.” Too many, too often, have preached, “I am financially stable, have time on my side yet do not have my health.” So when I received the invite to go on a weeklong Tarpon fishing trip this past May, I accepted; although I must admit, it was Glen Stanley’s final comment, “Herb, you have got to catch a Tarpon before you die,” that pushed me over the top and was the game changer.

The instigator, Glen Stanley, when not tarpon fishing can be sighted in Montana or his passion, stretching in one of his favorite salmon-steelhead rivers

There is really no way to best describe the adrenaline rush while witnessing a school or strand of incoming Tarpon, averaging 60- 140 lbs., and you’re up. Simply mind-boggling, when the fly is properly presented, these Jurassic giants are willing to crush chicken feathers. The beauty of the Florida Keys, screaming speeds of the flats boat in hot pursuit, stalking giants in crystal clear waters and shallow flats and listening to your guide deliver verbal abuse (when not on you’re A-game) highlighted, above and beyond, my expectations and desires to fulfill a lifelong fly fishing challenge; it’s no wonder I could not breathe or simmer down until the third day of the trip. Close but far away, Tarpon are not easy. However when you do have the good fortune to bury the iron, their intimating profiles, visual grabs, surging leaps and heavy-weight full throttle runs leave you staggered and desiring more. To cut the fat, if you have never fished Tarpon —you just gotta do it. Put it on your bucket list and enjoy sooner than later; who knows what tomorrow may bring.

Always dialed and keeping you on the edge, flats guide and king-pin, Albert Ponsoa, exercising his labor of love In-coming— your up, mental stage is buzzing, legs feel like jello; getter done or you will hear about it!
East side of the pond glassy sunrise

SHAD OVERLOAD – We recently completed our last and final private shad camp for the 2017 year. And what a year it was. Like a blast from the past, this year’s’ spring flows enticed major surges of shad that gave those who refused to get out of the water a solid workout. Progressive warming temps also encouraged stripers and, most exciting, high numbers of large sturgeon, up to 8 ft., into the systems. Great to witness all these fish survived the five year drought and their current rebounding stocks are setting the stage for future fun. Long live shad-camps!

STRAIGHT FROM THE LOCAL LINEUPS

Trinity Lake – Currently holding at 88% capacity and delivering quality fishing for bass and trout. Both large and smallmouth action has been very good early and late, yielding some fun (am-pm) top-water action, around upper tailings, above Trinity Center, and in the deep-water rocky points and coves, below Cedar stock. Tributaries have settled into early summer flows and yielding colorful native trout for those casting high riding dries; Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulators, Humpies, Hoppers T-bones. Some very sizable lake-run bows as well as a few big smallies, have been showing up at rivermouths (Stuarts Fork-Swift Cr.-East Forks) and accepting leech and streamers fished on sink-tips and clear camo fly lines. This yr. Trinity Lake should fish through the entire summer and fall seasons.

Lewiston Lake – reduced flows have greatly helped conditions settle and allow the lower lake to slowly warm; inspiring fish movements into the flats and mid- lake. Small (#14-16) soft hackles/midge pupas fished on both floating lines (early-late) and sink tips mid-day has been very effective on the shallow tapering flats and tailing and crowns skirting channels. Leech/streamers fished on full sink lines (clear camos) has also been yielding quality action for trout averaging 13-17” and occasionally larger. Stabilizing conditions have also triggered both damsels and dragon fly hatches in and around woody structures and weed beds in lower flats. Dark olive/blk. damsel patterns and black leeches are the ticket. Finally! Fishing and hatches will only continue to improve with decreasing water releases.

Trinity River – Flows continue to drop, as of this post, still holding high around 1500cfs., and slated to finally drop 450cfs by August. Spring-summer chinooks have been caught below the falls and a few lead fish already showing in the Junction City area. High waters are making both salmon and summer steelhead tough prospects. Patience, continued flow reductions will help put the odds in the anglers favor. Fly Only waters begin fishing around 1200 cfs. and remain open through September 15…

Local Buzz – Exciting and comforting, something we have not witnessed since the grasp of the five year drought is the number of outdoor enthusiasts visiting Trinity County this year; campgrounds full, boaters, fisherman, hikers/ backpackers, swimmers, ski/wakeboarders and simply those needing to slow the train down, recharge the batteries by soaking up the beauties and wonders of the great outdoors. Very cool, however Be Fire Safe—already there has been some local fires too close for comfort! Last winter/spring rains promoted intense undergrowth. It’s a very dangerous fire year so use your head and good judgment. Enjoy and Tighten Up!!!

How many times has “Old Moe” been photographed? No motors period—Guide Scott
Collins earning his keep
Glen Stanley maxing out his 11wt. hoop strength and needing every increment Gills flared, thrusting aerial displays
and 100 lbs. plus of kick-ass challenges your mental state and physical abilities

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